Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

A hideous peel: yet, when they list, would creep,
If aught disturb'd their noise, into her womb,
And kennel there; yet there still bark'd and howl'd
Within unseen. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vex'd Scylla bathing in the sea that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
Nor uglier follow the Night-hag, when call'd
In secret riding through the air she comes,
Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon 665
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape,
If shape it might be call'd, that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb,

Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd,
For each seem'd either; black it stood as night, 670
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,

And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head,
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.

Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
The monster moving onward came as fast,
With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.

660

675

660 Vex'd] Dulichios vexasse rates.' Bentl. MS.

665 labouring moon] See Ovid. Metam. iv. 333. and Stat. Theo. ver. 687. 'Siderum labores.' v. Plin. N. Hist. lib. ii. c. x. p. 162, ed. Brotier. Casimir Sarb. Lyr. ii. v. 'Soli et lunæ labores.'

672 And shook]

'His dart anon out of the corpse he took,

And in his hand, a dreadful sight to see,

With great triumph eftsones the same he shook.'

See Sackville's Int. to Mirror for Mag. p. 266, ed. 1610.

676 hell] And made hell gates to shiver with the might.'

"

Sackville's Introd. p. 265.

Th' undaunted fiend what this might be admir'd; Admir'd, not fear'd; GoD and his Son except, Created thing naught valued he, nor shunn'd; And with disdainful look thus first began.

Whence and what art thou, execrable shape, That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance Thy miscreated front athwart my way To yonder gates? through them I mean to pass, That be assur'd without leave ask'd of thee. Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, Hell-born, not to contend with spirits of heav'n. To whom the goblin full of wrath replied. Art thou that traitor-angel, art thou he, Who first broke peace in heaven and faith, till then Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms Drew after him the third part of heaven's sons Conjur❜d against the Highest; for which both thou And they, outcast from GoD, are here condemn'd To waste eternal days in woe and pain? And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of heav'n, Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn, Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more, Thy king and lord? Back to thy punishment,

691

680

685

693 Conjur'd] Virg. Geo. i. 280.

695

679 Created] See Wakefield's Lucretius, lib. i. 117, and Sylva Critica, v. p. 74, where this phrase is illustrated.

683 miscreated] Spens. F. Q. i. ii. 3. ‘miscreated fair.' ii. vii. 42. 'miscreated mould.' Bentl.

692 Drew] 'He boldly drew millions of souls.'

See Beaumont's Psyche, c. xv. st. 296.

'Et conjuratos cœlum rescindere fratres.' Hume.

False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings,
Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue
Thy ling'ring, or with one stroke of this dart
Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.
So spake the grisly Terror, and in shape,
So speaking and so threat'ning, grew tenfold
More dreadful and deform: on th' other side
Incens'd with indignation Satan stood
Unterrify'd, and like a comet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophiucus huge
In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head
Level'd his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend, and such a frown

1 Each cast at th' other, as when two black clouds, | With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on

'Then with long bloody hair, a blazing star

Threatens the world with famine, plague, and war,
To princes death, to kingdoms many crosses.'

711 Shakes] Mr. Dyce refers to Lucan. Phars. vi. 468.

'Humentes late nebulas, nimbosque solutis

Excussere comis.'

715 artillery] See Gayton's Charta Scriptæ, p. 20; (1645).

'The magazine of heaven here. Artillerie

Which oft in dreadful thunderings rend the skie.'

9

VOL. I.

700

705

708 comet] See Virg. Æn. x. 272. Tasso G. L. i. vii. 52. Newton. 'And such comets

709 Ophiucus] See Sir F. Bacon's Astronomy. have more than once appeared in our time; first again in Ophiuchus.'

in Cassiopeia, and

710 horrid hair] See Plin. N. Hist. lib. ii. c. 22. 'Cometas horrentes crine sanguineo.' See Nonni Dionys. xvii. 6. Sylvester's Du Bartas, P. 14.

710

715

714 two black clouds] Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, b. i. c. 16. st. 10.

Thyer.

Over the Caspian; then stand front to front
Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow
To join their dark encounter in mid air :
So frown the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown, so match'd they stood;
For never but once more was either like

rung,

To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds
Had been achiev'd, whereof all hell had
Had not the snaky sorceress that sat
Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key
Risen, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.
O father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd,
Against thy only son? What fury, O son,
Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart
Against thy father's head? and know'st for whom?
For him who sits above, and laughs the while
At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute
Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids;
His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both.
She spake, and at her words the hellish pest
Forbore; then these to her Satan return'd:

So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange
Thou interposest, that my sudden hand
Prevented, spares to tell thee yet by deeds
What it intends; till first I know of thee,
What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why,
In this infernal vale first met, thou call'st
Me father, and that fantasm call'st my son:
I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
Sight more detestable than him and thee.

725

735

740

745

T'whom thus the portress of hell-gate reply'd. Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem Now in thine eye so foul, once deem'd so fair In heaven? when at th' assembly, and in sight Of all the seraphim with thee combin'd In bold conspiracy against heaven's King, All on a sudden miserable pain Surpriz'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast Threw forth, till on the left side op'ning wide, Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright, Then shining heav'nly fair, a goddess arm'd, Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seiz❜d All th' host of heaven; back they recoil'd afraid At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a sign Portentous held me: but familiar grown, I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing Becam❜st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd A growing burthen. Mean while war arose, And fields were fought in heaven; wherein remain'd, (For what could else?) to our almighty foe Clear victory, to our part loss and rout Through all the empyrean: down they fell Driv'n headlong from the pitch of heaven, down Into this deep, and in the general fall

746 the portress] P. Fletcher's Locusts, ed. 1627, p. 34. 'The Porter to th' infernall gate is Sin.' Todd.

750

755

760

765

770

« AnteriorContinuar »