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Of planets and of fix'd in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolv’d, yet regular
Then most, when most irregular they seem ;
And in their motions harmony divine
So smoothes her charming tones, that God's own ear
Listens delighted. Evening now approach'd
(For we have also' our evening and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need);
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn. "
Desirous; all in circles as they stood,
Tables are set, and on a sudden pild
With Angel's food, and rubied nectar flows i
In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heaven. 635
On flow'rs repos’d, and with fresh flow'rets crowu'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet hom
Quaff immortality and joy, secure com a
Of surfeit where full measure only bounds t h at
Excess, before th' all-bounteous King, who show'r'd 6110
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.
Now, when ambrosial night with clouds exhal'd
From that high mount of God, whence light and shade
Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had chang’d .
To grateful twilight (for night comes not there 645.
In darker veil) and roseate dews dispos'd
All but th' unsleeping eyes of God to rest ;
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this glohous earth in plain outspread,
(Such are the courts of God) th' angelic throng, : 650
Dispers'd in hands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life,
Pavilions numberless, and sudden rear'd,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept,
Fann'd with cool winds; save those who in their course 655
Melodious hymns about the sov'reign throne
Alternate all night long: but not so wak’d.
Satan; so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
If not the first Archangel, great in power,
In favour and præeminence, yet fraught
With envy' against the Son of God, that day.
Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Messiah King anointed, could not bear,
Thro' pride, that sight, and thought himself impair'd. 065
Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipp'd, unobey'd the throne supreme,
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awak’ning, thus to him in secret spake.
“ Sleep'st thou, companion dear; what sleep can close
Thy eye-lids ? and remember'st what decree
Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips . 675
Of Heav'n's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts
Wast 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 impos’d;
New laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise 680
In us who serve, new counsels, 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 ;
Tell thein 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,
Who speedily through all the hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.'
“ So spake the fulse Archangel, and infus'd
Bad influence into th’ unwary breast
Of his associate : he together calls,
Or several one by one, the regent Powers,
Under him regent; tells, as he was taught,
That, the most High commanding, now ere night,
Now ere dim night had disincumber'd Heav'n,
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 ohey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Ileav'n :
His count'nance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allur'd them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's host.
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 inorn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decree;
And, smiling, to his only Son, thus said.
"6Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
In full resplendence, Heir of all my might,
Nearly it now concerns us to be sure
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 pow'r 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 olcar,
Lightning divine, ineffable, seréne,
Made answer. “Mighty Father, thou thy foes
Justly hast in derision, and, secure,. .
Laugh’st at their vain designs and tumults vain, .
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal power.
Giv'n me to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dext'rous to subdue
The rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.'.
"So spake the Son; but Satan with his powers
Far was advanc'd 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 pass’d, 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
Stretch'd into longitude; which having pass’d, .
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
Rais'd on a mount, with pyramids and towers
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold,
The palace of great Lucifer (só call
That structure in the dialect of men
İnterpreted), which not long after he,
Affecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heaven,
The Mountain of the Congregation callid;
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.
««Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
Jf these magnific titles .yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself engross'd
775 All pow'r, and us eclips'd, 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 devis’d of honours new, Receive him coming, to receive from us Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile, Too much to one, but double how endur'd, To one and to his image now proclaim'd? 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 kuee? Ye will not, if I trust To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves Natives and sons of Heav'n, possess'd before By none, and if not equal all, yet free, Equally free; for orders and degrees Jar not with liberty, but well consist. Of Who can in reason then, or right, assume Monarchy over such as live by right, His equals, if in pow'r and splendour less, In freedom equal? or can introduce Law and edict on us, who without law Err nót? much less for this to be our Lord, And look for adoration, to th' abuse Of those imperial titles, which assert Our being ordain'd'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 ador'd