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Now when ambrosial night with clouds exhald
From that high mount of God, whence light and shade
Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had chang'd
To grateful twilight, (for night comes not there 645
In darker veil) and roseate dews dispos’d
All but th’ unsleeping eyes of God to rest ;
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this globous earth in plain outspread,
(Such are the courts of God) th' angelic throng, 650
Dispers’d in bands and files, their camp extend
By living strcams among the trees of life,
Pavillions 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 sov'reign throne 656
Alternate all night long : but not so wak'd
Satan; so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
If not the first Arch-Angel, great in power,

560
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, coull not bear
Through pride that sight, and thought himself impait d.
Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain, 666
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipp’d, unobey'd the throne supreme 670
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate

Awak’ning thus, to him in secret spake.

SLEEP'st thou, Companion dear, what sleep can close Thy eye-lids ? and remember’st what decree Of yesterday, so late hath pass’d the lips

675 Of Heav'n's Almighty. I hou 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 Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; Tell them that by command, ere yet dim night 685 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 th' unwary breast

695 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 disincumber'd Heay'n, 700 The great hierarchal standard was to move;

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Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity: but all obey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Heaven;
His count'nance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allur’d them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's host.
Meanwhile th' 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 mörn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decree;
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
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 pow'r 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

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· 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
Giv'n me to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dext'rous to subdue
The rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.

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
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
Rais d 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

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965

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Interpreted) which not long after, he
Affecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declar'd 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 heart 770
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

Turones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, şince by decree
Another now hath to himself ingross'd
All pow'r, 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 devis'd of honours new

780 Receive him coming to receive from us Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile, ' Too much to one, but double how indur’d, To one and to his image now proclaim'd ? But what if better counsels might erect

785 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 Heav'n possess'd before 790 Ly none, and if not equal all, yet free,

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