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Not merely titular, since by decree
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 off 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? much less for this to be our Lord,
And look for adoration, to the abuse
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 decree of God, pronounced and sworn,
That to his only Son, by right endued


With regal 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 unsucceeded power!

Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute

With Him the points of liberty, who made

Thee what thou art, and formed the Powers of Heaven

Such as he pleased, and circumscribed 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 it 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, begotten Son, by whom,

As by his Word, the mighty Father inade

All things, even thee, and all the Spirits of Heaven
By him created 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, this impious rage,
And tempt not these; but hasten to appease
The incensèd 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, say'st thou? and the work

Of secondary hands, by task transferred

From Father to his Son? Strange point and new!
Doctrine which we would know whence learned !
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-raised
By our own quickening power when fatal course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this 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

Who saw


Address, and to begirt the Almighty Throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings, carry to the Anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.'

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"He said; and, as the sound of waters deep,
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause
Through 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 accursed,
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined, and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah. Those indulgent laws
Will not be now voutsafed; other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall;
That golden sceptre which thou didst reject
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break
Thy disobedience. 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 expect to feel
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Then who created thee lamenting learn

When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'
"So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found;
Among the faithless faithful only he;
Among 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 sustained
Superior, nor of violence feared aught;

And with retorted scorn his back he turned

On those proud towers, to swift destruction doomed."






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Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The first fight described: Satan and his Powers retire under night. He calls a council; invents devilish engines, which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and his Angels to some disorder; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan. Yet, the tumult not so ending, God, on the third day, sends Messiah his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory. He, in the power of his Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the Deep. Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

LL night the dreadless Angel, unpursued,


Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way, till Morn,

Waked by the circling 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 perpetual round

Lodge and dislodge by turns-which makes through Heaven
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Light issues forth, and 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 perceived, war in procinct, and found
Already known what he for news had thought
To have reported. Gladly then he mixed
Among those friendly Powers, who him received



With joy and acclamations 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 was heard:

"Servant of God, well done! Well hast thou fought

The better fight, who single hast maintained


Against revolted multitudes the cause

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms,

And for the testimony of truth hast borne
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 thee-aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return
Than scorned thou didst depart; and to subdue
By force who reason for their law refuse-
Right 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 crew
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 Sovran 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 loud
Ethereal trumpet 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,
Indissolubly firm; nor obvious hill,


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