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Lest with a whip of Scorpions I pursue
Thy ling'ring, or with one stroke of this Dart
Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before. ...

Milton. *

202*

The Fallen Angels

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. . Others apart sat on a Hill retired,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate,
Fix'd fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.
Of good and evil much they argued then,
Of happiness and final misery,
Passion and apathy, and glory and shame,
Vain wisdom all, and false Philosophy :
Yet with a pleasing sorcery could charm
Pain for a while or anguish, and excite
Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdurèd breast
With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
Another part, in Squadrons and gross Bands
On bold adventure to discover wide
That dismal World, if any Clime perhaps
Might yield them easier habitation, bend
Four ways their flying march, along the banks
Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge
Into the burning Lake their baleful streams ;
Abhorrèd Styx the flood of deadly Hate,
Sad Acheron of Sorrow, black and deep ;
Cocytus, named of Lamentation loud
Heard on the rueful stream ; fierce Phlegethon
Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with Rage.
Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
Lethe the River of Oblivion rolls
Her watery Labyrinth, whereof who drinks

20 40

Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.

30
Beyond this flood a frozen Continent
Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land
Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems
Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog
Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old,
Where Armies whole have sunk : the parching Air
Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.
Thither by harpy-footed Furies haled,
At certain revolutions all the damn'd
Are brought : and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce,
From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice
Their soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine
Immovable, infix'd, and frozen round,
Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire.
They ferry over this Lethean Sound
Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment,
And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose
In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
All in one moment, and so near the brink ;
But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt
Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards
The Ford, and of itself the water flies
All taste of living wight, as once it fled
The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
In confused march forlorn, th' advent'rous Bands
With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast
View'd first their lamentable lot, and found
No rest : through many a dark and dreary Vale
They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous,
O'er many a Frozen, many a Fiery Alp,

50

60

Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of

death,
A Universe of death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good,
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse

70 Than Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceived, Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.

Milton.

203

Epilogue of Prometheus

'

ALL
Speak : thy strong words may never pass away.

DEMOGORGON
This is the day, which down the void abysm
At the Earth-born's spell yawns for Heaven's despotism,

And Conquest is dragg'd captive through the deep : Love, from its awful throne of patient power In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour

Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs And folds over the world its healing wings.

Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance,
These are the seals of that most firm assurance

Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength ;
And if, with infirm hand, Eternity,
Mother of many acts and hours, should free

The serpent that would clasp her with his length ;
These are the spells by which to reassume
An empire o'er the disentangled doom.

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite ;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;

To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates ;

Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent ;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.

Shelley.

204

New Year's Eve

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light :

The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow :

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more ;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife ;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer

laws.

Titan] Prometheus.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times ;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite ;

Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold ;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Tennyson.

205

Antiphon
Cho. Let all the world in every corner sing,

My God and King.

Vers. The heavens are not too high,

His praise may thither fly :
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Cho. Let all the world in every corner sing,

My God and King.

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