« ZurückWeiter »
That finging up to heaven-gate afcend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and ftately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be filent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my fong, and taught his praise,
Hail, univerfal Lord; be bounteous ftill
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light difpels the dark.
THOU that, with furpaffing glory crown'd,
Look'ft from thy fole dominion like the god
Of this new world; at whofe fight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O fun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what ftate
I fell, how glorious once above thy fphere;
Till pride, and worfe ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless King.
Ah, wherefore? he deferv'd no fuch return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his fervice hard.
What could be lefs, than to afford him praise,
The eafieft recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice: lifted up fo high
I 'fdain'd fubjection, and thought one step higher
Would fet me high'ft, and in a moment quit
The debt immenfe of endless gratitude,
So burdenfome, ftill paying, ftill to owe;
Forgetful what from him I ftill receiv'd;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but ftill pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burthen then?
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd
Me fome inferior angel, I had ftood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? fome other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great
Fell not, but ftand unfhaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadft thou the fame free will and pow'r to ftand?
Thou hadft. Whom haft thou then, or what t' accuse,
But Heav'n's free love, dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, fince love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, curs'd be thou; fince against his thy will
Chofe freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miferable! which way fhall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite defpair?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I fuffer feems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by fubmiffion; and that word
Difdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the fpirits beneath, whom I feduc'd
With other promises, and other vaunts,
Than to fubmit, boafting I could fubdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell:
With diadem and fceptre high advanc'd,
The lower ftill I fall, only fupreme
In mifery fuch joy ambition finds.
But fay I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former ftate; how foon
Would height recall high thoughts, how foon unfay
What feign'd fubmiffion swore! eafe would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void :
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd fo deep:
Which would but lead us to a worse relapse,
And heavier fall: fo fhould I purchase dear
Short intermiffion, bought with double fmart.
This knows my punisher: therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace :
All hope excluded thus, behold inftead
Of us outcaft, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewel hope, and with hope farewel fear,
Farewel remorfe; all good to me is loft;
Evil be thou my good: by thee at least
Divided empire with heav'n's King I hold,
By thee and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
CHA P. VII.
JUBA AND SYPHA X.
YPHAX, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have obferv'd of late thy looks are fall'n,
O'ercaft with gloomy cares and discontent;
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee tell me,
What are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns,
And turn thine eyes thus coldly on thy prince?
SYPH. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
carry fmiles and funshine in my face,
When discontent fits heavy at my heart:
I have not yet fo much the Roman in me.
JUB. Why doft thou cast out fuch ungen'rous terms
Against the lords and fov'reigns of the world?
Doft thou not see mankind fall down before them,
And own the force of their fuperior virtue ?
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,
Amidft our barren rocks, and burning fands,
That does not tremble at the Roman name?
SYPH. Gods! where's the worth that fets this people up
Above your own Numidia's tawny fons?
Do they with tougher finews bend the bow?
Or flies the jav❜lin fwifter to its mark,
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm?
Who like our active African inftructs
The fiery fteed, and trains him to his hand?
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant,
Loaden with war? Thefe, thefe are arts, my prince,
In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome.
JUB. These all are virtues of a meaner rank,
Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves,
A Roman foul is bent on higher views:
To civilize the rude unpolish'd world,
To lay it under the restraint of laws;
To make man mild, and fociable to man;
To cultivate the wild licentious favage
With wifdom, difcipline, and lib'ral arts;
Th' embellishments of life: virtues like these,
Make human nature shine, reform the foul,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
SYPH. Patience, juft Heav'ns !-Excufe an old man's
What are these wond'rous civilizing arts,
This Roman polish, and this fmooth behaviour,
That render man thus tractable and tame ?
Are they not only to disguise our paffions,
To fet our looks at variance with our thoughts,
To check the starts and fallies of the foul,
And break off all its commerce with the tongue ?
In short, to change us into other creatures,
Than what our nature and the gods defign'd us?
JUB. To ftrike thee dumb: turn up thy eyes to Cato!
There may'st thou fee to what a godlike height
The Roman virtues lift up mortal man.
While good, and juft, and anxious for his friends,
He's ftill feverely bent against himself;
Renouncing fleep, and reft, and food, and ease,
He strives with thirst and hunger, toil and heat:
And when his fortune fets before him all