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Into utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place
Ordain’d without redemption, without end.

So fpake th' Omnipotent, and with His words
All seem'd well pleas'd: all seem'd, but were not all.
That day, as other folemn days, they spent
In fong and dance about the sacred hill;
Mystical dance! (which yonder starry sphere 620
Of Planets, and of Fix'd, in all her wheels
Resembles nearest; mazęs intricate,
Eccentric, intervoly'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
Liftens delighted. Ev’ning now approach'd
(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 heav'n !
On flow'rs repos d, and with rich 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 showr'd
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 641
Now when ambrosial nights with clouds exhal'd
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? un-sleeping eyes of God to rest ;. Wide over all the plain, and wider far Than all this globofe earth in plain out-spread, (Such are the courts of God!) th' angelic throng, 656 Dispers'd in bands, and files, their camp extend By living streams, among the trees of life,

Pavilions

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Pavilions numberless! and sudden rear'd,
Cæleftial tabernacles, where they slept
Fann'd with cool winds : save those who in their course,
Melodious hymns about the fov'reign throne 656
Alternate all night long. But, not so wuk'd
SATAN : (lo call him now; his former name
Is heard no more in heav'n) He of the first,
If not the firit Arch-Angel, great in pow'r,

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In favour, and pre-eminence; yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honor'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
MESSIAH, King anointed, could not bear
Thro' pride that fight, and thought himit! impair’d.
Deep malice thence conceiving, and disdain,
Soon as midnight brought on the dufky hour,
Friendliest to sleep and filenee, he resolv'd
With all his leg ons to dislodge, and leave
Un-worship’d, un-obey'd, the throne supreme, 670
Contemptuous'; and his next subordinate
Awaking, thus to him in secret spake.

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Sleep'st thou, companion dear! what sleep can close Thy eye-lids, and remember'st what decree Of yesterday, fo late hath pafs’d the lips Of heav'n's Almighty? Thou to me thy thoughts Waft wont, I mine to thee was wont t’impart: Both waking we were one; how then can now Thy sleep dissent ? New Laws thou feest 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 halte (And all who under me their banners wave) Homeward, with flying march, where we poffess The quarters of the north; there to prepare Fit entertainment to receive our King,

690 The great MESSIAH, and his new commands ;

Who

Who speedily through all their hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.

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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 Pow'rs,
(Under him regent) tells, as he was taught,
That the Mont High commanding, now ere night,
Now ere dim night had dis-incumber'd heav'n,
The great hierarchal standard was to move:
Tells the suggested cause, and cafts between
Ambiguous words, and jealousies to found
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 heav'n :)
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 hear'n's hoft.

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Mean-while th' Eternal Eye, whose fight 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; faw, 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.

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1

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Son! Thou in whom My glory I behold
În 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: fuc's a foe
Is rising, who intends terect his throne
Equal to Ours, throughout the spacious north.
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battel, what Our pow'r is, or Our right.

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Let

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Let Us advise, and to this hazard draw
With speed what force is left, and all employ 730
In our defense; left unawares we lose
This Our high place, Qar sanctuary, Our hill.

To whom the Son, with calm aspect, and clear,
(Light’ning divine, ineffable, ferene!)
Made answer. Mighty FATHER! Thou Thy foes
Juftly haft in derision, and secure
Laugh'it at their vain designs, and tumults vain:
Matter to Me of glory! Whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal pow'r
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 Pow*rs,
Far was advanc'd on winged speed; an host
Innumerable! as the stars of night,
Or (ftars of morning) dew-drops, which the sun
Impearls! on every leaf, and every flow'r.
Regions they pass'd, and mighty regencies
Of Seraphim, and Potentates, and Thrones,
In their triple degrees: (regions, to which

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All thy dominion, Adam, is no more,
Than what this garden is to all the earth,
And all the fea; from one intire globose
Stretch'd into longitude;) which having pass'd,
At length into the limits of the north

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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 tow'rs,
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold,
The Palace of great Lucifer ; (so call

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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,

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The Mountain of the Congregation callid:
N

For

For thither he assembled all his train;
Pretending so commanded, to consult
About the great reception of their King,
Thither to come: and with caluminous art
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

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Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow'rs! If these magnific titles yet remain, Not merely titular! since by decree Another now hath to Himself ingrossid

775 All pow'r, and us eclips’d, under the name Of King anointed : for Whom all this hafte Of midnight-march, and hurry'd meeting here ; This only to consult, how we may beft, With what may be devis’d of honours new,

780 Receive Him, coming to receive from us Knee-tribute, yet un paid: proftration 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; posseft before

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By none ; and if not equal all, yet free,
Equally free: for orders, and degrees,
Jar not with liberty, but well confift.
Who can in reason then, or right, assume
Monarchy over such as live by right

795 His equals ? if in pow'r and splendor less, In freedom equal. Or, can introduce Law and edit 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 affert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve!

Thus far his boid discourse without controul Had audience ; when among the Seraphim,

ABDIEL

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