« AnteriorContinuar »
Why is a wísh far dearer than a crown?
Beyond our plans of empire and renown,
Why beats thy bosom with illustrious dreams
Of gallant enterprise, and glorious death?
Seize, seize the plank thyself, and let her sink :
If, with thy blood, thy final hope is spílt, 15 Nor can Omnipotence reward the blow; Be dèaf; preserve thy bèing ? disobèy.
Since virtue's recompense is doubtful, here,
Why is man sùffer'd to be good in vain ? 20 Why to be good in vain, is man enjoìn’d ?
Why to be good in vain, is man betray'd ?
Why whispers nature lies on virtue's part ? 25 Or if blind instinct (which assumes the name
Of sacred conscience) plays the fool in man,
Can man by reason's beam be led astray ?
Or both are true; or, man survives the grave.
Or own the soul immortal, or invert
And bow to thy superiors of the stall;
They graze the turf untilld; they drink the stream,
Their good is good entire, unmixt, unmàrr'd; 10 They find a paradise in ev'ry field,
On boughs forbidden where no curses hang:
When the worst comes, it comes unfear’d; one stroke 15 Begins, and ends, their woe: They die but once ;
Blest, incommunicable privilege ! for which
12. He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king 20 Stood up; the strongest and fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heav'n, now fiercer by despair :
Car'd not to be at all ; with that care lost
“My sentence is for open wàr; of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not; them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now; 30 For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and, longing, wait
Accept this dark opprobious den of shame, 5 The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay ? No, let us rather choose,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms,
Of his almighty engine he shall hear
Among his Angels, and his throne itself,
His own invented torments. (.) But perhaps
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
motion we ascend Up to our native seat : descent and fall To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear, 25 Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
find 30 To our destruction, if there be in Hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
Must exercise us without hope of end
Inexorable, and the torturing hour,
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense 10 His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag’d,
Will either quite consurne us, and reduce
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne; 20 Which if not vìctory, is yēt revenge.'
13. I should be much for open war, O peers!
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast 25 Ominous conjecture on the whole success,
When he, who most excels in fact of arms,
And utter dissolution, as the scope
First, whàt revenge? The tow'rs of Heav'n are fill'd
Encamp their legions, or, with obscure wing, 5 Scout far and wide into the realm of night,
Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
Heav'n's purest light, yet our great enemy, 10 All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted, and th' ethereal mould,
Victorious. Thus repuls’d, our final hope 15 Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th’ almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being, 20 Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
Let this be good, whether our angry foe
14. - -Aside the Devil turn'd For envy, yet with jealous leer malign
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain'd. 30 “Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two