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Can comprehend, incapable of more.
505 To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd : O favorable Spirit, propitious guest, Well húst thou taught the way that might direct Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set From centre to circumference, whereon
510 In contemplation of created things, By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found Obedient? Can we want obedience then To him, or possibly his love desert,
515 Who form'd us from the dust, and placed us here Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desire can seek or apprehend?
To whom the Angel: Son of Heav'n and Earth, Attend. That thou art happy, owe to God; 520 That thou continuest such, owe to thyself; That is, to thy obedience: therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advised. God made thee perfect, not immutable; And good he made thee; but to persevere
525 He left it in thy pow'r; ordain'd thy will By nature free, not over-ruled by fate Inextricable, or strict necessity, Our voluntary service he requires, Not our necessitated : such with him
530 Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how Can hearts, not free, be try'd whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By destiny, and can no other choose ? Myself and all th' angelic host, that stand 535 In sight of God enthroned, our happy state Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds : On other surety none. Freely we serve, Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not: in this we stand or fall :
540 And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
512. Every part of the vast system of the universe, is not only connected with the rest by a kind of natural necessity, but the connexion is apparent to the contemplative eye of reason, and hence having become acquainted with the lowest circumstance in it, the mind is carried gradually and easily on till it looks down from the highest point on the whole grand creation of the Almighty God.
To whom our great progenitor: Thy words
345 Divine Instructor, I have heard, than when Cherubic songs by night from neighb'ring hills Aëreal music send : nor knew I not To be both will and deed created free ; Yet that we never shall forget to love
550 Our Maker, and obey bim whose command Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts Assured me', and still assure: tho' what thou tell'st Hath pass'd in Heav'n, some doubt within me move, But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
555 The full relation, which must needs be strange, Worthy of sacred silence to be heard ; And we have yet large day; for scarce the Sun Hath finish'd half his journey', and scarce begins His other half in the great zone of Heav'n. 560
Thus Adam made request: and Raphael, After short pause, assenting, thus began :
High matter thou enjoin'st me', O prime of men, Sad task and hard ; for how shall I relate To human sense th' invisible exploits
565 Of warring Spirits ? How without remorse The ruin of so many, glorious once And perfect while they stood ? How last unfold The secrets of another world, perhaps Not lawful to reveal ? yet for thy good
570 This is dispensed ; and what surmounts the reach Of human sense, I shall delineate so, By lik’ning spiritual to corp'ral forms, As may express them best : though what if Earth Be but the shadow of Heav'n, and things therein 575 Each to' other like, more than on earth is thought?
As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild Reign'd where these Heav'ns now roll, where Earth
now rests Upon ber centre poised; when on a day (For time, though in eternity, apply'd
580 To motion, measures all things durable
551. In allusion to the command not to eat of the tree of know. ledge.
By present, past, and future) on such day
600 Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow'rs, 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 605 At my right hand; your Head I him appoint; And by myself have sworn, to him shall bow A]I knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord : Under his great vicegerent reign abide United as one individual soul,
610 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 ingulph’d, his place Ordain'd without redemption, without end. 615
So spake th' 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
583. Milton is believed to have had Plato's idea in this expres sion, the latter making the great year to be the revolution of all the spheres, See also Job i. 6. i Kings xxii. 19.
589. A gonfalon, a streamer or banner, 598. Exodus xix.
600. This, as the former speech, is mostly derived from Scripture. See Ps. ii. 6,7. Gen. xxii.' 16. Phil. ii. 10, 11.
In song and dance about the sacred hill ;
625. It was the opinion of the Pythagorean philosophers, that a most exquisite music was produced by the motion of the spheres, some allusion to it is made in Job xxxviji. 37.
633. Rubied nectar; borrowed from Horoer.
637. And with refection streel, in the first edition. 842. Ambrosial, an Homeric epithet. 847. Ps. cxxi. 4.
Alternate all night long: but not so waked
Sleep'st thou, companion dear? What sleep can Thy eye-lids ? and remember'st what decree Of yesterday, so late bath pass'd the lips 67.5 Of Heav'n'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 thou seest imposed; New laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise In us who serve, new counsels to debate
657. Alternate is a verb.
next in rank to Satan. 689. Sannazarius, de partu Virginis, iii.
40. Isaiah xiy, 12, 13. Jer. i. 14. ví. 1.