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Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff On the other side, Satan, alarm'd,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriffe or Atlas, unremov'd:
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat Horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp
What seem'd both spear and shield: now dreadful
deeds

Might have ensued, nor only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round Earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight:
The latter quick up-flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend.

"Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st
mine;

Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.

"O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see
Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night
(Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd,
If dream'd, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never till this irksome night: methought

Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk

weak

With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,
Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song: now reigns
Full-orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard: Heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ?

Neither our own, but given: what folly then
To boast what arms can do! since thine no more
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled

now

To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign;

If thou resist." The fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.

And temperate vapors bland, which the only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough; so much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest: he, on his side,
Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamor'd, and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: "Awake,
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heaven's last best gift, my ever-new delight!
Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How Nature paints her colors, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet."

Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.' her: they come forth to their day-labors: their I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, To find thee I directed then my walk; to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, That brought me on a sudden to the tree of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd, his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to Much fairer to my fancy than by day: know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood appearance described; his coming discerned by One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower; Heaven he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, By us oft seen: his dewy locks distill'd entertains him with the choicest fruits of Para- Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd; dise got together by Eve; their discourse at And O fair plant,' said he, with fruit surcharg'd, table: Raphael performs his message, minds Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet, Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Nor God, nor Man? Is knowledge so despis'd? Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste? came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here?' his legions after him to the parts of the north, This said, he paus'd not, but with venturous arm and there incited them to rebel with him, per- He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd suading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold: argument dissuades and opposes him, then for- But he thus, overjoy'd; 'O fruit divine, sakes him. Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt, Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit

Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam wak'd, so custom'd; for his sleep
Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred,

For gods, yet able to make gods of men:
And why not gods of men; since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impair'd, but honor'd more?

Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve! Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
Partake thou also; happy though thou art, Their orisons, each morning duly paid
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be: In various style ; for neither various style
Taste this, and be benceforth among the gods Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Thyself a goddess, not to Earth confin'd, Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung
But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes Unmeditated ; such prompt eloquence
Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
What life the gods live there, and such live thou. More tunable than needed lute or harp
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, To add more sweetness; and they thus began.
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part “These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Which he had pluck'd: the pleasant savory smell Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought, Thus wondrous fair! Thyself how wondrous then!
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens
With him I flew, and underneath beheld

To us invisible, or dimly seen
The Earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
And various : wondering at my flight and change Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
To this high exaltation : suddenly

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And fell asleep; but O, how glad I wak'd And choral symphonies, day without night,
To find this but a dream!” Thus Eve her night Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in Heaven.
Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad.

On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol
“Best image of myself, and dearer half, Him first, him last, him midst, and without end,
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
Affects me equally; nor can I like

If better thou belong not to the dawn,
This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear; Sure pledge of day, ihat crown'st the smiling morn
Yet evil whence? in thee can harbor none, With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
Created pure. But know, that in the soul While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Are many lesser faculties, that serve

Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul,
Reason as chief, among these Fancy next

Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
Her office holds ; of all external things, In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
Which the five watchful senses represent, And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou
She forms imaginations, aery shapes,

fall'st.
Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames Moon, that now meet'st the orient Sun, now fly’st,
All what we affirm or what deny, and call With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires

And ye five other wandering fires, that move
Into her private cell, when nature rests. In mystic dance not without song, resound
Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes

His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams ; Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find

And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
But with addition strange : yet be not sad. Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
Evil into the mind of God or Man

From hill or streaming lake, dusky, or grey,
May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
No spot or blame behind : which gives me hope In honor to the World's great Author rise ;
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, Whether to deck with clouds the uncolor'd sky,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.

Or wet the thirsty Earth with falling showers,
Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks, Rising or falling still advance his praise.
That wont to be more cheerful and serene, His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world ; Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
And let us to our fresh employments rise With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store.” Join voices, all ye living souls : ye birds,

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd; That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend,
But silently a gentle tear let fall

Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise
From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair; Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
Two other precious drops that ready stood, The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.

So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still
Rut first, from under shady arborous roof To give us only good; and if the night
Soon as they forth were come to open sight Have gather'd aught of evil or concealid,
or day-spring, and the Sun, who, scarce up-risen, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark!"
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim, So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray, Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm.
Discovering in wide landscape all the east On to their morning's rural work they haste,
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,

Among sweet dews and flowers; where any row

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Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine

And colors dipt in Heaven, the third his feet To wed her elm; she, spous'd, about him twines Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn

And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fillid His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands With pity Heaven's high King, and to him callid Of angels under watch ; and to his state, Raphaël, the sociable spirit, that deign'd

And to his message high, in honor rise; To travel with Tobias, and secur'd

For on some message high they guess'd him bound His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come * Raphael,” said he, “thou hear’st what stir on Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, Earth

And flowering odors, cassia, nard, and balm; Satan, from Hell 'scap'd through the darksome gulf, A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Hath rais'd in Paradise ; and how disturb'd Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will This night the human pair; how he designs Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, In them at once to ruin all mankind.

Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Him through the spicy forest onward come Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir'd, Of his cool bower, while now the mounted Sun To respite his day-labor with repast,

Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Or with repose: and such discourse bring on, Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam As may advise him of his happy state,

needs : Happiness in his power left free to will,

And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd Left to his own free will, his will though free, For dinner savory fruits, of taste to please Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware True appetite, and not disrelish thirst He swerve not, too secure : tell him withal Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, His danger, and from whom; what enemy, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam callid. Late fallin himself from Heaven, is plotting now “Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold The fall of others from like state of bliss; Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape By violence ? no, for that shall be withstood; Comes this way moving; seems another morn But by deceit and lies: this let him know, Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe Surprisal, unadmonishid, unforewarn’d.”

This day to be our guest. But go with speed, So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfill'd And, what thy stores contain, bring forth and pour All justice : nor delay'd the winged saint

Abundance, fit to honor and receive After his charge receiv'd; but from among Our heavenly stranger; well we may afford Thousand celestial ardors, where he stood Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow Veild with his gorgeous wings up springing light From large bestow'd, where Nature multiplies Flew through the midst of Heaven; the angelic Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows quires,

More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare." On each hand parting, to his speed gave way To whom thus Eve. "Adam, Earth's hallow'd Through all the empyreal road; till, at the gate

mould, Of Heaven arriv'd, the gate self-open'd wide Of God inspir'd! small store will serve, where store, On golden hinges turning, as by work

All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk ; Divine the sovran Architect had fram'd. Save what by frugal storing firmness gains From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes : Star interpos’d, however small, he sees,

But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Not unconform to other shining globes,

Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd

choice Above all hills. As when by night the glass To entertain our angel-guest, as he Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes

Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth Imagin'd lands and regions in the Moon : God hath dispens'd his bounties as in Heaven." Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight What choice to choose for delicacy best, He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky What order so contriv'd as not to mix Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing, Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change ; Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields A phænix, gaz'd hy all, as that sole bird, In India East or West, or middle shore When, to enshrine his relics in the Sun's

In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies. Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise

Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell He lights, and to his proper shape returns

She gathers, tribute large, and on the board A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape His lineaments divine; the pair that clad

She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths Each shoulder broad, came maniling o'er his breast From many a berry, and from sweet kernels press’d With regal ornament; the middle pair

She tempers dulcet creams ; nor these to hold

JN

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1

Wants her fit vessels pure ; then strows the ground Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires
With rose and odors from the shrub unfum'd. Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon ;

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd
His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Vapors not yet into her substance turn'd.
Accompanied than with his own complete Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale
Perfections ; in himself was all his state, From her moist continent to higher orbs.
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits The Sun, that light imparts to all, receives
On princes, when their rich retinue long

From all his alimental recompense
Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold, In humid exhalations, and at even
Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape. Sups with the Ocean. Though in Heaven the trees
Nearer his presence Adam, though not aw'd, Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each morn
As to a superior nature, bowing low,

We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Thus said. “Native of Heaven, for other place Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here
None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain; Varied his bounty so with new delights,
Since, by descending from the thrones above, As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
Those happy places thou hast deign'd awhile Think not I shall be nice." So down they sat,
To want, and honor these, vouchsafe with us And to their viands fell; nor seemingly
Two only, who yet by sovran gift possess The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower of theologians; but with keen dispatch
To rest, and what the garden choicest bears Of real hunger, and concoctive heat
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat

To transubstantiate : what redounds, transpires
Be over, and the Sun more cool decline."

Through spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
Whom thus the angelic virtue answer'd mild. Of sooty coal the empiric alchymist
“ Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Created, or such place hast here to dwell, Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve
To visit thee; lead on then where thy bower Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups
O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, With pleasant liquors crown'd: 0 innocence
I have at will.” So to the sylvan lodge

Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then,
They came, that like Pomona's arbor smild, Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
With flowerets deck'd, and fragrant smells; but Enamor'd at that sight; but in those hearts
Eve,

Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy
Undeck'd savo with herself more lovely fair Was understood, the injur'd lover's Hell.
Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd,
Of three that in mount Ida naked strove,

Not burthen'd nature, sudden mind arose
Stood to entertain her guest from Heaven; no veil In Adam, not to let the occasion pass
She needed, virtue-proof; no thought infirm Given him by this great conference to know
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail Of things above his world, and of their being
Bestow'd, the holy salutation usid

Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw
Long after to blest Mary, second Eve.

Transcend his own so far; whose radiant forms,
"Hail, Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful womb Divine effulgence, whose high power, so far
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, Exceeded human: and his wary speech
Than with these various fruits the trees of God Thus to the empyreal minister he fram'd.
Have heap'd this table."—Rais'd of grassy turf “Inhabitant with God, now know I well
Their table was, and mossy seats had round, Thy favor, in this honor done to man;
And on her ample square from side to side Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafd
All autumn, pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
Danc'd hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold; Food not of angels, yet accepted so,
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
Our author. “Heavenly stranger, please to taste At Heaven's high feasts to have fed: yet wha•
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom

compare ?"
All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends, To whom the winged hierarch replied.
To us for food and for delight hath caus'd “O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
The Earth to yield ; unsavory food perhaps All things proceed, and up to him return,
To spiritual natures; only this I know,

If not deprav'd from good, created all
That one celestial Father gives to all."

Such to perfection, one first matter all,
To whom the angel. “Therefore what he gives Endued with various forms, various degree
(Whose praise be ever sung) to Man in part of substance, and, in things that live, of life;
Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found

But more refin'd, more spirituous, and pure,
No ingrateful food ; and food alike those pure As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending
Intelligential substances require,

Each in their several active spheres assign'd,
As doth your rational; and both contain Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Within them every lower faculty

Proportion’d to each kind. So from the root
Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the
Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,

leaves And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

More aery, last the bright consummate flower For know, whatever was created, needs

Spirits odórous breathes : flowers and their fruit, To be sustain'd and fed : of elements

Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd, The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, To vital spirits aspire, to animal,

To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive, or intuitive; discourse
Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

To proper substance. Time may come, when men
With angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare;
And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improv❜d by tract of time, and, wing'd, ascend
Ethereal, as we: or may, at choice,
Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell;
If ye be found obedient, and retain
Unalterably firm his love entire,
Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile enjoy
Your fill what happiness this happy state
Can comprehend, incapable of more."

Hath pass'd in Heaven, some doubts within me

move,

But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
The full relation, which must needs be strange,
Worthy of sacred silence to be heard;
And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun
Hath finish'd half his journey, and scarce begins
His other half in the great zone of Heaven."
Thus Adam made request: and Raphaël,
After short pause assenting, thus began.

"

"High matter thou enjoin'st me, O prime of men Sad task and hard: for how shall I relate

To whom the patriarch of mankind replied.
"O favorable spirit, propitious guest,
Well hast thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set
From centre to circumference; whereon,
In contemplation of created things,

By steps we may ascend to God. But say,
What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found
Obedient? Can we want obedience then
To him, or possibly his love desert,
Who form'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
Full to the utmost measure of what bliss

To human sense the invisible exploits

Of warring spirits? how, without remorse,
The ruin of so many glorious once

And perfect while they stood? how last unfold
The secrets of another world, perhaps

Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good

This is dispens'd; and what surmounts the reach
Of human sense, I shall delineate so,

By likening spiritual to corporal forms,
As may express them best; though what if Earth
Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein
Each to other like, more than on Earth is thought?
"As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild
Reign'd where these Heavens now roll, where Earth

now rests

Upon her centre pois'd; when on a day
(For time, though in eternity, applied
To motion, measures all things durable
By present, past, and future,) on such day

As Heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal

Human desires can seek or apprehend?"

host
Of angels by imperial summons call'd,

44

To whom the angel. Son of Heaven and Earth, Innumerable before the Almighty's throne, Attend that thou art happy, owe to God; Forthwith, from all the ends of Heaven, appear'd That thou continuest such, owe to thyself, Under their hierarchs in orders bright: That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc'd, This was that caution given thee, be advis'd. Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear God made thee perfect, not immutable; Stream in the air, and for distinction serve And good he made thee; but to persevere Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees; He left it in thy power; ordain'd thy will Or in their glittering tissues bear emblaz'd By nature free, not over-rul'd by fate Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love Inextricable, or strict necessity: Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs Our voluntary service he requires, Of circuit inexpressible they stood, Not our necessitated; such with him Orb within orb, the Father Infinite, Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how By whom in bliss embosom'd sat the Son, Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve Amidst as from a flaming mount, whose top Willing or no, who will but what they must Brightness had made invisible, thus spake. By destiny, and can no other choose? Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light, Myself, and all the angelic host, that stand Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, In sight of God enthron'd, our happy state Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand. Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; This day I have begot whom I declare On other surety none: freely we serve, My only Son, and on this holy hill Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall: And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n, And so from Heaven to deepest Hell; O fall From what high state of bliss, into what woe!"

646

To whom our great progenitor. "Thy words
Attentive, and with more delighted ear,
Divine instructer, I have heard, than when
Cherubic songs by night from neighboring hills
Aerial music send: nor knew I not
To be both will and deed created free;
Yet that we never shall forget to love
Our Maker, and obey him whose command
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts

Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
At my right hand; your head I him appoint;
And by myself have sworn, to him shall bow
All knees in Heaven, and shall confess him Lord:
Under his great vicegerent reign abide
United, as one individual soul,
For ever happy: him who disobeys,
Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day,
Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
Into utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place
Ordain'd without redemption, without end.'

"So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words All seem'd well pleas'd; all seem'd, but were not all That day, as other solemn days, they spent

Assur'd me, and still assure: though what thou In song and dance about the sacred hill:
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere

tell'st

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