« הקודםהמשך »
Of mianignt-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
Knce-tribute yet npaid, prostration vilo!
Too much to one! but double how endured,
To one, and to his image now proclaim'd ?
Bu: what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke?
(Vill 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 possess'd 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 ordain'd to govern, not to serve.
Thus far his bold discourse without control
Kad audience ; when among the Seraphim
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored
The Deity, and divine cominanas ovey d,
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
Tho just decree of God pronounced and sworu,
That to his only Son, by right ended
Wiin 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,
Onu over all with unsucceeded power.
Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute
With him the points of liberty, who made
Theo what thou art, and form’d the Powers of Heaven
Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being ?
Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, 831
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 835
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 join'd in one,
Equal to him begotten Son ? by whom,
840 As by his Word, the Mighty Father made Ail things, e'en thee; and all the Spirits of Heaven By him created in their bright degrees, Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory named Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers, Essential powers; nor by his reign obscured, 846 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, 850 And tempt not these ; but hasten to appease The incensed 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,
833 Or singular and rash: Whereat rejoiced The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied: That we were form'd then, say'st thou . and tho worla
Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd
From Father to his Son ? strange point and now ! 860
Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: who
When this creation was? remember'st thou (saw
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 865
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
Address, and to begird the almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings carry to the anointed King; 875
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.
He said · and, as the suund of waters deep,
Hoarse murmur echo'd to his words applause
Through the infinite host ; nor less for that
T'he flaming Seraph fearless, though alone 880
Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd 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 vouchsafed; other decrees Against thee are gone forth without recal; 890 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 895 mpendent, 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. 900
So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faiibful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he ;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
905 Nor number nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, 'Though single. From amidst them forth he pasa'd, Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;
910 And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd Do those proud towers to swift destructioa doom'd.
Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sem
forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The first fight described: Satan and his Powers retire under night: lle calls a council; invents devilish engines, which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and bis 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 tbe 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 cnemies, 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
All night the dreadless Angel, unpursued, [Morn,
Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way, till
Waked by the circling Hours, with rosy hand
Onbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave
Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, 5
Where light and darkness ia perpetual round
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night; [Heaveu
Light issues forth, and at the cther 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 array'd in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanish'd Night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain 15
Cover'd 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
al:eady known wnat he for news had thought 22