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Be but the shadow of Heav'n, and things therein 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 Upon her centre pois'd; when on a day snow rests (For time, though in eternity, apply'd 680 To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future) on such day As Heav'n's great year brings forth, th' empyreal Of angels by imperial summons call'd, shost Innumerable before th' Almighty's throne 585 Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appear'd Under their hierarchs in orders bright: Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc'd, Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear Stream in the air, and for distinction serve 690 Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees; Or in their glittering tissues bear imblaz'd Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs Of circuit inexpressible they stood, . 595 Orb within orb, the Father infinite, By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son, Amidst as from a flaming mount, whose top Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

Hear all ye angels, progeny of Light, 600 Throncs, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,

Powers,
Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.
This day I have begot whom I declare

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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
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. 616

. So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words
All seem'd well pleas'd; all seem'd, but were not
That day, as other solemn days, they spent fall.
In song and dance about the Sacred Hill;
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere 620
Of planets and of fix'd in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolv’d, yet regular
Then most, when most irregular they seem;
And in their motions Harmony divine 625
So smooths her charming tones, that God's own ear
Listens delighted. Evening now approach'd
(For we have also' our evening and our morn,
We ours for change delectable, not need)
Forth with from dance to sweet repast they turn 630
Desirous; all in circles as they stood,
Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd
With angels' food, and rubied nectar flows

In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold, 634
Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heav'n.
On flow'rs repos'd, and with fresh flow'rets crown'd,
They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
Quaff immortality and joy, secure
Of surfeit where full measure only bounds
Excess, before th’all-bounteous King, who shower'd
With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 641
Now when ambrosial Night with clouds exhal'd
From that high mount of God, whence light and

shade
Spring both, the face of brightest heav'n bad chang'd
To grateful twilight (for night comes not there
In darker veil) and roscat dews disposid 646
All but th’ 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,
Dispers'd in bands and files, their camp extend
By living streams among the trees of Life,
Pavilions numberless, and sudden rear'd,
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept 654
Fana'd with cool winds ; save those who in their
Melodious hymns about the sovran throne [course
Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd
Satan; so call him now, his former name
Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
If not the first atch-angel, great in power, 660
Infavor and præeminence, yet fraught
With cavy against the Son of God, that day

Honor'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd
Messiah King anointed, could not bear 664
Through pride that sight, and thought himself im.
Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain, [pair'd.
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
With all his legions to dislodge, and leave
Unworshipt, unobey'd the throne supreme 670
Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
Awakening, thus to him in secret spake.

Sleep'st thou, Companion dear; what sleep can Thy eye-lids ? and remember'st what decree [close Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips 675 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 scest impos'd; 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 690 The great Messiah, and his new commands,".

LOST

Who speedily through all the hierarchies
Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.

So spake the false arch-angel, and infus'd
Bad influence into th' unwary breast , 695
Of his associate: he together calls,
Or several one by one, the regent powers,
Under bim regent; tells, as he was taught,
That the Most High commanding, now ere Night,
Now ere dim Night had disencumber'd Heav'n,
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 obey'd
The wonted signal, and superior voice 705
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, allur’d them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's host. 710
Mean while 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 715
Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes
Were banded to oppose his high decrees ;
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

VOL. 1.

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