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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 Powers,
Under hiin regent: teils, 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
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 Heav'n's host. 910
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, 720
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 pow'r is, or our right.
Let us advise, and to this hazard draw
With speed what force is left, and all employ 730
In our defence, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with calm aspect and clear,
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer, Mighty Father, thou thy foes
Justly hast in derision, and secure
Laugh’st at their vain designs and tumults vain,
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal power
Giv'n me to quell their pride, and in event 740
Know whether I be dext'rous to subdue
The rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.

So spake the Son; but Satan with his Powers
Far was advanc'd on winged speed, an host
Innumerable as the stars of night,
Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
Regions they pass 'd, the mighty regencies
Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones
In their triple degrees; regions to which

250
All thy dominion, Adam, is no more
Than what this garden is to all the earth,
And all the sea, from one entire globose
Stretch'd into longitude ; which having pass’d

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At length into the limits of the north
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 towers
From dianiond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold;
The palace of great Lucifer (so call

760
That structure in the dialect of men
Interpreted) which not long after, he
Afecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heaven,
The Mountain of the Congregation call’d;
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 heart
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,

Powers,
If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to hiinself ingross'd
All pow'r and us eclips'd 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 devis'd of honours new 780
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
Too much to one, but double how indur'd,

Will ye

To one and to his image now proclaim'd?
But what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke ?
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 Heav'n possess'd before

790 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 pow'r 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 th' abuse Of those imperial titles, which assert Our being ordain’d to govern, not to serve.

Thus far his bold discourse without controul Had audience, when among the Seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd The Deity', and divine commands obey’d, Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe The current of his fury thus oppos d.

O argument blasphenous, 'false and proud! Words which no ear ever to hear in Heav'n

810 Expected, least of all from thee, Ingrate, In place thyself so high above thy peers. Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn The jusi decree of Cod, pronounc'd and sworn,

800

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That to his only Son by right endued
With regual sceptre, every soul in Heaven
Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
Confess him rightful King? Unjust, thou say’st,
Flaily unjust, to bind with laws the free,
And equal over equals to let reign,

820
One over all with unsucceeded power.
Shalt thou give law to God, shalt thou dispute
With him tie points of liberty, who made
Thee whatthou art, an i form’d the Pow’rs of Heaven
Such as he pleas’d, and circumscrib’d 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 830
United. But to grant it thee unjust,
That equal over equals monarchi reign :
Thyself though great and glorious dost thou count,
Or all angelic nature join'd in one,
Equal tu him begotten Son? by whom
As by his Word the mighty Father made
All things, even thee; and all the Spi'rits of Heaven
By him created in their bright degrees,
Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory nam’d
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,
Powers,

840
Essential Pow’rs : nor by his reign obscur'd,
But more illustrious made; since he the head
One of our number thus reduc'd becomes ;

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