صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

PARADISE LOST

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT.

God sitting on his throne sees Satan fying towards this worlds then newly created ; shows him to the Son who sat at his right hand : foretells the success of Saran in perverting mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created man free,and able enough to have withstood his tempter; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to bis Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man; but God again declares, that grace cannot be extended towards Mar, without the satisfaction of divine justice; Man hath offended the majesty of God by as. piring to Godhead. and therefore, with all his progeny devoted to death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for Man; the Father aceepts hun, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in heaven and earth; commands all the angels to adore him : they obey, and hymning to their harps in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb: where wandering he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity; what persons and things fly up thither, thence comes to the gate of heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it: his passage thence to the orb of the sun : he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb; but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new cream tion and Man whom God had placed there, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount Niphates.

Hail holy Light! offspring of heaven first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal bearn,
May I express thee unblamed? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!
Or hear'si thou rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun,
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire,
As from her ouimost works a broken foe,
With tumult less, and with less hostile din.
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer waves by dubious light,
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs bis spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off the empyreal heaven, extended wide
In circuit, undetermined square or round,
With opal towers and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude, close by the moon.
Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accursed, and in a cursed hour he lies.

PARADISE LOST

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT. God sitting on his throne sees Satan flying towards this worid, then newly created; shows him to the Son who sat at his right hand : foretells the success of Saran in perverting markind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created man free,and able enough to have withstood his tempter yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, txut by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man; but God again declares, that grace cannot be extended towards Marı without the satisfaction of divine justice; Man hath offended tire majesty of God by as. piring to Godhead. and therefore, with all his progeny devoted to death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himseif a ransom for Man; the Father acéepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in heaven and earth; commands all the angels to adore him : they obey, and hymning to their harps in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Sataa alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb: where wandering he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity; what persons and things fly up thither; thence comes to the gate of heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it: his passage thence to the ord of the sun : he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb; but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new crea. tion and Man whom God had placed there, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount Niphates.

HAIL holy Light! offspring of heaven first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beain,
May I express thee unhlamed? since God is lights
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!
Or hear'si thou rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun,
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

F

The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite,
Thee 1 revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped tlre Stygian pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojouri, wbile in my fight
Through utter and througl middle darkness borne,

Vith other notes than to ib' Orphean lyre,
sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
l'aught by the heavenly musé to venture down.
The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
Though hard and rare. Thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovereign vital lamp; but thou
Revisit’st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ;
so thick a drop serene hath quenchi'd their orbs,,
Dr dim suffusion veil'd! Yet not the more
Cease I. to wander where the muses baunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or suvny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief
Chee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
Chat wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flowy.
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown!)
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,
Ind Tiresias, and Phineas, prophets old.
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move.

Iarmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid, Punes her nocturnal note. Thus with the yearSeasons return; but not to me returns Jay, or the sweet approach of even or morn, Dr sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Dr flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud instead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men 'ut off, and for the book of knowledge sair presented with a universal blank _f nature's works, to me expung'd and raz'd, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut oui!. Bu much the rather thou, celestial Light!

[ocr errors]

BOOK Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate; there plant eves, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I my see and tell Or things invisible to mortal sight.

Now had the Almighty Father from above, (From the pure empyrean where he sits High throned above all height,) bent down his eye, His own works, and their works at once to view : About:bin all the sanctities of heaven Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his glory sat, His only Son; on earth he first behelil Our two first parents, (yet the only two Of mankind,') in the happy garden placed Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love; Uninterrupted joy, unrivalld love, lo blissful solitude ! He then survey'd Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there Coasting the wall of heaven on this side niglit In the dun air sublime, and ready now To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet, On the bare outside of this world, that seem'a Firm land imbosom`d without firmament, Uncertain 'which, in ocean or in air. Him God bebolding from his prospect high, Wherein past, present, future, he beholds, Thus to his only Son, foreseeing spake:

Only-begotten Son! seest thou what rage
Transports our adversary, whom no bounds
Prescrib'd, no bars of hell, nor all the chains
Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss
Wide-interrupt can hold ? So bent he seems
On desperate revenge, that shall redound
Upon his own rebellious bead.

And now
Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way
Not far off heaven, in the precincts of light,
Directly towards the new-created world,
And man there plac'd; with purpose to assay
If bim by force he can destroy, or worse,

« السابقةمتابعة »