Ye angels arm’d; this day from battle rest :
Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God
Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause,
And as ye have received, so have ye done
Invincibly: but of this cursed crew,
The punishment to other hand belongs ;
Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints :
Number to this day's work is not ordain’d,
Nor multitude ; stand only and behold
God's indignation, on these godless, pour'd
By me; not you, but me they have despised,
Yet envied; against me is all their rage,
Because the Father to whom, in Heaven supreme,
Kingdom and power and glory appertains,
Hath honour'd me according to his will.
Therefore, to me their doom he hath assign'd;
That they may have their wish, to try with me
In battle, which the stronger proves, they ali,
Or I alone against them; since by strength
They measure all, of other excellence
Not emulous, nor care who them excels ;
Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.'

“ So spake the Son, and into terror changed
His countenance, too severe to be beheld,
And full of wrath bent on his enemies.
At once the four spread out their starry wings,
With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs
Of his fierce chariot roll’d, as with the sound
Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host.
He on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels
The steadfast empyrean shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arrived, in his right hand
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues; they astonish’d, all resistance lost,
All courage; down their idle weapons dropp'd :
O’er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode,
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostrate,
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire.
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell
His arrows, from the fourfold-visag'd four,
Distinct with eyes, and, from the living wheels,
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes ;

One spirit in them ruled, and every eye
Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that wither'd all their strength
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall’n.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley ; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven :
The overthrown he raised, and, as a herd
Of goats, or timorous flock together throng'd,
Drove them before him, thunder-struck, pursued
With terrors and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heaven ; which opening wide
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd,
Into the wasteful deep. The monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind; headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath
Burnt after them, to the bottomless pit.

66 Hell heard the unsufferable noise, Hell saw
Heaven running from Heaven, and would have fled,
Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine days they fell : confounded Chaos roar'd,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall,
Through his wild anarchy, so huge rout
Encumber'd him with ruin. Hell at last,
Yawning, received them whole, and on them clos'd :
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd Heaven rejoiced ; and soon repair'd
Her mural breach, returning whence it rolld.
Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes
Messiah his triumphant chariot turn'd.
To meet him all his saints, who silent stood,
Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,
With jubilee advanc'd ; and as they went,
Shaded with branching palm, each order bright
Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
Son, Heir and Lord, to him dominion given,
Worthiest to reign he celebrated rode
Triumphant through mid Heaven, into the courts
And temple of his mighty Father, throned
On high ; who into glory him received,
Where now he sits, at the right hand of bliss.”



Sure there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream
of Helicon ; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those.
And as courts make not kings, but kings the court,
So where the Muses and their train resort
Parnassus stands ; if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnassus art to me.
Nor wonder if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly
More boundless in my fancy than my eye ;
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first salutes the place
Crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high,
That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky
Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud
Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud;
Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse,* whose flight
Has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height;
Now shalt thou stand, though sword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal, more fierce than they, thy fall conspire ;
Secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings,
Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud survey the City lies,
And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise,
Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this distance but a darker cloud,

* Mr. Waller.

And is, to him who rightly things esteems,
No other in effect than what it seems ;
Where with like haste, though several ways, they run,
Some to undo, and some to be undone ;
While luxury and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin and increase;
As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
Thence reconveys, there to be lost again.
Oh! happiness of sweet retir'd content:
To be at once secure and innocent.
Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with strength) above the valley swells
Into my eye, and doth itself present
With such an easy and unforc'd ascent,
That no stupendous precipice denies
Access, no horror turns away our eyes ;
But such a rise as doth at once invite
A pleasure and a reverence from the sight :
Thy mighty master's e nblem, in whose face
Sat meekness, heighten'd with majestic grace;
Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the basis of that pompous load.
Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only, which supports the spheres.
When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance
'Twas guided by a wiser power than Chance !
Mark'd out for such an use, as if't were meant
To' invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when what we choose
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of such majestic towers doth grace
The gods' great mother, when her heavenly race
Do homage to her; yet she cannot boast,
Among that numerous and celestial host,
More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth Fame's
Immortal book record more noble names.
Not to look back so far, to whom this isle
Owes the first glory of so brave a pile,
Whether to Cæsar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish C’nute;
(Though this of old no less contest did move
Ìhan when for Homer's birth seven cities strove)
(Like him in birth, thou should'st be like in fanie,
Às thine his fate, if mine had been his fame)
But whosoe'er it was, Nature design'd
First a brave place, and then as brave a mind.

Not to recount those several kings to whom
It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;
But thee, great Edward ! and thy greater son,
(The lilies which his father wore he won)
And thy Bellona, who the consort came
Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame;
She to thy triumph led one captive king,
And brought that son which did the second bring ;
Then didst thou found that Order (whether love
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move ;)
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less
Than the design bas been the great success,
Which foreign kings and emperors esteem
The second honour to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill
To know, as well as power to act her will,
That from those kings who then thy captives were,
In after-times should spring a royal pair,
Who should possess all that thy mighty pow'r,
Or thy desires more mighty, did devour;
To whom their better fate reserves whate'er
The victor hopes for, or the vanquish'd fear :
That blood which thou and thy great grandsire shed,
And all that since these sister nations bled,
Had been unspilt, and happy Edward known
That all the blood he spilt had been his own.
When he that patron chose, to whom are join'd
Soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd
Within the azure circles, he did seem
But to foretel and prophesy of him;
Who to his realms that azure round hath join'd,
Which Nature for their bound at first design'd :
That bound which to the world's extremest ends,
Endless itself, its liquid arms extends.
Nor doth he need those emblems which we paint,
But is himself the soldier and the saint.
Here should my wonder dwell, and here my praise,
But my fix'd thoughts my wandering eye betrays,
Viewing a neighbouring hill, whose top of late
A chapel crown'd, till in the common fate
The' adjoining abbey fell. (May no such storm
Fall on our times, where ruin must reform !)
Tell me, my Muse! what monstrous dire offence,
What crime, could any Christian king incense
To such a rage? Was't luxury or lust?
Was he so temperate, so chaste, so just ?


« VorigeDoorgaan »