« AnteriorContinuar »
Arming to battle, and instead of rage Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore 585 Deliberate valor breathed, firm and un- When Charlemain with all his peerage fell moved
By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond With dread of death to flight or foul re- Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed treat;
555 Their dread Commander. He, above the Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage, rest With solemn touches troubled thoughts, In shape and gesture proudly eminent, 590 and chase
Stood like a tower; his form had yet not Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow lost and pain
All her original brightness, nor appeared From mortal or immortal minds. Thus Less than Archangel ruined, and the excess they,
Of glory obscured: as when the sun newBreathing united force with fixed thought, risen Moved on in silence to soft pipes that Looks through the horizontal misty air 595 charmed
561 Shorn of his beams, or from behind the Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and moon, now
In dim eclipse, disastrouss twilight sheds Advanced in view they stand, a horrid On half the nations, and with fear of front
change Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet guise
shone Of warriors old, with ordered spear and Above them all the Archangel; but his shield,
face Awaiting what command their mighty Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and
Chief Had to impose. He through the armèd Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows files
Of dauntless courage, and considerate Darts his experienced eye, and soon trav- pride erse
Waiting revenge. Cruel his eye, but cast The whole battalion views—their order Signs of remorse and passion, to behold 605 due,
The fellows of his crime, the followers Their visages and stature as of gods; 570
rather Their number last he sums. And now his (Far other once beheld in bliss), conheart
demned Distends with pride, and hardening in his Forever now to have their lot in pain; strength,
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced? Glories; for never, since created man, Of Heaven, and from eternal splendors Met such embodied force as, named with flung
For his revolt; yet faithful how they Could merit more than that small in- stood, fantry
575 Their glory withered: as, when Heaven's Warred on by cranes: though all the giant fire brood
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain Of Phlegra with the heroic race were joined pines, That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each With singèd top their stately growth, side
though bare, Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what re- Stands on the blasted heath. He now presounds
015 In fable or romance of Uther's son, 580 | To speak; whereat their doubled ranks Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
they bend And all who since, baptized or infidel, From wing to wing, and half enclose him Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
round Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond;
B threatening disaster. 3 compared 6 meditative.
With all his peers: attention held them There went a fame in Heaven that he ere mute.
long Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of Intended to create, and therein plant scorn,
A generation whom his choice regard Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at Should favor equal to the Sons of Heaven. last
620 Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps 655 Words interwove with sighs found out Our first eruption;3 thither, or elsewhere;
For this infernal pit shall never hold “O myriads of immortal Spirits! O | Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor the Powers
Abyss Matchless, but with the Almighty!-and Long under darkness cover. But these that strife
thoughts Was not inglorious, though the event was Full counsel must mature. Peace is dedire,
660 As this place testifies, and this dire change, For who can think submission? War, Hateful to utter. But what power of
then, war, mind,
626 Open or understood,“ must be resolved." Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth He spake; and, to confirm his words, Of knowledge past or present, could have outflew feared
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the How such united force of gods, how such thighs As stood like these, could ever know re- Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze 665 pulse?
Far round illumined Hell; highly they For who can yet believe, though after loss,
Against the Highest, and fierce with That all these puissant legions, whose exile grasped arms Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to re- Clashed on their sounding shields the din
ascend, Self-raised, and repossess their native | Hurling defiance toward the vault of seat?
Heaven. For me, be witness all the host of Heaven, There stood a hill not far, whose grisly If counsels different, or danger shunned 636 top
670 By me, have lost our hopes. But he who Belched fire and rolling smoke; the rest enreigns
tire Monarch in Heaven, till then as one secure Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, That in his womb was hid metallic ore, Consent or custom, and his regal state 640
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged Put forth at full, but still his strength con
with speed, cealed;
A numerous brigad hastened: as when Which tempted our attempt, and wrought bands
675 our fall.
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe Henceforth his might we know, and know armed, our own,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field, So as not either to provoke, or dread Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them New war provoked. Our better part remains
645 Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell To work” in close design, by fraud or guile, From Heaven; for even in Heaven his What force effected not; that he no less looks and thoughts
680 At length from us may find, who over- Were always downward bent, admiring
comes By force hath overcome but half his foe. The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden Space may produce new worlds; whereof gold, so rife
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed Toutcome. ? accomplish.
* secretly decided on.
In vision beatific. By him first
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria Men also, and by his suggestion taught, 685 strove Ransacked the Center, and with impious In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile hands
Stood fixed her stately highth, and straight Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth the doors, For treasures, better hid. Soon had his Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
Within, her ample spaces o'er the smooth Opened into the hill a spacious wound, And level pavement; from the arched And digged out ribs of gold. Let none roof,
690 Pendent by subtle magic, many a row That riches grow in Hell; that soil may Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed best
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light Deserve the precious bane. And here let As from a sky. The hasty multitude
Admiring entered, and the work some Who boast in mortal things, and wonder- praise,
And some the architect. His hand was Of Babel, and the works of Memphian known kings,
In Heaven by many a towered structure Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
695 Where sceptered Angels held their resAnd strength and art, are easily outdone idence, By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour And sat as Princes, whom the supreme What in an age they, with incessant toil King
735 And hands innumerable, scarce perform. Exalted to such power, and gave to rule, Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, Each in his hierarchy, the Orders bright. That underneath had veins of liquid fire 701 Nor was his name unheard or unadored Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land With wondrous art founded? the massy Men called him Mulciber; and how he
740 Severing each kind, and scummed the From Heaven they fabled, thrown by bullion dross.
angry Jove A third as soon had formed within the Sheer o'er the crystal battlements: from ground
705 A various mold, and from the boiling cells, To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, By strange conveyance, filled each hollow A summer's day; and with the setting sun nook:
Dropped from the zenith like a falling As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
745 To many a row of pipes the sound-board On Lemnos, the Ægean isle. Thus they breathes.
relate, Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge 710 Erring; for he with this rebellious rout Rose like an exhalation, with the sound Fell long before; nor aught availed him Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweetBuilt like a temple, where pilasters round To have built in Heaven high towers; nor Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
did he scape With golden architrave; nor did there By all his engines, but was headlong want 715 sent
750 Cornice or frieze, with bossy+ sculptures with his industrious crew to build in Hell. graven:
Meanwhile, the winged heralds, by comThe roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon, mand Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence Of sovran power, with awful ceremony Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine And trumpet's sound, throughout the Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat 720
A solemn council forthwith to be held I wonder 3 separating.
• embossed, in high relief.
At Pandemonium, the high capital At once with joy and fear his heart reOf Satan and his peers. Their summons bounds. called
Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms From every band and squarèd regiment Reduced their shapes immense, and were By place or choice the worthiest; they at large,
Though without number still, amidst the With hundreds and with thousands, troop- hall ing came,
760 Of that infernal court. But far within, Attended. All access was thronged; the And in their own dimensions like themgates
selves, And porches wide, but chief the spacious The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim hall
In close recess and secret conclave sat, 795 (Though like a covered field, where cham- A thousand demi-gods on golden seats, pions bold
Frequent and full. After short silence Wont' ride in armed, and at the Soldan's then, chair
And summons read, the great consul Defied the best of Panimo chivalry 765 began. To mortal combat, or career with lance), Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air,
BOOK II Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings.
THE ARGUMENT As bees In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus The consultation begun, Satan debates rides,
whether another battle be to be hazPour forth their populous youth about the arded for the recovery of Heaven: hive
some advise it, others dissuade. A In clusters; they among fresh dews and third proposal is preferred, mentioned flowers
before by Satan—to search the truth Fly to and fro, or on the smoothèd plank, of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven The suburb of their straw-built citadel, concerning another world, and another New rubbed with balm, expatiates and kind of creature, equal, or not much confer
inferior, to themselves, about this time Their state-affairs. So thick the aery
to be created. Their doubt who shall crowd
be sent on this difficult search: Satan, Swarmed and were straitened; till, the their chief, undertakes alone the voysignal given,
age; is honored and applauded. The Behold a wonder! they but now who council thus ended, the rest betake seemed
them several ways and to several emIn bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons, ployments, as their inclinations lead Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow them, to entertain the time till Satan room
return. He passes on his journey to Throng numberless, like that pygmean Hell-gates, finds them shut, and who race
sat there to guard them; by whom at Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves, length they are opened, and discover Whose midnight revels, by a forest-side to him the great gulf between Hell Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, and Heaven; with what difficulty he Or dreams he sees, while overhead the passes through, directed by Chaos, the Moon
Power of that place, to the sight of Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth 785 this new World which he sought. Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance
High on a throne of royal state, which far Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of
Ind, Iosed to
3 walk about.
Or where the gorgeous East with richest More than can be in Heaven, we now rehand
turn Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and To claim our just inheritance of old, gold,
Surer to prosper than prosperity Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
5 Could have assured us; and by what best To that bad eminence; and, from despair way, Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Whether of open war or covert guile, Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue We now debate. Who can advise may Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
He ceased; and next him Moloch, scepHis proud imaginations thus displayed:- tred king, "Powers and Dominions, Deities of Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Heaven!
Spirit For since no deep within her gulf can hold That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by Immortal vigor, though oppressed and despair. fallen,
His trust was with the Eternal to be I give not Heaven for lost: from this de- deemed scent
Equal in strength, and rather than be less Celestial Virtues rising will appear 15 Cared not to be at all; with that care More glorious and more dread than from lost no fall,
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse, And trust themselves to fear no second He recked not, and these words thereafter fate!
50 Me though just right, and the fixed laws of “My sentence’ is for open war. Of wiles, Heaven,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those Did first create your leader, next, free Contrive who need, or when they need; choice,
not now. With what besides in council or in fight 20 For while they sit contriving, shall the Hath been achieved of merit, yet this loss, restThus far at least recovered, hath much Millions that stand in arms, and longing
55 Established in a safe, unenvied throne, The signal to ascend-sit lingering here, Yielded with full consent. The happier Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwellingstate
place In Heaven, which follows dignity, might Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, draw
25 The prison of his tyranny who reigns Envy from each inferior; but who here By our delay? No! let us rather choose, 60 Will envy whom the highest place exposes Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim
O’er Heaven's high towers to force resistYour bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Turning our tortures into horrid arms Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no Against the Torturer; when, to meet the good
noise For which to strive, no strife can grow up Of his almighty engine, he shall hear 65 there
Infernal thunder, and for lightning see From faction: for none sure will claim in Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Hell
Among his Angels, and his throne itself Precedence; none whose portion is so small Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange Of present pain that with ambitious mind fire,
бо Will covet more! With this advantage, His own invented torments. But perhaps then,
35 The way seems difficult and steep to scale To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, With upright wing against a higher foe?
1 the event.