Page images
PDF
EPUB

Life in myself for ever; 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 For ever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise victorious, and subdue

250 My Vanquisher, spoild of his vaunted spoil ; Death his death's wound shall then 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 shew 255 The Pow'rs 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 carcase glut the grave: Then with the multitude of my redeem'd

260
Sball enter Heav'n long absent, and return,
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace 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 breath'd immortal love
To mortal men, above which only shone
Filial obedience : as a sacrifice
Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will

270
Of his great Father. Admiration seized
All Heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend,
Wond'ring; but soon th’ Almighty thus reply'd :

thou in Heav'n 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

244. See John v. 26. 249. See Ps. xvi. 10. and Acts ii. 20, 21. 252. The punning character of this line has been justly repro

bated as unworthy of the subject. 954. Ps. Ixviii. 18. and Col. ij. 15.

259. I Cor. xv. 26. 26. If the reader compare this picture of the Son of God with that in the sixth book, he will be awed and delighted with the grandeur of Milton's conception of the Messiah's character

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 luvu 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 njost 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 heav'nly 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. Nor shalt 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 God-like 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,

310 Far more than great or high ; because in thee Love hath abounded more than glory 'bounds, 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 pow'r I give thee; reign for ever, and assume Thy merits ; under thee as Head Supreme

287. See 1 Cor. xv. 22. 301. The language is here accommodated to the eternity of the speaker, to whom past, present, and future, are one.

317. Matt. xxviiL .8.

Thrones, Princedoms, Pow'rs, Dominions I reduce :
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide 321
In Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaim 325
Thy dread tribunal, forth with from all winds
The living, and forth with the cited dead
Of all past ages, to the gen’ral 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 siuk
Beneath thy sentence: Hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring
New Heav'n 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 honour him as me.

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

345 Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, utt'ring joy, Heav'n rung With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd Th' eternal regions : lowly reverent Tow'rds either throne they bow, and to the ground With solenın adoration down they cast

351 Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold; Immortal amarant; a flow'r which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon, for man's offence, 355

321. Philip. ii. 10.

334. 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13. 335. I cannot do better than here recommend to the reader, the perusal of Dr. Chalmers' powerfully interesting sermon on the subject of a new Heaven and a new Earth.

341. I Cor. xv. 28. and Ps. xcvii. 7. and Heb. 1. 6.
343. John v. 23.
351. Rev. iv, 10.

353. Amarant, a flower whose beauty never fades. Allusion de hade here to 1 Pet. i. 4. and 1 Pet. V. 4.

To Heav'n removed, where first it grew, there grows,
And flow'rs aloft, shading the fount of life,
And where the riv'r of bliss through midst of Heav'n
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream;
With these, that never fade, the Spirits elect 360
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beans,
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,
Harps ever tuned, that glitt'ring by their side 366
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 Heav'n.

Thee, Father, first they sung, Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King; thee, Author of all being,
Fountain of Light, thyself invisible

975
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
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 Heav'n, 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 count'nance, without cloud 385
Made visible, th’ Almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold: on thee
Impress'd th' effulgence of his glory 'bides,
Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He Heav'n of Heav'ns and all the Pow'rs therein 390
By thee created, and by thee threw down
Th' aspiring Dominations : thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,

358. The happiness of Heaven is repeatedly compared in Scrip are to a fountain or river. 380. The same idea is in Tasso, Can. 9. st. 57. and in Spensers Hymn to Heavenly Beauty.

382. See Isaiah vi. 2.
383. Col. i. 13. Roy, iii. 14. 397. John i. 16 xiv. D.

Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 395
Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarray'a.
Back from pursuit thy Pow'rs 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 thro' their malice fall'n, 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
For man's offence. O unexampled love!

410
Love no where to be found less than Divine !
Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song
Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin. 415

Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry sphere,
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.
Mean while upon the firm opacous globe
Of this round world, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior orbs, inclosed

420
From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old,
Satan alighted walks: a globe far off
It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
Starless exposed, and ever-threat'ning storms 425
Of Chaos blust'ring round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n,
Though distant far, some small reflection gains
Of glimm'ring air less vex'd with tempest loud :
Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field. 430
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,

412. Milton has been hitherto professedly repeating the substance of the angels' song. He here speaks of his own deterinination. 431. Imaus, a celebrated mountain in Aslan

G

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »