Page images
PDF
EPUB

200

Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As wlom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr’d on Jove,
Briareos, or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th' ocean stream:
Him haply slumb’ring on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, 205
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays:
So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence 210
Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling Heav'n
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 215
Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace,

and
mercy

shown
On Man, by him seduc'd; but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance pour’d.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool 2 2 1
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and

roll's
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.

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

Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air

226 That felt unusual weight, till on dry land He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd With solid, as the lake with liquid fire; And such appear'd in hue, as when the force 230 Of subterranean wind transports a hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side. Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, Sublim'd with min'ral fury, aid the winds, 235 And leave a singed bottom all involv'd With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate, Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, Not by the suffrance of Supernal Pow'r.

241 Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful

gloom For that celestial light?. Be it so, since he

245 Who now is Sov'reign can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Whom reas'n hath equallid, force hath made

supreme Above his equals. Farewell happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells: Hail horrors, hail

250 Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell Receive thy new possessor ; one who brings

A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. 255
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: 260
Here we may reign secure, and in

my

choice To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th'associates and copartners of our loss, 265 Lie thus astonish'd on th'oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion, or once more With rally'd arms to try what may be yet Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell ? So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub

271 Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright, Which but th'Omnipotent none could have foild, If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 275 In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lie Grov'ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we ere while, astounded and amaz’d, No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious height.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »