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In fong and dance about the facred hill;
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere 620
Of planets, and of fix'd, in all her wheels
Refembles nearest, maze; 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
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 repaft they turn 630
Defirous; all in circles as they stood,
Tables are set, and on a sudden pild
With angels food, and rübied nectar flows
In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold;
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of heaven. 635
On flow'rs repos’d, and with fresh flow'rets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure
Of furfeit, where full measure only bounds
Excess, before th'all-bounteous King, who shower'd
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 641
Now wheo ambrofial night, with clouds exhald
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' unsleeping eyes of God to reft;
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this globous earth in plain outspread,
(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 course
Melodious hymns about the fov'reign throne
Alternate all night long. But not fo wak'd
Satan; fo call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in heaven; he of the first,
If not the first archangel, great in power,

In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy' against the Son of God, that day
Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Mefliah King anointed, could not bear

664 Thro'pride that fight, and thought himself impair'di Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain, Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour, Friendliest to fleep and filence, he resolv'd With all his legions to dislodge, and leave: Unworshipp'd, unobey'd the throne fupreme

670 Contemptuous, and his next subordinate Awak’ning, thus to him in secret fpake.

Sleep'st thou, companion dear, what fleep can close Thy eyelids ? and remember'st what decree Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips 675 Of heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thougłıts Walt wont, I mine to thee was wont to’impart; Both waking we were one; how then can now Thy sleep diffent ? New laws thou feest imposed ; New laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise In us who serve, new counsels, to debate

686 What doubtful may ensue: more in this place To utter is not safe. Assemble thouOf 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, Honeward, witb, flying march, where we possess

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The quarters of the dorth ; there to prepare
Eit entertainment to receive our King,

The great Melliah, and his new commands,
Who fpeedily through all the hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.

So fpake the false archangel, 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 found Or taint integrity: but all obey'd The wonted signal, and superior voice

705 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 hiin, saw, without their light, Rebellion rifing;: faw in whom, how spread 715 Among the sons of-morn, what multitudes. Were banded to oppose his high decree, And, smiling to his only Son, thus faid.

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' ere& his throne 725
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battle what our power 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, left unawares we lose
This our high place, our fanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with calm afpéd and clear,
Light'ning divine, ineffable, ferene,
Made answer. Mighty Father, thou thy foes 735
Juftly haft in derifion, and secure
Laugh'ft at their vain designs and tumults vain;
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they fee all regal power
Given me to quell their pride, and in event 740
* Know whether I be dextrous to fubdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in heaven.

So spake the Son : but Satan, with his powers, Far was advanc'd on winged speed, an host Innumerable as the stars of night,

745 Or ftars of morning, dew-drops, which the fun Impearls on ev'ry leaf and ev'ry flow'r. Regions they pass'd, the mighty regencies Of Seraphim, and Potentates, and Thrones, In their triple degrees ; regions to which 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 passid, At length into the limits of the north

755 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


750 760

From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; ;
The palace of great Lucifer, (so call
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 light of heaven, 765
The mountain of the congregation call'd;
For thither he assembled all his train,
Pretending fo commanded to consult
About the great reception of their King,
Thither to come, and with calumnious art

770 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 bath to himself ingrofs'd

775 All power, and us eclips’d under the name Of King anointed; for whom all this haste of midnight-march, and hurried meeting here, Tbus only to consult how we may best, With what may be devis'd of honours new,

780 Receive him, coming to receive from us Kace-tribute yet unpaid, 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 truft To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves Natives and fons of heaven pofsefs'd before 790 By none ; and if not equal all, yet free, Equally free ; for orders and degrees Jar not with liberty, but well confift.


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