« AnteriorContinuar »
Levi: L. Barbour - 17-26
The first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, Man's dis.
obedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was placed: Then touches the prime cause of bis 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 com mand of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his crew, into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastens into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallmg 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: Hero 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 conter of their miserable fall, Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded. They rise; their nunibers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, ac cording to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining fleaven, 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 ihis visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thercon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, 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
Above the Aönian mount, wliile it pursues
25 And justify the ways of God to men.
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Confounded, though immortal: But his doom Reserved him to more wrath ; for now the thought Both of lost happiness, and lasting pain,
55 Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes, That witness'd huge affliction and disınay Mix'd with obdurate pride and steadfast hate At once, as far as Angels ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild :
60 A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames No light; but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 65 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 unconsumed Such place Eternal Justice had prepared
70 For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd In utter darkness, and their portion set As far removed from God and light of Heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. O, how unlike the place from whence they fell 75 There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelnı’d With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, Ho soon discerns; and weltering by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and named 80 Beelzebub. To whom the Archenemy, And thence in Heaven call’d Satan, with bold words Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
If thou be he; but O, how fallen! how changod From him, who, in the happy realms of light, 85 *Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin! Into what pit thou seest,
106 And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit ur yield, And what is else not to be overconie; That glory never shall his wrath or might 110 Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify his power, Who from the terror of this arm so late Doubted his empire; that were low indeed, That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 115 This downfal: since, by fate, the strength of Gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail ; Since through experience of this great event In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, We may with more successful bone resolve 120 To wage, by force or guile, eternal war Irreconcilable to our grand foe, Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.
So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : And hijn thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.
O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,