Книга Paradise Lost. Содержание - BOOK VI.

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.


All night the dreadless Angel unpursu'd

Through Heav'ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn,

Wak't by the circling Hours, with rosie hand

Unbarr'd the gates of Light. There is a Cave

Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne,

Where light and darkness in perpetual round

Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n

Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night;

Light issues forth, and at the other dore

Obsequious darkness enters, till her houre

To veile the Heav'n, though darkness there might well

Seem twilight here; and now went forth the Morn

Such as in highest Heav'n, arrayd in Gold

Empyreal, from before her vanisht Night,

Shot through with orient Beams: when all the Plain

Coverd with thick embatteld Squadrons bright,

Chariots and flaming Armes, and fierie Steeds

Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:

Warr he perceav'd, warr in procinct, and found

Already known what he for news had thought

To have reported: gladly then he mixt

Among those friendly Powers who him receav'd

With joy and acclamations loud, that one

That of so many Myriads fall'n, yet one

Returnd not lost: On to the sacred hill

They led him high applauded, and present

Before the seat supream; from whence a voice

From midst a Golden Cloud thus milde was heard.

Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought

The better fight, who single hast maintaind

Against revolted multitudes the Cause

Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes;

And for the testimonie of Truth hast born

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