Imágenes de páginas

Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither fea,
Nor good dry land: nigh founder'd, on he fares, 940
Treading the crude confiftence, half on foot,
Half fly'ing; behoves him now both oar and fail.
As when a gryphon, through the wilderness
With winged courfe, o'er hill or moory dale,
Purfues the Arimafpian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful cuftody purloin'd
The guarded gold: fo eagerly the fiend
O'er bog, or fleep, through ftrait, rough, denfe, or rare,
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way;
And fwims, or finks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. 950
At length an univerfal hubbub wild

Of stunning founds, and 'voices all confus'd,
Borne through the hollow dark, affaults his ear,
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there whatever power
Or fpirit of the nethermoft abyfs
Might in that noife refide. whom to ask
Which way the nearest coaft of darkness lies
Bord'ring on light; when ftraight behold the throne
Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wafteful deep; with him enthron'd
Sat fable-vefted Night, eldest of things,
The confort of his reign; and by them stood
Orcus and Ades, and the dreadful name
Of Demogorgon; Rumor next, and Chance
And Tumult, and Confufion all embroil❜d,
And Difcord with a thousand various mouths.





To whom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye pow'rs And fpirits of this nethermoft abyfs, Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy With purpose to explore or to disturb The fecrets of your realm; but by constraint Wand'ring this darksome defert, as my way Lies through your fpacious empire up to light Alone, and without guide, half loft, I seek What readieft path leads where your gloomy bounds Confine with heav'n; or if fome other place, From your dominion won, th' ethereal King Poffeffes lately, thither to arrive


I travel this profound; direct my course:



[ocr errors]

Directed, no mean recompenfe it brings
To your behoof; if I that region loft,
All ufurpation thence expell'd, reduce
To her original darkness, and your sway,
(Which is my prefent journey), and once more 985
Erect the ftandard there of ancient Night;
Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.


Thus Satan; and him thus the anarch old,
With falt'ring fpeech and vifage uncompos'd,
Answer'd. I know thee, ftranger, who thou art, 990
That mighty leading angel, who of late
Made head against heav'n's King, though overthrown.
I faw, and heard; for fuch a numerous hoft
Fled not in filence through the frighted deep,
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confufion worfe confounded; and heav'n-g
Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
Purfuing. I upon my frontiers here
Keep refidence; if all I can will ferve
That little which is left fo to defend,
Encroach'd on ftill through your inteftine broils
Weak'ning the fceptre of old Night; first hell,
Your dungeon, ftretching far and wide beneath;
Now lately heav'n and earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, linked in a golden chain, Ico
To that fide heav'n, from whence your legions fell:
If that way be your walk, you have not far:
So much the nearer danger; go, and speed;
Havock, and fpoil, and ruin, are my gain.

He ceas'd; and Satan ftay'd not to reply,
But glad that now his fea fhould find a îhore,
With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd,
Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire
Into the wild expanfe; and through the fhock
Of fighting elements, on all fides round
Environ'd, wins his way; harder befet
And more endanger'd, than when Argo.pafs'd
Through Bofphorus, betwixt the juftling rocks:
Or when Ulyffes on the larboard fhunn'd
Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool fteer'd.
So he with difficulty and labour hard






Mov'd on; with difficulty and labour he;
But he once pafs'd, foon after, when man fell,
Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
Following his tract, fuch was the will of Heav'n, 1025
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyfs, whofe boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length,
From hell continu'd, reaching th' utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the fp'rits perverfe 1030
With eafy intercourfe to and fro,

To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
GoD and good Angels guard by special grace.
But now at laft the facred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of heav'n
Shoots far into the bofom of dim Night
A glimm'ring dawn: here Nature first begins
Her fartheft verge, and Chaos to retire,
As from her utmost works a broken foe,
With tumult lefs, and with less hoftile din ;
That Satan with lefs toil, and now with ease,
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And like a weather-beaten veffel holds
Gladly the port, though fhrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier wafte, resembling air,
Weighs his fpread wings, at leifure to behold
Far off th' empyreal heav'n, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin'd fquare or round,
With opal tow'rs, and battlements adorn'd
Of living faphir, once his native feat;
And faft by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bignefs as a star
Of smallest magnitude, clofe by the moon.
Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurs'd, and in a curfed hour, he hies.











God fitting on his throne fees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created; fhews him to the Son who fat at his right hand; foretels the fuccefs of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own juftice and wisdom from all imputation, having created man free, and able enough to have withflood 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 feduced The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifeftation of his gracious purpofe towards him but Cod again declares, that grace cannot be extended towards man without the fatisfaction of divine juftice. Man hath offended the majefty of God by afpiring to Godhead; and therefore with all his progeny, devoted to death, must die, unless fome one can be found fufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for man: the Father accepts 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 quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermoft orb; where wandering he firft finds a place, fince called the limbo of vanity: what perfons and things fly up thither: thence comes to the gate of heaven, defcribed afcending by ftairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it: his paffage thence to the orb of the fun; he finds there Uriel, the

regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the Shape of a meaner angel; and pretending a zealous defire to behold the new creation, and man whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed: alights first on mount Niphates.


AIL, holy light, offspring of heav'n first-born, Or of th' Eternal coeternal beam! May I exprefs thee' unblam'd? fince GoD is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from eternity; dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright effence increate. Or hear it thou rather pure ethereal stream, Whofe fountain who fhall tell? Before the fun, Before the heav'ns thou wert, and at the voice Of God, as with a mantle didft invest The rifing world of waters dark and deep, Won from the void and formlefs infinite. Thee I revifit now with bolder wing, Efcap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd In that obfcure fojourn; while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne, With other notes than to th' Orphean lyre, I fung of Chaos and eternal Night; Taught by the heav'nly Mufe to venture down The dark defcent, and up to re-ascend, Though hard and rare. Thee I revifit fafe, And feel thy fov'reign vital lamp; but thou Revifit's not thefe eyes, that roll in vain





To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop ferene hath quench'd their orbs, 25
Or dim fuffufion veil'd. Yet not the more
Ceafe I to wander, where the Mufes haunt
Clear spring, or fhady grove, or funny hill,
Smit with the love of facred fong; but chicf
Thee, Sion, and the flow'ry brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warb'ling flow,
Nightly I vifit: nor fometimes forget
Thofe other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides;



« AnteriorContinuar »