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Attend: that thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou continues! such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
'I'l,!.- was that caution given thee; be advised.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere
Hi. left it in thy power; ordained thy will
By nature free, not overruled by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity;
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated; such with him
Finds no aeceptance, nor can fmd; for how
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose I
Myself and all the angelic host, that stand
In sight of God enthroned, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none, freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen,
And so from Heaven to deepest hell; O fall
From what high state of bliss into what wo!"

To whom our great progenitor. "Thy words
Attentive, and with more delighted ear,
Divine instructor, I have heard, than when
Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring nills
Aerial music send: nor knew I not
To be both will and deed ereated free;
Yet that we never shall forget to love
Our Maker, and obey him, whose command
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts
Assured me, and still assure: tho' what thou tellest
Hath paaaed in Heaven, some doubt within me

move,

But mw desire to hear, if thou consent,
The full "elation, which must needs be strange,
Worthy of saered silence to be heard;
And we have yet large day, for scaree the sun
Hath finished half his journey, and scaree begins
t{\s other half in the great zone of Heaven."
Thus Adam made request; and Raphael,
After short pause assenting, thus began.
"High matter thou enjoinest me, O prime of men,
Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate
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 seerets of another world, perhaps
Xot lawful to reveaU yet for thy good
This is dispensed; and what surmounts the reach
Of human sense, I chall delineate so,
By likening spiritual to corporeal forms,
As may en press them best: though what if earth
Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein
Each to other like, mo'e •hsr. en earth is thought?
"As yet this world was Tv*, and Chaos wild

Reigned where Iikm Hoavens now roll, when

earth now rests

Upon her er.ntie pusc*! : when on a day
(For time, tlicugh In eternity, applied
To motio.i, measures all things durable
By preset.t, pant, and future,) on such a day
As Heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal

hut

Ofangels, by imperial summons called.
Innumerable before the Almighty's throne
Forthwith, from all the ends of Heaven appeared
Under their hierarehs in orders bright:
Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced.
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distmction serve
Of hierarehies, of orders, and degieea;
Or in their glittering tissues oear emblazed
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love'

Recorded eminent. Thus, when, in orbs
Of cireuit inexpressible they stood,
Orb within orb, tl.". Father infinite,
By whom in bliss imbosomed sat the Son,
Amidst, as from a flaming mount, whose top
Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

"Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light,
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powen,
Hear my deeree, which unrevoked shall stand.
This day I have be;jot whom I declare
My only Son, and on this holy hill
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 ingulphed, his place
Ordained without redemption, without end."

"So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words All seemed well pleased; all seemed, but were

not all.

That day, as other solemn days, they spent
In song and dance about the saered hill;
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere
Of planets and of fixed in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eecentrie, intervolved, yet regular
Then most, when most irregular they seen.,
And in their motions harmony divme
So smooths her charming tones, that God's own ea•
Listens delighted. Evening now approached
(For we have also our evening and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need;)
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they tum
Desirous; all in cireles as they stood,
Tables are set, ami on a sudde:> piled
! With angels' food, and rubied nectar flow•

>', pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,

Frtit of delirious vines, the growth of Heaven.

On flowers' reposed, and with fresh flow'rets

erowned,

They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure
Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds
Excess, before the all-bounteous King, who

showered

With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.
Now when ambrosial night, with clouds exhaled
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
In darker veil,) and roseate dews disposed
All but the unsleeping eyes of God to restI
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this globous earth in plain outspread
(Such are the courts of God,) the angelic throng,
Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life,
Pavilions numberless, and sudden reared,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept
Fanned with cool winds; save those who in their

course

Melodious hymns about the sovereign throne
Alternate all night long: but not so waked
Satan; so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in Heaven ; he of the first,
If not the first archangel, great in power,
In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed
Messiah King anointed, could not bear,
Through pride, that sight, and thought himself

impaired.

Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved
Witn all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipped, unobeyed, the throne supreme,
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awakening, thus to him in seeret spake.

"Steepest thou, companion dear, what sleep can

close

Thy eyelids? and rememberest what deeree
Of yesterday, so late hath passed the lips
I If Heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts
Was wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;
Both waking we were one; how then can now
Thy sieep dissent? New laws thou scest imposed;
jNnw laws from him who reigns, new minds may

raise

In us who serve, new councils, to debate
What doubtful may ensue: more in this place
I'd utter is not sate. Assemble thou
>:| all those myriads whtct- we lead the chief;

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
The quarters of the north; .there to prepare
Fit entertainment to receive our King,
The great Messiah, and his new commands,
Who speedily through all the hierarchtes
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws."

'So spake the false archangel, and infused
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 disencumbered Heavvn,
The great hierarchal standard was to move:
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity: but all obeyed
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate: for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in heaven:
His countenance as the morning star that gmdes
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's ho*t.
Meanwhile th' Eternal eye, whose sight discern*
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 deeree;
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 power is, or our right.
Let us advise, and to this hazard iIn w
With speed what force is left, and all employ
In our defence, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill."

To whom the Son, with calm aspect and elntt
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. "Mighty Father, thou thy foes
Justly hist in derision, and,secme,
Laughest at their vain designs and tumults va,s
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates; when they sec all regal power
Given to quell their pride, and in event
Know whether I be dexterous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven.'
So spake the Son; but Satan with ]....» nv

Fur was advanced on winged speed; an host
Innumerable as the stars of night,
Or stare of morning, dew drops, which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
Regions they passed, the mighty regencies
Of seraphim, and potentates, and thrones,
In theirtriple 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
Stretehed into longitude; which having passed,
At length into the limits of the north
They came, and Satan to his royal scat
High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount
Raised 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
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 called:
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
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

"' Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues,

x powers,

If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by deeree
Another now hath to himself engrossed
All power, and us eclipsed, 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,
Receive him coming, to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
Too much to one, but double how endured,
To one and to his image now proclaimed?
But what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast ofl'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 Heaven possessed before
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! or can introduce
Law and edict on us, who without law
Err not f much less ior this to be our Lord,
And look for adoration to the abuse
G

Of those imperial titles, which assert

Our being ordained to govern, not to serve.'

"Thus far his bold discourse without control Had audience; when among the seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored The Deity, and divine commands obeyed, Stood up, and, in a flame of zeal severe, The current of his fury thus opposed.

"' O argument blasphemous, false, and proud! Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate, In place thyself so high above thy peers. Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn The just deeree of God, pronounced and sworn, That to his only Son, by right endued With rega! sceptre, every soul in Heaven Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Confess him rightful King? unjust, thou say'st, Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free And equal over equals to let reign, One over all with unsuceeeded power. Shalt thou give law to God? shall thou dispute With him the points of liberty, who made Thee what thou art, and formed the powers ol

Heaven

Such as he pleased, and circumseribed 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
United. But to grant il thee unjust,
That equal over equals monarch reign:
Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count,
Or all angelic nature joined in one,
Equal to him, begotton Son? by whom,
As by his word, tne'mighty Father made
All things, even thee: and all the spirits of Heaven
By him ereated in their bright degrees,
Crowned them with glory, and to their glory named
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Essential powers; nor by his reign obscured,
But more illustrious made: since he, the head
One of our number thus reduced becomes;
His laws our laws; all honour to him done
Returns our own. Cease then thi s impious iage,
And tempt not these: but hasten to ap;icase
The incensed Father, and the incensed Son,
While pardon may be found, in time besought.'

"So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal None seconded, as out of season judged, Or singular and rash; whereat rejoiced The apostate, and more haughty thus replied 'That we were formed then, sayest thou! and thu

work

Of secondary hands, by task transferred
From Father to his Son? strange point and newi
Doctrine which we would know whence learned
who saw

When this creation wan? rememberest Ihau
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-raised
By our own quickening power, when fatal course
Had cireled his full orb, the birth mature
Of thu our native Heaven, ethereal sons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
Whether by supplication we intend
Address, and to liegirt the almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings, carry to the anointed King;
And tly, ere evil intereept thy flight.'

"He said, and, as the sound of waters deep,
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause
Tluuugh the infinite host; nor less for that
The flaming seraph, fearless though alone
Encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold.

"' O alienate from God, O spirit aecursed, Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall Determined, and thy hapless erew involved In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread Both of thy erime and punishment: henceforth No more be troubled how to quit the yoke Of God's Messiah; those indulgent laws Will not be now vouchsafed: other deerees Against thee are gone forth without recall; That golden sceptre, which thou didst-reject, Is now an iron rod to bruise and break Thy duolxnlience. Well thou didst advise; Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath Impendent, raging into sudden flame, Distinguish not: for soon cspect to feel His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. Then who ereated thec lamenting learn, When who can unoreate thee thou shalt know.'

"So spake the seraph Abdicl, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among the innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
Though single. From amidst them forth he passed,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sus-
tained

Superior nor of violence feared aught;
And with relnrtrd scorn his back he turned
Du those proud towers to swift destruction doomed."

ftsht described: Satan and his powers retire under night: bt calls a council, invents devllish engines, which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and his angels lo some dHorder; \w they nt l. n:>..n, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed bmh if* foree and niachines of Satan: yet, the tumult ti>it ss ending. Ood on lht thinI day, sends Messiah his eon, for whom he had rese. sed the glory of that victory: he, in the jxiwer of hb Father. coming lo the place, and causing all his legions to stand Dlllon cither side, with hisclwriot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to reas, towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prspored for ll,.-in in the deep: Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

BOOK VI.

TUB ARGUMENT.

Knphacl continues to relate how Michael and Oabriel were •ml forth to batllt agahn Satan and his angels. The flat

"All night the dreadless nngel, unpursucd, Through Heaven's wide champaign held tils way;

till morn,

Waked by the cireling hours, with rosy hand Unbarred the gates of light. There is a cave Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, Where light and darkness in perjiein.d round Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes througn

Heaven

Grateful vicissitudes, like day and night:
Light issues forth, ami at the other door
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour
To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might

well

Seem twilight here: and now went forth the morn.
Such as in highest Heaven, arrayed in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanished night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the

plain,

Covered with thick embattled squadrons bright,
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds,
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
War he pereeived, war in proctnct, and found
Already known, what he for news had though
To have reported: gladly then he mixed
Among those friendly powers, who him received
With joy and aeclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one
Returned not lost: on to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice
From midst a golden cloud thus mild wcs heard.
"'Servant of God, well done; well bjut tlioo

fought

The better fight, who single hast maintained
Agamst revolted multitudes the cause
Of truth, in word mightier than they in amu;
And for the testimony of truth hast berne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence; for this was all thy care
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse: the easier conquest now
Remains thte, aided by this host of friends,
Hack on thy foes more glorious to return
Than scorned thou didst depart, and lo subdue
By foree, who reason for their law refuse,

Rignt reason for their law, and for their king
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
And thou, in military prowess next,
Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons
Invincible; lead forth my armed saints,
By thousands and by millions, ranged for fight,
Equal in number to that godless erew
Rebellious; them with fire and hostile arms
Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss
Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus. which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.'

"So spake the sovereign voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign
Of wrath awaked; nor with less dread the !oud
Ethereal trumptt from on high 'gan blow:
At which command the powers militant,
That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate joined
Of union irresistible, moved on
In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breathed
Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds
Under their godlike leaders, in the cause
Of God and his Messiah. On they move,
lndiaselubly firm, nor obvious hill,
Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream divides
Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground
Their march was, and the passive air upbore
Their nimble tread; as when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came, summoned over Eden, to receive
Their names of thec; so over many a tract
Of Heaven they marched, and many a province

wide

Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last,
Far in th' horizon to the north appeared
From skirt to skirt a fiery region, streteh
In battailous aspect, and nearer view
Bristled with upright beams innumerable
Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged, and shields
Various, with boastful argument portrayed,
The landed powers of Satan, hasting on
With furious exhibition; for they weened
That self-same day, by fight or by surprise
To win the mount of God, and on his throne
To set the envier of his state, the proud
Aspirer; but their thoughts proved fond and vain
In the midway: though strange to us it seemed
At first, that angel should with angel war,
And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet
So oft in festivals of joy and love
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
Hymning the eternal Father: but the shout
Of battle now began, and rushing sound
Of onsrt ended soon each mildtr thought,
in the midst, exalted us a God,

The alKistate in his sunbrighl chariot sat,
Idol of nn,jesty divine, enclosed
With flaming cherubim and gulden shtelds;
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now
'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left
A dreadful interval, and front to front
Presented stood in terrible array
Of hideous length: before the cloudy van,
On the rough edge of battle ere it joined,
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced
Came towering, armed in adamant and gold;
Abdiel that sight endured not, where he stood
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds,
And thus his own undaunted heart explores.

"' O Heaven, that such resemblance of the

Highest

Should yet remain, where faith and fealty
Remain not: wherefore should not strength atid

might

There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove
Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable?
His puissance, trusting in th' Almighty's aid,
I mean to try, whose reason I have tried
Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just,
That he, who in debate of truth hath won,
Should win in arms, in both disputes alike
Victor; though brutish that contest and foul,
When reason hath to deal with force, yet so
Most reason is that reason overcome.'

"So pondering, and from his armed peers
Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met
His daring foe, at this prevention more
Incensed, and thus securely him defied.

"' Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have

reached

The height of thy aspiring unopposed,
The throne of God unguarded, and his side
Abandoned, at the terror of thy power
Or potent tongue: fool! not to think how vain
Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;
Who out of smallest things could, without end,
Have raised incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with solitary hand
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided, could have finished thee, and whelmed
Thy legions under darkness: but thou seest
All are not of thy train; there be who faith
Prefer, and piety to God, though then
To thee not visible, when I alone
Seemed in thy world erroneous to dissent
From all: my sect thou seest; now learn too lat?
How few sometimes may know, when thousand!
err.'

"Whom the grand foe, with scornful ryeaskancr,
Thus answered. 'I'll for thee, but in wished hour,
Of my revenge, first sought for, thou n-'turnest
From flight, seditious angel! to receive
Thy merited rc-vard, the first assay
Of this right hand provoked, since first tint tonau*

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