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XXII. Then thus in homely guise I featly framed Senseless and stunn'd I lay: till, casting round
My lowly speech:-"Good sir, what leads this way My half-unconscious gaze, I saw the foe Your wandering steps? Must hapless chance be Borne on a car of roses to the ground, blamed
By volant angels; and as sailing slow That you so far from haunt of mortals stray ? He sunk, the hoary battlement below,
Here have I dwelt for many a lingering day, While on the tall spire slept the slant sunbeam, Nor trace of man have seen; but how! methought Sweet on the enamour'd zephyr was the flow
Thou wert the youth on whom God's holy ray Of heavenly instruments. Such strains oft seem, I saw descend in Jordan, when John taught On star-light hill, to soothe the Syrian shepherd's That he to fallen man the saving promise brought." dream.
XXIII. XVII. “I am that man," said Jesus, “ I am He!
I saw blaspheming. Hate renew'd my strength; But truce to questions---Canst thou point my feet
I smote the ether with my iron wing, To some low hut, if haply such there be
And left the accursed scene.- Arrived at length In this wild labyrinth, where I may meet
In these drear halls, to ye, my peers! I bring With homely greeting, and may sit and eat;
The tidings of defeat. Hell's haughty king For forty days I have tarried fasting here,
Thrice vanquish d, baffled, smitten and dismay'd! Hid in the dark glens of this lone retreat,
O shame! Is this the hero who could fling And now I hunger; and my fainting ear
Defiance at his Maker, while, array'd Longs much to greet the sound of fountains gushing High o'er the walls of light, rebellion's banners play'd! near."
Yet shall not Heaven's bland minions triumph long; Then thus I answer'd wily :-" If, indeed,
Hell yet shall have revenge.-0 glorious sight! Son of our God thou be'st, what need to seek
Prophetic visions on my fancy throng. For food from men ?-Lo! on these flint stones feed, I see wild Agony's lean finger write Bid them be bread! Open thy lips and speak, Sad figures on his forehead
!Keenly bright And living rills from yon parch'd rock will break.”
Revenge's flambeau burns! Now in his eyes Instant as I had spoke, his piercing eye
Stand the hot tears,-immantled in the night, Fix'd on my face ;—the blood forsook my cheek, Lo! he retires to mourn I hear his cries ! I could not bear his gaze! my mask slipp'd by ; He faints-he falls—and, lo!-'l is true, ye powers, I would have shunn'd his look, but had not power to fly. he dies. XIX.
XXV. Then he rebuked me with the holy word Thus spake the chieftain,--and, as if he view'd
Accursed sounds! but now my native pride The scene he pictured, with his foot advanced, Return'd, and by no foolish qualm deterr'd,
And chest inflated, motionless he stood, I bore him from the mountain's woody side, While under his uplifted shield he glanced Up to the summit, where, extending wide
With straining eye-ball fix'd, like one entranced, Kingdoms and cities, palaces and fanes,
On viewless air ;-thither the dark platoon Bright sparkling in the sunbeams, were descried; Gazed wondering, nothing seen, save when there And in gay dance, amid luxuriant plains,
danced Tripp'd to the jocund reed the emasculated swains. The northern flash, or fiend late fled from noon,
Darken'd the disk of the descending moon. XX. • Behold," I cried, “ these glories! scenes divine !
XXVI. Thou whose sad prime in pining want decays;
Silence crept stilly through the ranks.—The breeze And these, O rapture! these shall all be thine,
Spake most distinctly. As the sailor stands, If thou wilt give to me, not God, the praise.
When all the midnight gasping from the seas Hath he not given to indigence thy days?
Break boding sobs, and to his sight expands Is not thy portion peril here and pain?
High on the shrouds the spirit that commands Oh! leave his temples, shun his wounding ways: The ocean-farer's life ; so stiff-80 sear Seize the tiara! these mean weeds disdain,
Stood each dark power ;-while through their Kneel, kneel, thou man of woe, and peace and
numerous bands splendor gain."
Beat not one heart, and mingling hope and fear XXI.
Now told them all was lost, now bade revenge appear. " Is it not written," sternly he replied, “ Tempt not the Lord thy God ?" Frowning he
One there was there, whose loud defying tongue And instant sounds, as of the ocean tide,
Not hope nor fear had silenced, but the swell Rose, and the whirlwind from its prison brake, Of over-boiling malice. Utterance long And caught me up aloft, till in one flake,
His passion mock'd, and long he strove to tell The sidelong volley met my swift career,
His laboring ire ; still syllable none fell And smote me earth ward.—Jove himself might From his pale quivering lip; but died away quake
For very fury; from each hollow cell At such a fall: my sinews crack'd, and near Half sprang his eyes, that cast a flamy ray, Obscure and dizzy sounds seem'd ringing in mine ear. And
which lost us Heaven, that we are inferior to the " This comes," at length burst from the furious chief, Thunder-bearer : In subtlety-in subtlety alone we
" This comes of distant counsels! Here behold are his equals. Open war is impossible. The fruits of wily cunning! the relief
Which coward policy would fain unfold,
Which as himself he loves; thus if we fall, And, lo! our prince—the mighty and the bold, We fall not with the anguish, the disgrace There stands he, spell-struck, gaping at the air,
Of falling unrevenged. The stirring call While Heaven subverts his reign, and plants her
Of vengeance rings within me! Warriors all, standard there."
The word is vengeance, and the spur despair.
Away the coward wiles - Death's coal-black XXIX.
pall Here, as recover'd, Satan fix'd his eye
Be now our standard !-Be our torch the glare Full on the speaker; dark it was and stern: of cities fired! our fifes, the shrieks that fill the air! He wrapt his black vest round him gloomily, And stood like one whom weightiest thoughts
Him answering rose Mecasphim, who of old,
Far in the silence of Chaldea's groves, Him Moloch mark'd, and strove again to turn
Was worshipp'd, God of Fire, with charms untold His soul to rage. “Behold, behold,” he cried, And mystery. His wandering spirit roves, “ The lord of Hell, who bade these legions spurn
Now vainly searching for the flame it lores, Almighty rule-behold, he lays aside
And sits and mourns like some white-robed sire The spear of just revenge, and shrinks, by man defied.” Where stood his temple, and where fragrant
And cinnamon upheap'd the sacred pyre, Thus ended Moloch, and his (burning) tongue And nightly magi watch'd the everlasting fire.
Hung quivering, as if (mad) to quench its heat In slaughter. So, his native wilds among,
He waved his robe of flame, he cross'd his breast, The famish'd tiger pants, when, near his seat, And sighing-his papyrus scarf survey'd,
Press'd on the sands, he marks the traveller's feet. Woven with dark characters, then thus addressid Instant low murmurs rose, and many a sword The troubled council :
Had from its scabbard sprung; but toward the seat of the arch-fiend all turn'd with one accord,
With self-rewarding toil, thus far have sung
Of godlike deeds, far loftier than beseem Ye powers of Hell, I am no coward. I proved this
The lyre which I in early days have strung; of old. Who led your forces against the armies of
And now my spirits faint, and I have hung Jehovah ? Who coped with Ithuriel and the thunders The shell, that solaced me in saddest hour, of the Almighty? Who, when stunned and confused
On the dark cypress! and the strings which rung ye lay on the burning lake, who first awoke and
With Jesus' praise, their harpings now are o'er, collected your scattered powers ? Lastly, who led Or, when the breeze comes by, moan, and are heard you across the unfathomable abyss to this delightful world, and established that reign here which now totters to its base? How, therefore, dares yon treach And must the harp of Judah sleep again? erous fiend to cast a stain on Satan's bravery ? he Shall I no more reanimate the lay? who preys only on the defenceless—who sucks the Oh! thou who visitest the sons of men, blood of infants, and delights only in acts of ignoble Thou who dost listen when the humble pray, cruelty and unequal contention. Away with the One little space prolong my mournful day! boaster who never joins in action, but, like a cormo One little lapse suspend thy last decree! rant, hovers over the field to feed upon the wounded, I am a youthful traveller in the way, and overwhelm the dying. True bravery is as remote And this slight boon would consecrate to thee, from rashness as from hesitation; let us counsel coolly, Ere I with Death shake hands, and smile that I am free. but let us execute our counselled purposes determinately. In power we have learnt, by that experiment