« AnteriorContinuar »
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notés his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh fhade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise,
Hail, universal Lord; be bounteous still
To give us only good ; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
THOU that, with furpaffing glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy fole dominion like the god
Of this new world ; at whose fight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride, and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless King.
Ah, wherefore ? he deserv'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less, than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due ! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice: lifted up so high
I 'fdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me high'ft, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome, still paying, still to owe z
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burthen then?
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd
Me fome inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd,
Hadft thou the same free will and pow'r to stand?
Thou hadft. Whom haft thou then, or what t'accuse,
But Heav'n's free love, dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accurs’d, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, curs'd be thou ; fince against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues,
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?
Which way I Ay is hell; myself am hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me,
dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises, and other vaunts,
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell :
With diadem and fceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery : such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state ; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign’d submission swore ! ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void :
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate håve pierc'd so deep:
Which would but lead us to a worse relapfe,
And heavier fall : fo should I purchase dear
Short intermission, bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher : therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace :
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewel hope, and with hope farewel fear,
Farewel remorse; all good to me is loft;
Evil be thou my good : by thee at least
Divided empire with heav'n's King I hold,
By thee and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world, thall know.
Y PHAX, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have observ'd of late thy looks are fall’n,
O'ercast with gloomy cares and discontent;
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee tell me,
What are the thoughts that knic thy brow in frowns,
And turn thine eyes thus coldly on thy prince?
Syph. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
Or carry smiles and funshine in my face,
When discontent fits heavy at my heart:
I have not yet fo much the Roman in me.
JUB. Why doft thou caft out fuch ungen'rous terms
Against the lords and fov'reigns of the world?
Doft thou not see mankind fall down before them,
And own the force of their saperior virtue?
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,
Amidst our barren rocks, and burning sands,
That does not tremble at the Roman name?
SYPH. Gods! Where's the worth that sets this people up
Above your own Numidia's tawny fons ?
Do they with tougher finews bend the bow?
Or flies the jav'lin fwifter to its mark,
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm?
Who like our active African instructs
The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand ?
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant,
Loaden with war? These, these are arts, my prince,
In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome.
JUB. These all are virtues of a meaner rank,
Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves,
A Roman foul is bent on higher views :
To civilize the rude unpolith'd world,
To lay it under the restraint of laws ;
To make man mild, and fociable to man ;
To cultivate the wild licentious savage
With wisdom, diseipline, and lib'ral arts ;
Th’ embellishments of life: virtues like these,
Make human nature shine, reform the soul,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
Syph. Patience, juft Heav'ns -Excuse an old man's
What are these wond'rous civilizing arts,
This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour,
That render man thus tractable and tame?
Are they not only to disguise our paflions,
To set our looks at variance with our thoughts,
To check the starts and fallies of the soul,
And break of all its commerce with the tongue ?
In short, to change us into other creatures,
Than what our nature and the gods design'd us?
Jus. To strike thee dumb: turn up thy eyes to Cato!
There may'st thou see to what a godlike height
The Roman virtues lift
While good, and just, and anxious for his friends,
He's still severely bent against himself ;
Renouncing fleep, and rest, and food, and ease,
He strives with thirst and hunger, toil and heat :
And when his fortune fets before him all