Billeder på siden

Ete! nal anarchy, amidst the noise Of udlegs wars, and by confusion stand. For liot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierco Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring * Their embryon atoms; they around the flag 900 Of each his faction, in their several clans, Light arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, Levied to side with warring winds, and poise

105 Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhero Ho rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits, And by decision more embroils the fray, By which he reigns: Next him; higli arbiter, Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss, 910 The womb of Nature and perhaps her grave, Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire, But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd Confusedly, and which thus inust ever fight, Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain

916 His dark materials to create more worlds ; Into this wild abyss the wary Fiend Stood on the brink of Hell, and look'd awhile, Pondering his voyage ; for no narrow frith He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd 920 With noises loud and ruinous (to compare Great things with sınall) than when Bellona storms, With all her battering engines hent to raso Some capital city; or less than if this frame Of Heaven were falling, and these elements 325 In mutiny liad fiom her axle toin The steadfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league, As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides

932 Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meets 4 vast vacuity: all unawires Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops

Ten thousand fathom deep; and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance 939
The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many miles aloft : that fury staid,
Quench'd in a boggy Sýrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land : nigh founder'd on he fares, 940
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half Aying ; behoves him now both oar and sail
As when a gryphon, through the wilderness
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale
Purs les the Arimaspian, who by stealth

Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
The guarded gold : So eagerly the Fiend
O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. 950
At length a universal hubbub wild
Of stunning sounds and voices all confused,
Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear
With loudest vehemence : thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there whatever Power 355
Or Spirit of tho nethermost abyss
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask

way the nearest coast of darkness lies Bordering on light; when straight behold the throne Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread

960 Wide on the wasteful deep; with him enthroned Sat sablo-vested Night, eldest of things, The consort of his reign; and by them stood Orcus and Hades, and the dreaded name Of Demogorgon; Rumour next and Chance, 963 And Tumult and Confusion all embroil'd, And Discord with a thousand various moutho.

To whom Satan turning boldly, thus: Ye Powote And Spirits of this nethermost abyss, Chaos and ancient Niglıt! I come no spy,

970 With purpose to explore or to disturb

The secrets of your realm : but, by constraint
Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light,
Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek 975
What readiest path leads where your gloomy brunda
Confine with Heaven; or if some other place,
From you lominion won, the ethereal King
Possesses lately, thither to arrive
I travel this profound; direct my course;

Directed, no mean recompense it brings
To your behoof: if I that region lost,
All usurpation thence expelld, reduce
To bor original darkness, and your sway
(Which is my present journey,) and once more 985
Erect the standard there of ancient Night;
Yours be the advantage all, mine the revenge!

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old, With faltering speech and visage incomposed, Answer’d: 1 know thee, stranger, who thou art, 99. That mighty leading Angel, who of late Made head against Heaven's King, though overthrown I saw and heard; for such a numerous host Fled not in silence through the frighted deep, With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,

995 Confusion worse confounded; and Heaven gates Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here Keep residence ; if all I can will serve That little which is left so to defond,

1000 Encroach'd on still through your intestine broils Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first Hell, Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath; Now lately Heaven, and Earth, another world, Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain 100a To that side Heaven from whence your legions tell If that way be your walk, you have not far; Bo much the nearer danger; go, and speed Havoc, and spoil, and ruin are my gain.

Ho ceased; and Satan staid not to reply :

1019 But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wide expanse; and, through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round

1011 Environ'd, wins his way; harder beset And more endanger'd than when Argo pass'd Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks Or when Ulysses on the larboard. shunn'd Charybdis, and by the other whiripool steer'd. 1020 So he with difficulty and labour hard Moved on: with difficulty and labour he : But, he once passid, soon after, when man feli, Strange alteration ! Sin and Death amain Follywing his track, such was the will of Heaven, Paved after him a broad and beaten way

1024 Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous length, From Hell continued, reachiüg the utmost orb Of this frail world ; by which ihe Spirits perverse With easy intercourse pass to and fro

1031 To tempt or punish mortals, except whom God and good Angels guard by special grace. But now at last the sacred influence Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven 1935 Shoots far into the bosom of dim night A glimmering dawn; Here Nature first begins Her furthest verge, and Chaos to retire As from her outmost works a broken foe With tumult less, and with less hostile din ; 1640 That Satan with less toil, and now with ease, Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light ; And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds Gladly tho port, though shrouds and tackle torn Dr in the emptier waste, resembling air,

1045 Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide


in circuit, undetermined square or round,
With opal towers and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fest by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of sınallest ragnitude close by the moon.
Thither, fu!! fraught with mischievous revengo,
Locarsed, and in a cursed hour, he biog.

« ForrigeFortsæt »