Page images

To visit all thy creatures, and to all

230 Comes unprevented, unimplored, unsought? Happy for Man, so coming: he her aid Can never seek, once dead in sins, and lost; Atonement for himself, or offering meet, Indebted and undone, hath none to bring; 235 Behold me then: me for him, life for life I offer; on me let thine anger fall; Account me Man. I for his sake will leave Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee Freely put off, and for him lastly die

240 Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage; Under his gloomy power I shall not long Lie vanquish’d; thou has given me to possess Life in myself forever; by thee I live, Though now to Death I yield, and am his due 245 All that of me can die; yet, that debt paid, Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul Forever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise victorious, and subdue

250 My vanquisher, spoil'd of his vaunted spoil; Death his death's wound then shall receive, and stoop Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm’d. I through the ample air in triumph high Shall lead Hell captive, maugre Hell, and show 255 The Powers of darkness bound. Thou, at the sight Pleased, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile; While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes, Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave: Then, with the multitude of my redeemid, 260 Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return, Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud Of anger shall remain, but


assured And reconcilement; wrath shall be no more Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire. 265

His words here ended, but his meek aspect
Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love
To mortal men, above which only shone
Filial obedience: As a sacrifice
Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will

Of his great Father. Admiration seized
All heaven, what this might mean, and whither tend,
Wondering; but soon the Almighty thus replied;

O thou in Heaven and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrath! O thou 275 My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear To me are all my works, nor man the least, Though last created; that for him I spare Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, By losing thee a while, the whole race lost. 280 Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, Their nature also to thy nature join; And be thyself Man among men on earth, Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed, By wondrous birth: Be thou in Adam's room 285 The head of all mankind, though Adam's son. As in him perish all men, so in thee, As from a second root, shall be restored As many as are restored, without thee none. His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit, 290 Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds, And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Receive new life. So Man, as is most just, Shall satisfy for Man, be judged and die,

295 And dying rise, and rising with him raise His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life. So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeem; So dearly to redeem what hellish hate

300 So easily destroy'd, and still destroys

In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
Norwshalt thou, by descending to assume
Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own.
Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss 305
Equal to God, and equally enjoying
Godlike fruition, quitted all, to save
A world from utter loss, and hast been found
By merit more than birthright Son of God,
Found worthiest to be so by being good,

Far more than great or high; because in thee
Love hath abounded more than glory abounds;
Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt
With thee thy manhood also to this throne:
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 315
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal king; all power
I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee, as head supreme,
Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide

321 In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell. When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven, Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send The summoning Archangels to proclaim

325 Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds, The living, and forthwith the cited dead Of all past ages, to the general doom Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep. Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge 330 Bad Men and Angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full, Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell, And, after all their tribulations long,

336 See golden days fruitful of golden deeds.

With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth.
Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,
For regal sceptre then no more shall need, 340
God shall be all in all. But, all ye Gods,
Adore him, who to compass all this dies;
Adore the Son, and honor him as me.

No sooner had the Almighty ceased, but all
The multitude of Angels, with a shout

345 Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from bless'd voices, uttering joy, Heaven rung With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd The eternal regions: Lowly reverent Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground With solemn adoration down they cast

351 Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold; Immortal amarant, a flower which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence 355 To Heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows; And flowers aloft shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven Rolls o’er Elysian flowers her amber stream; With these that never fade the Spirits elect 360 Bind their resplendent locks inwreathed with beams; Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Impurpled with celestial roses smiled. Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took, 365 Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet Of charming symphony they introduce Their sacred song, and waken raptures high; No voice exempt, no voice but well could join 370 Melodious part, such concord is in Heaven.

Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent, Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,

Eternal King; the Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible

Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitost
Throned inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear;

380 Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest Seraphim Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes. Thee next they sang of all creation first, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud 385 Made visible, the Almighty Father shines, Whom else no creature can behold; on thee Impress'd the effulgence of his glory abides, Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests. He Heaven of Heavens and all the Powers therein By thee created; and by thee threw down 391 The aspiring Dominations: Thou that day Thy father's dreadful thunder didst not spare, Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that shook Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 395 Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarray’d. Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaim Thee only extoll'd, Son of thy Father's might, To execute fierce vengeance on his foes, Not so on Man: Him through their malice fallen, 400 Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom So strictly, but much more to pity incline: No sooner did thy dear and only Son Perceive thee purposed not to doom frail Man So strictly, but much more to pity inclined, 405 He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd, Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat Second to thee, offer'd himself to die

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »