Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

Mc not, but the brute serpent, in whose


Man I deceiv'd, that which to me belongs,
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind; I am to cruise his heel;
His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my

• head.
A world who would not purchase with a


500 Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th'

Of my performance: What remains, ye Gods,
But up and enter now into full bliss ?

So having said, a while he stood, expecting
Their universal (hout and high applause, 505
To fill his ear: when contrary, he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues,
A dismal universal hiss, the found
Of public scorn: he wonder'd, but not long
Had leisure, wond'ring at himself now

His visage drawn he selt to sharp and spare ;
His arms clung to his ribs; his legs entwining
Bach other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant; but in vain, a greater pow'r 515
Now ruld him, punish'd in the shape he

According to his doom. He would have spoke,


[ocr errors]

But hiss for his return'd with forked tongue, To forked tongue; for now were all trans

form'd Alike, to serpents all as accessories

520 To his bold riot: dreadful was the din Of hissing through the hall, thick fwarming


With complicated monsters head and tail, Scorpion, and Alp, and Amphisbaena dire, Cerastes horn'd, Hydrus, and Elops drear, "5-5 And Dipfas, not so thick swarm'd once the

soil Bedropt with blood of Gorgon; or the ille Ophiusa, but still greatest he tire midst, Cow Dragon grown, larger than whom the

sun Ingender'd in the Pythian vale on lime. 530 Huge Python! and his pow'r no less he seem'd Above the rest stiil to retain: they all Him follow'd, illuing forth to th' open field, Where all yet.left of that revolted rout, Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array, 555 Sublime with expectation, when to see In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief: They faw, but other fight instead! a crowd Of ugly serpents: horror on them fell, And horrid sympathy: for what they saw, 540 They felt themselves now changing: down

tlieir arms,

Down fell both spear and shield, down they

as fast, And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire

farm Catch'd by contagion, like in punishment, As in their crime. Thus was th' applause

they meant, 545 Turn'd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame Cast on themselves from their own mouths.

There stood A grove hard by, {prung up with this their

change, His will who reigns above, to aggravate Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like


550 Which


in Paradise, the bait of Eve *Us’d by the tempter: on that prospect strange Their earnest eyes they fix'd; imagining For one forbidden tree, a multitude Now ris'n, to work them further woe or


555 Yet parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger

fierce, Though to delude them fent, could not ab

ftain, But on they roll'd in heaps, and up the trees Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks That curld Megaera; greedily they pluck'd 560 The fruitage fair to fight, like that which grew


Near that bituminous lake where 'Sodom

flam'd; This, more delusive, not the touch, but taste Deceiv'd they fondly thinking to allay Their appetite with guft, instead of fruit 565 Chew'd bitter alhes, which th' offended taste With spattering noile rejected: oft they allay'd, Hunger and thirst constraining; drug'd as oft With hatefullest difrelifh, writl’d their jaws With foot and cinders fillid : fo oft they


570 Into the same illufion; not as man, Whum they triumph'd once lapsu. Thus were

they plagu'd And worn with famine, long and ceaseless

hifs, Till their loft shape, permitted, they refum'd : Yearly injoin'd, fome say, to undergo 575 This ennual humbling certain number'd days, To dash their pride, and joy for man seduc'd. However some tradition they dispers’d Among the Heathen of their purchase got. And fabled, how the ferpent, whom they


580 Ophion with Eurynome, the wide Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first de rule Of high Olympus; thence by Saturn drivin, And Ops, e're yet Dictaean Jove was born.

Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair 585

Too soon arriv’d, Sin, there in pow'r before,
Once actual; now in body, and to dwell
Habitual habitant; behind her Death,
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet,
On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began. 590
Second of Satan sprung, all conquering

What think'st thou of our empire now? Tho'

earn'd With travel difficult, not better far Than still at Hell's dark threshold t' have sat

watch, Unnam'd, undreaded, and thyself half

starv'd ?

595 Whom thus the sin-born monster' answer'd

foon: To me, who with eternal famine pine, Alike, is Hell, or Paradise, or Heav'n; There best, where most with ravin I may

meet: Which here, tho' plenteous, all too little


600 To stuff this maw, this vast unhide-bound

corps. To whom th' incestuous mother thus reply'd: Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits,

and flowers Feed first on each beast next, and fish, and


« ForrigeFortsæt »