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Intelligential substances require,

As doth your rational; and both contain

Within them every lower faculty

To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
Food not of angels, yet accepted so,

As that more willingly thou couldst not seem

Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, At Heaven's high feasts to have fed: yet what


Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,

And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

For know, whatever was created, needs
To be sustained and fed; of elements
The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea,
Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires
Ethereal, and, as lowest, first the moon;
Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurged
Vapours not yet into her substance turned.
Nor doth the moon to nourishment exhale
From her moist continent to higher orbs
The sun, that light imparts to all, receives
From all his alimental recompense
In humid exhalations, and at even


To whom the winged hierarch replied:
"O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed, and up to him return;
If not depraved from good, created all
Such to perfection, one first matter all,
Endued with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and, in things that live, of life;
But more refined, more spirituous, and pure,
As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending
Each in their several active spheres assigned,
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Proportioned to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the

Sups with the ocean. Though in Heaven the trees More airy, last the bright consummate flower
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines

Spirits odorous breathes: flowers and their fruit,

Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed,


We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Covered with pearly grain: yet God hath here
Varied his bounty so with new delights,
As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
Think not I shall be nice." So down they sat,
And to their viands fell; nor seemingly
The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
Of theologians; but with keen despatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat

To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires
Through spirits with ease; nor wonder, if by fire
Of sooty coal, th' empiric alchymist
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve
Ministered naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquors crowned: O innocence
Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,

Then had the sons of God excuse to have been

Enamoured at that sight; but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injured lover's hell.

To vital spirits aspire, to animal,

To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive, or intuitive; discourse

Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

To proper substance: time may come, when men
With angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare;
And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improved by tract of time, and winged ascend
Ethereal, as we, or may at choice
Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell;
If ye be found obedient, and retain
Unalterably firm his love entire,
Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile enjoy
Your fill what happiness this happy state
Can comprehend, incapable of more."

To whom the patriarch of mankind replied.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had "O favourable spirit, propitious guest,


Not burdened nature, sudden mind arose

In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass,
Given him by this great conference, to know
Of things above this world, and of their being
Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw
Transcend his own so far, whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whose high power so far
Exceeded human, and his wary speech
Thus to th' empyreal minister he framed.
"Inhabitant with God, now know I well
Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafed

Well hast thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set
From centre to circumference, whereon,

In contemplation of created things,

By steps we might ascend to God. But say,
What meant that caution joined, 'If ye be found
Obedient?' can we want obedience then
To him, or possibly his love desert,
Who formed us from the dust, and placed us here,
Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
Human desires can seck or apprehend?"

To whom the angel. "Son of Heaven and

Attend: that thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution given thee; be advised.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere
He left it in thy power; ordained thy will
By nature free, not overruled by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity;
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated; such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose?
Myself and all the angelic host, that stand
In sight of God enthroned, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none, freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen,
And so from Heaven to deepest hell; O fall
From what high state of bliss into what wo!"
To whom our great progenitor. "Thy words
Attentive, and with more delighted ear,
Divine instructor, I have heard, than when
Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills
Aerial music send: nor knew I not
To be both will and deed created free;
Yet that we never shall forget to love
Our Maker, and obey him, whose command
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts
Assured me, and still assure: tho' what thou tellest
Hath passed in Heaven, some doubt within me


But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
The full relation, which must needs be strange,
Worthy of sacred silence to be heard;

And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun
Hath finished half his journey, and scarce begins
His other half in the great zone of Heaven."

Thus Adam made request; and Raphael,

After short pause assenting, thus began.

Reigned where these Heavens now roll, where earth now rests

Upon her centre pcised: when on a day
(For time, though in eternity, applied
To motion, measures all things durable
By present, past, and future,) on such a day
As Heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal

Of angels, by imperial summons called,
Innumerable before the Almighty's throne
Forthwith, from all the ends of Heaven appeared
Under their hierarchs in orders bright:
Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced,
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
Or in their glittering tissues bear emblazed
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent. Thus, when, in orbs
Of circuit inexpressible they stood,
Orb within orb, the Father infinite,
By whom in bliss imbosomed sat the Son,
Amidst, as from a flaming mount, whose top
Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

"Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light,
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Hear my decree, which unrevoked shall stand.
This day I have begot whom I declare
My only Son, and on this holy hill
Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
At my right hand; your Head I him appoint;
And by myself have sworn to him shall bow
All knees in Heaven, and shall confess him Lord:
Under his great vicegerent reign abide
United as one individual soul,

For ever happy: him who disobeys,
Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day,
Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
Into utter darkness, deep ingulphed, his place
Ordained without redemption, without end."

"So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words All seemed well pleased; all seemed, but were not all.

That day, as other solemn days, they spent

"High matter thou enjoinest me, O prime of men, In song and dance about the sacred hill;

Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate

To human sense the invisible exploits

Of warring spirits? how, without remorse,
The ruin of so many glorious once,

And perfect while they stood? how, last, unfold
The secrets of another world, perhaps
Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good

Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere
Of planets and of fixed in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular
Then most, when most irregular they seem;
And in their motions harmony divine

So smooths her charming tones, that God's own ear

This is dispensed; and what surmounts the reach Listens delighted. Evening now approached

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In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heaven.
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flow'rets

They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure

Tell them that by command, ere yet dim night
Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to haste,
And all who under me their banners wave,
Homeward with flying march, where we possess
The quarters of the north; there to prepare
Fit entertainment to receive our King,
The great Messiah, and his new commands,

Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds
Excess, before the all-bounteous King, who Who speedily through all the hierarchies


With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.

Now when ambrosial night, with clouds exhaled From that high mount of God, whence light and shade

Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws."

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So spake the false archangel, and infused
Bad influence into the unwary breast
Of his associate; he together calls,
Or several one by one, the regent powers,

Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had Under him regent; tells, as he was taught,


To grateful twilight (for night comes not there
In darker veil,) and roseate dews disposed
All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest;
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this globous earth in plain outspread
(Such are the courts of God,) the angelic throng,
Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life,
Pavilions numberless, and sudden reared,

Celestial tabernacles, where they slept

That, the most high commanding, now ere night,
Now ere dim night had disencumbered Heaven,
The great hierarchal standard was to move:
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity: but all obeyed
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate: for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in heaven:
His countenance as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies

Fanned with cool winds; save those who in their Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host.


Melodious hymns about the sovereign throne
Alternate all night long: but not so waked
Satan; so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first,
If not the first archangel, great in power,
In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed
Messiah King anointed, could not bear,

Meanwhile th' Eternal eye, whose sight discerns
Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount,
And from within the golden lamps that burn
Nightly before him, saw without their light
Rebellion rising; saw in whom, how spread
Among the sons of morn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decree;
And, smiling, to his only Son thus said.

Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
In full resplendence, heir of all my might,

Through pride, that sight, and thought himself Nearly it now concerns us to be sure


Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipped, unobeyed, the throne supreme,
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awakening, thus to him in secret spake.

Sleepest thou, companion dear, what sleep can

Thy eyelids? and rememberest what decree
Of yesterday, so late hath passed the lips
Of Heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts
Was wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;
Both waking we were one; how then can now
Thy sleep dissent? New laws thou seest imposed;
New laws from him who reigns, new minds may

In us who serve, new councils, to debate
What doubtful may ensue: more in this place
To utter is not safe. Assemble thou

Of all those myriads which we lead the chief;

Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Of deity or empire; such a foe

Is rising, who intends to erect his throne
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try,
In battle, what our power is, or our right.
Let us advise, and to this hazard draw
With speed what force is left, and all employ
In our defence, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill."

To whom the Son, with calm aspect and clear,
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. "Mighty Father, thou thy foes
Justly hast in derision, and, secure,
Laughest at their vain designs and tumults vain,
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates; when they see all regal power
Given to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dexterous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven."
So spake the Son; but Satan with powers

Far was advanced on winged speed; an host
Innumerable as the stars of night,

Or stars of morning, dew drops, which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
Regions they passed, the mighty regencies
Of seraphim, and potentates, and thrones,
In their triple degrees; regions to which
All thy dominion, Adam, is no more
Than what this garden is to all the earth,
And all the sea, from one entire globose
Stretched into longitude; which having passed,
At length into the limits of the north
They came, and Satan to his royal seat
High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount
Raised on a mount, with pyramids and towers
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold,
The palace of great Lucifer (so call
That structure in the dialect of men
Interpreted,) which not long after he,
Affecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declared in sight of heaven
The Mountain of the Congregation called:
For thither he assembled all his train,
Pretending so commanded, to consult
About the great reception of their King,
Thither to come, and with calumnious art
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

Of those imperial titles, which assert
Our being ordained to govern, not to serve.'
"Thus far his bold discourse without control
Had audience; when among the seraphim
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored
The Deity, and divine commands obeyed,
Stood up, and, in a flame of zeal severe,
The current of his fury thus opposed.

"O argument blasphemous, false, and proud! Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate, In place thyself so high above thy peers. Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn The just decree of God, pronounced and sworn, That to his only Son, by right endued With regal sceptre, every soul in Heaven Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Confess him rightful King? unjust, thou say'st, Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free And equal over equals to let reign, One over all with unsucceeded power. Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute With him the points of liberty, who made Thee what thou art, and formed the powers of Heaven

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Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being?
Yet, by experience taught, we know how good,
And of our good and of our dignity

How provident he is; how far from thought

"Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, To make us less, bent rather to exalt


If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself engrossed
All power, and us eclipsed, under the name
Of King anointed, for whom all this haste
Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here;
This only to consult how we may best,
With what may be devised of honours new,
Receive him coming, to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
Too much to one, but double how endured,
To one and to his image now proclaimed?
But what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke?
Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend
The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust
To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves
Natives and sons of Heaven possessed before
By none, and if not equal all, yet free,
Equally free; for orders and degrees
Jar not with liberty, but well consist.
Who can in reason, then, or right, assume
Monarchy over such as live by right
His equals, if in power and splendour less,
In freedom equal? or can introduce
Law and edict on us, who without law
Err not? much less for this to be our Lord,
And look for adoration to the abuse


Our happy state, under one head more near
United. But to grant it thee unjust,

That equal over equals monarch reign:

Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count,
Or all angelic nature joined in one,
Equal to him, begotton Son? by whom,
As by his word, the mighty Father made
All things, even thee: and all the spirits of Heaven
By him created in their bright degrees,
Crowned them with glory, and to their glory named
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Essential powers; nor by his reign obscured,
But more illustrious made: since he, the head
One of our number thus reduced becomes;
His laws our laws; all honour to him done
Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
And tempt not these: but hasten to appease
The incensed Father, and the incensed Son,
While pardon may be found, in time besought.'
"So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judged,
Or singular and rash; whereat rejoiced
The apostate, and more haughty thus replied.
'That we were formed then, sayest thou? and the

Of secondary hands, by task transferred

From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrine which we would know whence learned:

who saw

When this creation was? rememberest thou
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being
We know no time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised
By our own quickening power, when fatal course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
Whether by supplication we intend
Address, and to begirt the almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings, carry to the anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.'

"He said, and, as the sound of waters deep,
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause
Through the infinite host; nor less for that
The flaming seraph, fearless though alone
Encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold.
"O alienate from God, O spirit accursed,
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined, and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah; those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsafed: other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall;
That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject,
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise;
Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath
Impendent, raging into sudden flame,
Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Then who created thee lamenting learn,
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'
"So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among the innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
Though single. From amidst them forth he passed,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sus-

Superior, nor of violence feared aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turned
On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed."



Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The first

fight described: Satan and his powers retire under night: he calls a council, invents devilish engines, which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to some disorder; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan: yet, the tumult not so ending, God on the third day, sends Messiah his son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory: he, in the power of his Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep: Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

"ALL night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way; till morn,

Waked by the circling hours, with rosy hand
Unbarred the gates of light. There is a cave
Within the mount of God, fast by his throne,
Where light and darkness in perpetual round
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through

Grateful vicissitudes, like day and night:
Light issues forth, and at the other door
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour
To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might

Seem twilight here: and now went forth the morn,
Such as in highest Heaven, arrayed in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanished night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the

Covered with thick embattled squadrons bright,
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds,
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
War he perceived, war in procinct, and found
Already known, what he for news had though
To have reported: gladly then he mixed
Among those friendly powers, who him received
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one
Returned not lost: on to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice
From midst a golden cloud thus mild was heard.
"Servant of God, well done; well hast thou

The better fight, who single hast maintained
Against revolted multitudes the cause
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the testimony of truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence; for this was all thy care
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse: the easier conquest now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return
Than scorned thou didst depart, and to subdue
By force, who reason for their law refuse,

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