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Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.
This day I have begot 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 my Self have sworn to him shall bow
All knees in heaven, and shall confess him Lord.
Under his great vice-gerent 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 th' 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
In song and dance about the sacred hill,
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere

Of planets and of fix'd in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular

Then most, when most irregular they seem;
And in their motions harmony divine



So smooths her charming tones, that GOD's own ear Listens delighted. Ev'ning now approach'd,

tues, and Powers, and mighty hierarchies.' See Stafford's Niobe dissolv'd into a Nilus, 1611, p. 17. See also Greene's Hist. of Friar Bacon, p. 36; and Sir. Lindsay's Works, ed. Chalmers, vol. i. p. 215 — 6.

For we have also our ev'ning and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need,

Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn 630
Desirous; all in circles as they stood,

Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd
With angels food, and rubied nectar flows,
In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold;

Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of heaven. 635
On flowers repos'd and with fresh flowrets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure



Of surfeit where full measure only bounds
Excess, before th' all-bounteous King, who shower'd
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.
Now when ambrosial night with clouds exhal'd
From that high mount of GOD, whence light and
Spring both, the face of brightest heaven had
To grateful twilight, for night comes not 'there 645
In darker veil, and roseate dews dispos'd
All but the unsleeping eyes of GOD to rest,
Wide over all the plain, and wider far

633 rubied] Nectar of the colour of rubies. Hom. Il. xix. 88, νέκταρ ἐρυθρόν. Newton.

637 In the first ed. the passage stood thus:

'They eat, they drink, and with refection sweet
Are filled, before the all-bounteous King,' &c.


642 ambrosial] Hom. Il. ii. 57. 'Aμßpoσíηv dià vÚKTα.

646 roseate] roscid. Bentl. MS.


Than all this globous earth in plain out spread,
Such are the courts of GOD, th' angelic throng 650
Dispers'd in bands and files their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life,
Pavilions numberless and sudden rear'd,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept



Fann'd with cool winds, save those who in their
Melodious hymns about the sovʼreign throne
Alternate all night long. But not so wak'd
Satan, so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in heaven; he of the first,
If not the first arch-angel, great in power,
In favor and preeminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Messiah King anointed, could not bear [pair'd.
Thro' pride that sight, and thought himself im-
Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour,
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworship'd, unobey'd, the throne supreme,
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.



Sleep'st thou, companion dear, what sleep can Thy eyelids? and remember'st what decree.

640 globous earth] So in the Doctrine of Divorce, p. 208, ed. Burnet. 'Circling upwards can make from the globy sea whereon she stands.'

673 Sleep'st thou] See Nonni Dionysiaca, lib. xxix. v. 328.

Of yesterday so late hath past the lips


Of heav'n's Almighty? Thou 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 see'st impos'd;
New laws from him who reigns new minds may raise
In us who serve, new counsels, to debate
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
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
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 heaven, 700
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 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 heaven's host. 710

Mean while 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 morn, 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 antiently 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




708 morning star] So in an Epigram of the elder Scaliger, Poemata, p. 120, ed. 1591;

'Lucifer, aurati pecoris cordate magister,
Coge gregem.'

A. Dyce.

716 sons of morn] So he calls the angels in H. on the Nativity, st. xii.

'But when of old the sons of morning sung.'

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