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“Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute
“ With him the points of liberty, who made

6 • Thee what thou art, and form'd the powers of heaven 825 “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
" • United. But to grant it thee unjust,
“• That equal over equals monarch reign;

Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count,

" " Or all angelic nature join'd in one, 835

“• Equal to him, begotten Son? by whom,
. As by his word, the Mighty Father made
" • All things, even thee; and all the spirits of heaven

By him created in their bright degrees ; “ • Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory nam’d 810 “• Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,

“Essential Powers; nor by his reign obscur’d,
“But more illustrious made ; since he the head,
" • One of our number thus reduc'd, becomes;

6. His laws our laws: all honour to him done 815

66 • Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
“ • And tempt not these; but hasten to appease
". Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,
" • While pardon may be found in time besought.'

“ So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal 850 “ None seconded, as out of season judg’d,

“Or singular, and rash: whereat rejoic'd
“ The apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied:

. That we were form’d then, 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. Who

saw
• When this creation was ? remember'st thou
"• Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being ?

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"" We know no time when we were not as now; 860 “Know none before us-self-begot-self-rais'd

By our own quick’ning power, when fatal course “• Had circled his full orb; the birth mature Of this our native heaven; ethereal sons.

“ • Our puissance is our own: our own right hand 865 “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 the almighty throne “* Beseeching, or besieging. This report870 «« These tidings carry to the anointed King;

“« 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 875 “ The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone,

Encompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold :

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

“Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd 880 • • In this perfidious fraud; contagion spread

“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 recal:
• 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
890“. These wicked tents devoted ; lest the wrath

“ 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,

When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'
“ So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found

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“ Among the faithless—faithful only he;

Among innumerable false, unmov'd,

“ Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified,
900 “His loyalty he kept—his love-his zeal;

“Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
“ To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,

Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd, “Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd

Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; “ And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd “On those proud towers to swift destruction doom'd.

905

BOOK VI.

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