Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Pendent by subtle magic many a row Of starry lamps and blazing cressers, fed With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730 Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise And some the architect: his hand was known In Heav'n by many a tow'red structure high, Where scepter'd Angels held their residence, And sat as princes, whom the supreme King Exalted to such pow'r, and gave to rule, Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright. Nor was his name unheard or unador'd In Ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell 740 From Heav'n, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove Sheer o'er the crystal battlements ; from mom To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, A summer's day; and with the setting sun Dropt from the zenith like a falling star, On Lemnos th’ Ægean isle : thus they relate, Erring; for he with this rebellious rout Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now T’have built in Heav’n high tow'rs; nor did he’scape By all his engines, but was headlong sent 750 With his industrious crew to build in Hell:

Mean while the winged heralds by command Of sovoreign pow'r, with awful ceremony And trumpets sound, throughout the host proclain A solemn council forthwith to be held At Pandemonium, the high capital

Of Satan and his peers : their summons callid From every band and squared regiment By place or choice the worthiest; they anon With hundreds and with thousands trooping came Attended : all access was throng'd, the gates 761 And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall (Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldan's chair Defy'd the best of Panim chivalry To mortal combat, or career with lance) Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air, Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, Pour 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 straw-built citadel, New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer Their state affairs. So thick the airy croud Swarm’d and were straiten'd; till the signal giving Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless, like that pygmean race 78 Beyond the Indian mount, or fairy elves, Whose midnight revels by a forest side Or fountain some belated peasant sees, Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth Wheels her palecourse, they on their mirth and dance

Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Spi'rits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number still amidst the hall 791
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their ov dimensions like themselves,
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat
A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then
And summons read, the great consult began.

THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven : Some advise it, others dissuade : A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature equal or not much inferior to themselves, alout this time to be created : Their doubt who shall be sent on this diffi. cult search; Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to en. tertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to Hell gates, finds them shut, and who sate there to guard them, by whom at length tiey are openedl, and discover to him the great gulf between Hell and Heaven ; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought.

HIGH on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshine the wealth of Ornius and of Ind,
Or where the gorgous east with richest hand
Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merits rais'd
To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thue high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heay'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n,
For since no deep within her gulf can hold

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

20

Immortal vigour, though oppress’d and fall’n,
I give not Heav’n for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.
Nie, though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven
Did first create your leader, next free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achiev'd of merit, yet this loss
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heavon, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior: but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim
Your bulwark, and condemns tɔ greatest share
Of endless pain ? where there is thien no good 30
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction; for none sure will claim in Heil
Precedence; none, whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heav'n, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assur'd us; and by what best way,
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate; wao can advise, may speak.

« AnteriorContinuar »