And when at last the prince of darkness, couch’d
In symbol of the great leviathan,
The dragon of the river floods of Nile,
Harden’d the heart of Pharaoh, scourged by all
Heaven’s plagues, until it grew like adamant,
And led him to assay the ocean depths
And satisfy his lust on Israel there,
Vainly God moving in the pillar cloud
Smote with His glittering sword that monster’s head,
And with the wreck of chariots and of arms
And horsemen overta’en in baleful rout
Cumber’d the waters and confused the shores.
All was in vain. Each desperate repulse
But seem’d to kindle fiercer subtler hate
In those infatuate spirits, till I have seen
The cheek of Michael alter with distress,
And all the hosts of heaven astonied stand,
As couriers in successive hours announced
Hell’s endless crafts, each deadlier than the last.
Edward Henry Bickersteth, “Yesterday, To-day, and For Ever”. (Book VI: The Empire of Darkness).
Symbol of Iranian Emperor and Empress known as Banu…