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Before bina Power Divine his way prepar'd ; At his command the uprooted hills retir'd Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went Obseqnious; heaven his wonted face renew'd, And with fresh flowerets hill and valley smild. This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd, And tv rebellious fight ralliert their powers, Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. In heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell But to convince the proud what signs avail, Or wonders move the obdurate to relent? They, harden'd more by what might most reclaira, Grieving to see his glory, at the sight Took envy; and aspiring to his highth, stood re-embattled fierce, by force or fraud Weening to prosper, and at length prevail cigainst God and Messiah, or to fall fu universa) ruin last; and now To final battle drew, disdaining flight, Or faint retreat ; when the great Son of Gol To all his host on either hand thus spake : ".Stand still in bright array, ye saints ; liceren

stand, Ye angels arm'd; this day from battle rest : Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause ; And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done, Invincibly; but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belonge ; Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude ; stand only, and behold God's indignation ou 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, to whom in heaven supreme Kingdom, and power, and glory, appertains, Hail honour'd me, according to his will. Therefore to me their doom he hath assigu'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
They measure all, of other excellence
Not envulous, nor care who them excels ;
Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.'

“ So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd
His count'nance too severe to be beheld,
And full of wrath bent on his enemies.
At once the four spread out their starry wings
With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs
Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the sound
Of torrent flords, or of a numerous host.
He on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night: under his burning wheels
The steadfast empyrean shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues: they, astonish'd, all resistance lost,
All courage ; down their idle weapons dropt :
O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads be rodis
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostrate,
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire.
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell
His arrows, from the fourfold-visag'd four
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 the accurs’d, that wither'd all theirstrength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but chevk'>
His thunder in mid volley ; for be meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven :
The overthrown he rais'd, and us a berd

Of goats or timorous flock together throngid,
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued
With terrors and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of heaven ; which, opening wide,
Koll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd
Into the wastefu. deep: the inonstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urg'd them behind : headlong themselves they

threw Down from the verge of heaven ; eternal wrath Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.

“ Hell heard the unsufferable noise, hell saw Heaven ruining from heaven, and would have fled Affrighted ; but strict fate had cast too deep Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. Nine days they fell: confounded Chaos roar'd, And felt tenfold confusion in their fall Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout Encumber'd him with ruin ; hell at last Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd; Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. Disburden'd heaven rejoic'd, and soon repair'd Her mural breach, returning whence it rollid. Sole Victor, from the expulsion of his foes, Messiah his triumphal chariot turn'd: To meet him all his saints, who silent stood Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, With jubilee advanc'd; and, as they went, Shading with branching palm, each order bright Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King, Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given, Worthiest to reign: He, celebrated, rode Triumphant through mid heaven, into the courts And temple of his mighty Father thron'd. On high who into glory him receiv’d, Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss. Thus measuring things in heaven by things

on earth,

At thy request, and that thou may'st lieware
By what is past, to thee I have reveald
What might have else to human race been hid;
The discord which befel, and war in heaven
Among the angelic powers, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebell'd
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
Who now is plotting how he may seduce
Thee also from obedience, that with him
Bereav'd of happiness, thou may'st partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the Most High,
Thee once to gain companion of his woe.
But listen not to his temptations, warn
Thy weaker ; let it profit thee to have heard,
By terrible example, the reward
Of disobedience ; firm they might have stood
Yet følso remember, and tear to tradypes'


THE ARGUMENT Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and where fore ihis world was first created ; that God, after the expex ing of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared his plea. sure to create another world, and other creature to dwell therein ; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of creation in six days: the angels celá brate with hymns the performance thereus, and his reascen. sion into heaven.

Descend from heaven, Urania, by that pamo
If rightly thou art call'd, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the fight of Pegasean wing!
The meaning, not the name, I call : for thou
Nor of the muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st ; but, heavenly-born,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain dow'd,
Thou with Eternal Windom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with hør didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleas'd
With thy celestial song. Úp led by thee
Into the heaven of beavens I have presumid,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering: with liko safety guided down
Return me to my native element:
Lest from this fying steed unrein'd, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere :
Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,

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