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First, Highest, Holiest, Best; thou always seek'st
735 Image of thee in all things ; and shall foon, Arm'd with thy might, rid heaven of these rebell’d, To their prepar’d ill mansion driven down, To chains of darkness, and th' undying worm, That from thy just obedience could revolt, 740 Whom to abey is happiness entire, Then shall thy faints unmix'd, and from th' impure Far separate, circling thy holy mount Unfeigned Hallelujahs to thee fing, Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief. 745
So faid, he o'er his fceptre bowing, rose From the right hand of Glory where he fat; And the third sacred morn began to shine, [found Dawning through heaven. Forth ruth'd with whirlwind The chariot of Paternal Deity,
Amber, and colours of the show'ry arch.
This faw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd, 785 And to rebellious fight rallied their powers Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. In heavenly spi'rits could such perverseness dwell? But to convince the proud what figns avail, Or wonders more th' obdurate to relent?
790 They harden'd more by what might most reclaim, Grieving to see his glory, at the fight Took envy; and aspiring to his height,
Stood reimbattled fierce, by force or fraud
Stand still in bright array, ye faints, here stand,
done 805 Invincibly: but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs ; Vengeance is his, or whose he fole appoints : Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude; stand only, and behold
810 God's indignation on these godless pour'd By me; not you, but me, they have despis'd, Yet envied ; against me is all their rage, Because the Father, t' whom in heaven supreme Kingdom, and power, and glory appertains, 815 Hath honour'd me, according to his will. Therefore to me their doom he hath assign'd; · That they may have their wish, to try with me In battle which the stronger proves, they all, Or I alone against them, since by strength
820 They measure all, of other excellence Not emulous, nor care who them excels; Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.
So spake the Son, and into terrour chang'd His count'nance too severe to be beheld,
825 And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the four spread out their starry wings With dreadful fh:1:e contiguous, and the orbs
Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the found
845 Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One spirit in them ruld, and every eye Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire Among th’accurs’d, that wither'd all their strength, And of their wonted vigour left them drain’d, 851 Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen. Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd His thunder in mid volley; for he meant Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven: 855 The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd Of goats, or timorous flock together throng'd, Drove them before him thunder-ftruck, pursu'd With terrours and with furies to the bounds And crystal wall of heav'n; which op'ning wide, 860 Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd Into the wasteful deep : the monstrous sight Sruck them with horrour backward, but far worfe
Urg'd them behind: headlong themselves they threw
Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, hell faw
Sole vi&tor from th' expulfion of his foes 880 Melliah his triumphal chariot turn'd : To meet hiin all his faints, who silent stood Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, With jubilee advanc'd ; and, as they went, Shaded with branching palm, each order bright, 885 Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King, Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion giv'n, Worthielt to reign! He celebrated rode Triumphant through mid heav'n, into the courts And temple of his mighty Father thron'd 896 On high ; who into glory him receiv'd, Where now he fits at the right hand of Bliss.
Thus measuring things in heav'n by things on earth, At thy request, and that thou mayst beware By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd 895 What might have else to human race been hid; The discord which befel, and war in heaven Among th' angelic powers, and the deep fall