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With 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,

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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 Powers of Heaven

Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being?

Yet, by experience taught, we know how good,

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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:

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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

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All things, e'en thee; and all the Spirits of Heaven By him created in their bright degrees,

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Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory named
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
Essential powers; 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, 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,
Or singular and rash: Whereat rejoiced
The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied:
That we were form'd then, say'st thou and the work

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Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd
From Father to his Son? strange point and new! 860
Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: who
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 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;
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 recal;
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,

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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

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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 towers to swift destruction doom'd.

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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VI

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 all 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

[Morn, till

way;

ALL night the dreadless Angel, unpursued,
Through Heaven's wide champaign 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
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Light issues forth, and at the other door
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour

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[Heaven

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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
Already known what he for news had thought

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To have reported: Gladly then he mix'd
Among those friendly Powers, who him received
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one
Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice,
From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard:
Servant of God, well done; well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintain'd
Against revolted multitudes the cause

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the testimony of truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear

Than violence; for this was all thy care

To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse: The easier conquest now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return
Than scorn'd thou didst depart; and to subdue
By force who reason for their law refuse,
Right reason for their law, and for their King
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
And thou, in military prowess next,
Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons
Invincible; lead forth my armed Saints,
By thousands and by millions, ranged for fight,
Equal in number to that Godless crew

Rebellious: Them with fire and hostile arms
Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss,
Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.

So spake the Sov'reign Voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign

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