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Raised on a mount, with pyramids and tow'rs

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 Heav'n,
The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;
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


Of counterfeited truth, thus held their ears:

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow'rs,

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With what may be devised of honours new,
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
Too much to one, but double how endured,
To one and to his image now proclaim'd?
But what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke?
Will 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 Heav'n 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 pow'r 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 th' abuse
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 zeal adored




The Deity, and divine commands obey'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 Heav'n
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, pronounced and sworn,
That to his only Son, by right endued


With regal sceptre, ev'ry soul in Heav'n

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,


One over all with unsucceeded pow'r.

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 Heav'n

Such as he pleased, and circumscribed 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
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

As by his Word the mighty Father made

All things, ev'n thee; and all the Spirits of Heav'n

By him created in their bright degrees,

Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory named


Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow'rs, 840 Essential Pow'rs; nor by his reign obscured,

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,


And tempt not these; but hasten to appease
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 judged,
Or singular and rash, whereat rejoiced


Th' Apostate, and more haughty thus replied:

That we were form'd then, say'st thou? and the work

Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd

From Father to his Son? Strange point, and new!


Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: who saw

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-raised
By our own quick'ning pow'r, 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
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,
These tidings, carry to th' Anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.

He said, and as the sound of waters deep
Hoarse murmur echo'd to his words applause
Through the infinite host; nor less for that
The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone
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 recall;
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
Impendent, 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.
So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found


Among the faithless, faithful only he;

Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;'
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,
Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd
Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd

On those proud tow'rs to swift destruction doom'd.






Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The first fight described: Satan and his Powers retire under night: He calls a council, invents devilish engines, which in the second day's fight put Michael and his 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 the 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 his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, 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, Through Heav'n's wide champain held his Waked by the circling hours, with rosy hand Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave

Within the mount of God, fast by his throne,

Where light and darkness in perpetual round

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till morn,

Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n

Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Light issues forth, and at the other door

Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour


To veil the Heav'n, though darkness there might well

Seem twilight here: and now went forth the morn
Such as in highest Heav'n, array'd in gold

Empyreal; from before her vanish'd night,

Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain,
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


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