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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 to erect his throne
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battel, 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,

Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain,
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates; when they see all regal power
Given me to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in heaven.

So spake the Son: but Satan, with his 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 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

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

z Heir of all my might.

"For he is the brightness of his Father's glory, and appointed heir of all things."--NEWTON.

a Or stars of morning, dew-drops.

Innumerable as the stars, is an old simile; but this of the stars of morning, dewdrops, seems as new as it is beautiful: and the sun impearls them-turns them by his reflected beams to seeming pearls; as the morn was said before to sow the earth with orient pearl, ver. 2.-NEWTON.

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' 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, powers;

If these magnific titles yet remain



Not merely titular, since by decree

Another now hath to himself engross'd

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 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 knee? Ye will not, if I trust
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 the 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 seraphim,

b The mountain of the congregation.






Isaiah xiv. 13:-"I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north."-NEWTON.

c If not equal all, yet free.

Let those who talk of absolute equality, remember these words of one whom they. must allow to have been a lover of freedom.-J. WARTON.

d For this.

"For this," must be, "in right of law or edict."

Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored
The Deity, and divine commands obey'd,
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 form'd the powers of heaven

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

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 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,

⚫ Shalt thou give law?



From Rom. ix. 20:-"Who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"-GILLIES.

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From Col. i. 16, 17:-" For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." And the conclusion of this speech is taken from the conclusion of Psalm ii.-NEWTON.

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 form'd then, say'st thou? and the work
Of secondary hand 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-raised
By our own quickening power, when fatal course
Had circled bis 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,
Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold:
O alienate from God, O spirit accursed,

While pardon may be found.

From Isaiah iv. 6:-"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.”—GILLIES.

h Who saw

When this creation was?





Like the sublime question in Job xxxviii. 4:-"Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth." Milton, perhaps with a second reference to this passage. observes at v. 250, b. viii.—

For man to tell how human life began

Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?-TODD.

i Our puissance is our own.

See Psalm xii. 4:-" Our lips are our own: who is Lord over us ?"—GILLIES.

Our own right hand

Shall teach us highest deeds.

From Psalm xlv. 4:-" Thine own right hand shall teach thee terrible things." And Virg. Æn. x. 773:

Dextra mihi deus, et telum quod missile libro.-BENTLEY.

As the sound of waters deep.

"The voice of a great multitude" applauding, is in like manner compared to "the voice of many waters," Rev. xix. 6.-NEWTON.

See also Homer, Il. ii. 209, 394.-STILLINGFLEet.

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 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 pass'd,
Long way through hostile scorn; which he sustain'd
Superiour, nor of violence fear'd aught;
And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd

On those proud towers to swift destruction doom'd.

1 These wicked tents devoted.







In allusion probably to the rebellion of Korah, &c., Numb. xvi. 26, where Moses exhorts the congregation, saying, "Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, lest ye be consumed in all their sins."-NEWTON.

m Proud towers.

"Towers" may mean those troops that had scorned and insulted him.-TODD.

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