תמונות בעמוד

Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore, 585 Wlien Charlemain with all his peorage fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet cbserved · Their dread Commander; hic, above the rest In shape and gesture proudly cminent,

60 Stood like a loixer: his forin had yet not lost All her original brightness, nor appear'd less than Archangel ruin'd, and the excess Of glory obscured : as when the sun, new risen Looks through the horizontal inisty air

595 Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds . On half the nations, and with fear of change Ponplexes monarchs. Darkend so, yet shono Above them all the Archangel: but his face 600 Deep scars of thunder had intrenchd; and care Sat on his faded check, but under brows Of dauntless courage, and considerate prido Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion, to behold

605 The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Far other once bcheld in blissi, condemn'd For ever now to have their lot in pain; Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced Of Heaven, and from cternal splendours flung 610 For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood, Their glory witherd : as when Heaven's firo llath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pine ; With singed top their stately growth, though baro; Slands on the blasted heath. He now prepared 615 To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his peers: Attention hold them mute. Thrice he essay d, and thrice, in spite of scorn, l'ears, such as Angels weep, burst forth : at last 620 Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way

Q Myriads of immortal Spirits ! 0 Powera

[ocr errors]

Matchless, but with the Almighty! and that strifo
Was not inglorious, though the cvent was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change
Plateful to utler: but what power of mind,
Foresecing or presaging, from the depth
Dl knowledge past or present, could have fcar'd,
How such urited force of Gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? 630
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose cxilo
Hath en:ptied Heaven, shall fail to reascend
Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the lost of Heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunn'd
By me have lost our hopes. But he, who reigns
Monarch in Heaven, till then as onc sccure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent or custom; and his rcgal state

Put forth at full, but still his strength conceald,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our ow:1;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provoked: our better part remains 645
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not : that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whercof so rifo 650
There went a fame in Heaven that ho ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A gcncration, whom his choice regard
Should iavour equal to the sons of Heaven
Thither, is but to pry, shall be perhaps

656 Our first eruption; thither or elsewhere : For this infernal pit shall never hoid Celestia. Spirits in bondage, nor the abysa Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts Full counsel must mature · Peace is despair'd; 680

For wlo Bum think submission ? War then, War
Open ce un..rstood must be resolved.

He sfâke: and, to confirm his words, out How
Millions of timing swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden bluze

CGO Far round illumined hell: Higlily they raged Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, Hurling deriance toward the vault of heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grisiy top 070 Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire Shone with a glossy scurf; undoubted sign That in lus womb was hid metallic ore, The work of sulphur. Thither, wing'd with speed, A numerous brigude hasten d: as when bands 675 Of pioncers, with spade and pickaxe arm'd, Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field, Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on, Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell [thoughts From Heaven; for e'en in Heaven his looks and Were always downward bent, admiring more 081 The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold, Than ought divine or holy clsc cnjoy'd In vision beatific: by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands Rified the boweis of their mother Earth For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew . Open'd into the hill a spacious wound, And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let nono admire 620 That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best Deserve the precious bane. And here let those {Vh boast in mortal things, and wondering tell Di Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 615 And strength, and art, are casily outdono By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour, What in an age thy with incessant toil


And harids innumerable scarce perform
Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, 700
That undermcath had veins of liquid fire
Sluiced from the lake, a sccond multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy orc,
Severing cach kind, and scummid the bullion drong.
A third as soon lead form'd within the ground 705
A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By stranyn conveyance fiild cach hollow nook ;
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
To many a row of pipes the soundboard breathcs.
Anon, out of the earth, a fabric huge

Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonics and voices sweet,
Built like a teinple, where pilasters round
Were sct, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want 715
Cornice or fricze, with bossy sculptures graven:
The roof was frcited gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to enshrine
Relus or Sérapis, their Gods; or scat
Their kings, wlien Egypt with Assyria strovo
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately height; and straight the doors,
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
Within, her ample spaccs, o'er the smooth ... 723
And level pavement: from the arched roof
Pendant by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazen cressets, fed
With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitudo

730 Almiring enter'd; and the work some praiz And some the architect: his hand was known In Ileaven by inany a tower'd structure high, Where sceptred Angels held their residence, And sat as princes: whom the supreme King Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Each in uis hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard, or unadored,
In ancient Grecce; and in Ausonian land
Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell 748
From Heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the crystal bat:1cments: from morn
I noon he fell, from noon to dewy cve,
A summer's day; and with the setting sun
Dropp'd from the zenith like a falling star, 745
On Lemnos the Ægean isle : thus they relate,
Erring; for he with his rebellious rout
Fc!l long before ; nor aught avail'd lim now
To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he wcapo
By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
Of sov'reign power, with awful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, tliroughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forchwith to be held . 755
At Pandernonium ; the high capital
Of Satan and his peers: their summons callid . .
From every band and squarcd regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came,
Attended : alı access was throng'd; the gates 761
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall.
(i'nough like a cover'd field, where champions bolas
Wont ride in arm'd and at the Soldan's chair
Defied the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance,)
Thick swarmd both on the ground and in the air
Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As beeg
In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
l'our forth their populous youth about the hive 770
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their strawbuilt citado,
Now rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confor

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »