Poem 205 – Christ Returned from Northern Heaven

Sung victorious king,
Son, heir, and Lord, to him dominion given,
Worthiest to reign

Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI, 886-888

Christ returned from Northern Heaven, worthiest to reign,
Cloaked in the ephemeral miasma of the demons he had slain,
Surrounded by the angels who had been crippled, maimed and hurt
Until Christ rode to battle on the morning of the third;
Only then did he join the seraphim who were dying in his name,
But still they sang his praises, all seemed the same,
Except to those angels annihilated who, in their battle garb,
Lay bleeding and too mortal, who Northern Heaven marred.

***

Dear readers,

To modern sensibilities, untinged by traditions of epic narrative, Christ’s decision to wait for the third day to join in battle is not merely odd – it is a dereliction of his duty. Similarly, the praise of his victory on his return is odd, and ignores the losses. Milton makes it clear that angels can only suffer a violent death by total destruction.

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic

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