Obrázky stránek


He ask’d, but all the heav'nly quire stood mute,
And silence was in Heav'n : on Man's behalf
Patron or intercessor none appear’d,
Much less that durst upon his own head draw
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now without redemption all mankind
Must have been lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,

225 His dearest meditation thus renew'd.

Father, thy word is past, Man shall find grace ;
And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
The speediest of thy winged messengers,
To visit all thy creatures, and to all

Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought?
Happy for Man, so coming ; he her aid
Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
Atonement for himself or offering meet,
Indebted and undone, hath none to bring : 235
Behold me then; me for him, life for life
I offer ; on me let thine anger fall,
Account me Man; 1 for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die

240 Well pleas’d; on me let Death wreak all his rage; Under his gloomy pow'r I shall not long All lie vanquish’d; thou hast given me to possess Life in myself for ever ; by thee I live, Though now to Death I yield, and am his due 245 All that of me can die ; yet that debt paid,


Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise victorious, and subdue

My vanquisher, spoild of his vaunted spoil ;
Death his death's wound shall then receive, and stoop
Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm’d.
I through the ample air in triumph high
Shall lead Hell captive maugre Hell, and show

255 The Pow'rs of darkness bound. Thou at the sight Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile, While by thee rais'd I ruin all my foes, Death last, and with his carcase glut the grave : Then with the multitude of my redeem'd

Shall enter Heav'n long absent, and return,
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd
And reconcilement ; wrath shall be no more
Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire. 265

His words here ended, but his meek aspect
Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love
To mortal men, above which only shone
Filial obedience : as a sacrifice
Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will

Of his great Father. Admiration seiz'd
All Heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend
Wond’ring ; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd.

O Thou in. Heav'n and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrath, O thou 275 My sole complacence ! well thou know'st how dear


To me are all my works, nor Man the least,
Though last created ; that for him I spare
Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
By losing thee awhile, the whole race lost.
Thou therefore, whom thou only canst redeem,
Their nature also to thy nature join;
And be thyself Man among men on earth,
Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed,
By wondrous birth: he thou in Adam's room 285
The head of all mankind, though Adam's son.
As in him perish all men, so in thee,
As from a second root, shall be restor'd
As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit

Imputed shall absolve them who renounce
Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
Shall satisfy for Man, be judg'd and die,

295 And dying rise, and rising with him raise His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life. So heav'nly love shall outdo hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeem, So dearly to redeem what hellish hate

300 So easily destroy'd, and still destroys In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Because thou hast, though thrond in highest bliss 305 Equal to God, and equally enjoying

God-like fruition, quitted all to save
A world from utter loss, and hast been found
By merit more than birthright Son of God,
Found worthiest to be so by being good,

Far more than great or high; because in thee
Love hath abounded more than glory' abounds,
Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt
With thee thy manhood also to this throne;
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 315
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal king; all power
I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee as head supreme
Thrones, Princedoms, Fow'rs, Dominions I reduce :
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide 321
In Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
Thy summoning Arch-Angels to proclaim 325
Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds
The living, and forthwith the cited dead
Of all past ages to the general doom
Shall hasten, such a peal shall rouse their sleep.
Then all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge

330 Bad men and Angels; they arraign'd shall sink Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full, Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell, And after ail their tribulations long


See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth.
Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,
For regal sceptre then no more shall need, 340
God shall be all in all. But all ye Gods,
Adore him who to compass all this dies ;
Adore the Son, and honour him as me.

No sooner had th' Almighty ceas'd, but all
The multitude of Angels, with a shout

345 Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd Th’eternal regions : lowly reverent Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground With solemn adoration down they cast

351 Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold : Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence

355 To Heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there grows, And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream; With these that never fade the Spi'rits elect

360 Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams, Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd. 'Then crown'd again their golden harps they took, 365 Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side

« PředchozíPokračovat »