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 fulfil
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