Page images

Less than Arch-Angel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory' obscurid; as when the fun new risen
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon
In dim eclipse disaftrous twilight theds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet fhone
Above them all th’ Arch-Angel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenchd, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and confiderate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorfe and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc'd
Of Heav'n, and from eternal fplendors flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd: as when Heaven's fire
Hatha feath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With finged top their stately growth though bare
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half inclose him round
With all his peers : attention held them mute.
Thrice he aslay'd, and thrice in spite of fcorn
Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth : at last
Words interwove with sighs found out their way.
O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers


Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, As this place testifies, and this dire change Hateful to utter: but what pow'r of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, How such united force of Gods, how such As ftcod like these, could ever know repulse ? For who can yet believe, though after loss, That all these puissant legions, whose exile Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat ? For me be witness all the host of Heaven, If counsels different, or danger Thunn'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custom, and his regal state Put forth at full, but still his strength conceald, Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own, So as not either to provoke, or dread New war, provok'd; our better part remains To work in close design, by fraud or guile, What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long Intended to create, and therein plant

A gea

[ocr errors]

A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favor equal to the fons of Heaven :
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere :
For this infernal pit Mall never hold
Celestial Spi'rits in bondage, nor th' abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature : Peace is despair'd,
For who can think submission ? War then, War
Open or understood must be resolv'd.

He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew
Millions of Aaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
Far round illumin'd Hell: highly they rag'd
Against the High'est, and fierce with grasped arms
Clash'd on their founding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance tow'ard the vault of Heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grilly top
Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
A numerous brigad hasten'd: as when bands
of pioneers with spade and pickax arm'd
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected Spi'rit that fell
From Heav'n, for e’en in Heav'n his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heav'n's pavement, trodden gold,


Than ought divine or holy else enjoy'd
In vision beatific: by him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
Ransack'd the center, and with impious hands
Rified the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
Open drinto the hill a spacious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell; that foil may best
Deserve the precious-bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
And strength, and art, are easily out-done
By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
What in an age they with incessant toil
And hands innumerable scarce perform.
Nigh on the plain in many cells prepard,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluc'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wond'rous art founded the maffy ore,
Severing each kind, and fcumm’d the bullion dross :
A third as soon had form'd within the ground
A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By strange conveyance filld each hollow nook,
As in an organ from one blast of wind

many a row of pipes the found-board breathes.
Aron out of the earth a fabric huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the found
Of dulcet fymphonies and voices sweet,

Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want
Cornice or freeze, with bofly sculptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to infhrine
Belus or Serapis their Gods, or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria (trove
In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately highth, and strait the doors
Opening their brazen folds discover wide
Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth
And level pavement: from the arched roof
Pendent by subtle magic many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing creflets fed
With Naphtha and Asphaltus yielded light
As from a sky. The hafty multitude
Admiring enter'd, and the work fome praise,
And some the architect: his hand was known
In Heav'n by many a tow'red fructure high,
Where scepter'd Angels held their residence,
And fat as princes, whom the supreme King
Exalted to sueh pow'r, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard or unador'd
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men callid him Mulciber; and how he fell
From Heav'n, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the crystal battlements; from morn


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »