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Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray;
Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home: the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth:
In inany a vain attempt How sinks his soul!
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When for the dusky spot, which fancy feign'd
His tufted cottage rising thro' the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track, and blest abode of Man ;
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost; ..
Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and (what is land, unknown,
What water) of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, ..
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish Nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bosom of the dying Man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Jays him along the snows, a stiffened corse,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.
Ah! little think the gay, licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah! little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment, death
And all the sad variety of pain :
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame : how many bleed,
By shanieful variance betwixt Man and Man:
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms;
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs: how many drink the cup .
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery: sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty : how many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse ;
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the tragic muse:
Even in the vale, where wisdom loves to dwell,
With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation join'd,
How many, rack'd with honest passions, droop
In deep retir'd distress: how many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond Man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in his high career would stand appall’d,
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think;
The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.
The SUBJECT of PARADISE Lost: INVOCATION OF THE MUSE-MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE-LOSS OF PARADISE-SATAN DRIVEN OUT OF HEAVEN.
OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heav'nly Muse! that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion-hill ..
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow di
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song, i ...
That with no middle flight intends to soar. -
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhime.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit! that dost prefer
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread .
Dove-like satt'st brooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal l'rovidence,
And justify the ways of God to Man.
Say first, for Heav'nı hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first what cause
Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress His will,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt?
Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd
The mother of inankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heay'n, with all his host .
Of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory 'bove his peers,
He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,
If he oppos’d; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Pais'd impious war in Heav'n, and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him th' Almighty Power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms. ..more
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew. .si,,,
Lay vanquish'd rolling in the fiery gulpla, s', 's
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and disınay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
At once, as far as Angels ken, he yiews
The dismal situation waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round
As one great furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv’d only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place eternal justice had prepard
For those rebellious, here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole,
SATAN LYING on the BURNING LAKE.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz'd, his other parts besides
Prone on the food, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or earth-born, that warr'd on Jore,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream."
Him haply slumb'ring on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff,
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thences
Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs;
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others; and enrag'd might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown
On Man by him seduc'd, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,
Driv'n backward, slope their pointing spires, and, roll'd
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings be şteers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land
He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thund'ring Etna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and sinoke; such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet.
DESCRIPTION of SATAN's Shield and SPEAR.
He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior Fiend ,
Was moving tow'rd the shore; his pood'rous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesol,
Or in Naldarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal wbich the tallest pine i
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand, .