« הקודםהמשך »
To overcome in battle, and subdue
701 And therefore hated, therefore so beset With foes for daring single to be just, And utter odious truth, that God would come To judge them with his Saints: him the most High Rapt in a balmy cloud with winged steeds Did, as thou saw'st, receive, to walk with God High in salvation and the climes of bliss, Exempt from death; to shew thee what reward Awaits the good, the rest what punishment; Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold.
He look'd, and saw the face of things quite chang'd; The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar; All now was turn'd to jollity and game, To luxury and riot, feast and dance, Marrying or prostituting, as befell, Rape or adultery, where passing fair Allur’d them; thence from cups to civil broils. At length a reverend sire among them came, And of their doings great dislike declar'd,
And testify'd against their ways; he oft
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
760 His children, all in view.destroy'd at once; And scarce to th’Angel utter'dst thus thy plaint.
O Visions ill foreseen! better had I Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne My part of evil only, each day's lot
765 Enough to bear; those now, that were dispens'd The burden of many ages, on me light At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth Abortive, to torment me ere their being, With thought that they must be. Let no man seek Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall 771 Him or his children ; evil he may
All would have then gone well, peace would have
crown'd With length of happy days the race of man; But I was far deceiv'd; for now I see Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste. How comes it thus ? Unfold, celestial Guide, 785 And whether here the race of men will end. To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou saw'st In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they First seen in acts of prowess eminent And great exploits, but of true virtue void; Who having spilt much blood, and done much waste, Subduing nations, and achiev'd thereby Fame in the world, high titles, and richi prey, Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth, Surfeit, and lust, till wantonness and pride 795 Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. The conquer'd also, and enslav'd by war, Shall with their freedom lost all virtue lose And fear of God, from whom their piety feign'd In sharp contest of battle found no aid
800 Against invaders; therefore cool'd in zeal Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure, Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords Shall leave them to enjoy; for th'earth shall bear More than enough, that temp’rance may be try'd: 805 So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav’d, Justice and temp?rance, truth and faith forgot; One man except, the only son of light In a dark age, against example good, Against allurement, custom, and a world
Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
shall heave the ocean to usurp
He look’d, and saw the ark hull on the flood, 840 Which now abated ; for the clouds were fled,