Slike strani
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Has quoniam cœli nondum dignamur honore,
Quas dedimus certè terras habitare finamus.

WOW had th' archangel trumpet, rais'd fublime

[ocr errors]

Above the walls of heav'n, begun to found
All æther took the blaft, and hell beneath
Shook with celeftial noife; th' almighty hoft
Hot with purfuit, and reeking with the blood
Of guilty cherubs smear'd in fulphurous duft,
Paufe at the known command of founding gold.
At first they close the wide Tartarian gates,
Th' impenetrable folds on brazen hinge
Roll creaking horrible; the din beneath
O'ercomes the roar of flames, and deafens hell.
Then through the folid gloom with nimble wing
They cut their fhining traces up to light;

1;

Return'd

Return'd upon the edge of heavenly day,
Where thinneft beams play round the vaft obfcure,
And with eternal gleam drive back the night.
They find the troops lefs ftubborn, lefs involv'd
In crime and ruin, barr'd the realms of peace,
Yet uncondemn'd to baleful feats of woe,
Doubtful and fuppliant; all the plumes of light-
Moult from their shuddering wings, and fickly fear
Shades every face with horror; confcious guilt
Rolls in the livid eye-ball, and each breaft
Shakes with the dread of future doom unknown.
'Tis here the wide circumference of heaven
Opens in two vaft gates, that inward turn
Voluminous, on jafper columns hung
By geometry divine: they ever glow
With living fculptures, that arise by turns
T'imbofs the fhining leaves, by turns they fet
To give fucceeding argument their place;
In holy hieroglyphics on they move,

The gaze of journeying angels, as they pass
Oft looking back, and held in deep furprize.
Here flood the troops diftinct; the cherub guard
Unbarr'd the fplendid gates, and in they roll
Harmonious; for a vocal spirit fits
Within each hinge, and, as they onward drive,
In juft divifions breaks the numerous jarr
With fymphony melodious, fuch as spheres
Involv'd in tenfold wreaths are faid to found.

Out flows a blaze of glory: for on high
Tow'ring advanc'd the moving throne of God,
Vaft and majestic; on each radiant fide
The pointed rays flope glittering; at the foot
Glides a full tide of day, that onward pours,
In liquid torrents through the black abyfs,
Sparkling among reluctant fhapes which thence
Retire confus'd; as when Vefuvio shakes
With inward torments, and difgorges flames,
O'er the vast mountain's ridge the burning waves
Drive their refulgent curls, and on they roll
Sweeping the glowing plains down to the fea;
Th' affrighted fea leaps back with hideous roar
To give the fire its courfe; thus Chaos wild
Hiffing recoils to let in floods of light.

Above the throne, th' ideas heavenly bright
Of paft, of prefent, and of coming time
Fix'd their immov'd abode, and there prefent
An endless landscape of created things
To fight celeftial, where angelic eyes
Are loft in profpect; for the fhiny range,
Boundless and various, in its bofom bears
Millions of full-proportion'd worlds, beheld
With ftedfaft eyes, till more arise to view,
And farther inward fcenes ftart up unknown.
Myriads of feraphs in long feries wait
About the throne, and as it moves, proceed
In numerous exder, to celestial fong.

Above, the fymphony of mellow flutes,
And harps, by flying angels gently touch'd,
Relieve the trumpet's rage, and fitly blend
The folemn founds in harmony divine;

Such as might tune new worlds, and give the laws
To globes on high, and the juft figure guide
Of planets forming all their airy dance..

Below, the blazing wheels drive bounding o'er
The starry pavement; ftars and hills of light
Double their glories where the chariot rolls
With rattling found; and th' empyræum vaft
Down to its ftedfaft axis, groans throughout
Under the burning tracts, 'till now it rests
Upon the gaping brink of heaven; and there
With open pomp, fills the vaft empty space.
Silence enfues; a deep and aweful paufe
More terrible, all expectation held

In horror; now wrath imminent amaz'd
With dreadful precipice, to all it seems
More formidable near; then from the throne
A vocal thunder roll'd the sense of God,
Majestically long, repugnant all

To princes' customs here; their judgments flash
On guilt, with words concife, and fudden blaze.
Quite otherwife, the God's enlarged speech
Set wide the fate of things; that all around
Might take full profpects of their coming doom.

Servants

Servants of God! and Virtues great in arms;

We

faithful works, and you return

approve your
Blefs'd from the dire pursuit of rebel foes;

Resolv'd, obdurate, they have try'd the force
Of this right hand, and known Almighty pow'r ;
Transfix'd with lightning down they funk, they fell
Into the fiery gulf, and deep they plunge
Below the burning waves, to hide their heads
In fhelter from my vengeance bellowing hence
More fierce, and scorching with more dreadful fires.
There let 'em find their doom, that durft defy
Omnipotence, and flight his proffer'd grace;
Rolling in flames, and ne'er to find a dawn
Of heavenly day; inftead, the mind imbibes
Eternal gloom, and fing'd with conftant flames,
Can find no eafe; while fierce their boiling rage
Eats through th' impyreal mould, and glows within
With endless pain; not one repentant thought
Shall cool the breaft, but proud in horrid crime,
The foul anneals and hardens in the fire.

But you commiffion'd by commands divine,
Have wifely fill'd your truft, and clos'd 'em all
Within the fervid lake, lest any roam

Into the dark abyfs to fhun their doom,
And in the womb immenfe of things unborn.
Should feek annihilation; you must rise
Among the fhining Virtues more fublime;
On lofty thrones preferr'd for lofty deeds.

For

« PrejšnjaNaprej »