Page images
PDF
EPUB

PARADISE LOST.

33

These feminine: for spirits, when they please, Vice for itself: to him no temple scood
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft

Or altar smok’d; yet who more oft than he
And uncompounded is their essence pure; In temples and at altars, when the priest
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,

Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd
Not founded on the brittle strength of bones, With lust and violence the house of God?
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they In courts and palaces he also reigns,
choose,

And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,

Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
Can execute their aery purposes,

And injury and outrage: and when night
And works of love or enmity fulfil.

Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
For those the race of Israel oft forsook

Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Their living strength, and unfrequented left Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
To bestial gods; for which their heads as low Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape.
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear These were the prime in order and in might:
Of despicable foes. With these in troop The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians callid The Ionian gods, of Javan's issue ; held
Astarte, queen of Heaven, with crescent horns; Gods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth,
To whose bright image nightly by the Moon Their boasted parents: Titan, Heaven's first-born,
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd
In Sion also not unsung, where stood

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,
Her temple on the offensive mountain, built His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, So Jove usurping reignid: these first in Crete
Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell

And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Of bold Olympus, ruld the middle air,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd

Their highest Heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;

Of Doric land : or who with Saturn old
While smooth Adonis from his native rock Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love-tale All these and more came flocking; but with
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat;

looks Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,

Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

chief of alienated Judah. Next came one

Not in despair, to 'ave found themselves not lost Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers: Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. And downward fish: yet had his temple high Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreard Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

His mighty standard ; that proud honor claim'd
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;
Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Who forth with from the glittering staff unfurl'd
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

The imperial ensign; which, full high advanc’d,
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
He also against the house of God was bold ! With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz’d,
A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king ; Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Ahaz his sottish conqueror, whom he drew Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds :
God’s altar to disparage and displace

At which the universal host up-sent
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
His odious offerings, and adore the gods Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night
Whom he had vanquished. After these appear'd All in a moment through the gloom were seen
A crew, who, under names of old renown, Ten thousand banners rise into the air
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

With orient colors waving: with them rose
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Their wandering gods disguis’d in brutish forms Of depth immeasurable; anon they move
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
The infection, when their borrow'd gold composid Of Autes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

Arming to battle ; and instead of rage
Likening his Maker to the grazed ox;

Deliberate valor breath'd, firm and unmovid
Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd With dread of death to flight or foul retreat:
From Egypt marching, equallid with one stroke Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
Buth her first-born and all her bleating gods. With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love

pain,
6

For me,

From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, How such united force of gods, how such Breathing united force, with fixed thought, As stood like these, could ever know repulse? Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd For who can yet believe, though after loss, Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil: and now That all these puissant legions, whose exile Advanc'd in view they stand ; a horrid front Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to reascend Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat? Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield;

be witness all the host of Heaven, Awaiting what command their mighty chief If counsels different, or dangers shunn'd Had to impose : he through the armed files By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse Monarch in heaven, till then as one secure The whole battalion views, their order due, Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Their visages and stature as of gods;

Consent or custom; and his regal state Their number last he sums. And now his heart Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd, Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Glories : for never, since created man,

Henceforth his might we know and know our own: Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these So as not either to provoke, or dread Could merit more than that small infantry New war, provok'd ; our better part remains Warr'd on by cranes: though all the giant brood To work in close design, by fraud or guile, Of Phlegra with the heroic race were join'd What force effected not : that he no less That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side At length from us may find, who overcomes Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds By force, hath overcome but half his foe. In fable or romance of Uther's son

Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife Begirt with British and Armoric knights; There went a fare in Heaven that he ere long And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,

Intended to create, and therein plant Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,

A generation, whom his choice regard Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

Should favor equal to the sons of Heaven: Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,

Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps When Charlemain with all his peerage fell Our first eruption; thither or elsewhere; By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond

For this infernal pit shall never hold Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss Their dread commander: he, above the rest Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts In shape and gesture proudly eminent,

Full counsel must mature : peace is despair'd; Stood like a tower; his form had yet not lost For who can think submission ? War, then, war, All her original brightness; nor appear’d Open or understood, must be resolv’d." Less than arch-angel ruin'd, and the excess

He spake : and, to confirm his words, out-flew Of glory obscur'd: as when the Sun, new risen, Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Looks through the horizontal misty air

of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze Shorn of his beams; or from behind the Moon. Far round illumin'd Hell: highly they rag'd In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds

Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms On half the nations, and with fear of change Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, Perplexes monarchs. Darken’d so, yet shone Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven. Above them all the arch-angel: but his face There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top Deep scars of thunder had intrench’d; and care Belch'd fire and rolling smoke: the rest entire Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows

Shone with a glossy scurf; undoubted sign Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride That in his womb was hid metallic ore, Waiting revenge; cruel his eye, but cast The work of sulphur. Thither, wing'd with speed, Signs of remorse and passion, to behold

A numerous brigade hasten'd: as when bands The fellows of his crime, the followers rather, Of pioneers, with spade and pick-ax armid, (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field, For ever now to have their lot in pain :

Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on : Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd

Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell Of Heaven, and from eternal splendors flung - From Heaven; for e'en in Heaven his looks and For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,

thoughts Their glory wither'd: as when Heaven's fire Were always downward bent, admiring more Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold, With singed top their stately growth, though bare, Than aught, divine or holy, else enjoy’d Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd In vision beatific: by him first To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend Men also, and by his suggestion taught, From wing to wing, and half enclose him round Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands With all his peers : attention held them mute. Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth Thrice he assay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn, For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth : at last Open'd into the hill a spacious wound, Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way. And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire

"O myriads of immortal spirits, O powers That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best Matchless, but with the Almighty; and that strife Deserve the precious bane. And here let those Was not inglorious, though the event was dire, Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell As this place testifies, and this dire change, Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, Hateful to utter : but what power of mind, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth And strength and art, are easily outdone Of knowledge past or preseni, could have fear'd By spirits reprobate, and in an hour

What in an age they with incessant toil

To mortal combat, or career with lance) And hands innumerable scarce perform.

Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepar'd, Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees That underneath had veins of liquid fire

In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides, Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude

Pour forth their populous youth about the hive With wonderous art founded the massy ore, In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Severing each kind, and scummid the bullion dross: Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, A third as soon had form'd within the ground The suburb of their straw-built citadel, A various mould, and from the boiling cells, New rubb’d with balm, expatiate and confer By strange conveyance, fill'd each hollow nook ; Their state affairs. So thick the aery crowd As in an organ, from one blast of wind, Swarm’d and were straiten'd; till, the signal given, To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes. Behold a wonder! They but now who seem'd Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge

In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons, Rose like an exhalation, with the sound

Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet, Throng numberless, like that pygmean race Built like a temple, where pilasters round Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves, Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid

Whose midnight revels, by a forest side With golden architrave; nor did there want Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven: Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,

Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence

Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and Equall'd in all their glories, to enshrine

dance Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat

Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms Stood fix'd her stately height: and straight the Reduce their shapes immense, and were at large doors,

Though without number still, amidst the hall Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide Of that infernal court. But far within, Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth And in their own dimensions, like themselves, And level pavement; from the arched roof The great seraphic lords and cherubim Pendent by subtle magic many a row

In close recess and secret conclave sat;
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light Frequent and full. After short silence then,
As from a sky. The hasty multitude

And summons read, the great consult began.
Admiring enter'd ; and the work some praise,
And some the architect; his hand was known
In Heaven by many a tower'd structure high,

BOOK II.
Where scepter'd angels held their residence,
And sat as princes; whom the supreme king

THE ARGUMENT.
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether Nor was his name unheard, or unador'd,

another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land

of Heaven: some advise it, others dissuade: a Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell

third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by From Heaven, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or Sheer o'er the crystal battlements : from morn tradition in Heaven concerning another world, To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,

and another kind of creature equal or not much A summer's day; and with the setting Sun

inferior to themselves, about this time to be Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,

created. Their doubt, who shall be sent on this On Lemnos the Ægean isle : thus they relate, difficult search ; Satan their chief undertakes Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

alone the voyage, is honored and applauded. Fell long before ; nor aught avail'd him now The council thus ended, the rest betake them To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he several ways, and to several employmenis, as ' 'scape

their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time By all his engines, but was headlong sent till Satan return. He passes on his journey to With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.

Hell gates; finds them shut, and who sat there Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command to guard them; by whom at length they are Of sovran power, with awful ceremony

opened, and discover to him the great gulf beAnd trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim tween Hell and Heaven; with what difficulty he A solemn council, forth with to be held

passes through, directed by Chaos, the power of At Pandemonium; the high capital

that place, to the sight of this new world which Of Satan and his peers; their summons call'd he sought. From every band and squared regiment By place or choice the worthiest; they anon, High on a throne of royal state, which far With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came, Outshone the wealth of Orrus and of Ind, Attended : all access was throng'd: the gates Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, (Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's chair To that bad eminence : and, from despair Defied the best of Panim chivalry

Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Vain war with Heaven, and, by success untaught, Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

With what compulsion and laborious flight
"Powers and dominions, deities of Heaven; We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then;
For since no deep within her gulf can hold The event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Immortal vigor, though oppress'd and fall'n, Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent To our destruction; if there be in Hell
Celestial virtues rising, will appear

Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse
More glorious and more dread than from no fall, Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, con
And trusi themselves to fear no second fate.

demn'd
Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven, In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Did first create your leader; next, free choice, Where pain of unextinguishable fire
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,

Must exercise us without hope of end,
Hath been achiev'd of merit; yet this loss, The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,

Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
Envy from each inferior; but who here

His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
Will envy whom the highest place exposes Will either quite consume us, and reduce
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, To nothing this essential; happier far
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Than miserable to have eternal being :
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
From faction; for none sure will claim in Hell On this side nothing; and by proof we fcel
Precedence, none whose portion is so small Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
Or present pain, that with ambitious mind

And with perpetual inroads to aların,
Will covet more. With this advantage then Though inaccessible, his fatal throne :
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, Which, if not victory, is yet revenge."
More than can be in Heaven, we now return He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
To claim our just inheritance of old,

Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous
Surer to prosper than prosperity

To less than gods. On th' other side uprose Could have assur'd us; and, by what best way, Belial, in act more graceful and humane : Whether of open war, or covert guile,

A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seem'd
We now debate ; who can advise, may speak." For dignity compos'd, and high exploit:

He ceas'd ; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king, But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair : The better reason, to perplex and dash
His trust was with the Eternal to be deem'd Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low
Equal in strength; and rather than be less To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost

Tim'rous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the eai,
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse, And with persuasive accent thus began.
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake.

“I should be much for open war, O peers, “My sentence is for open war: of wiles, As not behind in hate ; if what was urg'd More unexpert, I boast not: them let those Main reason to persuade immediate war, Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Ominous conjecture on the whole success; Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait When he, who most excels in fact of arms, The signal to ascend, sit lingering here

In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, And utter dissolution, as the scope
The prison of his tyranny who reigns

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
By our delay? No, let us rather choose, First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are
Arm'd with Hell flames and fury, all at once,

fill'd
O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way, With arm'd watch, that render all access
Turning our wortures into horrid arms

Impregnable: oft on the bordering deep Against the torturer; when to meet the noise Encamp their legions; or, with obscure wing, Of his almighty engine he shall hear

Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, see Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way Black fire and horror shot with equal rage By force, and at our heels Hell should rise Among his angels ; and his throne itself

With blackest insurrection, to confound Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire, Heaven's purest light: yet our great eneiny His own invented torrents. But perhaps

All incorruptible, would on his throne The way seems difficult and steep to scale Sit unpolluted ; and the ethereal mould, With upright wing against a higher foe.

Incapable of stain, would soon expel Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, or that forgetful lake benumn not still,

Victorious. Thus repuls’d, our final hope That in our proper motion we ascend

Is flat despair: we must exasperate l'p to our native seat; descent and fall

The almighty victor to spend all his rage, To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,

And that must end us; that must be our cure,

[ocr errors]

To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose, Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Our purer essence then will overcome
Those thoughts that wander through eternity, Their noxious vapor; or, inur'd, not feel;
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost Or, chang'd at length, and to the place conform'd
In the wide womb of uncreated night,

In temper and in nature, will receive
Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows, Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain ;
Let this be good, whether our angry foe This horror will grow mild, this darkness light
Can give it, or will ever ? how he can,

Besides what hope the never-ending flight Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure.

Of future days may bring, what chance, what Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,

change Belike through impotence, or unaware,

Worth waiting; since our present lot appears To give his enemies their wish, and end For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, Them in his anger, whom his anger saves If we procure not to ourselves more woe.' To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we then? Thus Belial, with words cloth'd in reason's garb Say they who counsel war, we are decreed, Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth, Reservd, and destin'd to eternal woe;

Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake. Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,

“Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, We war, if war be best, or to regain
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ? Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then
What, when we fled amain, pursued, and struck May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife :
The deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
A refuge from those wounds; or when we lay The latter: for what place can be for us
Chain’d on the burning lake? that sure was worse. Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord
What if the breath, that kindled those grim fires,

supreme
Awak’d, should blow them into sevenfold rage, We overpower? Suppose he should relent,
And plunge us in the flames! or, from above, And publish grace to all, on promise made
Should intermitted vengeance arm again

Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
His red right hand to plague us ? What if all Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Her stores were opened, and this firmament Strict laws impos'd, to celebrate his throne
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing
Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall Forc'd Halleluiahs; while he lordly sits
One day upon our heads ; while we perhaps, Our envied sovran, and his altar breathes
Designing or exhorting glorious war,

Arnbrosial odors and ambrosial flowers, Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurl'd

Our servile offerings? This must be our task
Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey In Heaven, this our delight! how wearisome
Of wracking whirlwinds; or for ever sunk Eternity so spent, in worship paid
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains ; To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue
There to converse with everlasting groans, By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,

Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. Of splendid vassalage ; but rather seek
War therefore, open or conceal'd, alike

Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Viewe all things at one view? He from Heaven's Hard liberty before the easy yoke
highth

Of servile pomp.

Our greatness will appear All these our motions vain sees, and derides; Then most conspicuous, when great things of Not more almighty to resist our might

small, Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles. Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heaven We can create ; and in what place soe'er Thus trampled, thus expelld to suffer here Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, Chains and these torments ? better these than Through labor and endurance. This deep world worse,

Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst By my advice; since fate inevitable

Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,

Sire The victor's will. To suffer, as to do,

Choose to reside, his glory unobscurd, Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust And with the majesty of darkness round That so ordains : this was at first resolv'd, Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders If we were wise, against so great a foe Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell ? I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold As he our darkness, cannot we his light And venturous, if that fail them, shrink and fear Imitate when we please? This desert soil What yet they know must follow, to endure Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold ; Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,

Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise The sentence of their conqueror : this is now Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear, Our torments also may in length of time Our supreme foe in time may much remit

Become our elements; these piercing fires His anger; and perhaps, thus far remur'd, As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd Not mind us not offending, satisfied

Into their temper; which must needs remove With what is punish'd; whence these raging fires The sensible of pain. All things invite

roar

« PreviousContinue »