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Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Of diety or empiré ; such a foe
Is rising, who intends to' erect his throne 725
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battel, 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 aspect and clear,
Lighening divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. Mighty Father, thou thy foxs 733
Justly hast in derision, and secure
Laugh’st at their vain designs and cumults 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 740
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
Thy 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, 745 Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the sun Impearls on every leaf and every flower. Regions they pass'd, che mighty regencies Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones In their criple degrees; regions to which 730 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 ,755
They came, and Satan to his royal seat
High on a hill, for 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 declar'd in sight of Heav'n, 765
The Mountain of the Congregation callid;
Fór 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,
If these magnific titles yet remain (Powers,
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now bath to himself ingross'd 775
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 devis'd of honors new 780
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
Too much to one, but double how endur'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 chuse 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
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 splendor less,
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 th' abuse
800 Of those imperial titles, which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve. ,
Thus far his bold discourse without control Had audience, when among the seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zealador'd 805 The Deity', and divine commands obey'd, Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe The current of his fury thus oppos'd.
O argument blasphemous, false and proud! Words which no ear ever to hear in Heav'n 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 815
With regal sceptre, every soul in Heav'n
Shall bend the knee, and in that honor due
Confess him rightful King ? Unjust, thou say'st,
Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free,
And equal over equals to let reign, 820
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 form'd the pow'rs of
Such as he pleas’d, and circumscrib'd 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 830
United. But to grant it thee unjust,
That equal over equals monarch reign:
Thyself through great and glorious dost thou count,
Or all angelic nature join'd in one,
Equal to him begotten Son ? by whom 835
As by his Word the mighty Father made
All things, ev'n thee: and all the spi'rits of
By him created in their bright degrees, (Heav'n
Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory nam'd
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtucs, powers,
Essential powers; nor by his reign obscur'd, 841
But more illustrious made: since he the head
One of our number thus reduc'd becomes;
His laws our laws : all honor to him done
Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
And tempt not these ; but hasten to appease 816
Th' incensed father, and th' incensed Son,
While pardon may be found in time besought.
So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judg'd, 850
Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic’d
Th’ Apostate, and more haughty thus reply'd.
That we were form'd then say'st thou ? and the Of secondary hands, by task transferrid (work From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrine which we would know whence learn’d:
When this creation was ? remember'st thou
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
We know no time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd 860
By our own quick’ning power, when fatal Course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand.
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try 863
Who is our equal : then thou shalt behold
Whether by supplication we intend
Address, and to begirt th'almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,