The Hind and the Panther (Excerpt)


Hind and Panther


So, when of old the Almighty Father sate
  In council, to redeem our ruin’d state,            
  Millions of millions, at a distance round,
  Silent the sacred consistory crown’d, 
To hear what mercy, mix’d with justice, could propound:
  All prompt, with eager pity, to fulfill
  The full extent of their Creator’s will.

  But when the stern conditions were declared,
  A mournful whisper through the host was heard,
  And the whole hierarchy, with heads hung down,
  Submissively declined the ponderous proffer’d crown.

  Then, not till then, the Eternal Son from high                    
  Rose in the strength of all the Deity:
  Stood forth to accept the terms, and underwent
  A weight which all the frame of heaven had bent.
  Nor he himself could bear, but as Omnipotent.

— John Dryden