« AnteriorContinuar »
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 thence
Had risen 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;
205 Deeming some island] At Sir William Drury's house in Hawstead in Suffolk (built in regn. Elizab.), is a closet with painted pannels of the age of James I. One (no. 36.) is a ship that has anchored on a whale which is in motion. The motto, nusquam tuta fides.' See Cullum's Hist. of Hawstead, p. 164, where is an engraving of it. 205 island] Thus Dionysii Perieg. 598.
αμφί δε πάντη
Κήτεα θίνες έχουσιν, ερυθραιου βοτά πόντου,
Ούρεσιν λιβάτoισιν έoικότα. And so in the Orlando Innam. of Boiardo, rifac. da Berni, lib. i. canto xiii. stan. 60.
• Il dosso sol mostrava ch'è maggiore
Ch' undici passi, ed anche più d'altezza,
E veramente, a chi la guarda, pare
Un' isoletta nel mezzo del mare.' Compare also Avieni Disc. Orbis, p. 784-5, and Pia Hilaria, p. 92. • Basil affirms that whales are equal to the greatest mountains, and their backs, when they show above the water, like to islands.' v. Brerewood on Languages, p. 133. 208 Invests] v. Stat. Theb. lib. v. 51.
tellurem proximus umbrå, Vestit Athos.?
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 serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace,
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 he steers 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 Ætna, 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 smoke: such resting found the sole Of unbless'd feet. Him follow'd his next mate, Both glorying to have scap'd the Stygian flood,
232 Pelorus] See Dante, Paradiso, c. 8. ver. 68.
Tra Pachino e Peloro sopra 'l golfo,
Che riceve da Euro maggior briga.'
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal power. up
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Said then the lost arch-angel, this the seat
That we must change for heav'n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? be it so, since he,
Who now is Sov’reign, can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equall’d, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors; hail
Infernal world; and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor; one who brings
A mind not to be chang’d by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater ? here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell :
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
240 recover'd strength] Revigorate, resumed, recovering, reviving self-raised, self-recovered. Bentl. Conj. MSS. 241 sufferance] Compare Hom. Od. iv. 503.
Φη ο αέκητι θεών φυγέειν μέγα λαϊτμα θαλάσσης.
263 Better] See Æschyli Prometheus, ver. 976.
Κρξισσον γάρ οίμαι τήδε λατρεύειν πέτρα,
"Η πατρί φύναι Ζην πιστόν άγγελον.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th’ associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on th’ oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain’d in heaven, or what more lost in hell ?
So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub
Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright,
Which but th’ Omnipotent none could have foild,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grov'ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth.
He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous 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 ev’ning, from the top of Fesolé
288 optic glass) See Henry More's Poems (Inf. of Worlds): st. 9).
• But that experiment of the optick glasse,' and Davenant's Gondibert, p. 188.
Or reach with optick tubes the ragged moon.
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine,
Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so indur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call’d
His legions, angel forms, who lay entranc’d,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades
High overarch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
293 mast] See Lucilii Sat. lib.
porro huic majus bacillum
Quam malus navi in corbitâ maximus ullâ.'
And Ovid Metam. xiii. 783.
“Cui postquam pinus, baculi quæ præbuit usum,
Ante pedes posita est, antennis apta ferendis.'
Cowley's Davideis, lib. iii. ver. 47.
spear the trunk was of a lofty tree,
Which nature meant some tall ship's mast to be.' Keysler's Travels, ii. 117. "They shew here the mast of a ship, which the common people believe to be the lance of Rolando the great. Pope probably mistook the sense, when, in Hom. Il. xii. 494,
Or pine, fit mast for some great admiral.'
Mr. Dyce refers to Quintus Smyrnæus, lib. v. ver. 118.