תמונות בעמוד

Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Of diety or empire ; such a foe
Is rising, who intends to' erect his throne 725
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North;
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
In battel, 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, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with caim aspect and clear,
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. Mighty Father, thou thy foøs 733
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

i 40 Know whether I be dextrous to subdue Thy 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,

745 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 750 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
At length into the limits of the North
They came,

and Saran to his royal seat
High on a hill, for blazing, as a mount
Rais’d on a mount, with pyramids ard' towers
From diamond 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
Affecting all equality with God,
In imitation of that mount whereon
Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heav'n, 765
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 calumnious art 770
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, If these magnific titles yet remain (Powers, Not merely titular, since by deeree Another now hath to himself ingross’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, This only to consult how ye may best With what may be devis'd of honors new 780 Receive him coming to receive from us

Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration 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

1785 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 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 795 His equals, if in power and splendor 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

800 Of those imperial titles, which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.

Thus far his bold discourse without control Had audience, when among the seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zealador'd 805 The Deity', and divine commands obey'd, Stood


and in a flame of zeal severe The current of his fury thus oppos’d.

O argument blasphémous, 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 just decree of God, pronounc'd and sworn,
That to his only Son by right endued 815
With regal sceptre, every soul in Heav'n
Shall bend the knee, and in that honor 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 form'd the pow'rs of

824 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 Voited. But to grant it thee unjust, That equal over equals monarch reigns: Thyself through great and glorious dost thou count, Or all angelic nature join'd in one, Equal to him begotten Son ? by whom 835 As by his Word the mighty Father made All things, ev'n thee: and all the spi'rits of By him created in their bright degrees, (Heav'n Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory nam’d Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtucs, powers,

Essential powers ; nor by his reign obscur'd, 841
But more illustrious made: since he the head
One of our number thus reduc'd becomes;
His laws our laws : all honor to him done
Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
And tempt not these ; but hasten to appease 846
Th' incensed father, and th' incensed Son,
While pardon may be found in time besought.

So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judg'd, 850
Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd
Th' Apostate, and more haughty thus reply'd.

That we were form’d then say'st thou ? and the Of secondary hands, by task transferrid [work From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: who saw

856 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-rais'd 860 By our own quick’ning power, when fatal Course Had circled his full orb, the birth mature Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons. Our puissance is our own; our own right hand Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try 863 Who is our equal ; then thou shalt behold Whether by supplication we intend Address, and to begirt th'almighty throne Beseeching or besieging. This report,

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »