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Atream in the air, a nd for distinction ser ve 695
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
Or in their glittering tissues bear imblazed
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 :
Tlear, all ye Angels, progeny of light,

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Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, F'owers;
Hear my decree, which unrevoked shall stand.
This day I have begot whom I declare
My only Son, and on this holy hill
Him have anointed, whom ye now behold 610
At my right hand; your head I him appoint ;
And by myself have sworn, to himn shall bow
All kneequin Heaven, and shall confess him Lord;
Under his great vicegerent reign abide
United, as one individual soul,

815 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 ingu)f'd, his place Ordain'd without redemption, without end. 620

So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words All seem'd well pleased ; 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 025 Of planets, and of fix'd, in all her wheels Resembles nearest, mazes intricate, Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular Then most, when most irregular they seem; And in their motions harmony divine

639 So smouths her charming tones, that Gods own ear Lintens delighted. Evening now approach'd

(For wo stave also our evening and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need ;)
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn 638
Desirous : all in circles as they stood,
Tables are set, and on a sudden piled
With Angels' food, and rubied nectar flows
In pearl, in diamond, and(massy gold,)
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heaven. 648
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flowerets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure
Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds
Excess, before the all bounteous King, who shover'd
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 646
Now when ambrosial night, with clouds exhaled
From that high mount of God whence light and shade
Spring both, the face of brightest Heaven had changed
To grateful twilight (for night comes not there 650
In darker veil,) and roseate dews disposed
All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest ;
Wide over all the plain, and wider far
Than all this globous earth in plain outspread
(Such are the courts of God,) the angelic throng, 653
Dispersed 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
Fannd with cool winds; save those, who in their course,
Melodious hymns about the sov'reign throno 661
Alternate all night long : but not so waked
Satan; so 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 preeminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Mossian King anointed, could not bear
Through pride that sight, and thought himself impair'd

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Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
Soon as n.idnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworship’d, unobey’d, the throne supreme, 675
Contemptuous; and his next subordinate
Awakening, thus to him in secret spake :

Sleep'st thou, companion dcar? What sleep can close
Thy eyelids ? and remember'st what decreo
Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips
Of Heaven'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 tou seest 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 thou Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; Tell them, that by command, ere yet dim night 690 Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to hasto, 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,

695 The great Messiah, and his new commands, Who speedily through all the hierarchies Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws,

So spake the false Archangel, and infused Bad influence into the unwary breast Of his associate : he together calls, i 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 lad disencumber'd Heaven, 709 The great hierarchal standard was to move ; Pells the suggested cause, and cast between

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Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity. but all obey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice

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Of their great Potentate ; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Heaven;
His courtenance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's bost. 715
Meanwltile the 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, now spread 720
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, 725 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

730 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

7:30 In our defence ; lest unawares we lose This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with calm aspéct and clear, Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,

Iade answer : Mighty Father, thou thy foes 744 Justly hast in derision, and, secure, Laugn'st at their vain designs and tumults raia ; Matter to me of glory, whom their hate Illustratas, when they see all regal power

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Given me to quell their pride and in evont 745
Know whether I be dexterous to subdue
T'hy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven.

Go Spake the Son; but Satan, with his Powers
Far was advanced on winged speed; a host
Innumerable as the stars of night,
Or stars of morning, dewdrops, 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 degroes; regions to which

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All thy dominion, idam, 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,
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
Raised on a mount, with pyramids and towers
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold;
The palace of great Lucifer (so call

7 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 declared in sight of Heaven, 770 The Mountain of the Congregation callid; For thither he assembled all his train, Pretending so commanded to consult About the great reception of their King, Thither to come, and with caluninious art 775 Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears:

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pospels, If these magnific titles yet remain Not merely titular, since by decrce Another now hath to himself engross'd

780 All power, and us eclipsed, under the name Of King wointed, for whom all this haste

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