ePub 版




Besides what hope the never-ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting, since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.

Thus Belial with words cloth'd in reason's garb
Counsel'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth,
Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.

Either to disinthrone the King of heaven We war, if war be best, or to regain Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife: The former vain to hope argues as vain The latter : for what place can be for us Within heaven's bound, unless heaven's Lord suWe overpower? suppose he should relent (preme And publish grace to all, on promise made Of new subjection; with what eyes

could we Stand in his presence humble, and receive Strict laws impos’d, to celebrate his throne With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing Forc'd halleluiahs; while he lordly sits Our envy'd Sov'reign, and his altar breathes Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, Our servile offerings? This must be our task In heaven, this our delight; how wearisome




224 For happy] Compare Theognis, ver. 509.

"Ηνδέ τις ειρωτά τον εμόν βιών, ώδε οι ειπείν
Ως εύ μεν, χαλεπώς· ώς γαλεπώς δε, μάλ' εύ.



Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue
By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
Unacceptable, though in heaven, our state
Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,
We can create; and in what place so e'er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread ? how oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth heaven's all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscurd,
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar
Must'ring their rage, and heaven resembles hell ?
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please ? this desart soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold ;
Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise



270 275

254 Live] See Hor. Ep. i. xviii. 107.

Ut mihi vivam Quod superest ævi.' Newton. 255 Hard liberty] See Æschyli Prom. Vinct. ver. 974. Todd.


Magnificence; and what can heaven shew more?
Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements, these piercing fires
As soft as now severe, our temper chang’d
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.

He scarce had finish'd, when such murmur fill'd
Th' assembly, as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of blust'ring winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Sea-faring men o'er watch'd, whose bark by chance
Or pinnace anchors in a craggy bay
After the tempest: such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleas'd,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than hell: so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them; and no less desire 295
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy and long process of time,



287 cadence lull] See Claudiani Rufin. i. 70.

• Ceu murmurat alti
Impacata quies pelagi, cum flamine fracto
Durat adhuc sævitque tumor, dubiumque per æstum
Lassa recedentes fluitant vestigia venti.' Newton.



In emulation opposite to heaven.
Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat, with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd
A pillar of state : deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat and public care ;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic though in ruin: sage he stood,
With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night
Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake.

Thrones and imperial Powers, offspring of heaven,
· Ethereal Virtues ; or these titles now
Must we renounce, and changing style be call’d
Princes of hell ? for so the popular vote
Inclines, here to continue, and build up here
A growing empire; doubtless; while we dream, 315
And know not that the King of heaven hath doom'd
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt
From heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne, but to remain
In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd,
Under th' inevitable curb, reservd
His captive multitude : for he, be sure,
In highth or depth, still first and last will reign



302 pillar] Shakesp. Hen. VI. Part ii. act i. * Brave peers of England, pillars of the State.' Newton. 318 popular vote] “Vogue. Voice.' Bentl. MS. con.




Sole King, and of his kingdom lose no part
By our revolt, but over hell extend
His empire, and with iron scepter rule
Us here, as with his golden those in heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determin’d us, and foild with loss
Irreparable ; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsaf'd or sought; for what peace will be giv'n
To us enslav’d, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted ? and what peace can we return,
But to our power hostility and hate,
Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
With dangerous expedition to invade
Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault, or siege,
Or ambush from the deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprize? There is a place,
If antient and prophetic fame in heaven
Err not, another world, the happy seat
Of some new race call’d Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less

power and excellence, but favour'd more
Of him who rules above ; so was his will
Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath
That shook heaven's whole circumference, con-
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn [firm’d.





« 上一頁繼續 »