페이지 이미지

A faithful leader, not to hazard all
Through ways of danger by himself untry'd.
I therefore, I alone first undertook
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new created world, whereof in hell
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
Better abode, and my afflicted powers
To settle here on earth, or in mid air;
Though for possession put to try once more
What thou and thy gay legions dare against;
Whose easier business were to serve their Lord
High up
in heaven, with songs to hymn his throne,
And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.

To whom the warrior angel soon reply'd.
To say and straight unsay, pretending first
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
Argues no leader, but a liar trac'd,

Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,
O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head:

Was this your discipline and faith engag'd,
Your military obedience, to dissolve
Allegiance to th' acknowledg'd Power supreme?
And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou

Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilely ador'd
Heaven's awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope

945 And] With' is understood. Pearce.






To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I arreed thee now, avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chain'd,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facil gates of hell too slightly barr'd.

So threaten'd he: but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but waxing more in rage reply'd.
Then when I am thy captive talk of chains,
Proud limitary cherub; but ere then
Far heavier load thy self expect to feel




From my prevailing arm; though heaven's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels 975
In progress through the road of heaven star-pav'd.
While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharp'ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,

962 arreed] See Lisle's Dubartas, p. 173.

'Arreed in books of heaven the summe.'

966 And seal] See Northmore's note to Tryphiodorus, p. 88. 976 star-pav'd] Ashmore's Epigrams, 4to. p. 33.

'The casements large of Heaven have open set,

And from their star-pav'd floors have sent me down.'



Lest on the threshing floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan alarm'd,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas unremoved:

His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp


What seem❜d both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds

Might have ensu'd, nor only paradise

In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of heaven perhaps, or all the elements

At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray

Hung forth in heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,

Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,



The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air 1000
In counterpoise; now ponders all events,
Battles, and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew and kick'd the beam:
Which Gabriel spying thus bespake the fiend.


Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st

mine :

Neither our own but giv'n; what folly then
To boast what arms can do, since thine no more

1008 thine] 'Thine' and 'mine' refer to strength, ver. 1006. not to Newton.


Than heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire? for proof look up, 1010
And read thy lot in yon
celestial sign,

Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how


If thou resist. The fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.




MORNING approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: they come forth to their day-labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. GoD, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to paradise; his appearance described, his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state, and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him; persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

Now morn, her rosy steps in th' eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,

1 rosy steps] Quintus Smyrnæus applies the epithet, godóσqugos to Aurora. v. lib. i. 137. A. Dyce.

2 sow'd] 'Ambo de comis calorem, et ambo radios conserunt.' See Anthol. Lat. vol. i. p. 8, ed. Burm. Avieni, Orb. Desc. ver. 580. and Fragm. in Aristot. Poet.

Σπείρων θεοκτίστην φλόγα. Upton.

« 이전계속 »