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835

With him the points of liberty, who made
Thee what thou art, and form’d the pow’rs of

Heav'n
Such as he pleas’d, and circumscrib’d 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 830
United. But to grant it thee unjust,
That equal over equals monarch reign:
Thyself, tho' 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, even thee; and all the Sp’rits of

Heav'n By him created in their bright degrees, Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory

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

840 Essential Pow'rs; nor by his reign obscurd, But more illustrious made; since he the Head One of our number thus reduc'd 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 846 Th’incensed Father and th' incensed Son, While pardon may be found in time besought.

Who saw

So spake the fervent Angel; but his zeal None seconded, as out of season judg'd, , 850 Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd Th’Apostate, and more haughty thus reply'd : That wewereform’dthen 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.

856 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-rais'd 860 By our own quick’ning pow'r, when fatal course Had circl’d 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 865 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; 870 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 875 Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold:

O alienate from God, O Sp’rit accurs’d, Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall

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Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread 880
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 vouchsaf'd; other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall; 883
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 890
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, 894
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.

So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmov’d,
Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrify'd,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change hisconstant mind,
Tho' single. From amidst them forth he pass’d,
Long way thro' hostile scorn, which he sustain'd
Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; 905
And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd
On those proud tow’rsto swift destruction doom'd.

900

END OF THE FIFTH BOOK.

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THE ARGUMENT.

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 bis Angels to some disorder ; but they at length,pulling up mountains, overwbelmed both the force and machines of Satan : Yet the tumult not so ending, God on the third day sends Messiah bis 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 bis 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 : Messiab returns with triumph to bis Fatber,

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