Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

have desired, at last; for this must be the ultimate doom (what ever might otherwise have been the case) of all who have set at defiance the maxims of decency, morality, and religion, however bright their genius, and however vast their powers. As the world grows older, and, we trust, better, — as it approximates to that state of religious and moral elevation which Christianity warrants us to anticipate,— many a production which a licentious age has pardoned for its genius will be thrown aside in spite of it. In that day, if genius rebelliously refuse, as it assuredly will not, — for the highest genius has not even hitherto refused, — to consecrate itself to goodness, the world will rather turn to the humblest productions which are instinct with virtue, than to the fairest works of genius when polluted by vice. In a word, the long idolatry of intellect which has enslaved the world will be broken; and that world will perceive that, bright as genius may be, virtue is brighter still. Henry Rogebs.

Clxiv. From Milton's "paradise Losi."

1. On His Blindness.

Thus with the year Seasons return; but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;But cloud instead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair, Presented with a universal blank Of Nature's works, to me expunged and razed, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou, celestial Light, Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate; there plant eyes; all mist from thence

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell

Of things invisible to mortal sight!

2. March Of The Rerel Angels.

All in a moment, through the gloom were seen
Ten thousand banners rise"* into the air,
With orient colors waving; with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appeared, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flutes and soft recorders ;" such as raised

To height of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valor breathed, firm and unmoved
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;
Noi wanting power to mitigate and 'suage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought,
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charmed
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil: and now
Advanced in view they stand: a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with ordered spear and shield,
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose.

3. Description Op Satan. He, above the rest

In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower; his form had not yet lost
All her original brightness, nor appeared Less than archangel ruined, and the excess
Of glory obscured: as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs; darkened so, yet shone
Above them all the archangel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched; and care
Sat on his faded cheek; but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride,
Waiting revenge.

4. Satan's Apostrophe" To The Sun.

0, thou! that, with surpassing glory crowned,
Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O, Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere!
Till pride, and, worse, ambition, threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King.

5. Evening.

Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
Had in her sober livery" all things clad.

Silence accompanied: for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their neste,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale:
She all night long her amorous des'cant sung:
Silence was pleased. Now glowed the firmament
With living sapphires: Hes'perus," that led
The starry host, rode brightest; till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

6. Happiness. With thee conversing I forget all time,
All seasons and their change: all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn; her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then, silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.

7. Eve's Regrets On Quitting Paradise.

Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil? these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of gods! where I had hope to spend,
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both! 0, flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names!
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee, lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorned
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild? How shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits?

CLXV. — QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.

Cassius. That you have wronged me, doth appear in this Fou have condemned and noted Lucius Pella, For taking bribes here of the Sardians,

Wherein my letters (praying on his side
Because I knew the man) were slighted off.

Brutus. You wronged yourself, to write in such a case.

Cas. At such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear its comment. Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold,
To undeservers.

Cas. I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last!

Bru. The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chas'tisement doth therefore hide its head.

Cas. Chas'tisement!

Bru. Remember March, the ides" of March remember!
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touched his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? —What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world,
But for supporting robbers, —shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honors
For so much trash as may be grasped thus? —
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman!

Cas. Brutus, bay not me!
I '11 not endure it. You forget yourself,
To hedge me in: I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

Bru. Go to!" you 're not, Cassius. Cas. I am.

Bru. I say you are not.

Cas. Urge me no more: I shall forget myself: Have mind upon your health: tempt me no furthet

Bru. Away, slight man!

Cas. Is't possible?

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

Cas. Must I endure all this?

Bru. All this? Ay, more! Fret till your proud heart break; Go, show your slaves how choleric you are, And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge1 Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch Under your testy humor? You shall digest the venom of your spleen, Though it do split you; for, from this day forth, I '11 use you for my mirth, — yea, for my laughter — When you are waspish.

Cas. Is it come to this 1

Bru. You say you are a better soldier;
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

Cas. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus;
I said an elder soldier, not abetter.
Did I say better >

Bru. If you did, I care not.

Cas. When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved mo
Bru. Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him.
Cas. I durst not?
Bru. No.

Cas. What! durst not tempt him f

Bru. For your life you durst not.

Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love. I may do that I shall be sorry for.

Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am armed so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me; —
For I can raise no money by vile means:
I had rather coin my heart, And drop my blood for drachmas,47 than to wring From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash

Bj any indirection. I did send To j Ju for gold to pay my legions;Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius?Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, To lock such rascal counters from his friends, Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts, Dash him to pieces!

Cas. I denied you not.

Bru. You did.

Cas. I did not: he was but a fool A friend should bear a friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not, till you practice them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.

Cas. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come!
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius;
For Cassius is a-weary of the world —
Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother

[graphic]

Brutus hath rived my heart

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »