Here Militant Saint Michael is represented as the dominant figure overcoming the "reluctant dragon." A small insert symbolizes prayer through the kneeling figure surrounded by the censer, and the Pope is suggested above under the coat of arms of Innocent XII (three golden jugs on a blue field). The lower two militant angels bear shields and spears.
Throughout the foliage border are kneeling angels of praise, the crossed keys of authority, and the scales and swords of justice.
Excerpts from Robert Browning's
The Ring and the Book, X, "The Pope"
Armed and crowned,
Would Michael, yonder, be, nor crowned nor armed,
The less pre-eminent angel?
Why comes a temptation but for man to meet
And master and make crouch beneath his foot,
And so be pedestalled in triumph? Pray
"Lead us into no such temptations, Lord!"
Yea, but, O Thou whose servants are the bold,
Lead such temptations by the head and hair,
Reluctant dragons, up to who dares fight,
That so he may do battle and have praise!
Everywhere I see in the world the intellect of man,
Everywhere; but they make not up, I think,
The marvel of a soul like thine, earth's flower
She holds up to the softened gaze of God!
In honor of Ethel Lattimore Higginbotham
Gift of Mrs. E. M. Osborne, Joe M. Higginbotham, Jr., Lanham Higginbotham, Cecil Higginbotham, Rufus Higginbotham