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Than all this globous earth in plain outspread
(Such are the courts of God), the angelic throng, 650
Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life-
Pavilions numberless and sudden reared,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept,
Fanned with cool winds; save those who, in their course,
Melodious hymns about the sovereign throne
Alternate all night long. But not so waked
Satan—so call him now; his former name
Is heard no more in Heaven. He, of the first,
If not the first archangel, great in power,

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In favour, and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honoured by His great Father, and proclaimed
Messiah, King Anointed, could not bear,
Through pride, that sight, and thought himself impaired.
Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipped, unobeyed, the Throne supreme,

670 Contemptuous, and, his next subordinate Awakening, thus to him in secret spake :

Sleep'st thou, companion dear? what sleep can close
Thy eyelids? and rememberest what decree,
Of yesterday, so late hath passed the lips
Of Heaven'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 imposed ;
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 them that, by command, ere yet dim night

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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 archangel, and infused
Bad influence into the 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 disencumbered Heaven,
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 obeyed
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate ; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Heaven :
His countenance, as the morning-star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host.
Meanwhile, the 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 degree ;
And, smiling, 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

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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 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
Lightening 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 passed, 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
Stretched into longitude ; which having passed,
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

750 760

6

The palace of great Lucifer (so call
That structure, in the dialect of nien
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 called ;
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

770 Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears :

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, PowersIf these magnific titles yet remain Not merely titular, since by decree Another now hath to Himself engrossed 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 proclaimed ? 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 possessed before

790 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,

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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 ordained 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 adored
The Deity, and divine commands obeyed,
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 degree 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 formed 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,

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