Puslapio vaizdai

Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven;
The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors and with furies to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heav'n, which, opening wide,
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd
Into the wasteful deep; the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind; headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge Heav'n; eternal wrath
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.


HE scarce had ceas'd, when the superior Fiend
Was moving to'ward the shore; his pond'rous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great admiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire:
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranc'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld,
From the safe shore, their floating carcasses
And broken chariot wheels; so thick bestrown
Abject and lost lay these, cov'ring the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded. 66
Princes, Potentates,

Warriors, the flow'r of Heaven! once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose

Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To' adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
The' advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
Awake, arise, or be forever fall'n!'

They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung
Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd,
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son in Egypt's evil day,

Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of hell,
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, the' uplifted spear
Of their great sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;
A multitude, like which the populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste, where stood
Their great commander; godlike shapes and form
Excelling human; princely dignities;

And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the book of life.

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down-cast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimpse of joy, to' have found their chief Not in despair, to' have found themselves not lost In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears. Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions be up-rear'd His mighty standard: that proud honor claim'd Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd The' imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd, Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz'd, Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: At which the universal host up-sent A shout, that tore hell's concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night: All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand banners rise into the air With orient colors waving; with them rose A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array Of depth immeasurable: anon they move In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd To height of noblest temper heroes old Arming to battle; and instead of rage Deliberate valor breath'd, firm and unmov'd With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow', and pain, From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they Breathing united force, with fixed thought, Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil: and now Advanc'd in view they stand: a horrid front Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise Of warriors old with order'd spea and shield; Awaiting what command their mighty chief Had to impose:-he through the armed files Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse The whole battalion views; their order due; Their visages and stature as of gods;

Their number last he sums. And now his heart

Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength
Glories: for never since created man
Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
Could merit more than that small infantry
Warr'd on by cranes.





Thus far these beyond

Compare of mortal prowess yet observ'd
Their dread commander: he, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower: his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness; nor appear'd
Less than archangel ruin'd and the' excess
Of glory obscur'u; as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams: or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone
Above them all the' archangel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd;
and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting r venge: ruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
(Far other once beheld in bliss,) condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain;
Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendors flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd: as when heaven's fire
Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top to their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd
To speak whereat, their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he essay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth: at last,
Words, interwove with sighs, fourd out their way.



To re-salute the world with sacred light,
Leucothea wak'd and with fresh dews embalm'd

The earth, when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above, new hope to spring
Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link'd;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd:

"Eve, easily may faith admit that all The good which we enjoy from heaven descends; But that from us ought should ascend to heaven So prevalent as to concern the mind

Of God high-bless'd, or to incline his will
Hard to believe may seem; yet this will prayer
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God. For since I sought
By prayer th' offended Deity t' appease,
Kneel'd, and before him humbled all my heart;
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace return'd
Home to my breast and to my memory
His promise, that thy 'seed shall bruise our foe;'
Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death

Is past, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly call'd, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee,
Man is to live, and all things live for man."

To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek: "Ill worthy I such title should belong To me transgressor, who, for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare; to me reproach Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise: But infinite in pardon was my Judge, That I, who first brought death on all, am grac'd The source of life; next favourable thou, Who highly thus to' entitle me vouchsaf'st, Far other name deserving. But the field To labour calls us now, with sweat impos'd Though after sleepless night; for, see! the morn, All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins Her rosy progress smiling; let us forth, I never from thy side henceforth to stray, Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoin'd Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell, What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks? Here let us live, though in fallen state, content."

So spake, so wish'd much humbled Eve, but fate Subscrib'd not; nature first gave signs, impress'd

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