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Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.

Id.

XXI.

TRUTH AGAINST THE MULTITUDE.

THE seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal :
Nor number nor example with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,
Though single.

Id.

XXII.

MICHAEL AND SATAN.

Both address'd for fight
Unspeakable ; for who, though with the tongue
Of angels, can relate, or to what things
Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift
Human imagination to such height
Of godlike power ? for likest gods they seem'd,
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great heaven.
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles ; two broad suns their shields
Blazed opposite, while expectation stood
In horror : from each hand with speed retired,
Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng,

And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion ; such as, to set forth

l
Great things by small, if, nature's concord broke,
Among the constellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rushing from aspect malign
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both, with next to Almighty arm
Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat
As not of power at once; nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention: but the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was given him temper'd so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stay'd,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared
All his right side. Then Satan first knew pain,
And writhed him to and fro convolved ; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Pass'd through him ; but the ethereal substance closed
Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humour flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed, *
And all his armour stain'd, erewhile so bright.
Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By angels many and strong, who interposed
Defence; while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retired
From off the files of war : there they him laid
Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame,
To find himself not matchless, and his pride

*

* Imitation of Aphrodite's wound and the divine lxúp, Il. V.

Humbled by such rebuke; so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he heald; for spirits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man
In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
Cannot but by annihilating die;
Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
All intellect, all sense ;* and, as they please,
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Book VI.

XXIII.

THE INFAMY OF GLORY.

CANCELL'D from heaven and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell:
For strength from truth divided and from just,
Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires
Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame :
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

Id.

*

Compare Pliny's account of the divine nature: • Quisquis est Deus, si modo est alius, quacunque in parte, totus est sensus, totus visus, totus auditus, totus animæ, totus animi, totus sui.'--Hist. Nat., 1, i,

XXIV.

URANIA INVOKED.

DESCEND from heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the light of Pegasean wing.
The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly-born,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst

converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Upled by thee,
Into the heaven of heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering: with like safety guided down,
Return me to my native element;
Lest from this flying steed unrein'd, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere:
Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues ;
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,*
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou

*

* For illustration of these mournful utterances consult the history of the life and times of Milton.

Visit'st my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east: still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few:
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
Of that vile rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the savage clamour drown'd
Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend

So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.

Book VII,

Her son.

XXV.

ORIGIN OF LIFE.

THE bare earth, till then Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd, Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad Her universal face with pleasant green ; Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd, Opening their various colours, and made gay Her bosom, smelling sweet: and, these scarce blown, Forth flourish'd thick the clustering vine, forth crept The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed Embattled in her field, and the humble shrub, And bush with frizzled hair implicit: last Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemm'd Their blossoms : with high woods the fields were

crown'd, With tufts the valleys, and each fountain-side; With borders long the rivers : that earth now

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