« 上一頁繼續 »
This first book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed. Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into hell, described here, not in the centre, for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed, but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded; they rise; their numbers, array of battel, their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in heaven: for that Angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandæmonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal Peers there sit in council.
OF Man's first disobedience and the fruit
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
V. Ariosto Orl. Fur. c. i. st. 2. Orlando Innam. di Boiardo, rifac. da Berni, lib. ii. C. XXX. st. 1. 'Com' avvien, che ne in prosa è detta, o in rima Cosa, che non sia stata detta prima.' Bowle, Pearce. 19 Instruct] Theoc. Id. xxii. 116.
είπε θεά. συ γαρ οίσθα. Neustom.
That to the height of this great argument
may assert eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men.
Say first, for heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
83 Who] v. Hom. Il. i. 8. Hume.
48 adamantine) v. Spenser. "Together link'd in adaman tine chains.' See Todd's Note.
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
63 darkness visible] v. Senecæ Ep. 57. de Crypt, Neapol Nihil illis faucibus obscurius; quæ nobis præstant, ut non per tenebras videamus, sed ut ipsas.' Bentl. MS.
66 hope] Compare Jer. Taylor's Contemplations, p. 211, and see Todd's Note, p. 18.
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
If thou beest he-But O how fall’n ! how chang'd From him, who in the happy realms of light, Cloath'd with transcendent brightness, didst out
shine Myriads, though bright! If he, whom mutualleague, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprize, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd In equal ruin : into what pit thou seest From what height falln, so much the stronger prov'd He with his thunder; 'and till then who knew The force of those dire arms ? yet not for those, Nor what the potent victor in his rage Can else inflict, do I repent, or change, Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, That with the Mightiest rais’d me to contend, And to the fierce contention brought along
85 Isaiah, xiv. 12. Virg. Æn. ii. 274. • Hei mihi! qualis erat! quantum mutatus ab illo!' Newton.
98 high] Spens. F. Queen. b. i. c. i. 8. 19. grief, and high disdain.'