« EelmineJätka »
Not to know me, argues yourselves unknown,
and superfluous begin Your message,
like to end as much in vain ?
The Fiend reply'd not, overcome with rage;
But, like a proud steed rein’d, went haughty on,
nigh The western point, where those half-rounding
guards Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd, Awaiting next command. To whom their chief, Gabriel from the front, thus call’d aloud : 865
O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade, And with them comes a third of regal port, But faded splendor wan; who, by his gait 870 And fierce demeanour, seems the prince of Hell, Not likely to part hence without contest : Stand firm, for in his look defiance low'rs.
Hescarce had ended when those twoapproach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found,
875 How busy’d, in what form and posture couch’d.
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake: Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib’d To thy transgressions, and disturb’d the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress
880 By thy example, but have pow'r and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Employ'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?
Towhom thus Satan with contemptuous brow: Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav’n th'esteem of wise, And such I held thee; but this question ask'd Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from
Hell, Though thither doom'd ? Thou would'st thyself, no doubt,
890 And boldly venture to whatever place Farthest from pain, where thou might'st hope to
change Torment with ease, and soonest recompense Dole with delight, which in this place I sought; To thee no reason, who know'st only good, 895 But evil hast not try’d: and wilt object His will who bound us? Let him surer bar His iron gates, if he intends our stay In that dark durance : thus much what was ask'd. The rest is true, they found me where they say; But that implies not violence or harm. 901
Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel mov'd Disdainfully, half smiling, thus reply'd : O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, 905 And now returns him from his prison 'scap'd, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither Unlicens’d from his bounds in Hell prescrib’d; So wise he judges it to fly from pain However, and to 'scape his punishment.
So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath, Which thou incurr’st by flying, meet thy flight Sev’nfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain Can equal anger infinite provok’d.
. 916 But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all Hell broke loose? Is pain to them Less pain, less to be fled ? or thou than they Less hardy to endure? Courageous Chief, 920 The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alledg’d To thy deserted host this cause of flight, Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive. To which the Fiend thus answer’d, frowning
stern : Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, 925 Insulting Angel : well thou know'st I stood Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid The blasting volley'd thunder made all speed, And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. But still thy words at random, as before, 930 Argue thy inexperience what behoves From hard assays and ill successes past A faithful leader, not to hazard all Through ways of danger by himself untry'd: I therefore, I alone first undertook
935 To wing the desolate abyss, and spy This new-created world, whereof in Hell Fame is not silent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted Pow'rs To settle here on earth, or in mid-air;
Though for possession put to try once more
To whom the warrior Angel soon reply'd:
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains,