« PreviousContinue »
Speech of Moloch.--MILTON.
My sentence is for open war: of wiles,
when the scourge
We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then;
sufficient to disturb his heaven,
To the Ursa Major.-H. WARE, JR.
With what a stately and majestic step
And silent brightness. Mighty one! all hail !
5 I joy to see thee, on thy glowing path Walk, like some stout and girded giant--stern, Unwearied, resolute, whose toiling foot Disdains to loiter on its destined way.
The other tribes forsake their midnight traek, 10 And rest their weary orbs beneath the wave; But thou dost never close thy burning eye, Nor stay thy steadfast step. But on,
on, While systems change, and suns retire, and worlds Slumber and wake, thy ceaseless march proceeds. 15 The near horizon tempts to rest in vain. Thou, faithful Sentinel, dost never quit Thy long-appointed watch; but, sleepless still, Dost guard the fixed light of the universe, And bid the North for ever know its place.
20 Ages have witnessed thy devoted trust, Unchanged, unchanging. When the sons of God Sent forth that shout of joy, which rang through heaven, And echoed from the outer spheres that bound The illimitable universe, – thy voice
25 Joined the high chorus ; from thy radiant orbs The glad cry sounded, swelling to His praise, Who thus had cast another sparkling gem, Little, but beautiful, amid the crowd Of splendors that enrich his firmament.
30 As thou art now, so wast thou then, the same.
Ages have rolled their course, and Time grown gray;
As if immortal, - have been swept away,
40 Shattered and mouldering, buried and forgot. But time has shed no dimness on thy front, Nor touched the firmness of thy tread; youth, strength, And beauty, still are thine,- as clear, as bright, As when the Almighty Former sent thee forth,
45 Beautiful offspring of his curious skill, To watch earth's northern beacon, and proclaim The eternal chorus of Eternal Love.
I wonder as I gaze. That stream of light, Undimmed, unquenched, — just as I see it now, 50 Has issued from those dazzling points, through years That
back far into eternity.
60 Six autumns fade, six springs renew their bloom. So far from earth those mighty orbs revolve ! So vast the void through which their beams descend !
Yea, glorious lamps of God! He may have quenched Your ancient flames, and bid eternal night
65 Rest on your spheres; and yet no tidings reach This distant planet. Messengers still come Laden with your far fire, and we may seem To see your light still burning; while their blaze But hides the black wreck of extinguished realms, 70 Where anarchy and darkness long have reigned.
Yet what is this, which to the astonished mind Seems measureless, and which the baffled thought Confounds ? A span, a point, in those domains
Which the keen eye can traverse. Seven stars
75 Dwell in that brilliant cluster, and the sight Embraces all at once ; yet each from each Recedes as far as each of them from earth; And every star from every other burns No less remote. From the profound of heaven,
80 Untravelled even in thought, keen, piercing rays Dart through the void, revealing to the sense Systems and worlds unnumbered. Take the glass And search the skies. The opening skies pour
down Upon your gaze thick showers of sparkling fire, - 85 Stars, crowded, thronged, in regions so remote, That their swift beams — the swiftest things that beHave travelled centuries on their flight to earth. Earth, Sun, and nearer Constellations! what Are ye, amid this infinite extent
90 And multitude of God's most infinite works?
And these are suns !-- vast, central, living fires,
95 And meditate the wonder! Countless suns Blaze round thee, leading forth their countless worlds ! Worlds, — in whose bosoms living things rejoice, And drink the bliss of being from the fount Of all-pervading Love. What mind can know, 100 What tongue can utter, all their multitudes, Thus numberless in numberless abodes, Known but to Thee, blest Father? Thine they are, Thy children, and thy care, — and none o'erlooked Of Thee! — No, not the humblest soul that dwells 105 Upon the humblest globe, which wheels its course Amid the giant glories of the sky, Like the mean mote that dances in the beam Among the thousand mirrored lamps, which fling