Abbildungen der Seite

Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the streets of Sodoin, and that night
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Exposed a matron to avoid worse rape.

These were the prime in order and in might:
The rest were long to tell, though far recown'd,
The Ionian gods, of Javan's issue; held
Gods, yet confess'd later than heaven and earth,
Their boasted parents : Titau, heaven's first-bora
With his enorinous brood, and birth-right seized
By younger Saturn; be froin mightier Jove,
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found ;
So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Of cold Olympus, ruled the middle air,
Their bighest heaven ; or on the Delphian chiff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Downcast and damp; yet such wborein 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 wortb, not substance, gently raised Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. "Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a cherub tall.: Who forth with from the glittering staff-unfurl d The imperial ensign; which, full high advanced, Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed, 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 ibousand banners rise into the air
With orient colours waving: with them rose
A forest huge of spoars : and thronging helms.
Appear'it, 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 raised
To height of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage,
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmoved
With dread of death to light or foul retreal :
Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase.
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and paint
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought,
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charm’d
Their painful steps o'er ihe burnt soil : and now
Advanced in view they stand ; a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old, with order'd spear and shield !
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose : be 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 liis heart
Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength:
Glories : for never since created man
Met such embodied force, as named with these
Could merii more than that small infantry
Warr'd on by cranes: though all the giant brood
of Phlegra with the heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds.
In fable or romance of Uther's son,
Begirt with British and Armoric knights ;.


And all who since, baprised or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond,
Or whoin Biserta sent from Afric's share,
When Charleinain with all his peerage feil
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
Their dread commander: he, above the rest
Io shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower; his form yet had not lost
All her original brightness; nor appear'd
Less than archangel ruin'd, and the excess
Of glory obscured : as when the sun, new risen
Looks through the horizontal inisty air
Shoro 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 revenge; cruel 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!) condema'd
For ever now to have their lot in paio :
Millions of spirits for his fault amerced
Of heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd : as when heaven's fire
Hath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath, He now prepared
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 assay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth ; at last
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way.

O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers

Matchless, but with the Almighty! and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change
Hateful to utter! but what power of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge, past or present, could have fear'd,
How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like tbese, could ever koow repulse ?
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heaven, shall fail to reascend,
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat?
For me, be witoess all the liost of heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunn'd
By me, have lost our hopes. But be who reigns
Monarch in heaven, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne upheld by old repute,
Consent or custom; and his regal state
Put forth at full, but still bis strength conceald,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall,
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provoked; our better part remains.
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not; that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife
There went a fame in beaven that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of heaven:
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first eruption; thither or elsewhere;
For this infernal pit shall never bold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must masure : peace is despair'd;
For who can think submission ? War then, war,
Open or understood, must be resolved!”
He spake; and, to confirm his words, out-few


Millions of Aaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty cherubim: the sudden blaze
Far round illumined hell; highly they raged
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clash’d on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf; undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither, wing’d with speed
A numerous brigade hasten’d: as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickax armid,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell
From heaven; for e'en in heaven his looks and

Were always downward bent; admiring more
The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
Than ought divine or holy, else enjoy'd
In vision beatific: by him first
Dien also, and by his suggestion taught,
Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the bill a spacious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell:
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
And strength and art, are easily outdone
By spirits reprobate, and in an hour
What in an age they with incessant toil
And bands innumerable scarce perform.
Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude
Wilb. wondrous art founded the massy orejs

« ZurückWeiter »