페이지 이미지

But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain'd in heaven, or what more lost in hell?

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub
Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright,
Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grov❜ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth.





He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,

Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views

At ev'ning, from the top of Fesolé


288 optic glass] See Henry More's Poems (Inf. of Worlds): st. 91. 'But that experiment of the optick glasse,'

and Davenant's Gondibert, p. 188.

Or reach with optick tubes the ragged moon.

Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine,
Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so indur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd
His legions, angel forms, who lay entranc'd,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High overarch❜d imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd





Hath vex'd the Red-sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,

293 mast] See Lucilii Sat. lib. xv. 1. p.


porro huic majus bacillum

Quam malus navi in corbitâ maximus ullâ.'

And Ovid Metam. xiii. 783.

'Cui postquam pinus, baculi quæ præbuit usum,
Ante pedes posita est, antennis apta ferendis.'

Cowley's Davideis, lib. iii. ver. 47.

'His spear the trunk was of a lofty tree,

Which nature meant some tall ship's mast to be.'

Keysler's Travels, ii. 117. They shew here the mast of a ship, which the common people believe to be the lance of Rolando the great.' Pope probably mistook the sense, when, in Hom. Il. xiii. 494,

he says,

'Or pine, fit mast for some great admiral.'

Mr. Dyce refers to Quintus Smyrnæus, lib. v. ver. 118.


While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases
And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded: Princes, potentates,
Warriors, the flower of heav'n, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize


Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you
To slumber here, as in the vales of heav'n?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from heaven gates discern
Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!





They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceive the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd,




Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's Son, in Ægypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast up call'd a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of hell,
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;
A multitude like which the populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
Forthwith from ev'ry squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste, where stood
Their great commander; God-like shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely dignities,

And powers, that erst in heaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and raz'd

340 pitchy cloud]

'No pitchy storm wrapt up in swelling clouds.'

See Sandy's Christ's Passion, p. 57

353 Danaw] So Donne (Progr. of the Soul, st. ii.) p. 228. 'At Tagus, Po, Sene, Thames, and Danow dine.'




By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve


Got them new names; till wand'ring o'er the earth
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their creator, and th' invisible

Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:

Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.



Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,

Rous'd from the slumber on that fiery couch
At their great emp'ror's call, as next in worth,
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.
The chief were those, who, from the pit of hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd



368 mánkind so accented on the first syllable in Heywood's Hierarchie, p. 11.

'Tell me, O thou of Mankind most accurst.'

376 who first] Hom. II. v. 703.

ἔνθα τίνα πρῶτον, τίνα δύστατον. Todd.

[blocks in formation]
« 이전계속 »