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The Into utter darkness, deep engulfed, his place joys of Ordained without redemption, without end.” Heaven 'So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words All seemed well pleased; all seemed, 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 620
Of planets, and of fixed, 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
So smooths her charming tones that God's own ear
Listens delighted. Evening now approached
(For we have also our evening and our morn-
We ours for change delectable, not need),
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn 630
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.
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flowerets
crowned,

:

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
showered

640

With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.
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 Satan

changed

conceives

To grateful twilight (for Night comes not there envy
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,

650

Dispersed in bands and files, their
camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life-
Pavilions numberless and sudden reared,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept,
Fanned with cool winds; save those who, in

their course,

Melodious hymns about the sovran throne
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, 660
In favour, and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed
Messiah, King Anointed, could not bear,
Through pride, that sight, and thought himself

impaired.

Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshiped, unobeyed, the Throne supreme, 670
Contemptuous, and, his next subordinate
Awakening, thus to him in secret spake :-

K

666

assembles

Satan Sleep'st thou, companion dear? what sleep can close

his hosts

Thy eyelids? and rememberest what decree,
Of yesterday, so late hath passed 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 thou seest im-

posed;

New laws from him who reigns new minds may raise

680

In us who serve-new counsels, to debate
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
Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to haste,
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,
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,
Or several one by one, the regent Powers,
Under him regent; tells, as he was taught,
That, the Most High commanding, now ere

Night,

690

Now ere dim Night had disencumbered Heaven,
The great hierarchal standard was to move; 701

Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity. But all obeyed
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great Potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in Heaven:
His countenance, as the morning-star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's

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The Eternal Eye dis

cerns them

710

host.
Meanwhile, 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, how spread
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, 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 erect his throne
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, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill."
To whom the Son, with calm aspéct and
clear

The Lightening divine, ineffable, serene,

palace of Made answer :-" Mighty Father, thou thy foes Justly hast in derision, and secure

Lucifer

Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain-
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate
Illustrates, when they see all regal power
Given me to quell their pride, and in event 740
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven."
So spake the Son; but Satan with his
Powers

Far was advanced on winged speed, an host
Innumerable as the stars of night,

18 no more

Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
Regions they passed, the mighty regencies
Heraphim and Potentates and Thrones
Than what this ees-regions to which
And all the
sea, from one
Stretched into longitude; which have
the earth
At length into the limits of the North
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
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,

750

760

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