Книга Paradise Lost. Содержание - BOOK II.


High on a Throne of Royal State, which far

Outshon the wealth of ORMUS and of IND,

Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand

Showrs on her Kings BARBARIC Pearl & Gold,

Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd

To that bad eminence; and from despair

Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught

His proud imaginations thus displaid.

Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n,

For since no deep within her gulf can hold

Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n,

I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent

Celestial vertues rising, will appear

More glorious and more dread then from no fall,

And trust themselves to fear no second fate:

Mee though just right, and the fixt Laws of Heav'n

Did first create your Leader, next, free choice,

With what besides, in Counsel or in Fight,

Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss

Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more

Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne

Yeilded with full consent. The happier state

In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw

Envy from each inferior; but who here

Will envy whom the highest place exposes

Formost to stand against the Thunderers aime

Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share

Of endless pain? where there is then no good

For which to strive, no strife can grow up there

From Faction; for none sure will claim in hell

Precedence, none, whose portion is so small

Of present pain, that with ambitious mind

Will covet more. With this advantage then

To union, and firm Faith, and firm accord,

More then can be in Heav'n, we now return

To claim our just inheritance of old,

Surer to prosper then prosperity

Could have assur'd us; and by what best way,

Whether of open Warr or covert guile,

We now debate; who can advise, may speak.

He ceas'd, and next him MOLOC, Scepter'd King

Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit

That fought in Heav'n; now fiercer by despair:

His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd

Equal in strength, and rather then be less

Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost

Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse

He reckd not, and these words thereafter spake.

My sentence is for open Warr: Of Wiles,

More unexpert, I boast not: them let those

Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.

For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,

Millions that stand in Arms, and longing wait

The Signal to ascend, sit lingring here

Heav'ns fugitives, and for thir dwelling place

Accept this dark opprobrious Den of shame,

The Prison of his Tyranny who Reigns

By our delay? no, let us rather choose

Arm'd with Hell flames and fury all at once

O're Heav'ns high Towrs to force resistless way,

Turning our Tortures into horrid Arms

Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise

Of his Almighty Engin he shall hear

Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see

Black fire and horror shot with equal rage

Among his Angels; and his Throne it self

Mixt with TARTAREAN Sulphur, and strange fire,

His own invented Torments. But perhaps

The way seems difficult and steep to scale

With upright wing against a higher foe.

Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench

Of that forgetful Lake benumme not still,

That in our proper 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 brok'n Rear

Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep,

With what compulsion and laborious flight

We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then;

Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke

Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find

To our destruction: if there be in Hell

Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse

Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd

In this abhorred deep to utter woe;

Where pain of unextinguishable fire

Must exercise us without hope of end

The Vassals of his anger, when the Scourge

Inexorably, and the torturing houre

Calls us to Penance? More destroy'd then thus

We should be quite abolisht and expire.

What fear we then? what doubt we to incense

His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag'd,

Will either quite consume us, and reduce

To nothing this essential, happier farr

Then miserable to have eternal being:

Or if our substance be indeed Divine,

And cannot cease to be, we are at worst

On this side nothing; and by proof we feel

Our power sufficient to disturb his Heav'n,

And with perpetual inrodes to Allarme,

Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne:

Which if not Victory is yet Revenge.

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd

Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous

To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose

BELIAL, in act more graceful and humane;

A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd

For dignity compos'd and high exploit:

But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue

Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear

The better reason, to perplex and dash

Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low;

To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds

Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the eare,

And with perswasive accent thus began.

I should be much for open Warr, O Peers,

As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd

Main reason to perswade immediate Warr,

Did not disswade me most, and seem to cast

Ominous conjecture on the whole success:

When he who most excels in fact of Arms,

In what he counsels and in what excels

Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair

And utter dissolution, as the scope

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.

First, what Revenge? the Towrs of Heav'n are fill'd

With Armed watch, that render all access

Impregnable; oft on the bordering Deep

Encamp thir Legions, or with obscure wing

Scout farr and wide into the Realm of night,

Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way

By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise

With blackest Insurrection, to confound

Heav'ns purest Light, yet our great Enemie

All incorruptible would on his Throne

Sit unpolluted, and th' Ethereal mould

Incapable of stain would soon expel

Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire

Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope

Is flat despair: we must exasperate

Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,

And that must end us, that must be our cure,

To be no more; sad cure; for who would loose,

Though full of pain, this intellectual being,

Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,

To perish rather, swallowd up and lost

In the wide womb of uncreated night,

Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows,

Let this be good, whether our angry Foe

Can give it, or will ever? how he can

Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.

Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,

Belike through impotence, or unaware,

To give his Enemies thir wish, and end

Them in his anger, whom his anger saves

To punish endless? wherefore cease we then?

Say they who counsel Warr, we are decreed,

Reserv'd and destin'd to Eternal woe;

Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,

What can we suffer worse? is this then worst,

Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in Arms?

What when we fled amain, pursu'd and strook

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