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morn

Intelligential substances require,

To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, As doth your rational; and both contain Food not of angels, yet accepted so, Within them every lower faculty

As that more willingly thou couldst not seem Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, At Heaven's high feasts to have fed: yet what taste,

compare ?" Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,

To whom the winged hierarch replied: And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

"O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom For know, whatever was created, needs

All things proceed, and up to him return; To be sustained and fed; of elements

if not depraved from good, created all The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, Such to perfection, one first matter all, Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires Endued with various forms, various degrees Ethereal, and, as lowest, first the moon; Of substance, and, in things that live, of life; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurged But more refined, more spirituous, and pure, Vapours not yet into her substance turned. As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending Nor doth the moon to nourishment exhale Each in their several active spheres assigned, From her moist continent to higher orbs Till body up to spirit work, in bounds The sun, that light imparts to all, receives Proportioned to each kind. So from the root From all his alimental recompense

Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the In humid exhalations, and at even

leaves
Sups with the ocean. Though in Heaven the trees More airy, last the bright consummate flower
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Spirits odorous breathes: flowers and their fruit,
Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed,

To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Covered with pearly grain: yet God hath here Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Varied his bounty so with new delights,

Reason receives, and reason is her being,
As may compare with Heaven; and to taste Discursive, or intuitive; discourse
Think not I shall be nice.” So down they sat, Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
And to their viands fell; nor seemingly

Differing but in degree, of kind the same. The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss Wonder not then, what God for you saw good Of theologians; but with keen despatch

If I refuse not, but convert, as you, Of real hunger, and concoctive heat

To proper substance: time may come, when men To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires With angels may participate, and find Through spirits with ease ; nor wonder, if by fire No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare; Of sooty coal, th’ empiric alchymist

And from these corporal nutriments perhaps Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,

Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit, Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,

Improved by tract of time, and winged ascend As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve Ethereal, as we, or may at choice Ministered naked, and their flowing cups Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell; With pleasant liquors crowned: 0 innocence If ye be found obedient, and retain Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,

Unalterably firm his love entire, Then had the sons of God excuse to have been Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile enjoy Enamoured at that sight; but in those hearts Your fill what happiness this happy state Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy Can comprehend, incapable of more." Was understood, the injured lover's hell.

To whom the patriarch of mankind replied. Thus when with meats and drinks they had "O favourable spirit, propitious guest, sufficed,

Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Not burdened nature, sudden mind arose Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set In Adam, not to let th'occasion pass,

From centre to circumference, whereon, Given him by this great conference, to know In contemplation of created things, Of things above this world, and of their being By steps we might ascend to God. But say, Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw What meant that caution joined, 'If ye be found Transcend his own so far, whose radiant forms, Obedient ? can we want obedience then Divine effulgence, whose high power so far To him, or possibly his love desert, Exceeded human, and his wary speech

Who formed us from the dust, and placed us here, Thus to th' empyreal minister he framed. Full to the utmost measure of what bliss

“Inhabitant with God, now know I well Human desires can seek or apprehend ?" Thy favour, in this honour done to man,

To whom the angel. “Son of Heaven and Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafed earth,

Attend: that thou art happy, owe to God; Reigned where these Heavens now roll, where That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,

earth now rests That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. Upon her centre pcised : when on a day This was that caution given thee; be advised. (For time, though in eternity, applied God made thee perfect, not immutable; To motion, measures all things durable And good he made thee, but to persevere By present, past, and future,) on such a day He left it in thy power; ordained thy will As Heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal By nature free, not overruled by fate

host Inextricable, or strict necessity;

Of angels, by imperial summons called, Our voluntary service he requires,

Innumerable before the Almighty's throne Not our necessitated; such with him

Forthwith, from all the ends of Heaven appeared
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how Under their hierarchs in orders bright:
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced,
Willing or no, who will but what they must Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear
By destiny, and can no other choose ?

Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Myself and all the angelic host, that stand Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
In sight of God enthroned, our happy state Or in their glittering tissues bear emblazed
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
On other surety none, freely we serve,

Recorded eminent. Thus, when, in orbs
Because we freely love, as in our will

Of circuit inexpressible they stood, To love or not; in this we stand or fall: Orb within orb, the Father infinite, And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen, By whom in bliss imbosomed sat the Son, And so from Heaven to deepest hell; O fall Amidst, as from a flaming mount, whose top From what high state of bliss into what wo!” Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

To whom our great progenitor. “Thy words Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light, Attentive, and with more delighted ear,

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, Divine instructor, I have heard, than when Hear my decree, which unrevoked shall stand. Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills This day I have begot whom I declare Aerial music send: nor knew I not

My only and on this holy hill To be both will and deed created free;

Him have anointed, whom ye now behold Yet that we never shall forget to love

At my right hand; your Head I him appoint;
Our Maker, and obey him, whose command And by myself have sworn to him shall bow
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts All knees in Heaven, and shall confess him Lord:
Assured me, and still assure: tho' what thou tellest Under his great vicegerent reign abide
Hath passed in Heaven, some doubt within me United as one individual soul,
move,

For ever happy: him who disobeys,
But more desire to hear, if thou consent, Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day,
The full relation, which must needs be strange, Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
Worthy of sacred silence to be heard;

Into utter darkness, deep ingulphed, his place
And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun Ordained without redemption, without end."
Hath finished half his journey, and scarce begins “So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words
His other half in the great zone of Heaven.” All seemed well pleased; all seemed, but were
Thus Adam made request; and Raphael,

not all.
After short pause assenting, thus began. That day, as other solemn days, they spent
“ High matter thou enjoinest me, O prime of men, In song and dance about the sacred hill;
Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere
To human sense the invisible exploits

Of planets and of fixed in all her wheels
Of warring spirits ? how, without remorse, Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
The ruin of so many glorious once,

Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular
And perfect while they stood ? how, last, unfold Then most, when most irregular they seem;
The secrets of another world, perhaps

And in their motions harmony divine
Not lawful to reveal ? yet for thy good

So sinooths her charming tones, that God's own ear This is dispensed; and what surmounts the reach Listens delighted. Evening now approached Of human sense, I shall delineate so,

(For we have also our evening and our morn, By likening spiritual to corporeal forms, We ours for change delectable, not need;) As may express them best : though what if earth Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein Desirous; all in circles as they stood, Each to other like, more than on earth is thought? Tables are set, and on a sudden piled

"As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild | With angels' food, and rubied nectar flows

course

In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,

Tell them that by command, ere yet dim night Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heaven. Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to haste, On flowers reposed, and with fresh flow'rets And all who under me their banners wave, crowned,

Homeward with flying march, where we possess They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet The quarters of the north; there to prepare Quaff immortality and joy, secure

Fit entertainment to receive our King, Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds The great Messiah, and his new commands, Excess, before the all-bounteous King, who Who speedily through all the hierarchies showered

Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.” With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. “So spake the false archangel, and infused Now when ambrosial night, with clouds exhaled Bad influence into the unwary breast From that high mount of God, whence light and Of his associate; he together calls, shade

Or several one by one, the regent powers, Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had Under him regent; tells

, as he was taught, chang'd

That, the most high commanding, now ere night, To grateful twilight (for night comes not there Now ere dim night had disencumbered Heaven, In darker veil,) and roseate dews disposed The great hierarchal standard was to move: All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest; Tells the suggested cause, and casts between Wide over all the plain, and wider far

Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound Than all this globous earth in plain outspread Or taint integrity: but all obeyed (Such are the courts of God,) the angelic throng, The wonted signal, and superior voice Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend Of their great potentate: for great indeed By living streams among the trees of life, His name, and high was his degree in heaven: Pavilions numberless, and sudden reared, His countenance as the morning star that guides Celestial tabernacles, where they slept

The starry flock, allured them, and with lies Fanned with cool winds; save those who in their Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host.

Meanwhile th' Eternal eye, whose sight discerns Melodious hymns about the sovereign throne Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount, Alternate all night long: but not so waked And from within the golden lamps that burn Satan; so call him now,

his former name Nightly before him, saw without their light Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first, Rebellion rising; saw in whom, how spread If not the first archangel, great in power, Among the sons of morn, what multitudes In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught Were banded to oppose his high decree; With envy against the Son of God, that day And, smiling, to his only Son thus said. Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed "Son, thou in whom my glory I behold Messiah King anointed, could not bear, In full resplendence, heir of all my might, Through pride, that sight, and thought himself Nearly it now concerns us to be sure impaired.

Of our omnipotence, and with what arms Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain We mean to hold what anciently we claim Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour Of deity or empire; such a foe Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved Is rising, who intends to erect his throne With all his legions to dislodge, and leave Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north; Unworshipped, unobeyed, the throne supreme, Nor so content, hath in his thought to try, Contemptuous, and his next subordinate In battle, what our power is, or our right. Awakening, thus to him in secret spake. Let us advise, and to this hazard draw "Sleepest thou, companion dear, what sleep can with speed what force is left, and all employ close

In our defence, lest unawares we lose Thy eyelids'? and rememberest what decree This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill." Of yesterday, so late hath passed the lips

To whom the Son, with calm aspect and clear, Of Heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts Lightning divine, ineffable, serene, Was wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart; Made answer.

Mighty Father, thou thy foes Both waking we were one; how then can now Justly hast in derision, and, secure, Thy sleep dissent? New laws thou seest imposed; Laughest at their vain designs and tumults vaiq, New laws from him who reigns, new minds may Matter to me of glory, whom their hate raise

Illustrates; when they see all regal power In us who serve, new councils, to debate Given to quell their pride, and in event What doubtful may ensue: more in this place Know whether I be dexterous to subdue To utter is not safe. Assemble thou

Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven." Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; So spake the Son; but Satan with powers

Far was advanced on winged speed; an host Of those imperial titles, which assert
Innumerable as the stars of night,

Our being ordained to govern, not to serve.'
Or stars of morning, dew drops, which the sun “ Thus far his bold discourse without control
Impearls on every leaf and every flower. Had audience; when among the seraphim
Regions they passed, the mighty regencies Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored
Of seraphim, and potentates, and thrones, The Deity, and divine commands obeyed,
In their triple degrees; regions to which Stood up, and, in a flame of zeal severe,
All thy dominion, Adam, is no more

The current of his fury thus opposed. Than what this garden is to all the earth,

"O argument blasphemous, false, and proud! And all the sea, from one entire globose

Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven Stretched into longitude; which having passed, Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate, At length into the limits of the north

In place thyself so high above thy peers. They came, and Satan to his royal seat Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount

The just decree of God, pronounced and sworn, Raised on a mount, with pyramids and towers That to his only Son, by right endued From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold, With rega! sceptre, every soul in Heaven The palace of great Lucifer (so call

Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due That structure in the dialect of men

Confess him rightful King? unjust, thou say'st, Interpreted,) which not long after he,

Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free Affecting all equality with God,

And equal over equals to let reign, In imitation of that mount whereon

One over all with unsucceeded power. Messiah was declared in sight of heaven

Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute The Mountain of the Congregation called : With him the points of liberty, who made For thither he assembled all his train,

Thee what thou art, and formed the powers of Pretending so commanded, to consult

Heaven About the great reception of their King, Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being? Thither to come, and with calumnious art Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears. And of our good and of our dignity

How provident he is; how far from thought ** Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, To make us less, bent rather to exalt powers,

Our happy state, under one head more near If these magnific titles yet remain

United. But to grant it thee unjust, Not merely titular, since by decree

That equal over equals monarch reign: Another now hath to himself engrossed

Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count, All power, and us eclipsed, under the name Or all angelic nature joined in one, Of King anointed, for whom all this haste Equal to him, begotton Son? by whom, Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here; As by his word, the mighty Father made This only to consult how we may best,

All things, even thee: and all the spirits of Heaven With what may be devised of honours new, By him created in their bright degrees, Receive him coming, to receive from us

Crowned them with glory, and to their glory named Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile, Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, Too much to one, but double how endured, Essential powers; nor by his reign obscured, To one and to his image now proclaimed? But more illustrious made: since he, the head But what if better counsels might erect

One of our number thus reduced becomes; Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke? His laws our laws; all honour to him done Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage, The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust And tempt not these: but hasten to appease To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves The incensed Father, and the incensed Son, Natives and sons of Heaven possessed before While pardon may be found, in time besought.' By none, and if not equal all, yet free,

“So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal Equally free; for orders and degrees

None seconded, as out of season judged, Jar not with liberty, but well consist.

Or singular and rash; whereat rejoiced Who can in reason, then, or right, assume The apostate, and more haughty thus replied. Monarchy over such as live by right

"That we were formed then, sayest thou? and the His equals, if in power and splendour less,

work In freedom equal ? or can introduce

Of secondary hands, by task transferred Law and edict on us, who without law

From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Err not? much less for this to be our Lord, Doctrine which we would know whence learned. And look for adoration to the abuse

who saw G

till morn,

When this creation was? rememberest thou fight described: Satan and his powers retire under night: he Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being

calls a council, invents devilish engines, which, in the second We know no time when we were not as now;

day's figh, put Michael and his angels to some disorder; but

they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised force and machines of Satan: yet, the tumult not so ending, By our own quickening power, when fatal course God on the third day, sends Messiah his son, for whom he Had circled his full orb, the birth mature had reserved the glory of that victory: he, in the power of his Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons.

Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to

stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving Our puissance is our own; our own right hand

into the inidst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold with horror and confusion into the place of punishment preWhether by supplieation we intend

pared for them in the deep: Messiah returns with triumph to

his Father. Address, and to begirt the almighty throne Beseeching or besieging. This report, These tidings, carry to the anointed King; “All night the dreadless angel, unpursued, And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.'

Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way; “He said, and, as the sound of waters deep, Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause Waked by the circling hours, with rosy hand Through the infinite host; nor less for that Unbarred the gates of light. There is a cave The faming seraph, fearless though alone Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, Encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold. Where light and darkness in perpetual round

"O alienate from God, O spirit accursed, Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall

Heaven Determined, and thy hapless crew involved Grateful vicissitudes, like day and night: In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread Light issues forth, and at the other door Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour No more be troubled how to quit the yoke To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might Of God's Messiah; those indulgent laws

well Will not be now vouchsafed: other decrees Seem twilight here: and now went forth the morn, Against thee are gone forth without recall; Such as in highest Heaven, arrayed in gold That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject, Empyreal; from before her vanished night, Is now an iron rod to bruise and break

Shot through with orient beams; when all the Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise;

plain, Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly

Covered with thick embattled squadrons bright, These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, Impendent, raging into sudden flame,

Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view: Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel

War he perceived, war in procinct, and found His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. Already known, what he for news had though Then who created thee lamenting learn, To have reported : gladly then he mixed When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.' Among those friendly powers, who him received

"So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found With joy and acclamations loud, that one, Among the faithless, faithful only he;

That of so many myriads fallen, yet one Among the innumerable false, unmoved,

Returned not lost: on to the sacred hill Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,

They led him high applauded, and present His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;

Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice Nor number, nor example, with him wrought From midst a golden cloud thus mild was heard. To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind “Servant of God, well done; well hast thou Though single. From amidst them forth he passed, fought Long way through hostile scorn, which he sus- The better fight, who single hast maintained tained

Against revolted multitudes the cause Superior, nor of violence feared aught;

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; And with retorted scorn his back he turned And for the testimony of truth hast borne On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed." Universal reproach, far worse to bear

Than violence; for this was all thy care

To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds BOOK VI.

Judged thee perverse: the easier conquest now

Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
THE ARGUMENT.

Back on thy foes more glorious to return Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were Than scorned thou didst depart, and to subdue sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The first By force, who reason for their law refuse,

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