« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Nor sleeping him nor waking harm'd; his walk
“Sir, what ill chance bath brought thee to this place
To whom the Son of God. “Who brought me hither, Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek.” 336
“ By miracle he may,” reply'd the swain, What other way I see not; for we here Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd More than the camel, and to drink go far, 340 Men to much misery and hardship born: But, if thou be the Son of God, command That out of these hard stones be made thee bread, So shalt thou save thyself, and us relieve With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste." 345
He ended, and the Son of God reply'd. " Think’st thou such force in bread? Is it not written, (For I discern thee other than thou seem'st,) Man lives not by bread nly, but each word Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed 350
Our fathers here with manna ? in the mount
360 With them from bliss to the bottomless deep, Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd By rigour unconniving, but that oft, Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy Large liberty to round this globe of earth, 365 Or range in th' air; nor from the Heav'n of Heav'ns Hath he excluded my resort sometimes. I came among the Sons of God, when he Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job To prore him, and illustrate his high worth; 370 And, when to all his Angels he propos'd To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring, I undertook that office, and the tongues of all his flattering prophets glibb’d with lies 375 To his destruction, as I had in charge; For what he bids I do. Though I have lost Much lustre of my native brightness, lost To be belov'd of God, I have not lost To love, at least contemplate and admire, 380 What I see excellent in good, or fair, Or virtuous; I should so have lost all sense : What can be then less in me than desire To see thee and approach thee, whom I know Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent
385 Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds? Men generally think me much a foe To all mankind : why should 1? they to me Never did wrong er violence; by them
I lost not what I lost, rather by them
390 I gaind what I have gain'd, and with them dwell, Copartner in these regions of the world, If not disposer ; lend them oft my aid, Oft my advice by presages and signs, And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams, Whereby they may direct their future life. Envy they say excites me, thus to gain Companions of my misery and woe. At first it may be; but, long since with woe Nearer acquainted, now I feel, by proof, That fellowship in pain divides not smart, Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load. Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd: This wounds me most, (what can it less ?) that man, Man fall’n shall be restord, I never more.” 405
To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd. " Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lies From the beginning, and in lies wilt end; Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns: thou com’st indeed, 410 As a poor miserable captive thrall Comes to the place where he before had sat Among the prime in splendour, now depos'd, Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shund'd, A spectacle of ruin, or of scorn,
415 To all the host of Heav'n: the happy place Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy; Rather inflames thy torment; representing Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable, So never more in Hell than when in Heaven. 420 But thou art serviceable to Heav'n's King. Wilt thou impute to' obedience what thy fear Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem of righteous Job, then cruelly to' afflict him 425 With all intlictions ? but his patience won. The other service was thy chosen task, To be a liar in four hundred mouths ; For lying is thy sustenance, thy food.
Yet thon pretend'st to truth; all oracles
430 By thee are giv'n, and what confess'd more true Among the nations? that hath been thy craft, By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies. But what have been thy answers, what but dark, Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding, 435 Which they who ask'd have seldom understood, And not well understood as good not known? Who ever by consulting at thy shrine Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct, To fly or follow what concern'd him most, 440 And run not sooner to his fatal snare? For God hath justly giv'n the nations up To thy delusions; justly, since they fell Idolatrous: but, when his purpose is Among them to declare his providence
445 To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy truth, But from him, or his Angels president In every province? who, themselves disdaining T'approach thy temples, give thee in command What, to the smallest tittle, thou shalt say 450 To thy adorers ? thou, with trembling fear, Or like a fawning parasite, obey'st ; Then to thyself ascrib'st the truth foretold. But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd; No more shalt thou by oracling abuse
455 The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceas'd, And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice Shall be inquir'd at Delphos, or elsewhere; At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute. God hath now sent his living oracle
460 Into the world to teach his final will, And sends his Spi'rit of truth henceforth to dwell In pious hearts, an inward oracle To all truth requisite for men to know.”
So spake our Saviour; but the subtle Fiend, 465 Though inly stung with anger and disdain, Dissembled, and this answer smooth return'd.
“ Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke, And urg'd me bard with doings, which not will
But misery hath wrested from me. Where 470
To whom our Saviour, with unalter'd brow. “ Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, I bid not, or forbid; do as thou find'st
495 Permission from above; thou canst not more."
He added not; and Satan, bowing low His gray dissimulation, disappeard Into thin air diffus'd: for now began Night with her sullen wings to double-shade 500 The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd ; And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.
END OF THE FIRST BOOK,