Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Op’ning their brazen folds, discover wide
Within her ample spaces, o'er the smooth 725
And level pavement. From the arched roof,
Pendant by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730
Admiring enter'd; and the work some praise,
And some the architect. His hand was known
In Heav'n by many a tow'r'd structure high,
Where scepter'd Angels held their residence,
And sat as princes, whom the Supreme King 735
Exalted to such pow'r, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard or unador'd
In ancient Greece: and in Ausonian land
Men call'd him Mulciber: and how he fell 740
From Heav'n, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the crystal battlements. From morn
To noon he fell, from noon till dewy eve,
A summer's day; and with the setting sun
Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star, 745
On Lemnos, th'Ægean isle : thus they relate,
Erring ; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before ; nor aught availd him now
T' have built in Heav'n high tow'rs; nor did he

'scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent 750
With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Of sov’reign pow'r, with aweful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host pro-

claim
A solemn council forth with to be held

755 At Pandemonium, the high capital Of Satan and his peers : their summons callid From ev'ry band and squared regiment By place or choice the worthiest; they anon With hundreds and with thousands trooping came Attended. All access was throng’d, the gates 761 And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall (Though like a cover'd field, where champions

bold Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldan's chair Defy'd the best of Panim chivalry

765 To mortal combat, or carreer with lance) Thick swarmd, both on the ground and in the air, Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, Pour forth their pop'lous youth about the hive 770 In clusters; they among fresh dews and flow'rs Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, The suberb of their straw-built citadel, New rubb’d with balm, expatiate and confer Their state affairs. So thick the aery crowd 775 Swarm’d and were straiten’d; till the signal giv'n, Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless; like that pygmean race 780

Beyond the Indian mount, or fairy elves,
Whose midnight revels by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth 785
Wheels her pale course, they on their mirth and

dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear:
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Sp'rits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number still amidst the hall 791
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions like themselves,
The Great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim,
In close recess and secret conclave, sat

795 A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then And summons read, the great consult began.

END OF THE FIRST BOOK.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE ARGUMENT.

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be bazarded

for the recovery of Heaven : some advise it, others dissuade : A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal or not much inferior to themselves, about this time to be created: Their doubt wbo sball be sent on this difficult search : Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on bis journey to Hell-gates, finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them, by whom at length they are opened, and discover to bim the gulf between Hell and Heaven ; with what difficulty be passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of this new world which be sought.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »