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The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Affects me equally; nor can I like

Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise 185 This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;

From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey, Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, Created pure. But know, that in the soul 100 In honour to the world's great Author rise; Are many lesser faculties, that serve

Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky, Reason as chief; among these Fancy next

Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, 190 Her office holds; of all external things,

Rising or falling still advance his praise. Which the five watchful senses represent,

His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, She forms imaginations, airy shapes,

105 Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames With every plant, in sign of worship wave. All what we' affirm or what deny, and call

Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, 195 Our knowledge or opinion; then retires

Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Into her private cell when nature rests.

Join voices all, ye living souls; ye birds, Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes 110 That singing up to heaven-gate ascend, To imitate her; but misjoining shapes,

Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams, Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk

,200 Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep, Some such resemblances methinks I find

Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
Of our last evening's talk in this thy dream, 115 To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
But with addition strange : yet be not sad:

Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Evil into the mind of God or man

Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous still 205 May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave

To give us only good; and, if the night No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope, Have gather'd ought of evil, or conceal'd, That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, 120 Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark!" Waking thou never wilt consent to do. Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks, So pray'd they, innocent; and to their thoughts That wont to be more cheerful and serene,

Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm. 210 Than when fair morning first smiles on the world ; On to their morning's rural work they haste, And let us to our fresh employments rise, 125 Among sweet dews and flowers; where any row Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers, Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store." Fruitless embraces or they led the vine 215

To wed her elm; she spous'd about him twines So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheerd; Her marriageable arms, and with her brings But silently a gentle tear let fall

130 Her dower, th' adopted clusters, to adorn From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair; His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld Two other precious drops that ready stood,

With pity heaven's high King, and to him call'd Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd

.221 Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse To travel with Tobias, and secur'd And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. 135

His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. So all was cleard, and to the field they haste.

“ Raphael," said he, “thou hear'st what stir on But first, from under shady arborous roof,

earth Soon as they forth were come to open sight Satan, from hell scap'd through the darksome gulf, Of day-spring, and the sun, who scarce up-risen, Hath rais'd in Paradise, and how disturb'd 226 With wheels yet hov'ring o'er the ocean brim, 140 This night the human pair; how he designs Shot parallel to th' earth his dewy ray,

In them at once to ruin all mankind. Discov'ring in wide landscape all the east

Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,

Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade 2.50 Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began

Thou find'st him, from the heat of noon retir'd, Their orisons, each morning duly paid 145 To respite his day-labour with repast, In various style ; for neither various style

Or with repose; and such discourse bring on, Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise

As may advise him of his happy state, Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd or sung Happiness in his power left free to will, 235 Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence

Left to his own free will; his will, though free, Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse; Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware More tunable than needed lute or harp

151 He swerve not, too secure : tell him, withal, To add more sweetness; and they thus began: His danger, and from whom; what enemy,

Late fallen himself from heaven, is plotting now “ These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good ! The fall of others from like state of bliss; 241 Almighty! thine this universal frame,

By violence? no, for that shall be withstood;
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then! But by deceit and lies: this let him know,
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens 156 Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
To us invisible, or dimly seen

Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd." 215
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfill'd
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, 160

All justice: nor delay'd the winged saint Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs

After his charge receiv'd; but from among And choral symphonies, day without night,

Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood 243 Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven:

Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light, On earth join all ye creatures, to extol

Flew thro' the midst of heaven; th' angelic choirs Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, 166 Through all the empyreal road; till at the gate If better thou belong not to the dawn,

Of heaven arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn On golden hinges turning, as by work

255
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, Divine the sov'reign Architect had fram'd.
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. 170 From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Star interpos'd, however small, he sees,
Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise Not unconforın to other shining globes,
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou Above all hills. As when by night the glass 261

Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fliest Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon ;
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies; Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades,
And ye five other wand'ring fires, that move 177 Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

205
In mystic dance, not without song, resound A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth

180 Sails between worlds and worlds; with steady wirg, Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run

Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix,

Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar 270 And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change Of tow'ring eagles, t' all the fowls he seems

fall'st.

A phænir, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,

Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape. When to inshrine his reliques in the sun's

Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed, Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.

Yet with submiss approach, and reverence meek, At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise

275

As to' a superior nature, bowing low 360 He lights, and to his proper shape returns,

Thus said: “Native of heaven! for other place A seraph wing'd; six wings he wore to shade None can than heaven such glorious shape contain ; His lineaments divine; the pair that clad (breast Since, by descending from the thrones above, Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his Those happy places thou hast deign'd awhile With regal ornament; the middle pair

280 To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us 365 Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round

Two' only, who yet by sov'reign gift possess Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet To rest, and what the garden choicest bears Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, To sit and taste, till this meridian heat Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 285 Be over, and the sun more cool decline." 370 And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance filla

Whom thus th' angelic virtue answer'd mild: The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands "Adam ! I therefore came; nor art thou such Of angels under watch; and to his state,

Created, or such place hast here to dwell, And to his inessage high, in honour rise;

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As may not oft invite, though spirits of heaven, For on some message high they guess'd him bound. To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower 375 Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come O'ershades; for these midhours, till evening rise, Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, I have at will." So to the sylvan lodge and Howering odours, cassia, nard, and balm; They came, that like Pomona's arbour smil'd A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here

With flowerets deck'd and fragrant smells; but Eve, Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295 Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair 380 Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.

Of three that in mount Ida naked strove, Him, through the spicy forest onward come, Stood to entertain her guest fron heaven: no veil Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat

She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300 Alter'd her cheek. "On whom the angel • Hail' 385 Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm (needs: Bestow'd, the holy salutation us'd Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam Long after to bless'd Mary, second Eve. And Eve within, due at her hour, prepar'd For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please

“ Hail, mother of mankind! whose fruitful True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

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womb Of nect'rous draughts between, from milky stream,' Shall fill the world more nume with thy sons, Berry or grape; to whom thus Adam cali'd :, Than with these various fruits the trees of God 390

Have heap'd this table.” Rais'd of grassy turf “Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, be- Their table was, and mossy seats had round; hold,

And on her ample square from side to side Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape All autumn pilld, though spring and autumn here Comes this way moving; seems another morn 310 Danc'd hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold, Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven No fear lest dinner cool, when thus began 396 To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe

Our author : “Heavenly stranger! please to taste This day to be our guest. But go with speed, These bounties, which our nourisher, from whom And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends Abundance, fit to honour and receive

315 To us for food and for delight, hath caus'd 40) Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford

Th' earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow To spiritual natures; only this I know, From large bestow'd, where nature multiplies That one celestial Father gives to all." Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare." 520 To whom the angel: “ Therefore what he gives

Whose praise be ever sung!) to man in part 4015 To whom thus Eve: “ Adam, earth's hallow'd Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found mould,

No' ingrateful food : and food alike those pure Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store, Intelligential substances require, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; As doth your rational and both contain Save what by frugal storing firmness gains

Within them every tower faculty

410 To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: 325 Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste; But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice And corporeal to incorporeal turn. To entertain our angel guest, as he

For know, whatever was created, needs Beholding shall confess, that here on earth

To be sustain'd and fed ; of elements,

415 God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven." 330 The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea,

Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fíres So saying, with despatchful looks in haste Ethereal, and, as lowest, first the moon; She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent

Whence in her visage round, those spots unpurg'd What choice to choose for delicacy best;

Vapours not yet into her substance turn'd. 420 What order, so contriv'd as not to mix

Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring 335 From her moist continent to higher orbs. Taste after taste, upheld with kindliest change : The sun, that light imparts to all, receives Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk From all his alimental recompense Whatever earth, all bearing mother, yields

In humid exhalations; and at even

425 In India East or West, or middle shore

Sups with the ocean. Though in heaven the trees In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where 310 Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat

Yield nectar; tho' from off the boughs each morn Rough or snooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell, We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground She gathers, tribute large, and on the board Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here 430 Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape Varied his bounty so with new delights, She crushes, inoffensive must, and meathes 345

As may compare with heaven; and to taste From many a berry; and from sweet kernels press'd Think not I shall be nice." So down they sat, She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold And to their viands fell ; nor seemingly Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss 435 With rose and odours from the shrub unfum'd.

Of theologians, but with keen despatch

Of real hunger, and concoctive heat Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet 350 To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Through spirits with ease; nor wonder, if by fire Acconipanied than with his own complete

Of sooty coal, th' empiric alchemist

440 Perfections: in himself was all his state,

Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
On princes, when their rich retinue long 355 As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve
Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold, Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups

pare pa

With pleasant liquors crown'd. O innocence 445, Not our necessitated; such with him 530 Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then,

Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how Then had the sons of God excuse to have been Can hearts not free be tried whether they serve Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts Willing or no, who will but what they must Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy

By destiny, and can no other choose ?
Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell. 450 Myself, and all th' angelic host that stand 535

In sight of God inthron'd, our happy state
Thus when with meats and drinks they had suf. Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds ;
Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose (fic'd On other surety none; freely we serve,
In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass,

Because we freely love, as in our will
Given him by this great conference, to know

To love or not; in this we stand or fall : 540 Of things above this world, and of their being 455 And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen, Who dwell in heaven, whose excellence he saw And so from heaven to deepest hell ; 0 fali Transcend his own so far, whose radiant forms From what high state of bliss into what wo!" Divine effulgence, whose high power so far Exceeded human, and his wary speech

To whom our great progenitor : “ Thy words Thus to th' empyreal minister he fram'd: 460 Attentive, and with more delighted ear, 515

Divine instructer, I have heard, than when « Inhabitant with God! now know I well Cherubic songs by night from neighb'ring hills Thy favour, in this honour done to man,

Aerial music send: nor knew I not Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafd To be both will and deed created free; To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,

Yet that we never shall forget to love

350 Food not of angels, yet accepted so,

465 Our Maker, and obey him,

whose command As that more willingly thou couldst not seem Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts At heaven's high feasts to have fed : yet what com.

Assur'd me', and still assure: tho' what thou tell'st
Hath pass'd in heaven, some doubt within me nove,

But more desire to hear, if thou consent, 555 To whom the winged hierarch replied:

The full relation, which must needs be strange, "O Adam ! one almighty is, from whom

Worthy of sacred silence to be heard;
All things proceed, and up to him return, 470 And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun
If not deprav'd from good, created all

Hath finish'a half his journey', and scarce begins Such to perfection, one first matter all,

His other half in the great zone of heaven." 560
Endued with various forms various degrees
Of substance, and, in things that live, of life;

Thus Adam made request; and Raphael,
But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, 475 After short pause assenting, thus began:
As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending,
Each in their several active spheres assign'd,

“High matter thou enjoin'st me', O prime of men. Till body up to spirit work, in bounds

Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate Proportion' to each kind. So from the root To human sense th' invisible exploits

365 Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the Of warring spirits ? how, without remorse, leaves

480 The ruin of so many, glorious once, More airy, last the bright consummate flower And perfect while they stood ? how, last, unfold Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit The secrets of another world, perhaps Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd, Not lawful to reveal ? yet for the good 570 The vital spirits aspire, to animal,

This is dispens'd; and what surmounts the reach To intellectual; give both life and sense,

485

Of human sense, I shall delineate so, Fancy and understanding; whence the soul By likening spiritual to corporal forms, 573 Reason receives, and reason is her being,

As may express them best ; though what if earth Piscoursive, or intuitive; discourse

Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein, Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,

Each to other like, more than on earth is thought ? Differing but in degree, of kind the same. 490 Wonder not, then, what God for you saw good

As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

Reign'd where these heavens now roll, where earth To proper substance: tirne may come, when men

now rests With angels may participate, and find

Upon her centre pois'd; when, on a day, No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare ; 495 (For time, though in eternity, applied 580 And from these corporal nutriments perhaps To motion, measures all things durable Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,

By present, past, and future) on such day (host Improv by tract of time, and wing d ascend As heaven's great year brings forth, th' ex pyreal Ethereal, as we, or may at choice

Of angels, by imperial summons call's, Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell; 500 Innumerable before th' Almighty's throne

585 If ye be found obedient, and retain

Forthwith from all the ends of heaven appeard Unalterably firm his love entire,

Under their hierarchs in orders, bright: Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile enjoy Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc'd, Your fill what happiness this happy state

Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear, Can comprehend, incapable of more."

505 Stream in the air, and for distinction serve 590

Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees; To whom the patriarch of mankind replied : Or in their glittering tissues bear emblaz'd « favourable spirit, propitious guest!

Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Recorded eminent. Thus, when in orbs Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set

Of circuit inexpressible they stood,

595 From centre to circumference, whereon, 510 Orb within orb, the Father infinite, In contemplation of created things,

By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son,
By steps we may ascend to God. But say,

Amidst, as from a flaming mount, whose top
What meant that caution join'd, ' If ye be found Brightness had made invisible, thus spake :
Obedient?' can we want obedience then
To him, or possibly his love desert,
515 “Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light,

600 Who form'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here, Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers! Full to the utmost measure of what bliss

Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand. Human desires can seek or apprehend ?"

This day I have begot whom I declare

My only Son, and on this holy hill To whom the angel: “Son of heaven and earth, Him have anointed, whom ye now behold 605 Attend ! That thou art happy, owe to God; 520 At my right hand ; your head I him appoint; That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,

And by myself have sworn, to him

shall bow That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.

All knees in heaven, and shall confess him Lord: This was that caution given thee; be advis'd. Under his great vicegerent reign abide God made thee perfect, not immutable;

United as one individual soul,

610 And good he wiade thee, but to persevere

525 For ever happy. Him who disobeys, He left it in thy power; ordain'd thy will

Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day, By nature free, not overrul'd by fate

Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls Inextricable, or strict necessity :

Into utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place Our voluntary service he requires,

Urdain'd, without redemption, without end.' 615

“ So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
All seem'd well pleas'd; all seem'd, but were not Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
That day, as other solemn days, they spent (all. Or taint integrity. But all obey'd
In song and dance about the sacred hill;

The wonted signal, and superior voice 705
Mystical dance! which yonder starry sphere 620 Of their great potentate; for great indeed
Of planets and of fix'd in all her wheels

His name, and high was his degree in heaven: Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,

His count'nance, as the morning star that guides Eccentric, intervolvid, yet regular

The starry flock, allur'd them, and with lies Then most, when most irregular they seem; Drew after him the third part of heaven's host. 710 And in their motions harmony divine

625

Meanwhile th' eternal eye, whose sight discerns So smooths her charming tones, that God's own ear Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount, Listens delighted. Evening now approach'd And from within the golden lamps that burn (For we have also our evening and our morn, Nightly before him, saw, without their light, We ours for change delectable, not need ;)

Rebellion rising; saw, in whom, how spread 715 Forth with from dance to sweet repast they turn 630 Among the sons of morn, what multitudes Desirous; all in circles as they stood,

Were banded to oppose his high decree;
Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd

And, smiling, to his only Son thus said:
With angels food, and rubied nectar flows
In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,

“'Son! thou in whom my glory I behold
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of heaven. 635 In full resplendence, Heir of all my might, 720
On flowers repos'd, and with fresh flowerets crown'd, Nearly it now concerns us to be sure
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
Quaff immortality and joy, secure

We mean to hold what anciently we claim Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds

Of deity or empire ; such a foe Excess, before th'all-bounteous King, who shower'd Is rising, who intends to' erect his throne 725 With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 641 Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north; Now, when ambrosial night with clouds exhald Nor so content, hath in his thought to try, From that high mount of God, whence light and In battle, what our power is, or our right. shade

Let us advise, and to this hazard draw Spring both, the face of brightest beaven had With speed what force is left, and all employ 730 chang'd

In our defence, lest unawares we lose To grateful twilight, (for night comes not there 645 This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.' In darker veil) and roseate dews dispos'd All but th' unsleeping eyes of God to rest;

" To whom the Son, with calm aspect and clear, Wide over all the plain, and wider far

Lightning divine, ineffable, serene, Than all this globous earth in plain outspread, Made answer : Mighty Father! thou thy foes 735 (Such are the courts of God) th' angelic throny, Justly hast in derision, and, secure, Dispers'd in bands and files, their camp extend 651 Laughst at their vain designs and tumults vain; By living streams among the trees of life,

Matter to me of glory, whom their hate Pavilions number less, and sudden rear'd,

Illustrates, when they see all regal power Celestial tabernacles, where they slept [course Given me to quell their pride, and in event 740 Fannd with cool winds, save those who in their Know whether I be dext'rous to subdue Melodious hymns about the sov'reign throne 656 Thy rebels, or be found the worst in heaven,' Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd Satan (so call him now, his former name

“ So spake the Son; but Satan with his powers Is heard no more in heaven ;) he of the first, Far was advanc'd on winged speed, an host If not the first archangel, great in power, 660 Innumerable as the stars of night,

745 In favour and pre-eininence, yet fraught

Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the sun With envy' against the Son of God, that day Impearls on every leaf, and every flower. Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd Regions they pass'd, the mighty regencies Messiah, King Anointed, could not bear, 664

Of seraphim, and potentates, and thrones,
Thro' pride that sight, and thought himself im- In their triple degrees; regions to which
Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain, (pair'd. All thy dominion, Adam, is no more
Soon as midnight brought on the dusks how

Than what this garden is to all the earth,
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resoiva And all the sea, from one entire globose
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave

Stretch'd into longitude; which, having pass'd, Unworshipp'd, unobey'd the throne supreme, 670 At length into the limits of the north

755 Contemptuous, and his next subordinate

They came ; and Satan to his royal seat Awak’ning, thus to him in secret spake:

High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount

Rais'd on a mount, with pyramids and towers "Sleep'st thou, companion dear! what sleep From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; can close The palace of great Lucifer, (so call

760 Thy eye-lids ? and remember'st what decree That structure in the dialect of men of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips 675 Interpreted,) which not long after he, Of heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts Affecting all equality with God, Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont t' impart; In imitation of that mount whereon Both waking we were one; how then can now Messiah was declar'd in sight of heaven, 765 Thy sleep dissent? New laws thou seest impos'd ; The Mountain of the Congregation call'd; New laws from him who reigns, new minds may For thither he assembled all his train, raise

680

Pretending so commanded, to consult In us who serve, new counsels, to debate

About the great reception of their King What doubtful may ensue: more in this place Thither to come, and with calumnious art 770 To utter is not safe. Assemble thou

Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears : Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; Tell them that by command, ere yet dim night 685 “Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to haste, If these magnífic titles yet remain

[powers And all who under me their banners wave,

Not merely titular, since by decree Homeward with flying march where we possess Another now hath to himself engross'd 775 The quarters of the north; there to prepare All power, and us eclips'd, under the name Fit entertainment to receive our King,

690 Of King Anointed; for whom all this haste The great Messiah, and his new commands, Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here; Who speedily through all the hierarchies

This only to consult how we may best, Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.' With what may be devis'd of honours new, 780

Receive him, coming to receive from us “ So spake the false archangel, and infus'd Knee-tribute, yet unpaid ; prostration vile, Bad influence into th' unwary breast

695 Too much to one, but double how endur'd, Of his associate: he together calls,

To one, and to his image now proclaim'd ? Or several one by one, the regent powers,

But what if better counsels might erect 785 Under him regent; tells, as he was taught,

Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke ? That, the Most High commanding, now ere night, Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend Now'ere dim night had disincumber'd heaven, 700 The supple knee? Ye will not, if I trust The great hierarchal standard was to move; To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves

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Natives and sons of heaven, possess'd before 790 “ So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal
By none, and if not equal all, yet free,

None seconded, as out of season judg'd, 850 Equally free; for orders and degrees

Or singular and rash; whereat rejoicá Jar not with liberty, but well consist.

Th' apostate, and more haughty thus replied: Who can in reason then, or right, assume

. That we were form'd then say'st thou? and the Monarchy over such as live by right

795 Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd (work His equals, if in power and splendour less,

From Father to his Son ? Strange point and new! In freedom equal ? Or can introduce

Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: Law and edict on us, who without law

who saw Err not? much less for this to be our Lord,

When this creation was ? remember'st thou And look for adoration, to th' abuse

800 Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being Of those imperial titles, which assert

We know no time when we were not as now; Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve !"

Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd SGO

By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course « Thus far his bold discourse without control Had circled his full orb, the birth mature Had audience; when among the seraphim

Of this our native heaven, ethereal sons. Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd 805 Our puissance is our own; our own right hand The Deity', and divine commands obey'd,

Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try 865 Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe,

Who is our equal : then thou shalt behold The current of his fury thus oppos'd :

Whether by supplication we intend

Address, and to begirt th' Almighty throne O argument blasphemous, false and proud! Beseeching or besieging. This report, Words which no ear ever to hear in heaven 810 These tidings, carry to th' anointed King; 870 Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate,

And fly, ere

evil intercept thy flight.' In place thyself so high above thy peers. Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn

“ He said, and, as the sound of waters deep, The just decree of God, pronounc'd and sworn, Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause That to his only Son, by right endu'd

815 Through the infinite host; nor less for that With regal sceptre, every soul in heaven

The flaming seraph, fearless, though alone 875 Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold: Confess him rightful King ? Unjust, thou say'st, Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free,

«« alienate from God, O spirit accursid, And equal over equals to let reign,

820 Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall One over all with unsucceeded power

Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involved Shalt thou give law to God ? shalt thou dispute In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread 880 With him the points of liberty, who made

Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth Thee what thou art, and form'd the powers of No more be troubled how to quit the yoke heaven

Of God's Messiah ; those indulgent laws Such as he pleas'd, and circumscríb'd their being ? Will not be now vouchsaf d: other decrees Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, 826 Against thee are gone forth without recall; 885 And of our good, and of our dignity

That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject, How provident he is; how far from thought

Is now an iron rod to bruise and break
To make us less, bent rather to exalt

Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise ;
Our happy state, under one head more near 830 Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly
United. But to grant it thee unjust,

These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath 890 That equal over equals monarch reign:

Impendent, raging into sudden flame, Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count, Distinguish not; for soon expect to feel Or all angelic nature join'd in one,

His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. Equal to him, begotten Son ? by whom, 835 Then who created thee lamenting learn, As by.his Word, the mighty Father made

When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'895 All things, even thee; and all the spirits of heaven By him created in their bright degrees,

“ So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory Among the faithless, faithful only he ; nam'a

Among innumerable false, unmovid,
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified,
Essential powers; nor by his reign obscur'd,

841
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ;

900 But more illustrious made; since he, the head, Nor number, nor example, with him wrought One of our number thus reduc'd becomes ;

To swerve from truth, change his constant mind, His laws our laws; all honour to him done

Though single. From amidst them forth he passid, Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage, Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustainu And tempt not these; but hasten to appease 846 Superior, nor of violence fear'd ought; 905 Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,

And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd While pardon may be found, in time besought.' On those proud towers to swift destruction doomd.

END OF BOOK FIFTH.

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