صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

As Delos floating once; the rest his look
Bound with Gorgonian rigour not to move;
And with asphaltic slime, broad as the gate,
Deep as the roots of hell the gather'd beach
They fasten’d, and the mole immense wrought on
Over the foaming deep high arch'd, a bridge
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall
Immoveable of this now fenceless world
Forfeit to Death ; from hence a passage broad,
Smooth, easy, inoffensive down to hell.
So if great things to small may be compar'd,
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,
From Susa, his Memnonian palace high,
Came to the sea, and over Hellespont
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia join'd;
And scourg'd with many a stroke the indignant waves.
Now had they brought the work by wondrous art
Pontifical, a ridge of pendant rock,
Over the vex'd abyss, following the track
Of Satan to the self-same place where he
First lighted froin his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
Of this round world: with pins of adamant
And chains they made all fast, too fast they made
And durable ; and now in little space
The confines met of empyrean heav'n
And of this world, and on the left hand hell
With long reach interpos'd; three several ways
In sight, to each of these three places led.
And now their way to earth they had descry'd
To Paradise first lending, when behold
Satan in likeness of an angel bright
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering
slis zenith, while the sun in Aries rose:
Disguis'd he came, but those his children dear
Their parent soon discern'd, though in disguise
He aster Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk
into the wood fast by, and changing shape
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act

By Eve, though all unweeting seconded
Upon her husband, saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
'The Son of God to judge them, terrify'd
He fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
Th: present, fearing guilty what his wrath
Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
By night, and list’ning where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint ;
Thence gather'd his own doom, which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy
And tidings fraught, to hell he now return’d,
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd
Met who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight
of that stupendous bridge his joy increas'd.
Long he adıniring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke :

O parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
Thy trophies, which thou view'st as not thine on.n;
Thou art their author and prime architect:
For I nn sooner in

my

heart divin'd, My heart, which by a secret harmony Still moves with thine, join'd in connexion sweei. That thou on earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks Now also evidence, but straight I felt Though distant from the worlds between, yel felt That I must after thee with this thy son, Such fatal consequence unites us three : Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds, Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure Detain from following thy illustrious track. Thou hast achiev'd our liberty, confin'd Within hell gates till now, thou us impower'd To fortify thus far, and overlay Vith this portentous bridge the dark abyss. Thine now is all this world ; thy virtue hath won What thy hands builded not, thy wisdom gain'd

With odds wliat war bath lost, and fully aveng'd
Our foil in heav'n ; here thou shalt monarch reign,
There didst not; there let him still victor sway,
As battle hath ajudg’d, from this new world
Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things parted by th' empyreal bounds,
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world,
Or try thee now more dang'rous to his throne.

Whom thus the prince of darkness answer'd glad
Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both,
High proof ye now have giv'n to be the race
of Satan (for I glory in the name,
Antagonist of heav'n's almighty King)
Amply have merited of me, of all
Th’ infernal empire, that so near heav'n's door
Triumphal with triumphal act have met,
Mine with this glorious work, and made one realın
Hel! and this world, one realm, one continent
Of easy thorough-fare. Therefore while I
Descend through darkness, on your road with ease
To my associate pow'rs, them to acquaint
With these successes, and with them rejoice,
You two this way, among these numerous orbs
All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
There dwell and reign in bliss, thence on the earth
Dominion exercise and in the air,
Chiefly on man, sole lord of all declar'd
Him first make sure your thrail, and lastly kill
My substitutes I send ye, and create
Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might
Issuing from me: on your joint vigour now
My hold of this new kingdom all depends,
Through Sin to Death expos’d by my exploit.
If your joint power prevail, th' affairs of hell
No detriment need fear; go and be strong:

So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed Then course through thickrst conste lations held. Spreading their bane; the blas'ed s'ars look'd wan

And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse
Then suffer'd. Th’ other way Satan went down
The causey to hell gate; on either side
Disparted Chaos overbuilt exclaim'd,
And with rebounding surge the bars asșail'd,
That scorn'd his indignation: through the gates,
Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass’d,
And all about found desolate; for those
Appointed to sit there, had left their charge,
Flown to the upper world ; the rest were all
Far to the inland retir'd, about the walls
Or Pandemonium, city and proud seat
Of Lucifer, so by allusion callid,
Of that bright star to Satan paragon'd.
There kept their watch the legions, while the granu
In council sat, solicitous what chance
Might intercept their emp'ror sent; so he
Departing gave command, and they observ'd.

As when the Tartar from his Russian fue
By Astracan, over the snowy plains
Retires, or Bactrian sophi from the horns
Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond
The realm of Aladule, in his retreat
To Taurus or Casbeen: so these the late
Heav'n-banish'd host, left desert utmost hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch
Round their metropolis, and now expecting
Each hour their great adventurer from the search
or foreign worlds : he through the midst unmark'd
In show plebian, angel militant
Of lowest order, pass’d; and from the door
Of that Plutonian hall, invisible
Ascended his high throne, which under state
Of richest texture spread, at the upper

end
Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down awhile
He sat, and round about him saw unseen;
At last as from a cloud his fulgent head
And shape star-bright appear'd, or brighter clad
With what permissive glory since his fall

Was left him, or false glitter: all amaz'd
At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng
Bent their aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
Their mighty chief return’d : loud was th' acclaim
Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers,
Rais'd from their dark divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
Silence, and with these words attention won :

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
For in possession such, not only of right,
I call ye and declare ye now, return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of wo,
And dungeon of our tyrant: now possess,
As lords, a spacious world, to our native heav'n
Little inferior, by my adventure hard
With peril great achiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffer'd, with what pain
Voyag'd th' unreal, vast, unbounded deep
of horrible confusion, over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav’d
To expedite your glorious march ; but I
Toild out my uncouth passage, forc'd to ride
Th’untractable abyss, plung’d in the womb
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild,
That jealous of their secrets fiercely oppos’d
My) irney strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting Fate supreme; thence how I found
The new created world, which fame in heav'n
Long had foretold, a fabric wonderful
Of absolute perfection, therein man
Plac'd in a Paradise, by our exile
Made happy; him by fraud I have seduc'd
From his Creator, and the more to increase
Your wonder, with an apple; he thereat
Offended, worth your laughter hath giv'n up
Both his beloved man and all his world,
So Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,

« السابقةمتابعة »