Paradise Lost: Book V (1674)

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Morning approach't, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: They come forth to thir day labours; Thir Morning Hymn at the Door of thir Bower. God to render Man inexcusable sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand; who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance describ'd, his coming discern'd by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his Bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choycest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; thir discourse at Table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adams request who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his Legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, perswading all but only Abdiel a Seraph, who in Argument diswades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

NOw Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern ClimeAdvancing, sow'd the earth with Orient Pearle,When Adam wak't, so customd, for his sleepWas Aerie light from pure digestion bred,And temperat vapors bland, which th' only soundOf leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin SongOf Birds on every bough; so much the moreHis wonder was to find unwak'nd EveWith Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek,As through unquiet rest: he on his sideLeaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial LoveHung over her enamour'd, and beheldBeautie, which whether waking or asleep,Shot forth peculiar Graces; then with voiceMilde, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus. AwakeMy fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh fieldCalls us, we lose the prime, to mark how springOur tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove,What drops the Myrrhe, and what the balmie Reed,How Nature paints her colours, how the BeeSits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.

Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eyeOn Adam, whom imbracing, thus she spake.

O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I seeThy face, and Morn return'd, for I this Night,Such night till this I never pass'd, have dream'd,If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee,Works of day pass't, or morrows next designe,But of offence and trouble, which my mindKnew never till this irksom night; methoughtClose at mine ear one call'd me forth to walkWith gentle voice, I though it thine; it said,Why sleepst thou Eve? now is the pleasant time,The cool, the silent, save where silence yieldsTo the night-warbling Bird, that now awakeTunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignesFull Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing lightShadowie sets off the face of things; in vain,If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes,Whom to behold but thee, Natures desire,In whose sight all things joy, with ravishmentAttracted by thy beauty still to gaze.I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;To find thee I directed then my walk;And on, methought, alone I pass'd through waysThat brought me on a sudden to the TreeOf interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd,Much fairer to my Fancie then by day:And as I wondring lookt, beside it stoodOne shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heav'nBy us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'dAmbrosia; on that Tree he also gaz'd;And O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd,Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd?Or envie, or what reserve forbids to taste?Forbid who will, none shall from me withholdLonger thy offerd good, why else set here?This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous ArmeHe pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'dAt such bold words voucht with a deed so bold:But he thus overjoy'd, O Fruit Divine,Sweet of thy self, but much more sweet thus cropt,Forbidd'n here, it seems, as onely fitFor God's, yet able to make Gods of Men:And why not Gods of Men, since good, the moreCommunicated, more abundant growes,The Author not impair'd, but honourd more?Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve,Partake thou also; happie though thou art,Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be:Taste this, and be henceforth among the GodsThy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind,But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimesAscend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and seeWhat life the Gods live there, and such live thou.So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,Even to my mouth of that same fruit held partWhich he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smellSo quick'nd appetite, that I, methought,Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the CloudsWith him I flew, and underneath beheldThe Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wideAnd various: wondring at my flight and changeTo this high exaltation; suddenlyMy Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down,And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'dTo find this but a dream! Thus Eve her NightRelated, and thus Adam answerd sad.

Best image of my self and dearer half,The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleepAffects me equally; nor can I likeThis uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,Created pure. But know that in the SouleAre many lesser Faculties that serveReason as chief; among these Fansie nextHer office holds; of all external things,Which the five watchful Senses represent,She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes,Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, framesAll what we affirm or what deny, and callOur knowledge or opinion; then retiresInto her private Cell when Nature rests,Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakesTo imitate her; but misjoyning shapes,Wilde work produces oft, and most in dreams,Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.Som such resemblances methinks I findOf our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream,But with addition strange; yet be not sad.Evil into the mind of God or ManMay come or go, so unapprov'd, and leaveNo spot or blame behind: Which gives me hopeThat what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream,Waking thou never wilt consent to do.Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looksThat wont to be more chearful and sereneThen when fair Morning first smiles on the World,And let us to our fresh imployments riseAmong the Groves, the Fountains, and the FloursThat open now thir choicest bosom'd smellsReservd from night, and kept for thee in store.

So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard,But silently a gentle tear let fallFrom either eye, and wip'd them with her haire;Two other precious drops that ready stood,Each in thir Chrystal sluce, hee ere they fellKiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorseAnd pious awe, that feard to have offended.

So all was cleard, and to the Field they haste.But first from under shadie arborous roof,Soon as they forth were come to open sightOf day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risenWith wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim,Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray,Discovering in wide Lantskip all the EastOf Paradise and Edens happie Plains,Lowly they bow'd adoring, and beganThir Orisons, each Morning duly paidIn various style, for neither various styleNor holy rapture wanted they to praiseThir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sungUnmeditated, such prompt eloquenceFlowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse,More tuneable then needed Lute or HarpTo add more sweetness, and they thus began.

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,Almightie, thine this universal Frame,Thus wondrous fair; thy self how wondrous then!Unspeakable, who first above these HeavensTo us invisible or dimly seenIn these thy lowest works, yet these declareThy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine:Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light,Angels, for yee behold him, and with songsAnd choral symphonies, Day without Night,Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n,On Earth joyn all ye Creatures to extollHim first, him last, him midst, and without end.Fairest of Starrs, last in the train of Night,If better thou belong not to the dawn,Sure pledge of day, that crownst the smiling MornWith thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy SpheareWhile day arises, that sweet hour of Prime.Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule,Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praiseIn thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,And when high Noon hast gaind, and when thou fallst.Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'stWith the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies,And yee five other wandring Fires that moveIn mystic Dance not without Song, resoundHis praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light,Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birthOf Natures Womb, that in quaternion runPerpetual Circle, multiform; and mixAnd nourish all things, let your ceasless changeVarie to our great Maker still new praise.Ye Mists and Exhalations that now riseFrom Hill or steaming Lake, duskie or grey,Till the Sun paint your fleecie skirts with Gold,In honour to the Worlds great Author rise;Whether to deck with Clouds the uncolourd skie,Or wet the thirstie Earth with falling showers,Rising or falling still advance his praise.His praise ye Winds, that from four Quarters blow,Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,With every Plant, in sign of Worship wave.Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow,Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.Joyn voices all ye living Souls, ye Birds,That singing up to Heaven gate ascend,Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise;Yee that in Waters glide, and yee that walkThe Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven,To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shadeMade vocal by my Song, and taught his praise.Hail universal Lord, be bounteous stillTo give us onely good; and if the nightHave gathered aught of evil or conceald,Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughtsFirm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm.On to thir mornings rural work they hasteAmong sweet dewes and flours; where any rowOf Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farrThir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to checkFruitless imbraces: or they led the VineTo wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twinesHer mariageable arms, and with her bringsHer dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adornHis barren leaves. Them thus imploid beheldWith pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'dRaphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'dTo travel with Tobias, and secur'dHis marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid.

Raphael, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on EarthSatan from Hell scap't through the darksom GulfHath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbdThis night the human pair, how he designesIn them at once to ruin all mankind.Go therefore, half this day as friend with friendConverse with Adam, in what Bowre or shadeThou find'st him from the heat of Noon retir'd,To respit his day-labour with repast,Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,As may advise him of his happie state,Happiness in his power left free to will,Left to his own free Will, his Will though free,Yet mutable; whence warne him to bewareHe swerve not too secure: tell him withallHis danger, and from whom, what enemieLate falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting nowThe fall of others from like state of bliss;By violence, no, for that shall be withstood,But by deceit and lies; this let him know,Least wilfully transgressing he pretendSurprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.

So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilldAll Justice: nor delaid the winged SaintAfter his charge receivd, but from amongThousand Celestial Ardors, where he stoodVaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing lightFlew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic QuiresOn each hand parting, to his speed gave wayThrough all th' Empyreal road; till at the GateOf Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wideOn golden Hinges turning, as by workDivine the sov'ran Architect had fram'd.From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,Starr interpos'd, however small he sees,Not unconform to the other shining Globes,Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crowndAbove all Hills. As when by night the GlassOf Galileo, less assur'd, observesImagind Lands and Regions in the Moon:Or Pilot from amidst the CycladesDelos or Samos first appeering kennsA cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flightHe speeds, and through the vast Ethereal SkieSailes between worlds and worlds, with steddie wingNow on the polar windes, then with quick FannWinnows the buxom Air; till within soareOf Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seemsA Phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole BiradWhen to enshrine his reliques in the Sun'sBright Temple, to Aegyptian Theb's he flies.At once on th' Eastern cliff of ParadiseHe lights, and to his proper shape returnsA Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shadeHis lineaments Divine; the pair that cladEach shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brestWith regal Ornament; the middle pairGirt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and roundSkirted his loines and thighes with downie GoldAnd colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feetShaddowd from either heele with featherd maileSkie-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood,And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filldThe circuit wide. Strait knew him all the BandsOf Angels under watch; and to his state,And to his message high in honour rise;For on som message high they guessd him bound.The glittering Tents he passd, and now is comeInto the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe,And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme;A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature hereWantond as in her prime, and plaid at willHer Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet,Wilde above Rule or Art; enormous bliss.Him through the spicie Forrest onward comAdam discernd, as in the dore he satOf his coole Bowre, while now the mounted SunShot down direct his fervid Raies to warmeEarths inmost womb, more warmth then Adam needs;And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'dFor dinner savourie fruits, of taste to pleaseTrue appetite, and not disrelish thirstOf nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream,Berrie or Grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.

Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight beholdEastward among those Trees, what glorious shapeComes this way moving; seems another MornRis'n on mid-noon; some great behest from Heav'nTo us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafeThis day to be our Guest. But goe with speed,And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poureAbundance, fit to honour and receiveOur Heav'nly stranger; well we may affordOur givers thir own gifts, and large bestowFrom large bestowd, where Nature multipliesHer fertil growth, and by disburd'ning growsMore fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.

To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mouldOf God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;Save what by frugal storing firmness gainsTo nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:But I will haste and from each bough and break,Each Plant and juciest Gourd will pluck such choiceTo entertain our Angel guest, as heeBeholding shall confess that here on EarthGod hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n.

So saying, with dispatchful looks in hasteShe turns, on hospitable thoughts intentWhat choice to chuse for delicacie best,What order, so contriv'd as not to mixTastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bringTaste after taste upheld with kindliest change,Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalkWhatever Earth all-bearing Mother yieldsIn India East or West, or middle shoareIn Pontus or the Punic Coast, or whereAlcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate,Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shellShe gathers, Tribute large, and on the boardHeaps with unsparing hand; for drink the GrapeShe crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathesFrom many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prestShe tempers dulcet creams, nor these to holdWants her fit vessels pure, then strews the groundWith Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd.Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meetHis god-like Guest, walks forth, without more trainAccompani'd then with his own compleatPerfections, in himself was all his state,More solemn then the tedious pomp that waitsOn Princes, when thir rich Retinue longOf Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with GoldDazles the croud, and sets them all agape.Neerer his presence Adam though not awd,Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,As to a superior Nature, bowing low,

Thus said. Native of Heav'n, for other placeNone can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain;Since by descending from the Thrones above,Those happie places thou hast deignd a whileTo want, and honour these, voutsafe with usTwo onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possessThis spacious ground, in yonder shadie BowreTo rest, and what the Garden choicest bearsTo sit and taste, till this meridian heatBe over, and the Sun more coole decline.

Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde.Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou suchCreated, or such place hast here to dwell,As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'nTo visit thee; lead on then where thy BowreOreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning riseI have at will. So to the Silvan LodgeThey came, that like Pomona's Arbour smil'dWith flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but EveUndeckt, save with her self more lovely fairThen Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'dOf three that in Mount Ida naked strove,Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaileShee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirmeAlterd her cheek. On whom the Angel HaileBestowd, the holy salutation us'dLong after to blest Marie, second Eve.

Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful WombShall fill the World more numerous with thy SonsThen with these various fruits the Trees of GodHave heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terfThir Table was, and mossie seats had round,And on her ample Square from side to sideAll Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn hereDanc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold;No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus beganOur Authour. Heav'nly stranger, please to tasteThese bounties which our Nourisher, from whomAll perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends,To us for food and for delight hath caus'dThe Earth to yield; unsavourie food perhapsTo spiritual Natures; only this I know,That one Celestial Father gives to all.

To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives(Whose praise be ever sung) to man in partSpiritual, may of purest Spirits be foundNo ingrateful food; and food alike those pureIntelligential substances requireAs doth your Rational; and both containWithin them every lower facultieOf sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,And corporeal to incorporeal turn.For know, whatever was created, needsTo be sustaind and fed; of ElementsThe grosser feeds the purer, Earth the Sea,Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those FiresEthereal, and as lowest first the Moon;Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'dVapours not yet into her substance turnd.Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhaleFrom her moist Continent to higher Orbes.The Sun that light imparts to all, receivesFrom all his alimental recompenceIn humid exhalations, and at EvenSups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the TreesOf life ambrosial frutage bear, and vinesYield Nectar, though from off the boughs each MornWe brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the groundCover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath hereVaried his bounty so with new delights,As may compare with Heaven; and to tasteThink not I shall be nice. So down they sat,And to thir viands fell, nor seeminglyThe Angel, nor in mist, the common glossOf Theologians, but with keen dispatchOf real hunger, and concoctive heate.To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpiresThrough Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fireOf sooty coal the Empiric AlchimistCan turn, or holds it possible to turnMetals of drossiest Ore to perfet GoldAs from the Mine. Mean while at Table EveMinisterd naked, and thir flowing cupsWith pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocenceDeserving Paradise! if ever, then,Then had the Sons of God excuse to have binEnamour'd at that sight; but in those heartsLove unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousieWas understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd,Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind aroseIn Adam, not to let th' occasion passGiven him by this great Conference to knowOf things above his World, and of thir beingWho dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he sawTranscend his own so farr, whose radiant formsDivine effulgence, whose high Power so farExceeded human, and his wary speechThus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.

Inhabitant with God, now know I wellThy favour, in this honour done to man,Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf'tTo enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,Food not of Angels, yet accepted so,As that more willingly thou couldst not seemAs Heav'ns high feasts to have fed: yet what compare?

To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd.O Adam, one Almightie is, from whomAll things proceed, and up to him return,If not deprav'd from good, created allSuch to perfection, one first matter all,Indu'd with various forms various degreesOf substance, and in things that live, of life;But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure,As neerer to him plac't or neerer tendingEach in thir several active Sphears assignd,Till body up to spirit work, in boundsProportiond to each kind. So from the rootSprings lighter the green stalk, from thence the leavesMore aerie, last the bright consummate floureSpirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruitMans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'dTo vital Spirits aspire, to animal,To intellectual, give both life and sense,Fansie and understanding, whence the SouleReason receives, and reason is her being,Discursive, or Intuitive; discourseIs oftest yours, the latter most is ours,Differing but in degree, of kind the same.Wonder not then, what God for you saw goodIf I refuse not, but convert, as you,To proper substance; time may come when menWith Angels may participate, and findNo inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare:And from these corporal nutriments perhapsYour bodies may at last turn all to Spirit,Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascendEthereal, as wee, or may at choiceHere or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell;If ye be found obedient, and retainUnalterably firm his love entireWhose progenie you are. Mean while enjoyYour fill what happiness this happie stateCan comprehend, incapable of more.

To whom the Patriarch of mankind repli'd,O favourable spirit, propitious guest,Well hast thou taught the way that might directOur knowledge, and the scale of Nature setFrom center to circumference, whereonIn contemplation of created thingsBy steps we may ascend to God. But say,What meant that caution joind, if ye be foundObedient? can we want obedience thenTo him, or possibly his love desertWho formd us from the dust, and plac'd us hereFull to the utmost measure of what blissHuman desires can seek or apprehend?

To whom the Angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth,Attend: That thou are happie, owe to God;That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self,That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.God made thee perfet, not immutable;And good he made thee, but to persevereHe left it in thy power, ordaind thy willBy nature free, not over-rul'd by FateInextricable, or strict necessity;Our voluntarie service he requires,Not our necessitated, such with himFindes no acceptance, nor can find, for howCan hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serveWilling or no, who will but what they mustBy Destinie, and can no other choose?My self and all th' Angelic Host that standIn sight of God enthron'd, our happie stateHold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;On other surety none; freely we serve,Because wee freely love, as in our willTo love or not; in this we stand or fall:And som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fallFrom what high state of bliss into what woe!

To whom our great Progenitor. Thy wordsAttentive, and with more delighted eare,Divine instructer, I have heard, then whenCherubic Songs by night from neighbouring HillsAereal Music send: nor knew I notTo be both will and deed created free;Yet that we never shall forget to loveOur maker, and obey him whose commandSingle, is yet so just, my constant thoughtsAssur'd me, and still assure: though what thou tellstHath past in Heav'n, som doubt within me move,But more desire to hear, if thou consent,The full relation, which must needs be strange,Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard;And we have yet large day, for scarce the SunHath finisht half his journey, and scarce beginsHis other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.

Thus Adam made request, and RaphaelAfter short pause assenting, thus began.

High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men,Sad task and hard, for how shall I relateTo human sense th' invisible exploitsOf warring Spirits; how without remorseThe ruin of so many glorious onceAnd perfet while they stood; how last unfouldThe secrets of another world, perhapsNot lawful to reveal? yet for thy goodThis is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reachOf human sense, I shall delineate so,By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms,As may express them best, though what if EarthBe but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things thereinEach to other like, more then on earth is thought?

As yet this world was not, and Chaos wildeReignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now restsUpon her Center pois'd, when on a day(For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'dTo motion, measures all things durableBy present, past, and future) on such dayAs Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal HostOf Angels by Imperial summons call'd,Innumerable before th' Almighties ThroneForthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerdUnder thir Hierarchs in orders brightTen thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd,Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and ReareStreame in the Aire, and for distinction serveOf Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees;Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'dHoly Memorials, acts of Zeale and LoveRecorded eminent. Thus when in OrbsOf circuit inexpressible they stood,Orb within Orb, the Father infinite,By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son,Amidst as from a flaming Mount, whose topBrightness had made invisible, thus spake.

Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light,Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,Hear my Decree, which unrevok't shall stand.This day I have begot whom I declareMy onely Son, and on this holy HillHim have anointed, whom ye now beholdAt my right hand; your Head I him appoint;And by my Self have sworn to him shall bowAll knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord:Under his great Vice-gerent Reign abideUnited as one individual SouleFor ever happie: him who disobeyesMee disobeyes, breaks union, and that dayCast out from God and blessed vision, fallsInto utter darkness, deep ingulft, his placeOrdaind without redemption, without end.

So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his wordsAll seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all.That day, as other solemn dayes, they spentIn song and dance about the sacred Hill,Mystical dance, which yonder starrie SpheareOf Planets and of fixt in all her WheelesResembles nearest, mazes intricate,Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regularThen most, when most irregular they seem,And in thir motions harmonie DivineSo smooths her charming tones, that Gods own earListens delighted. Eevning now approach'd(For wee have also our Eevning and our Morn,Wee ours for change delectable, not need)Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turnDesirous; all in Circles as they stood,Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'dWith Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flowsIn Pearl, in Diamond, and massie GoldFruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n.On flours repos'd, and with fresh flourets crownd,They eate, they drink, and in communion sweetQuaff immortalitie and joy, secureOf surfet where full measure onely boundsExcess, before th' all bounteous King, who showrdWith copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy.Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'dFrom that high mount of God, whence light & shadeSpring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changdTo grateful Twilight (for Night comes not thereIn darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'dAll but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest,Wide over all the Plain, and wider farrThen all this globous Earth in Plain out spred,(Such are the Courts of God) Th' Angelic throngDisperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extendBy living Streams among the Trees of Life,Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard,Celestial Tabernacles, where they sleptFannd with cool Winds, save those who in thir courseMelodious Hymns about the sovran ThroneAlternate all night long: but not so wak'dSatan, so call him now, his former nameIs heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,In favour and in praeeminence, yet fraughtWith envie against the Son of God, that dayHonourd by his great Father, and proclaimdMessiah King anointed, could not beareThrough pride that sight, & thought himself impaird.Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houreFriendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'dWith all his Legions to dislodge, and leaveUnworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supreamContemptuous, and his next subordinateAwak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.

Sleepst thou Companion dear, what sleep can closeThy eye-lids: and remembrest what DecreeOf yesterday, so late hath past the lipsOf Heav'ns Almightie. Thou to me thy thoughtsWast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;Both waking we were one; how then can nowThy sleep dissent? new Laws thou seest impos'd;New Laws from him who reigns, new minds may raiseIn us who serve, new Counsels, to debateWhat doubtful may ensue, more in this placeTo utter is not safe. Assemble thouOf all those Myriads which we lead the chief;Tell them that by command, ere yet dim NightHer shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste,And all who under me thir Banners wave,Homeward with flying march where we possessThe Quarters of the North, there to prepareFit entertainment to receive our KingThe great Messiah, and his new commands,Who speedily through all the HierarchiesIntends to pass triumphant, and give Laws.

So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'dBad influence into th' unwarie brestOf his Associate; hee 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 disincumberd Heav'n,The great Hierarchal Standard was to move;Tells the suggested cause, and cast betweenAmbiguous words and jealousies, to soundOr taint integritie; but all obey'dThe wonted signal, and superior voiceOf thir great Potentate; for great indeedHis name, and high was his degree in Heav'n;His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guidesThe starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyesDrew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host:Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernesAbstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy MountAnd from within the golden Lamps that burneNightly before him, saw without thir lightRebellion rising, saw in whom, how spredAmong the sons of Morn, what multitudesWere banded to oppose his high Decree;And smiling to his onely Son thus said.

Son, thou in whom my glory I beholdIn full resplendence, Heir of all my might,Neerly it now concernes us to be sureOf our Omnipotence, and with what ArmsWe mean to hold what anciently we claimOf Deitie or Empire, such a foeIs rising, who intends to erect his ThroneEqual to ours, throughout the spacious North;Nor so content, hath in his thought to tryIn battel, what our Power is, or our right.Let us advise, and to this hazard drawWith speed what force is left, and all imployIn our defence, lest unawares we loseThis our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill.

To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleerLight'ning Divine, ineffable, serene,Made answer. Mightie Father, thou thy foesJustly hast in derision, and secureLaugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain,Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hateIllustrates, when they see all Regal PowerGiv'n me to quell thir pride, and in eventKnow whether I be dextrous to subdueThy Rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.

So spake the Son, but Satan with his PowersFar was advanc't on winged speed, an HostInnumerable as the Starrs of Night,Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the SunImpearls on every leaf and every flouer.Regions they pass'd, the mightie RegenciesOf Seraphim and Potentates and ThronesIn thir triple Degrees, Regions to whichAll thy Dominion, Adam, is no moreThen what this Garden is to all the Earth,And all the Sea, from one entire globoseStretcht into Longitude; which having pass'dAt length into the limits of the NorthThey came, and Satan to his Royal seatHigh on a Hill, far blazing, as a MountRais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and TowrsFrom Diamond Quarries hew'n, and Rocks of Gold,The Palace of great Lucifer, (so callThat Structure in the Dialect of menInterpreted) which not long after, heAffecting all equality with God,In imitation of that Mount whereonMessiah was delar'd in sight of Heav'n,The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;For thither he assembl'd all his Train,Pretending so commanded to consultAbout the great reception of thir King,Thither to come, and with calumnious ArtOf counterfeted truth thus held thir ears.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedomes, Vertues, Powers,If these magnific Titles yet remainNot meerly titular, since by DecreeAnother now hath to himself ingross'tAll Power, and us eclipst under the nameOf King anointed, for whom all this hasteOf midnight march, and hurried meeting here,This onely to consult how we may bestWith what may be devis'd of honours newReceive him coming to receive from usKnee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,Too much to one, but double how endur'd,To one and to his image now proclaim'd?But what if better counsels might erectOur minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke?Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bendThe supple knee? ye will not, if I trustTo know ye right, or if ye know your selvesNatives and Sons of Heav'n possest beforeBy none, and if not equal all, yet free,Equally free; for Orders and DegreesJarr not with liberty, but well consist.Who can in reason then or right assumeMonarchie over such as live by rightHis equals, if in power and splendor less,In freedome equal? or can introduceLaw and Edict on us, who without lawErre not, much less for this to be our Lord,And look for adoration to th' abuseOf those Imperial Titles which assertOur being ordain'd to govern, not to serve?

Thus farr his bold discourse without controuleHad audience, when among the SeraphimAbdiel, then whom none with more zeale ador'dThe Deitie, and divine commands obei'd,Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severeThe current of his fury thus oppos'd.

O argument blasphemous, false and proud!Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'nExpected, least of all from thee, ingrateIn place thy self so high above thy Peeres.Canst thou with impious obloquie condemneThe just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn,That to his only Son by right endu'dWith Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'nShall bend the knee, and in that honour dueConfess him rightful King? unjust thou saistFlatly unjust, to binde with Laws the free,And equal over equals to let Reigne,One over all with unsucceeded power.Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou disputeWith him the points of libertie, who madeThee what thou art, and formd the Pow'rs of Heav'nSuch as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being?Yet by experience taught we know how good,And of our good, and of our dignitieHow provident he is, how farr from thoughtTo make us less, bent rather to exaltOur happie state under one Head more neerUnited. But to grant it thee unjust,That equal over equals Monarch Reigne:Thy self though great and glorious dost thou count,Or all Angelic Nature joind in one,Equal to him begotten Son, by whomAs by his Word the mighty Father madeAll things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'nBy him created in thir bright degrees,Crownd them with Glory, and to thir Glory nam'dThrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd,But more illustrious made, since he the HeadOne of our number thus reduc't becomes,His Laws our Laws, all honour to him doneReturns our own. Cease then this impious rage,And tempt not these; but hast'n to appeaseTh' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,While Pardon may be found in time besought.

So spake the fervent Angel, but his zealeNone seconded, as out of season judg'd,Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'dTh' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd.That were formd then saist thou? and the workOf secondarie hands, by task transferdFrom Father to his Son? strange point and new!Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who sawWhen this creation was? rememberst thouThy making, while the Maker gave thee being?We know no time when we were not as now;Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'dBy our own quick'ning power, when fatal courseHad circl'd his full Orbe, the birth matureOf this our native Heav'n, Ethereal Sons.Our puissance is our own, our own right handShall teach us highest deeds, by proof to tryWho is our equal: then thou shalt beholdWhether by supplication we intendAddress, and to begirt th' Almighty ThroneBeseeching or besieging. This report,These tidings carrie to th' anointed King;And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.

He said, and as the sound of waters deepHoarce murmur echo'd to his words applauseThrough the infinite Host, nor less for thatThe flaming Seraph fearless, though aloneEncompass'd round with foes, thus answerd bold.

O alienate from God, O spirit accurst,Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fallDetermind, and thy hapless crew involv'dIn this perfidious fraud, contagion spredBoth of thy crime and punishment: henceforthNot more be troubl'd how to quit the yokeOf Gods Messiah; those indulgent LawsWill not be now voutsaf't, other DecreesAgainst thee are gon forth without recall;That Golden Scepter which thou didst rejectIs now an Iron Rod to bruise and breakThy disobedience. Well thou didst advise,Yet not for thy advise or threats I flyThese wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauthImpendent, raging into sudden flameDistinguish not: for soon expect to feelHis Thunder on thy head, devouring fire.Then who created thee lamenting learne,When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.

So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found,Among the faithless, faithful only hee;Among innumerable false, unmov'd,Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'dHis Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale;Nor number, nor example with him wroughtTo swerve from truth, or change his constant mindThough single. From amidst them forth he pass'd,Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteindSuperior, nor of violence fear'd aught;And with retorted scorn his back he turn'dOn those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.

© John Milton