Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The great Work-Master, leads to no excess,

695 That reaches blame, but rather merits praise, The more it seems excess, that led thee hither, From thy empyreal mansion, thus alone ; To witness with thine eyes, what some perhaps Contented with report, hear only in heaven:

700 For wonderful indeed are all his works, Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Had in remembrance, always with delight. .But what created mind can comprehend Their number, or the wisdom infinite

705 That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? I saw, when at his word, the formless mass, This world's material mold, came to a heap. Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar Stood ruled ; stood vast infinitude confined :

710 Till, at his second bidding, darkness fled, Light shone, and order from disorder sprung. Swift, to their several quarters, hasted then The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; And this etherial quintessence of heaven

715 Flew upward, spirited with various forms, That rollid orbicular, and turn’d to stars Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each had his place appointed, each his course : The rest in circuit walls this universe.

720 Look downward on that globe, whose hither side, With light froin hence, though but reflected, shines; That place is earth, the seat of man; that light His day; which else, as the other hemisphere, Night would invade: but there the neighbouring moon,725 So call that opposite fair star her aid Timely interposes; and her monthly round Still ending, still renewing through mid Heaven, With borrow'd light, her countenance triform, Hence fills and empties, to enlighten the earth; 730 And, in her pale dominion, checks the night. That spot, to which I point, is Paradise, Adam's abode ; those lofty shades, his bower. Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires."

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low, 735 As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven, Where honour due and reverence none neglects, Took leave; and, toward the coast of earth beneath, Down from the ecliptic, sped with hoped success, Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel,

740 Nor staid, till on Niphates top he lights.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satun, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must

now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone, against God and man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair: but at length confirms himself in evil; journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situ. ation are described; overleaps the bounds; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described: Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while to know further of their state by some other means. Mean while Uriel, descending on a sunbeam, warns Gabriel; who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures on the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest; their bower described; their evening-worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, jest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping, there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel : by whom questioned, he scornfully answers; prepares resistance: but, hindered hy a sign from heaven, dies out of Paradise.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IV.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

O for that warning voice, which he, who saw
The Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud ;
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down, to be revenged on men,
• Woe to the inhabitants on earth!' that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and 'scaped-
Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare. For now
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man, his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to hell :
Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold,
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt; which, nigh the birth,
Now rolling, boils in his tumultuous breast,
And, like a devilish engine, back recoils
Upon himself. Horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom, stir
The hell within him; for within him hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself

, can fly
By change of place. Now conscience wakes despair,
That slumber'd, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be,
Worse ; of worse deeds, worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower :
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.

“O thou! that, with surpassing glory crown'd
Look’st from thy sole dominion, like the God
Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,

20

25

30

35

49

45

50

55

O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance, from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and, worse, ambition, threw me down,
Warring in Heaven, against Heaven's matchless King
Ah wherefore ! he deserved no such return
From me, whom he created what I was,
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks?
How due ! yet all his good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice: lifted up so high
I'sdain'd subjection, and though one step higher
Would set me highest, and, in a moment, quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome, still paying, still to owe ;
Forgetful what from him I still received ;
And understood not, that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged: what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir’d, & me, though mean
Drawn to his part : but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within,
Or from without, to all temptations arm’d.
Hadst thou the same free will & power to stand ?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then, or what to accuse,
But heaven's free love, dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accursed, since love or bate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since, against his, thy will
Chose freely, what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell:
And in the lowest deep, a lower deep,
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide ;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven,
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame,
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced,

60

65

70

75

SO

« AnteriorContinuar »