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As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild Reign'd where these heav'ns now roll, where earth

now rests

Upon her center pois'd, when on a day,
For time, though in eternity, apply'd
To motion, measures all things durable

580

585

590

By present, past, and future; on such day [host
As heav'n's great year brings forth, th' empyreal
Of angels, by imperial summons call'd,
Innumerable before th' Almighty's throne
Forthwith from all the ends of heav'n appear'd;
Under their hierarchs in orders bright
Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc'd,
Standards and gonfalons twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees:
Or in their glittering tissues bear imblaz'd
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs
Of circuit inexpressible they stood,
Orb within orb, the Father infinite,
By whom in bliss imbosom'd 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,
Powers,

579 pois'd] Ov. Met. 1. 13. • Ponderibus librata suis.'

Newton.

595

600

401 Thrones] By all the Thrones, and Dominations, Vir

Lee Beeching's note & I 12/

Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.
This day I have begot whom I declare
My only Son, and on this holy hill

605

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 heav'n, 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.

610

615

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

620

625

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 heav'n. 635
On flow'rs repos'd and with fresh flowrets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure

shade

641

Of surfeit where full measure only bounds
Excess, before th' all-bounteous King, who showr'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
[changed
Spring both, the face of brightest heav'n had
To grateful twilight, for night comes not there 64
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 38, νέκταρ ἐρυθρόν. Newton.

637 In the first ed. the passage stood thus:

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They eat, they drink, and with refection sweet

Are filled, before the all bounteous King,' &c.

Newton.

642 ambrosial] Hom. Il. ii. 57. 'Aμßpooíŋv dià vúKTU

Newton.

66 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

[course

660

Fann'd with cool winds, save those who in their
Melodious hymns about the sov'reign throne
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,
In favour 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
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, 670
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.

[pair'd.

[close

Sleep'st thou, companion dear, what sleep can

Thy eyelids? and remember'st what decree

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

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

675

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

690

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 heav'n, 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

695

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