Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

If a

Miervis up beyond the river Ob;

I'vn Eiken orer Pontus, and the pool
Downand as far antarctic; and in length
Wwman Orontes to the ocean barr'd
G777 and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd
At Marion, thence to the land where flows
aarder'ry creature; which of all

ich narrow search, and with inspection deep
Nzegyuttune might serve his wiles, and found
herpent subtlest beast of all the field.

arier long debate, irresolute a thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose Me vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom To enter, and his dark suggestions hide From sharpest sight: for in the wily snake, As from his wit and native subtlety Proceeding, which in other beasts observ'd,

Perp Of H

80 A

86

90 Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark, Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow'r

95
Active within bond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolv’d; but first from inward grief
His bursting passion into plaints thus pour’d:

O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferr'd
More justly! seat worthier of Gods ! as built
With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
For what God after better worse would build ?
Terrestrial Heav'n, danc'd round by other Heav'ns
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone, as seems, 105
In thee concentring all their precious beams

1

Of sacred influence! As God in Heav'n
Is centre, yet extends to all, so thou
Centring receiv'st from all those orbs : in thee,
Not in themselves, all their known virtue'appears
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth III
Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man.
With what delight could I havewalk'd thee round,
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange 115
Of hill and valley, rivers, woods, and plains;
Now land, now sea,and shores with forestscrown'd,
Rocks, dens, and caves ! but I in none of these
Find place of refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel 1 20
Torment within me', as from the hateful siege
Of contraries : all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my

state.
But neither here seek I, no, nor in Heav'n
To dwell, unless by mast'ring Heav'n's Supreme;
Nor hope to be myself less miserable 1 26
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For only in destroying I find ease
To

my relentless thoughts; and him destroy'd, Or won to what may work his utter loss, 131 For whom all this was made, all this will soon Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe; In woe then, that destruction wide may range. To me shall be the glory sole among 135

VOL. II.

F

Th’infernal Pow'rs, in one day to have marr'd
What he Almighty styl’d, six nights and days
Continu'd making, and who knows how long
Before had been contriving, though perhaps
Not longer than since I in one night freed 140
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
Th'angelic name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers : he to be aveng’d,
And to repair his numbers thus impair’d,
Whether such virtue spent of old now fail'd 145
More Angels to create, if they at least
Are his created, or to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room
A creature form'd of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original,

150
With heav'nly spoils, our spoils. What he decreed
He' effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,
Him lord pronounc'd, and, O indignity!
Subjected to his service Angel wings, 155
And flaming ministers, to watch and tend
Their earthly charge. Of these the vigilance
I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapour, glide obscure, and pry
In ev'ry bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds 161
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I who erst contended
With Gods to sit the high’st, am now constrain'd
Into a beast, and mix'd with bestial slime, 165

[ocr errors]

This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the height of deity aspir'd!
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to! Who aspires must down as low
As high he soar’d, obnoxious first or last 170
To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long back on itself recoils.
Let it: I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new fav’rite

175
Of Heav'n, this man of clay, son of despite,
Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
From dust. Spite then with spite is best repaid.

So saying, through each thicket, dank or dry,
Like a black mist low creeping, he held on 180
His midnight search, where soonest he might find
The serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found,
In labyrinth of many a round self-roll’d,
His head the midst, well stor'd with subtle wiles :
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den, 185
Nor nocent yet, but on the grassy herb
Fearless, unfear’d, he slept. In at his mouth
The Devil enter'd, and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd
With act intelligential; but his sleep 190
Disturb'd not, waiting close th’approach of morn.
Now when as sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flow'rs, that breath'd
Their morning incense, when all things that

breathe,

F 2

196

From th' earth's great altar send up silent praise
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
With grateful smell, forth came the human pair,
And join'd their vocal worship to the choir
Of creatures wanting voice: that done, partake
The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs;
Then cominune how that day they best may ply
Their growing work: for much their work out-

grew The hands dispatch of two gard’ning so wide: And Eve first to her husband thus began :

Adam, well may we labour still to dress 205 This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flow'r, Our pleasant task enjoin'd; but till more hands Aid us, the work under our labour grows, , Luxurious by restraint; what we by day Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, 210 One night or two with wanton growth derides Tending to wild. Thou therefore now advise, Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present: Let us divide our labours; thou where choice Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind The woodbine round this arbour, or direct 216 The clasping ivy where to climb; while I In yonder spring of roses, intermix’d With myrtle, find what to redress till noon: For while so near each other thus all day Our task we choose, what wonder if so near Looks intervene and smiles, or object new Casual discourse draw on, which intermits

220

« ZurückWeiter »