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Thrones; Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
Hear

ту 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
At my right hand; your head I him appoint;
And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow
All knees in heav'n, and shall confess him Lord.
Under his great vice-gerent reign abide
United, as one individual soul,
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 ingulf’d, his place
Ordain'd without redemption, without end.

So spake th’Omnipotent, and with his words
All seemed well pleased; all seem’d, 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
Of planets and of fix'd 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. Ev’ning now approach’d,
For we have also our ev’ning and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need,
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn
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 heav'n.
On flow'rs reposed and with fresh flowerets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure

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Of surfeit where full measure only bounds
Excess, before th' all-bounteous King, who shower'd
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 heav'n had changed
To grateful twilight, for night comes not there
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, th' angelic throng
Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of life, 2
Pavilions numberless and sudden rear'd,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept
Fannd with cool winds, save those who in their course
Melodious hymns about the sov’reign throne
Alternate all night long. But not so waked
Satan, so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in heav'n; he of the first
If not the first arch-angel, great in power,
In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught
With envy against the Son of God, that day
Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Messiah King anointed, could not bear
Thro' pride that sight, and thought himself impair'd.
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
Unworshipp'd, unobey'd, the throne supreme,
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awak’ning, thus to him in secret spake.

Sleep'st thou, companion dear, what sleep can close
Thy eyelids ? and remember'st what decree
Of yesterday so late hath past the lips

i Paalm cxxi. 4: “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." 2 Rov. xxii.

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 see'st imposed ;
New laws from Him who reigns new minds may raise
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 arch-angel, and infused
Bad influence into th' 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,
Now ere dim night had disincumber'd heav'n,
The great hierarchial standard was to move ;
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
Or taint integrity: but all obey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice
Of their great potentate; for great indeed
His name, and high was his degree in heav'n;
His count'nance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies

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1 “How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, son of the morning.

For thou bast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the side of the north." -Isaiah xiv. part of 18 and 13 vs. In Shakespeare, løt Part

of Henry VI., Act V., Sc. 3, Joan of Arc, addressing the fiends, calls them,

substitutes "Unto the lordly monarch of the north," i.e., the devil. This was probably in accordance with popular superstition, which actually gave an in name to the north side of oven a churchyard.

*

Drew after him the third part of heav'n's host."

Meanwhile th' 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,s 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,
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
In our defence, lest unawares we lose
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill.

To whom the Son with calm aspect and clear
Light'ning divine, ineffable, serene,
Made answer. Mighty Father, Thou Thy foes
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
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 advanced on winged speed, an host
Innumerable as the stars of night,
Or stars of morning, dewdrops, which the sun

I Rev. xii. 3, 4.

Rev. iv. 6.

3 Isaiah xiv. 12. 4 Pealm ii.

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
Al 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 Satan to his royal seat
High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount
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 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
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears.

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself ingross'd
All

power, and us eclipsed under the name
Of king anointed, for whom all this haste
Of midnight march and hurried meeting here,
This only to consult how we may best
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 ?

1 Psalm ü. 6.

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