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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
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 clear'd, 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 230 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 fulfillid
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,


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 240 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-open'd wide, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn On golden hinges turning, as by work

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. 110 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 201

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

265 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

150 Sails between worlds and worlds; with steady wir.g, 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



A phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,
When to inshrine his reliques in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns,
A seraph wing'd; six wings he wore to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 285
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance


The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state,
And to his message high, in honour rise;
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.
Him, through the spicy forest onward come,
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat


Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm [needs:
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam
And Eve within, due at her hour, prepar'd
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst


Of nect'rous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape; to whom thus Adam call'd:

"Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold,

Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape
Comes this way moving; seems another morn 510
Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven
To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe
This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive
Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestow'd, where nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare." 320


To whom thus Eve: "Adam, earth's hallow'd mould,

Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,
All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains

To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: 325
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice
To entertain our angel guest, as he
Beholding shall confess, that here on earth

God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven." 330


So saying, with despatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to choose for delicacy best; What order, so contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring Taste after taste, upheld with kindliest change: Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever earth, all bearing mother, yields In India East or West, or middle shore In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat Rough or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell, She gathers, tribute large, and on the board Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape She crushes, inoffensive must, and meathes From many a berry; and from sweet kernels press'd She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground With rose and odours from the shrub unfum'd.



Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet 350 His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Accompanied than with his own complete Perfections: in himself was all his state, More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits On princes, when their rich retinue long Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold,

Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed,
Yet with submiss approach, and reverence meek,
As to' a superior nature, bowing low
Thus said: "Native of heaven! for other place
None can than heaven such glorious shape contain;
Since, by descending from the thrones above,
Those happy places thou hast deign'd awhile
To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us 365
Two' only, who yet by sov'reign gift possess
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower
To rest, and what the garden choicest bears
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
Be over, and the sun more cool decline."


Whom thus th' angelic virtue answer'd mild: "Adam! I therefore came; nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though spirits of heaven, To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower 375 O'ershades; for these midhours, till evening rise, I have at will." So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbour smil'd With flowerets deck'd and fragrant smells; but Eve, Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd Of three that in mount Ida naked strove, Stood to' entertain her guest from heaven: no veil She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail' 385 Bestow'd, the holy salutation us'd

Long after to bless'd Mary, second Eve.


"Hail, mother of mankind! whose fruitful womb

Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons,
Than with these various fruits the trees of God 390
Have heap'd this table." Rais'd of grassy turf
Their table was, and mossy seats had round;
And on her ample square from side to side
All autumn pil'd, though spring and autumn here
Danc'd hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold,
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began 396
Our author : "Heavenly stranger! please to taste
These bounties, which our nourisher, from whom
All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends
To us for food and for delight, hath caus'd
Th' earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps
To spiritual natures; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all."


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As doth your rational and both contain Within them every lower faculty




Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste;
Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
For know, whatever was created, needs
To be sustain'd 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 unpurg'd
Vapours not yet into her substance turn'd.
Nor doth the moon no 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
Sups with the ocean. Though in heaven the trees
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yield nectar; tho' from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here 430
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 alchemist
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve
Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups




pare ?"


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 serre 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


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 grcat conference, to know To love or not; in this we stand or fall : 510 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; O fall 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 beard, 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 vouchsaf d

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 tellist

Hath pass'd in heaven, some doubt within me nuove,
But more desire to hear, 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'd half his journey', and scarce begins Such to perfection, one first matter all,

His other half in the great zone of heaven."
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 Proportiond to each kind.' So from the root To human sense th' in visible exploits

565 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 thy 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 Discoursive, 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 rol, where earth To proper substance: time 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' en« 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

Forth with from all the ends of heaven appear'd 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 “O 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,

“ • 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 wade 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 785
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, intervolv'd, 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 thai 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
Qualf 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 heaven 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 Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain; By living streams among the trees of life,

Matter to me of glory, whom their hate Pavilions numberless, 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 Fann'd with cool winds, save those who in their Know whether I be dextrous to subdue Melodious hymns about the sov'reign throne


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 750 Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain, (pair'd. All thy dominion, Adam, is no more

hour Than what this garden is to all the earth, Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolve

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, 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


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 engrossid 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 Ring 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



Natives and sons of heaven, 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.
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 th' abuse
Of those imperial titles, which assert
Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve!'

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When this creation was? remember'st thou
800 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 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 th' Almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings, carry to th' anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.'

"Thus far his bold discourse without control Had audience; when among the seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd 805 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 winch 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, pronounc'd and sworn, That to his only Son, by right endu'd 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 form'd the powers of heaven


Such as he pleas'd, and circumscrib'd their being?
Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, 826
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 mighty Father made
All things, even thee; and all the spirits of heaven
By him created in their bright degrees,

Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory



Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Essential powers; 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.'




"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 Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold:

"O alienate from God, O spirit accurs'd, Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd 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 vouchsafd: 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,





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