He after Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by, and changing shape .
T'observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
Upon her husband, saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them, terrify'd
He fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
The present, fearing guilty what his wrath 340
Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
By night, and list’ning where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gather'd his own doom, which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd,
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd
Met who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight 350
Of that stupendous bridge his joy increas'd.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Inchanting daughter, thus the silence broke:

O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
Thy trophies, which chou view'st as not thine own;
Thou art their author and prime architect :-
For I no sooner in my heart divin'd,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine, join'd in connexion sweet,
That thou on earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks
Now also evidence, but strait I felt 361
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt
That I must after thee with this thy son,
Such fatal consequence unites us three:
Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast achiev'd.our liberty, confin'd
Within Hell gates till now, thou us impower'd
To fortify thus far, and overlay

With this portentous bridge the dark abyss.
Thine now is all this world; thy virtue' hath won
What thy hands builded not, thy wisdom gain'd
With odds what war hath lost, and fully' aveng'd
Our foil in Heav'n; here thou shalt monarch reign,
There didst not; there let him still victor sway,
As batile hath adjudg'd, from his new world
Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things parted by the empyreal bounds, 380
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world,
Or try thee now more dange'rous to his throne.

Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answer'd glad: Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both, High proof ye now have giv'n to be the race Of Satan, (for 1 glory in the name, Antagonist of Heav'n’s almighty King) Amply have merited of me, of all Th’ infernal empire, that so near Heav'n's door Triumphal with triumphal act have met, 390 Mine with this glorious work, and made ong scalm

Hell and this world, one realm, one continent
Of easy thorough-fare. Therefore while I
Descend through darkness, on your road with ease,
To my associate powers, them to acquaint
With these successes, and with them rejoice,
You two this way, among these numerous orbs
All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
There dwell and reign in bliss, thence on the earth
Dominion exercise, and in the air, 1

Chiefly on man, sole lord of all declar'd,
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
My substitutes I send ye, and create
Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might
Issuing from me: on your joint vigor now
My hold of this new kingdom all depends,
Through sin to death expos'd by my exploit.
If your joint power prevail, th' affairs of Hell
No detriment need fear; go and be strong. 409

So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed Their course through thickest constellations held, Spreading their bane; the blasted stars look'd wan, And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse Then suffer'd. Th’ other way Satan went down The causey to Hell gate; on either side Disparted Chaos over built exclaim'd, And with rebounding surge the bars assail'd, That scorn'd his indignation: through the gate, Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd, And all about found desolate; for those 420 Appointed to sit there had left their charge,


Flown to the upper world; the rest were all
Far to th' inland retir'd, about the walls
Of Pandemonium, city and proud scat
Of Lucifer, so by allusion callid
Of that bright star to Satan paragond.
There kept their watch the legions, while the Grand
In council sat, solicitous what chance
Might intercept their empe'ror sent; so he
Departing gave command, and they observ'd: 430
As when the Tartar from his Russian foe
By Astracan over the snowy plains
Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the horns
Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond
The realm of Aladule, in his retreat
To Tauris or Casbeen: so these the late
Heav'n-bamsh'd host left desert utmost Hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch
Round their metropolis, and now expecting 439.
Each hour their great adventurer from the search
Of foreign worlds: he through the midst unmark'd,
In show plebeian angel militant
Of lowest order, passid ; and from the door
Of that Plutonian hall, invisible
Ascended his high throne, which under state
Of richest texture spread, at th' upper end
Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down a while
He sat, and round about him saw unseen:
At last as from a cloud his fulgent head
And shape star-bright appear'd, or brighter, clad
With what permissive glory since his fall

[ocr errors]

Was left him, or false glitter: all amaz'd
At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng
Bent their aspéct, and whom they wish'd beheld,
Their mighty Chief return'd: loud was th' acclaim:
Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers,
Rais'd from their dark divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
Silence, and with these words attention won: 459

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow.
For in possession such, not only' of right, fers,
I call ye and declare ye now, return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe,
And dungeon of our Tyrant: now possess,
As lords, a spacious world, to' our native Heav'n
Little inferior, by my adventure hard
With peril great achiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffer'd, with what pain
Voyag'd th' unreal, vast, unbounded deep 471
Of horrible confusion, over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'a'
To expedite your glorious march; but I
Toil'd out my uncouth passage, forc'd to ride
The untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb
Of unorigi'nal Night and Chaos wild,
That jealous of their secrets fiercely' opposid
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting fate supreme; thence how I found 480
The new-created world, which fame in Heav'n

« ElőzőTovább »