« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Of Erebus, a moment, pausing stood,
And saw, below, the unfathomable lake,
Tossing with tides of dark, tempestuous wrath; And would have looked behind; but greater
Behind, forbade, which now no respite gave
Of his Almighty strength, took them upraised,
A groan returned, as down they sunk, and sunk,
They felt damnation sure! and heard Hell close!
And heard Jehovah, and his love retire!
A groan returned! the righteous heard the
As if all misery, all sorrow, grief,
All pain, all anguish, all despair, which all
And issued in one groan of boundless wo!
And now the wall of hell, the outer wall,
First gateless then, closed round them; that which thou
Hast seen, of fiery adamant, emblazed
Above all flight of fancy, burning high;
To Wrath, that hears, unmoved, the endless
Of those, wasting within; and sees, unmoved,
The endless tear of vain repentance fall.
Nor ask if these shall ever be redeemed.
They never shall: not God, but their own sin Condemns them: what could be done, as thou
Has been already done; all has been tried,
That wisdom infinite, and boundless grace,
Has failed: why now succeed? Though God should stoop,
Inviting still, and send his Only Son
To offer grace in hell, the pride that first
All sin, makes what in time seemed probable,
According to the eternal laws which bind
All creatures, bind the Uncreated One,
Though we name not the sentence of the Judge—
Must daily grow in sin and punishment,
Made by themselves their necessary lot,
Unchangeable to all eternity.
What lot! what choice! I sing not, cannot
Here, highest seraphs tremble on the lyre,
As one who saw more of that horrid wo
Than words could utter; and again resumed.
Nor yet had vengeance done. The guilty Earth Inanimate, debased, and stained by sin, Seat of rebellion, of corruption, long,
And tainted with mortality throughout,
God sentenced next; and sent the final fires
Of ruin forth, to burn and to destroy.
The saints its burning saw; and thou mayst
Look yonder round the lofty golden walls
And galleries of New Jerusalem,
Among the imagery of wonders past;
Look near the southern gate; look, and behold,
The handiwork of high arch-angel, drawn
See how the mountains, how the valleys burn!
The Ocean burns, and rolls his waves of flame.
See how the lightnings, barbed, red with wrath, Sent from the quiver of Omnipotence,
Cross and recross the fiery gloom, and burn
Into the centre! burn without, within,
And help the native fires, which God awoke,