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of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips
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
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 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,
Who speedily through all the hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.

So spake the false Arch-angel, 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 obey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in heav'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 morn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decree;
And siniling to his only Son, thus said:

Son, 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 t'erect his throne
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north;
Nor so content, hathr 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 bigh 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
Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain;
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal pow'r
Giv'n me to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in heav'n.

So spake the Son: but Satan, with his pow'rs, 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 tiower. 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, froin 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 tow'rs
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 declar'd in sight of heav'n,
The mountain of the congregation call'd;
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, powrs,
If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by degree
Another now hath to himself ingrossd
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 chuse to bend
The supple knee? 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 frec,

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 pow'r and splendor 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 th' abuse
Of those imperial titles, which assert
Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.

Thus far his bold discourse without controul
Had audience; when among the Seraphiin
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd
The Deity, and divine commands obey'd,
Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe
The current of his fury thus oppos'd:

O argument blasphemous, false and proud!
Words which no ear ever to hear in heav'n
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, pronounc'd and sworn,
That to his only Son, by right endu'd
With regal sceptre, every soul in heav'n
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 form'd the pow'rs of heay's
Such as he pleas'd, and circumscrib'd 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
To make us less, bent rather to exalt
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 join'd in one,
Equal to him begotten Son? by whom,
As by his Word, the nights Father made
All things, ev's thee; and all the spirits of heav'n
By him created in their bright degrees,
Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory nam'd
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powrs,
Essential powrs; nor by his reign obscur’d,
But more illustrious made; since he the head
One of our number thus reduc'd 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
Th'incensed Father, and th’incensed Son,
While pardon may be found in time besought.

So spake the fervent Angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judgd,
Or singular and rash; whereat rejoic'd
Th'apostate, and more haughty thus reply'd :

That we were form'd then say'st thou? and the work
Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd
From Father to his Son? Strange point and new!
Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd; who

saw
When this creation was? remember'st 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-rais'd
By our own quick’ning pow'r, when fatal course
Flad circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native heav'n, 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 th' Almighty throne

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