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Where half-extinct the smouldering fuel glow'd, O'er all were seen the cherubim of light,
To scale those heights, and storm the walls of fire :
Even now with Michael and his angels fought, Scarcely the king himself restrain'd their flight; And saw the seraphim, like meteors, driven He, with his chiefs, in brazen armor, stood Before his banners through the gates of heaven, Unmoved, to meet the maniacs from the wood. While he secure the glorious garden trod, Dark as a thunder-cloud their phalanx came, And sway'd his sceptre from the mount of God. But split like lightning into forms of Alame; Soon as in purer air their heads they raised
When suddenly the bard had ceased to sing, To taste the breath of heaven, their garments blazed; While all the chieftains gazed upon their king, Then blind, distracted, weaponless, yet flush'd Whose changing looks a rising storm bespoke, With dreadful valor, on their foes they rush'd; Ere from his lips the dread explosion broke, The Giants met them midway on the plain ; The trumpets sounded, and before his face "T was but a struggle of a moment;-slain, Were led the captives of the Patriarchs' race, They fell; their relics, to the flames return'd, -A lovely and a venerable band As offerings to the immortal gods were burn'd; of young and old, amidst their foes they stand; And never did the light of morning rise
Unawed they see the fiery trial near; Upon the clouds of such a sacrifice."
They fear'd their God, and knew no other fear.'
Abruptly here the minstrel ceased to sing, To light the dusky scene, resplendent fires, And every face was turn'd upon the king ; Of pine and cedar, blazed in lofty pyres ; He, while tho stoutest hearts recoild with fear, While from the east the moon with doubtful gleams And Giants trembled their own deeds to hear, Now tipt the hills, now glanced athwart the streams, Unmoved and unrelenting, in his mind
Till, darting through the clouds her beauteous eye, Deeds of more impious enterprise design'd: She open'd all the temple of the sky; A dire conception labor'd in his breast;
The Giants, closing in a narrower ring, His eye was sternly pointed to the west,
By turns survey'd the prisoners and the king. Where stood the mount of Paradise sublime, Javan stood forth ;-to all the youth was known, Whose guarded top, since man's presumptuous crime, And every eye was fix'd on him alone. By noon, a dusky cloud appear'd to rise, But blazed a beacon through nocturnal skies. As Ætna, view'd from ocean far away,
CANTO IX. Slumbers in blue revolving smoke by day, Till darkness, with terrific splendor, shows The King's Determination to sacrifice the Patriarchs The eternal fires that crest the eternal snows;' and their Families to his Demon-Gods.--His SenSo where the cherubim in vision turn'd
tence on Javan.--Zillah's Distress.—The Sorcerer Their flaming swords, the summit lower'd or burn'd. pretends to declare the Secret of the Birth of the And now, conspicuous through the twilight gloom, King, and proposes his Deification.—Enoch appears The glancing boams the distant hills illume, And, as the shadows deepen o'er the ground,
A GLEAM of joy, at that expected sight, Scaller a red and wavering lustre round.
Shot o'er the monarch's brow with baleful light:
“Behold,” thought he, “ the great decisive hour; Awhile the monarch, fearlessly amazed,
Ere morn, the sons of God shall prove my power: With jealous anger on the glory gazed;
Offer'd by me, their blood shall be the price Already had his arm in battle hurl'd
Of demon-aid to conquer Paradise." His thunders round the subjugated world; Thus while he threaten'd, Javan caught his view, Lord of the nether universe, his pride
And instantly his visage changed its hue; Was rein'd, while Paradise his power defied. Inflamed with rage past utterance, he frown'd, An upland isle, by meeting streams embraced, He gnash'd his teeth, and wildly glared around, It tower'd to heaven amidst a sandy waste; As one who saw a spectre in the air, Below, impenetrable woods display'd
And durst not look upon it, nor forbear; Depths of mysterious solitude and shade;
Still on the youth, his eye, wherever cast, Above, with adamantine bulwarks crown'd, Abhorrently return'd, and fix'd at last : Primeval rocks in hoary masses frown'd ;
“ Slaves! smite the traitor; be his limbs consign'd
To flames, his ashes scatter'd to the wind!”
He cried in tone so vehement, so loud,
Instinctively recoil'd the shuddering crowd ;
1 Je crains Dieu, cher Abner, et n'ai point d'autre crainte. E tra discreti ardor duren le brine.-F. Testi.
And ere the guards to seize their victim rush'd, Tell me, thou lovest me still ;-baste, Jaran, mark The youth was pleading, every breath was hush'd; How high those ruffians pile the fagots,--hark, Pale, but undauntedly, he faced his foes;
How the flames crackle. ---Hee, how fierce they glare, Warm as he spoke his kindling spirit rose; Like fiery serpents hissing through the air. Well pleased, on him the Patriarch-fathers smiled, Farewell; I fear them not-Now seize me, bind And every mother loved him as her child. These willing limbs.-ye cannot touch the mind:
Unawed, I stand on Nature's failing brink : “ Monarch ! to thee no traitor, here I stand ;
-Nay, look not on me, Javan, lest I shrink; These are my brethren, this my native land;
Give me thy prayers, but turn away thine eye, My native land, by sword and fire consumed,
That I may lift my soul to Heaven, and die."
Thus Zillah raved in passionate distress,
Till frenzy soften'd into tenderness;
Sorrow and love, with intermingling grace,
Terror and beauty, lighten'd o'er her face;
And Giant-hearts were moved, unwont to melt. Did I provoke these sons of innocence,
Javan, in wonder, pity, and delight, Against thine arms to rise, in vain defence ?
Almost forgot his being at the sight; No; I conjured them, ere this threaten'd hour,
That bending form, those suppliant accents, seem In sheltering forests to escape thy power.
The strange illusions of a lover's dream; Firm in their rectitude, they scorn'd to fly;
And while she clung upon his arm, he found Thy foes they were not,—they resolved to die.
His limbs, his lips, as by enchantment bound; Yet think not thou, amidst thy warlike bands,
He dare not touch her, lest the charm should break They lie beyond redemption in thine hands : He dare not move, lest he himself should wake. The God in whom they trust may help them still, They know he can deliver, and HE WILL:
But when she ceased to speak and be to hear, Whether by life or death, afflicts them not,
The silence startled him ;-cold, shivering fear On His decree, not thine, they rest their lot.
Crept o'er his nerves ;-—in thought he cast his eye For me, unworthy with the just to share
Back on the world, and heaved a bitter sigh. Death or deliverance, this is Javan's prayer:
Thus from life's sweetest pleasures to be torn, Mercy, O God! to these in life be shown,
Just when he seem'd to new existence born,
And cease to feel, when feeling ceased to be
And cease to love, when love no more was pain: “ Thou shalt not die alone,” a voice replied,
'T was but a pang of transient weakness — Vain A well-known voice-'t was Zillah at his side;
Are all thy sorrows,” falteringly he said ; She, while he spake, with eagerness to hear,
“ Already I am number'd with the dead; Step after step, unconsciously drew near; Her bosom with severe compunction wrung,
But long and blissfully may Zillah live!
-And canst thou • Javan's cruel scorn' forgive! Pleased or alarm’d, on every word she hung.
And wilt thou mourn the poor transgressor's death, He turn'd his face ;-with agonizing air, In all the desolation of despair,
Who says, “I love thee,' with his latest breath!
And when thou think’st of days and years gone by, She stood; her hands to heaven uplift and claspt,
Will thoughts of Javan sometimes swell thine eyel Then suddenly unloosed, his arm she grasp'd,
Ah! while I wither'd in thy chilling frown, And thus, in wild apostrophes of woe,
"T was easy then to lay life's burthen down ; Vented her grief while tears refused to flow.
When singly sentenced to these flames, my mind
Gloried in leaving all I loved behind. “Oh, I have wrong'd thee, Javan !-Let us be How hast thou triumph'd o'er me in this hour! Espoused in death :-No, I will die for thee. One look has crush'd my soul's collected power: _Tyrant! behold thy victim; on my head Thy scorn I might endure, thy pride defy, Be all the bitterness of vengeance shed,
But O thy kindness makes it hard to die!" But spare the innocent; let Javan live, Whose crime was love :-Can Javan too forgive “Then we will die together."-"Zillah! no, Love's lightest, fondest weakness, maiden shame, Thou shalt not perish ; let me, let me go; -It was not pride,—that hid my bosom-flame ? Behold thy parents! calm thy father's fears: And wilt thou mourn the poor transgressor's death, Thy mother weeps; canst thou resist her tears!" Who says, 'I love thee,' with her latest breath? And when thou think'st of days and years gone by, “Away with folly!" in tremendous tone, Will thoughts of Zillah sometimes swell thine eye ? Exclaim'd a voice more horrid than the gran If ever thou hast cherish'd in thine heart
of famish'd tiger leaping on his prey ; Visions of hope in which I bore a part;
-Crouch'd at the monarch's feet the speaker løy; If ever thou hast long'd with me to share
But starting up, in his ferocious mien One home-born joy, one home-endearing care ; That monarch's ancient foster-sire was seen, If thou didst ever love me ;-speak the word, The goat-herd, he who snatch'd him from the food, Which late with feign'd indifferency I heard; |The sorcerer who nursed him up to blood:
Who, still his evil genius, fully bent
There build a tower, whose spiral top shall rise, On one bold purpose, went where'er he went; Circle o'er circle, lessening to the skies ; That purpose, long in his own bosom seal'd, The stars, thy brethren, in their spheres shall stand, Ripe for fulfilment now, he thus reveal'd.
To hail thee welcome to thy native land; Full in the midst he rush'd ; alarm'd, aghast, The moon shall clasp thee in her glad embrace, Giants and captives trembled as he passid, The sun behold his image in thy face, For scarcely seem'd he of the sons of earth; And call thee, as his offspring and his heir, Unchronicled the hour that gave him birth ; His throne, his empire, and his orb, to share." Though shrunk his cheek, his temples deeply plow'd, Keen was his vulture-eye, his strength unbow'd;
Rising, and turning his terrific head, Swarthy his features ; venerable grey,
That chill'd beholders, thus the enchanter said : His beard dishevell d o'er his bosom lay:
—“ Prepare, prepare the piles of sacrifice, Bald was his front; but white as snow behind
The power that rules on earth shall rule the skies; His ample locks were scatter'd to the wind;
Hither, O chiefs! the captive Patriarchs bring, Naked he stood, save round his loins a zone
And pour their blood an offering to your king ; Of shagged fur, and o'er his shoulders thrown
He, like his sire the sun, in transient clouds, A serpent's skin, that cross'd his breast, and round
His veild divinity from mortals shrouds, His body thrice in glittering volumes wound.
Too pure to shine till these his foes are slain,
And conquer'd Paradise hath crown'd his reign. All gazed with horror-deep unutter'd thought Haste, heap the fallen cedars on the pyres, In every muscle of his visage wrought;
And give the victims living to the fires : His eye, as if his eye could see the air,
Shall He, in whom they vainly trust, withstand Was fix'd: up-writhing rose his horrent hair; Your sovereign's wrath, or pluck them from his hand ? His limbs grew dislocate, convulsed his frame; We dare him ;-if He saves his servants now, Deep from his chest mysterious noises came; To Him let every knee in Nature bow, Now purring, hissing, barking, then they swell's For He is God"- at that most awful name, To hideous dissonance; he shriek’d, he yellid, A spasm of horror wither'd up his frame, As if the Legion-fiend his soul possess'd,
Even as he stood and look'd ;-he looks, he stands, And a whole hell were worrying in his breast; With heaven-defying front, and clenched hands, Then down he dash'd himself on earth, and rollid And lips half-open’d, eager from his breast In agony, till powerless, stiff, and cold,
To bolt the blasphemy, by force represt ; With face upturn'd to Heaven, and arms outspread, For not in feign'd abstraction, as before, A ghastly spectacle, he lay as dead ;
He practised foul deceit by damned lore; The living too stood round like forms of death, A frost was on his nerves, and in his veins And every pulse was hush'd, and every breath. A fire, consuming with infernal pains ;
Conscious, though motionless, his limbs were grown; Meanwhile the wind arose, the clouds were driven Alive to suffering, but alive in stone. In wat’ry masses through the waste of Heaven, The groaning woods foretold a tempest nigh, In silent expectation, sore amazed, And silent lightning skirmish'd in the sky. The king and chieftains on the sorcerer gazed ;
Awhile no sound was heard, save through the woods, Ere long the wizard started from the ground, The wind deep-thundering, and the dashing floods : Giddily reel'd, and look'd bewilder'd round, At length, with solemn step, amidst the scene, Till on the king he fix'd his hideous gaze ; Where that false prophet show'd his frantic mien, Then rapt with ecstacy and broad amaze,
Where lurid flames from green-wood altars burn'd, He kneel'd in adoration, humbly bow'd
Enoch stood forth ;-on him all eyes were turn'd; His face upon his hands, and cried aloud;
O'er his dim form and saintly visage fell Yet so remote and strange his accents fell, The light that glared upon that priest of hell. They seeru'd the voice of an invisible :
Unutterably awful was his look ; - Hail! king and conqueror of the peopled earth, Through every joint the Giant-monarch shook ; And more than king and conqueror! Know thy birth: Shook, like Belshazzar, in his festive hall, Thou art a ray of uncreated fire,
When the hand wrote his judgment on the wall;' The sun himself is thy celestial sire;
Shook, like Eliphaz, with dissolving fright,
When as the spirit pass'd before his face,
And death-like silence, till a voice more drear,
More dreadful than the silence, reach'd his ear:
I Dan. v, v. 1-31.
2 Job, iv, v. 12–21.
The kings thy sword had slain, the mighty dead,
They ask in scom, Destroyer! is it thus? The Prophecy of Enoch concerning the Sorcerer, the Art thou,—thou too,-become like one of us ?
King, and the Flood.-His translation to Heaven. Torn from the feast of music, wine, and mirth, - The Conclusion.
The worms thy covering, and thy couch the earth :
How art thou fallen from thine ethereal heighi, “The Lord is jealous :-He, whò reigns on high, How art thou fall'n, who saidst in pride of soul,
Son of the morning! sunk in endless night : Upholds the earth, and spreads abroad the sky;
I will ascend above the starry pole, His voice the moon and stars by night obey,
Thence rule the adoring nations with my nod, He sends the sun his servant forth by day :
And set my throne above the Mount of God! From Him all beings came, on Him depend,
the dust, thy blood pollutes the ground; To Him return, their Author, Sovereign, End. Who shall destroy when He would save ? or stand, Sought by the eyes that fear'd thee, yet not found ;
Thy chieftains pause, they turn thy relics o'er, When He destroys, the stroke of his right hand ?
Then pass thee by,—for thou art known no more With none his name and power will He divide,
Hail to thine advent! Potentate, in hell, For He is God, and there is none beside.
Unfear'd, unflatter'd, undistinguish'd, dwell; “ The proud shall perish :—mark how wild his air on earth thy fierce ambition knew no rest, In impotence of malice and despair!
A worm, a flame for ever in thy breast; What frenzy fires the bold blasphemer's cheek!
Here feel the rage of unconsuming fire, He looks the curses which he cannot speak.
Intense, eternal, impotent desire ; A hand hath touch'd him that he once defied;
Here lie, the deathless worm's unwasting prey,
In chains of darkness till the judgment-day.'
“Thus while the dead thy fearful welcome sing, Children shall pluck the beard of him whose arts
Thy living slaves bewail their vanish'd king. Palsied the boldest hands, the stoutest hearts;
Then, though thy reign with infamy expire, His vaunted wisdom fools shall laugh to scorn,
Fulfill'd in death shall be thy vain desire ; When muttering spells, a spectacle forlorn,
The traitors, reeking with thy blood, shall swear A drivelling idiot, he shall fondly roam
They saw their sovereign ravish'd through the air, From house to house, and never find a home.”
And point thy star revolving o'er the night,
A baleful comet with portentous light, The wizard heard his sentence, nor remain'd
'Midst clouds and storms denouncing from afar A moment longer; from his trance unchain'd,
Famine and havoc, pestilence and war. He plunged into the woods ;-the Prophet then
Temples, not tombs, thy monuments shall be, Turn'd, and took up his parable again.
And altars blaze on hills and groves to thee;
A pyramid shall consecrate thy crimes, “The proud shall perish:-monarch! know thy doom: Thy name and honors, to succeeding times ; Thy bones shall lack the shelter of a tomb;
There shall thine image hold the highest place Not in the battle-field thine eyes shall close,
Among the gods of man's revolted race!
“ That race shall perish :-Men and Giants, all Of weary Nature, thou shalt bow thine head : Thy kindred and thy worshippers shall fall. Death lurks in ambush ; Death, without a name,
The babe, whose life with yesterday began, Shall pluck thee from thy pinnacle of fame;
May spring to youth, and ripen into man; At eve, rejoicing o'er thy finish'd toil,
But ere his locks are tinged with fading grey, Thy soul shall deem the universe her spoil ;
This world of sinners shall be swept away. The dawn shall see thy carcass cast away,
Jehovah lifts his standard to the skies, The wolves at sunrise slumber on their prey.
Swift at the signal winds and vapors rise; Cut from the living, whither dost thou go?
The sun in sackcloth veils his face al noon,Hades is moved to meet thee from below;' The stars are quench'd, and turn'd to blood the moon
Heaven's fountains open, clouds dissolving roll 1 This passage, the reader will perceive, is an imitation of In mingled cataracts from pole to pole. some verses in the fourteenth Chapter of the Prophecy of Isaiah, Earth’s central sluices burst, the hills uptorn, which are applied to the fall of the King of Babylon. The fol. In rapid whirlpools down the gulf are borne: lowing extract from Bishop Lowth's note on the original will The voice that tanght the Deep his bounds to know. elucidate the paraphrase. “The regions of the Dead are laid open, and Hades is represented as rousing up the shades of the Thus far, O Sea! nor farther shalt thou go, – departed monarchs ; they rise from their thrones to meet the King of Babylon at his coming; and insult him on his being reduced to the same low state of impotence and dissolution with which there are cells to receive the dead bodies : here the de themselves. * ***. The image of the state of the Dead, or ceased monarchs lie in a distinguished sort of state, suitable to the Infernum Poeticum of the Hebrews, is taken from their cus-their former rank, each on his own couch, with his arms beside tom of burying, those at least of the highest rank, in large sep-him, his sword at bis head, and the bodies of his chiefs and ulchral vaults hewn in the rock Of this kind of sepulchres there companions around him. ****. These illustrious shades rise are remains at Jerusalem now extant; and some that are said at once from their couches, as from their thrones ; and advance to be the sepulchres of the kings of Judah. See Maundrell, p. to the entrance of the cavern to meet the King of Babylon, sol 76. You are to form to yourself the idea of an immense subter- to receive him with insults on his fall."- Lowl's Isaiak, ch. raneous vault, a vast gloomy cavern, all round the sides of Ixiv, v. 9, et seq.
Sends forth the floods, commission'd to devour, And sudden glory, streaming round his head,
His essence seem'd transforming into light.
Brief silence, like the pause between the flash, “ The vision opens :—sunk beneath the wave,
At midnight, and the following thunder-crash, The guilty share an universal grave:
Ensued :-Anon, with universal cry, One wilderness of water rolls in view,
The Giants rush'd upon the prophet—"Die !" And heaven and ocean wear one turbid hue;
The king leapt foremost from his throne ;-he drew Still stream unbroken torrents from the skies,
His battle-sword, as on his mark he flew; Higher beneath the inundations rise ;
With aim unerring, and tempestuous sound, A lurid twilight glares athwart the scene,
The blade descended deep along the ground; Low thunders peal, faint lightnings flash between. The foe was fled, and, self-o'erwhelm'd, his strength -Methinks I see a distant vessel ride,
Hurl’d to the earth his Atlantean length; A lonely object on the shoreless tide;
But ere his chiefs could stretch the helping arm, Within whose ark the innocent have found
He sprang upon his feet in pale alarm; Safety, while stay'd Destruction ravens round;
Headlong and blind with rage he search'd around, Thus, in the hour of vengeance, God, who knows But Enoch walk'd with God, and was not found. His servants, spares them, while he smites his foes.
Yet where the captives stood, in holy awe, “ Eastward I turn ;-o'er all the deluged lands,
Rapt on the wings of cherubim, they saw Unshaken yet, a mighty mountain stands,
Their sainted sire ascending through the night; Where Seth, of old, his flock to pasture led, He turn'd his face to bless them in his flight; And watch'd the stars at midnight, from its head; Then vanish'd :-Javan caught the prophet's eye, An island now, its dark majestic form
And snatch'd his mantle falling from the sky; Scowls through the thickest ravage of the storm; O'er him the Spirit of the Prophet came, While on its top, the monument of fame,
Like rushing wind awakening hidden Name: Built by thy murderers to adorn thy name, " Where is the God of Enoch now?” he cried : 1 Defies the shock;—a thousand cubits high,
“Captives, come forth! Despisers, shrink aside.” The sloping pyramid ascends the sky.
He spake, and bursting through the Giant-throng, Thither, their latest refuge in distress,
Smote with the mantle as he moved along; Like hunted wolves, the rallying Giants press ; A power invisible their rage controllid, Round the broad base of that stupendous lower, Hither and thither as he turn'd they rollid; The shuddering sugitives collect their power, Unawed, unharm’d, the ransom'd prisoners pass'd Cling to the dizzy cliff, o'er ocean bend,
Through ranks of foes astonished and aghast : And howl with terror as the deeps ascend. Close in the youth's conducting steps they trod The mountain's strong foundations still endure, -So Israel march'd when Moses raised his rod, The heights repel the surge.-Awhile secure, And led their host, enfranchised, through the wave, And cheer'd with frantic hope, thy votaries climb The people's safeguard, the pursuers' grave. The fabric, rising step by step sublime. Beyond the clouds they see the summit glow
Thus from the wolves this little flock was torn, In heaven's pure daylight, o'er the gloom below; And sheltering in the mountain-caves till morn, There too thy worshipp'd image shines like fire, They join'd to sing, in strains of full delight, In the full glory of thy fabled sire.
Songs of deliverance through the dreary night. They hail the omen, and with heart and voice, Call on thy name, and in thy smile rejoice;
The Giants' frenzy, when they lost their prey, False omen! on thy name in vain they call;
No tongue of man or angel might portray:
First on their idol-gods their vengeance turn'd, Fools in their joy ;-a moment, and they fall.
Those gods on their own altar-piles they burn'd; Rent by an earthquake of the buried plain,
Then, at their sovereign's mandate, sallied forth And shaken by the whole disrupted main,
To rouse their host to combat, from the north; The mountain trembles on its failing base,
Eager to risk their uttermost emprize,
Perish ere mom, or reign in Paradise.
Now the slow tempest, that so long had lower'd,
Keen in their faces sleet and hailstones shower'd; Sheer to the lowest gulf the pile is hurl'd,
The winds blew loud, the waters roar'd around, The last sad wreck of a devoted world.
An earthquake rock'd the agonizing ground; "So fall transgressors :-Tyrant! now fulfil
Red in the west the burning mount, array'd Thy secret purposes, thine utmost will ;
With lenfold terror hy incumbent shade Here crown thy triumphs :-life or death decree,
(For moon and stars were wrapt in dunnest gloom), The weakest here disdains thy power and thee."
Glared like a torch amidst creation's tomb: Thus when the Patriarch ceased, and every ear 1" And he (Elisha) took the mantle of Elijah that fell from Still listend in suspense of hope and fear,
him, and emote the waters (of Jordan), and said, -Where is
the Lord God of Elijah ?--and when he had smitten the waters. Sublime, ineffable, angelic grace
they parted hither and thither; and Elisha went over." II. Beam'd in his meek and venerable face;
Kings, ii, v, 14.