Now Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime Advancing, sow'd the Earth with Orient Pearle, When ADAM wak't, so customd, for his sleep Was Aerie light, from pure digestion bred, And temperat vapors bland, which th' only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, AURORA's fan, Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin Song Of Birds on every bough; so much the more His wonder was to find unwak'nd EVE With Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek, As through unquiet rest: he on his side Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial Love Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld Beautie, which whether waking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar Graces; then with voice Milde, as when ZEPHYRUS on FLORA breathes, Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus. Awake My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found, Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight, Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field Calls us, we lose the prime, to mark how spring Our tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove, What drops the Myrrhe, & what the balmie Reed, How Nature paints her colours, how the Bee Sits on the Bloom extracting liquid sweet.
Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eye On ADAM, whom imbracing, thus she spake.
O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I see Thy 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 mind Knew never till this irksom night; methought Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said, Why sleepst thou EVE? now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignes Full Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light Shadowie 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 ravishment Attracted 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 ways That brought me on a sudden to the Tree Of interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd, Much fairer to my Fancie then by day: And as I wondring lookt, beside it stood One shap'd & wing'd like one of those from Heav'n By us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'd Ambrosia; 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 withhold Longer thy offerd good, why else set here? This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous Arme He pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'd At 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 fit For Gods, yet able to make Gods of Men: And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more Communicated, 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 Gods Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind, But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see What 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 part Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought, Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the Clouds With him I flew, and underneath beheld The Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wide And various: wondring at my flight and change To this high exaltation; suddenly My Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down, And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd To find this but a dream! Thus EVE her Night Related, and thus ADAM answerd sad.
Best Image of my self and dearer half, The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Affects me equally; nor can I like This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear; Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, Created pure. But know that in the Soule Are many lesser Faculties that serve Reason as chief; among these Fansie next Her office holds; of all external things, Which the five watchful Senses represent, She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes, Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, frames All what we affirm or what deny, and call Our knowledge or opinion; then retires Into her private Cell when Nature rests. Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakes To 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 find Of our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream, But with addition strange; yet be not sad. Evil into the mind of God or Man May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream, Waking thou never wilt consent to do. Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looks That wont to be more chearful and serene Then when fair Morning first smiles on the World, And let us to our fresh imployments rise Among the Groves, the Fountains, and the Flours That open now thir choicest bosom'd smells Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store.
So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard, But silently a gentle tear let fall From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire; Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in thir chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse And 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 sight Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risen With wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim, Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray, Discovering in wide Lantskip all the East Of Paradise and EDENS happie Plains, Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began Thir Orisons, each Morning duly paid In various style, for neither various style Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Thir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sung Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence Flowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse, More tuneable then needed Lute or Harp To 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 sitst above these Heavens To us invisible or dimly seen In these thy lowest works, yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine: Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light, Angels, for yee behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, Day without Night, Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n, On Earth joyn all yee Creatures to extoll Him 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 Morn With thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy Spheare While day arises, that sweet hour of Prime. Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule, Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high Noon hast gaind, & when thou fallst. Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'st With the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies, And yee five other wandring Fires that move In mystic Dance not without Song, resound His praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light. Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birth Of Natures Womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual Circle, multiform; and mix And nourish all things, let your ceasless change Varie to our great Maker still new praise. Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise From 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, Breath 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 walk The Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven, To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shade Made vocal by my Song, and taught his praise. Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still To give us onely good; and if the night Have gathered aught of evil or conceald, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughts Firm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm. On to thir mornings rural work they haste Among sweet dewes and flours; where any row Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farr Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check Fruitless imbraces: or they led the Vine To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines Her mariageable arms, and with her brings Her dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adorn His barren leaves. Them thus imploid beheld With pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'd RAPHAEL, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd To travel with TOBIAS, and secur'd His marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid.
RAPHAEL, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on Earth SATAN from Hell scap't through the darksom Gulf Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd This night the human pair, how he designes In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Converse with ADAM, in what Bowre or shade Thou 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 beware He swerve not too secure: tell him withall His danger, and from whom, what enemie Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now The 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 pretend Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.
So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilld All Justice: nor delaid the winged Saint After his charge receivd, but from among Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic Quires On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Through all th' Empyreal road; till at the Gate Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide On golden Hinges turning, as by work Divine 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 other shining Globes, Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crownd Above all Hills. As when by night the Glass Of GALILEO, less assur'd, observes Imagind Lands and Regions in the Moon: Or Pilot from amidst the CYCLADES DELOS or SAMOS first appeering kenns A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie Sailes between worlds & worlds, with steddie wing Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann Winnows the buxom Air; till within soare Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems A PHOENIX, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's Bright Temple, to AEGYPTIAN THEB'S he flies. At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise He lights, and to his proper shape returns A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest With regal Ornament; the middle pair Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like MAIA'S son he stood, And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the bands Of Angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high in honour rise; For on som message high they guessd him bound. Thir glittering Tents he passd, and now is come Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe, And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme; A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wilde above rule or art; enormous bliss. Him through the spicie Forrest onward com ADAM discernd, as in the dore he sat Of his coole Bowre, while now the mounted Sun Shot down direct his fervid Raies, to warme Earths inmost womb, more warmth then ADAM need; And EVE within, due at her hour prepar'd For dinner savourie fruits, of taste to please True appetite, and not disrelish thirst Of nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream, Berrie or Grape: to whom thus ADAM call'd.
Haste hither EVE, and worth thy sight behold Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; seems another Morn Ris'n on mid-noon; som great behest from Heav'n To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe This day to be our Guest. But goe with speed, And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure Abundance, fit to honour and receive Our Heav'nly stranger; well we may afford Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow From large bestowd, where Nature multiplies Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.
To whom thus EVE. ADAM, earths hallowd mould, Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: But I will haste and from each bough and break, Each Plant & juciest Gourd will pluck such choice To entertain our Angel guest, as hee Beholding shall confess that here on Earth God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n.
So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to chuse for delicacie best, What order, so contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change, Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yeilds In INDIA East or West, or middle shoare In PONTUS or the PUNIC Coast, or where ALCINOUS reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate, Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the Grape She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd. Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train Accompani'd then with his own compleat Perfections, in himself was all his state, More solemn then the tedious pomp that waits On Princes, when thir rich Retinue long Of Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with Gold Dazles 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 place None can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain; Since by descending from the Thrones above, Those happie places thou hast deignd a while To want, and honour these, voutsafe with us Two onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possess This spacious ground, in yonder shadie Bowre To rest, and what the Garden choicest bears To sit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the Sun more coole decline.
Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde. ADAM, I therefore came, nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'n To visit thee; lead on then where thy Bowre Oreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning rise I have at will. So to the Silvan Lodge They came, that like POMONA'S Arbour smil'd With flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but EVE Undeckt, save with her self more lovely fair Then Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'd Of three that in Mount IDA naked strove, Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaile Shee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirme Alterd her cheek. On whom the Angel HAILE Bestowd, the holy salutation us'd Long after to blest MARIE, second EVE.
Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful Womb Shall fill the World more numerous with thy Sons Then with these various fruits the Trees of God Have heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terf Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round, And on her ample Square from side to side All AUTUMN pil'd, though SPRING and AUTUMN here Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold; No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus began Our Authour. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom All perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends, To us for food and for delight hath caus'd The Earth to yeild; unsavourie food perhaps To 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 part Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure Intelligential substances require As doth your Rational; and both contain Within them every lower facultie Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate, And corporeal to incorporeal turn. For know, whatever was created, needs To be sustaind and fed; of Elements The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those Fires Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd Vapours not yet into her substance turnd. Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale From her moist Continent to higher Orbes. The Sun that light imparts to all, receives From all his alimental recompence In humid exhalations, and at Even Sups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the Trees Of life ambrosial frutage bear, and vines Yeild Nectar, though from off the boughs each Morn We brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the ground Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here Varied his bounty so with new delights, As may compare with Heaven; and to taste Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat, And to thir viands fell, nor seemingly The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss Of Theologians, but with keen dispatch Of real hunger, and concoctive heate To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire Of sooty coal the Empiric Alchimist Can turn, or holds it possible to turn Metals of drossiest Ore to perfet Gold As from the Mine. Mean while at Table EVE Ministerd naked, and thir flowing cups With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence Deserving Paradise! if ever, then, Then had the Sons of God excuse to have bin Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousie Was understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell.
Thus when with meats & drinks they had suffic'd, Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose In ADAM, not to let th' occasion pass Given him by this great Conference to know Of things above his World, and of thir being Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far Exceeded human, and his wary speech Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.
Inhabitant with God, now know I well Thy favour, in this honour done to man, Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf't To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Food not of Angels, yet accepted so, As that more willingly thou couldst not seem At Heav'ns high feasts to have fed: yet what compare?
To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd. O ADAM, one Almightie is, from whom All things proceed, and up to him return, If not deprav'd from good, created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and in things that live, of life; But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, As neerer to him plac't or neerer tending Each in thir several active Sphears assignd, Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportiond to each kind. So from the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves More aerie, last the bright consummate floure Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd To vital Spirits aspire, to animal, To intellectual, give both life and sense, Fansie and understanding, whence the soule Reason receives, and reason is her being, Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours, Differing but in degree, of kind the same. Wonder not then, what God for you saw good If I refuse not, but convert, as you, To proper substance; time may come when men With Angels may participate, and find No inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare: And from these corporal nutriments perhaps Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell; If ye be found obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire Whose progenie you are. Mean while enjoy Your fill what happiness this happie state Can 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 direct Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set From center to circumference, whereon In contemplation of created things By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant that caution joind, IF YE BE FOUND OBEDIENT? can wee want obedience then To him, or possibly his love desert Who formd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek or apprehend?
To whom the Angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth, Attend: That thou art 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 persevere He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate Inextricable, or strict necessity; Our voluntarie service he requires, Not our necessitated, such with him Findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By Destinie, and can no other choose? My self and all th' Angelic Host that stand In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; On other surety none; freely we serve. Because wee freely love, as in our will To 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 fall From what high state of bliss into what woe!
To whom our great Progenitor. Thy words Attentive, and with more delighted eare Divine instructer, I have heard, then when Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills Aereal Music send: nor knew I not To be both will and deed created free; Yet that we never shall forget to love Our maker, and obey him whose command Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst Hath 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 Sun Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.
Thus ADAM made request, and RAPHAEL After short pause assenting, thus began.
High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men, Sad task and hard, for how shall I relate To human sense th' invisible exploits Of warring Spirits; how without remorse The ruin of so many glorious once And perfet while they stood; how last unfould The secrets of another world, perhaps Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good This is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reach Of human sense, I shall delineate so, By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms, As may express them best, though what if Earth Be but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things therein Each to other like, more then on earth is thought?
As yet this world was not, and CHAOS wilde Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day (For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future) on such day As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd, Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd, Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees; Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love Recorded eminent. Thus when in Orbes Of 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, whoseop Brightness 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 declare My onely 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 Soule For ever happie: him who disobeyes Mee disobeyes, breaks union, and that day Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls Into utter darkness, deep ingulft, his place Ordaind without redemption, without end.
So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words All seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all. That day, as other solem dayes, they spent In song and dance about the sacred Hill, Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles Resembles nearest, mazes intricate, Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular Then most, when most irregular they seem: And in thir motions harmonie Divine So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear Listens delighted. Eevning approachd (For we have also our Eevning 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 pil'd With Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flows: In Pearl, in Diamond, and massie Gold, Fruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n. They eat, they drink, and with refection sweet Are fill'd, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd With copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy. Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'd From that high mount of God, whence light & shade Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changd To grateful Twilight (for Night comes not there In darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'd All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest, Wide over all the Plain, and wider farr Then all this globous Earth in Plain outspred, (Such are the Courts of God) Th' Angelic throng Disperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extend By living Streams among the Trees of Life, Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard, Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept Fannd with coole Winds, save those who in thir course Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd SATAN, so call him now, his former name Is heard no more Heav'n; he of the first, If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power, In favour and praeeminence, yet fraught With envie against the Son of God, that day Honourd by his great Father, and proclaimd MESSIAH King anointed, could not beare Through pride that sight, and thought himself impaird. Deep malice thence conceiving & disdain, Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houre Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave Unworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supream Contemptuous, and his next subordinate Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.
Sleepst thou Companion dear, what sleep can close Thy eye-lids? and remembrest what Decree Of yesterday, so late hath past the lips Of Heav'ns Almightie. 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 seest impos'd; 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 shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste, And all who under me thir 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 infus'd Bad influence into th' unwarie brest Of 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 casts between Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound Or taint integritie; but all obey'd The wonted signal, and superior voice Of thir great Potentate; for great indeed His name, and high was his degree in Heav'n; His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides The starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyes Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host: Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernes Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy Mount And from within the golden Lamps that burne Nightly before him, saw without thir light Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spred Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes Were banded to oppose his high Decree; And smiling to his onely Son thus said.
Son, thou in whom my glory I behold In full resplendence, Heir of all my might, Neerly it now concernes us to be sure Of our Omnipotence, and with what Arms We mean to hold what anciently we claim Of Deitie 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 trie In battel, what our Power is, or our right. Let us advise, and to this hazard draw With speed what force is left, and all imploy In our defence, lest unawares we lose This our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill.
To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleer Light'ning Divine, ineffable, serene, Made answer. Mightie Father, thou thy foes Justly hast in derision, and secure Laugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain, Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hate Illustrates, when they see all Regal Power Giv'n me to quell thir 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 Farr was advanc't on winged speed, an Host Innumerable as the Starrs of Night, Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the Sun Impearls on every leaf and every flouer. Regions they pass'd, the mightie Regencies Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones In thir triple Degrees, Regions to which All thy Dominion, ADAM, is no more Then what this Garden is to all the Earth, And all the Sea, from one entire globose Stretcht 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 Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs From Diamond Quarries hew'n, & Rocks of Gold, The Palace of great LUCIFER, (so call That Structure in the Dialect of men Interpreted) which not long after, hee Affecting all equality with God, In imitation of that Mount whereon MESSIAH was declar'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 consult About the great reception of thir King, Thither to come, and with calumnious Art Of counterfeted truth thus held thir ears.
Thrones, Dominations, Princedomes, Vertues, Powers, If these magnific Titles yet remain Not meerly titular, since by Decree Another now hath to himself ingross't All Power, and us eclipst under the name Of King anointed, for whom all this haste Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here, This onely to consult how we may best With what may be devis'd of honours new Receive him coming to receive from us Knee-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 erect Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke? Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust To know ye right, or if ye know your selves Natives and Sons of Heav'n possest before By none, and if not equal all, yet free, Equally free; for Orders and Degrees Jarr not with liberty, but well consist. Who can in reason then or right assume Monarchie over such as live by right His equals, if in power and splendor less, In freedome equal? or can introduce Law and Edict on us, who without law Erre not, much less for this to be our Lord, And look for adoration to th' abuse Of those Imperial Titles which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve?
Thus farr his bold discourse without controule Had audience, when among the Seraphim ABDIEL, then whom none with more zeale ador'd The Deitie, and divine commands obei'd, Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severe The current of his fury thus oppos'd.
O argument blasphemous, false and proud! Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'n Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate In place thy self so high above thy Peeres. Canst thou with impious obloquie condemne The just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn, That to his only Son by right endu'd With Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'n Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Confess him rightful King? unjust thou saist Flatly 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 dispute With him the points of libertie, who made Thee what thou art, & formd the Pow'rs of Heav'n Such as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being? Yet by experience taught we know how good, And of our good, and of our dignitie How provident he is, how farr from thought To make us less, bent rather to exalt Our happie state under one Head more neer United. But to grant it thee unjust, That equal over equals Monarch Reigne: Thy self though great & glorious dost thou count, Or all Angelic Nature joind in one, Equal to him begotten Son, by whom As by his Word the mighty Father made All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'n By him created in thir bright degrees, Crownd them with Glory, & to thir Glory nam'd Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd, But more illustrious made, since he the Head One of our number thus reduc't becomes, His Laws our Laws, all honour to him done Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage, And tempt not these; but hast'n to appease Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son, While Pardon may be found in time besought.
So spake the fervent Angel, but his zeale None seconded, as out of season judg'd, Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd Th' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd. That we were formd then saist thou? & the work Of secondarie hands, by task transferd From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who saw When this creation was? rememberst 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 By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course Had circl'd his full Orbe, 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 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 carrie to th' anointed King; And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.
He said, and as the sound of waters deep Hoarce 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 answerd bold.
O alienate from God, O spirit accurst, Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fall Determind, and thy hapless crew involv'd In this perfidious fraud, contagion spred Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth No more be troubl'd how to quit the yoke Of Gods MESSIAH; those indulgent Laws Will not be now voutsaf't, other Decrees Against thee are gon forth without recall; That Golden Scepter which thou didst reject Is now an Iron Rod to bruise and breake Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise, Yet not for thy advise or threats I fly These wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauth Impendent, raging into sudden flame Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel His 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'd His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale; Nor number, nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind Though single. From amidst them forth he passd, Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.
THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK.Next