« הקודםהמשך »
Above the Aönian mount, while it pursues
15 Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer Before all temples the upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st, Thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread 20 Dovelike sat'st brooding on the vast abyss, And madest it pregnant: What in me is dark, Illumine ; what is low, raise and support ; That to the height of this great argument I may assert Eternal Providence,
25 And justify the ways of God to men.
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view, Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state, Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off
Confounded, though immortal : But his doom Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought Both of lost happiness, and lasting pain,
55 Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes, That witness'd huge affliction and disinay Mix'd with obdurate pride and steadfast hate At once, as far as Angels ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild :
60 A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames No light; but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
65 And rest can never dwell; hope never comes That comes to all; but torture without end Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed With ever burning sulphur unconsumed Such place Eternal Justice had prepared
70 For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd In utter darkness, and their portion set As far removed from God and light of Heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. 0, how unlike the place from whence they fell' 75 There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, He soon discerns; and weltering by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and named 80 Beelzebub. To whom the Archenemy, And thence in Heaven call’d Satan, with bold words Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
If thou be he; but o, how fallen! how changed From him, who, in the happy realms of light, 85 Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Join'd with me once, now misery haih join'd
In equal ruin! Into what pit thou secst,
106 And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield, And what is else not to be overcome ; That glory never shall his wrath or might 110 Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify his power, Who from the terror of this arm so late Doubted his empire; that were low indeed, That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 115 This downfal: since, by fate, the strength of Gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail ; Since through experience of this great event In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, We may with more successful hope resolve 120 To wage, by force or guile, eternal war Irreconcilable to our grand Foe, Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven."
So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : And hijn thus answer'd soon his bold cumpeer.
O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led the embattled Seraphim to war
155 Whereto with speedy words the Archfiend replied.
Fallen cherub! to be weak is miserable, Doing or suffering : but of this be sure, To do aught good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight,
160 As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil;
165 Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 19. Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that war'd on Jove Briarëos or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held; or that seabeast 209 Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim the ocean stream: Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff