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Dispers'd in bands and files, their camp extend 651 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, Melodious hymns about the sovran throne Alternate all night long : but not so wak'd Satan ; so call him now, his former name Is heard no more in Heaven ; he of the first, If not the first Arch-Angel, great in power, 660 In favour and pre-eminence, 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 Through pride that sight, and thought himself impair’d. 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 Unworshipt, unobey'd, 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 2 and remember'st what decree Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd 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 impos'd : New laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise In us who serve, new counsels to debate 681 What doubtful may ensue: More in this place To utter is not safe. Assemble thou

**Next subordinate: ' Beelzebub.

Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; 684
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, 690
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 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 disencumber'd Heaven, 700
The great hierarchal standard was to move ;
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Ortaint integrity: But all obey'd
The wonted signal and superiour 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, allur'd them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host. 710
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 decree; 717 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 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 730 In our defence ; lest unawares we lose This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill. To whom the Son, with calm aspéct 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 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

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All thy dominion, Adam, is no more 751
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, (so call 760
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 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 770
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers;
If these magnifick titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself engross'd
All power, 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 devised of honours new, 780
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile !

** Mountain of Congregation: ' see Isaiah xiv. 18.

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Too much to one ! but double how endur'd, 783
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 4 Ye will not, if I trust
To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves
Natives and sons of Heaven possess'd 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,
In freedom equal 4 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 800
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
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.
0 argument blasphémous, false, and proud!
Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven 810
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 endued
With regal scepter, every soul in Heaven

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