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Created hugest that swim the ocean stream:
Ilim, haply, slumbering 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
llad risen or heaved 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
Ileap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others; and enraged might see
llow all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shown
On man by him seduced; 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,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, rollid
In billows, leave in the 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 thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate;
Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian flood,
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Said then the lost Archangel, this the seat
That we must change for heaven? this mournful gloom
204. Vight-founder'd. A ship is said to
For certain founder at sen, (from the French fondre, Either some one like us night-founder'd hero. to melt, to fall,) when she is overtaken
Line 483. by a leak, fills, and sinks. So sbe is here 232 Pelorus. Pilorus was the north. said to be nighl-founderd, when she is eastern promontory of Sicily. Here overtaken by the night, and is stopped, agnin Milton brings in his learned allunot knowing which way to go. The saune I sions and illustrations: the picture is phrase is used in Comus. The two bro. highly portiral and sublime."-- BRIDGES. thers in the night have lost their way in 210. Recorered, resumed, self-raised, the wool: one heart a noise, and ask self-recovered. what it is. The other replies
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he,
Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equal’d, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail, horrours; hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell,
Receive thy new possessour; one who brings
A mind not to be changed 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; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy; will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool;
And call them not to share with us their part
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 the Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
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 battel when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage, and revive, though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed:
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth.
Ile scarce had ceased, when the superioar 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 evening, from the top of Fesolé,
249. Farewell, happy fields. The pathos 289. Fesole. A town near Florence of this passage is exquisite.-BRYTES. “We are here in Arno's vale, (Vildurno;)
286. The broad circumference, &c. Here the full moon shining over Ferolé, which Milton shines in all his majestic splen. I see from my windows: Milton's verses dour: his mighty imagination almoster every moment in one's month, and Gelin cels itself. There is indescribable magic leo's house twenty yants from one's door.” in this picture.-BRYDGES.
-Mrs. Piozzi's “Journey through Italy.”
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine,
Hewn on 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 endured, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call’d
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranced,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades
High overarch'd imbower; 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,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases
And broken chariot-wheels: so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call's so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of bell resounded: Princes, potentates,
Warriors, the flower of heaven, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits: or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battel to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,
293. Norroegian hills. The hills of Nor- bower,' has been rendered classical by way abound in vast woods, from whence the immortal verse of Milton, who is are brought masts of the largest size. supposed to have drawn from it his pic" The annotators leave unnoticed the ture of Paradise, when he describes itmarvellous grandeur of this description,
-shade above shade while they babble on petty technicalities. A woody theatre of stateliest view." The walking over the burning marle is
MURRAY. astonishing and tremendous."-BRIDGES.
302. Thick as autumnal leares. "Here 305. Orion. This constellation was supwe see the impression of scenery made posed to be attended with stormy weaupon Milton's mind in his youth when iher. he was at Florence. This is a favourite 307. Busiris. Pharaoh is called by some pausage with all readers of descriptive writers Busiris; and he is here said to poetry."-Sir E. BRYDGES. ** The situa- have pursued the Israelites with perfidition of Florence is peculiarly bappy in ous hatred, because, after having given the vale of Arno, which forms one con- them leave to depart, he followed then tinued interchange of garden and grove, as fugitives. enclosel by hills and distant mountains. 311. The hollow deep. This magnifiVallombrosa, (a vale about eighteen miles cent call of Satan to his prostrate host distant,) a grand and solemn scene, where could have been written by nobody but 'Etrurian shades high over-archod im- Milton.-BRIDGES.
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from heaven gates discern
The advantage, and descending tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arise; or be for ever fallen!
They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung
Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd,
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Ægypt's evil day,
Waved round the coast, up call’d a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken’d all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad angels seen,
Hlovering on wing under the cope of hell,
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires:
Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain.
A multitude, like which the populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins; to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste, where stood
Their great Commander; godlike shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely dignities,
And powers, that erst in heaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and razed
By their rebellion from the Book of Life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth,
Through God's high suffrance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and the invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
338. Potent rod. See Ex. X. 13.
the German. The barbarous sons of the 311. Warping. Working themselves for great “northern hive" were the Goths, wari; a so-term.
the luis, and the Vandals, who uverran 353. Rhenr or the Dunar. Ile might all the provinces of southern Europe, nnre said Khine or the Danube, but he destroying all the monuments of learnchose Rhene of the Latin and Danaw of ing and the arts that came in their way.
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn’d
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,
Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch
At their great Emperour's call, as next in worth,
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand;
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.
The chief were those, who, from the pit of hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altar, gods adored
Among the nations round; and durst abide
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the cherubim: yea, often placed
Within his sanctuary itself, their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, tesmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;
Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipp'd in Rabba and her watery plain,
In Argob, and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God,
On that opprobrious hill; and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call’d, the type of hell.
Next Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons,
392. Moloch was the god of the Ammon- of Jerusalem, where the Canaanites and ites, (1 Kings xi. 7) and was worshipped afterwards the Israelites offered their chil. in Rabba, their capital city, called the dren to Moloch. The good king Josiah * city of waters," 2 Sam. xii. 27. The idol defilod this place, by casting into it the of this deity was of brass, sitting on a bones of the dead and other disgusting throne, and wearing a crown, having the refuse substances of a large city. A per. heal of a calf, and his arms extended to petual fire was kept there to consume receive the miserable victims which were these things, and hence under the name to be sacrificed; and therefore it is here of Gehennu it is frequently alluded to in probably styled * his grim idol," 2 Kings the New Testament as a type of Hell. xxiii. 10: see also Jer, vii. 31.
It was also called Tophrt, from the llo338. Argob was a city to the east of the brew Toph, a drum; vince drums and Jordan, and in the district Bashan. The such like noisy instruments were used river Arnon was the northern boundary to drown the cries of the miserable chil. of Moab and emptied into the Dead Sea. dren who were offered to the idol here.
400. Solomon built a temple to Moloch 406. Chemos is the god of the Moabites, on the Mount of Olives, (1 Kings xi. 7) and is mentioned with Moloch in 1 Kings which is therefore called “that opprobri- xi. 7. Some suppose him to be the same bus hill."
as that most shameful divinity, Priapus, 404. The valley of Hinnom was south and therefore here called the obscene dread.