His sensuous sketches as well as his serious efforts on behalf of the experience have won Ezekiel numerous appeals for both his young adult and adult writing. What though the field be lost? But what power of mind, Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth Of knowledge past or present, could have feared How such united force of gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse? That glory never shall his wrath or might 110 Extort from me. War, then, war Open or understood, must be resolved. Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood 325With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern Th' advantage, and, descending, tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf? Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air, That felt unusual weight; till on dry land He lights--if it were land that ever burned With solid, as the lake with liquid fire, And such appeared in hue as when the force Of subterranean wind transprots a hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side Of thundering Etna, whose combustible And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire, Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds, And leave a singed bottom all involved With stench and smoke. Cruel his eye, but cast 605Signs of remorse and passion, to behold The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Far other once beheld in bliss , condemned For ever now to have their lot in pain— Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced 610Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung For his revolt—yet faithful how they stood, Their glory withered; as, when heaven's fire Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines, With singed top their stately growth, though bare, 615Stands on the blasted heath. As we come to the later books of Paradise Lost we begin to feel that Satan who had deeply impressed us in the first two books, cannot, anyhow, hold our admiration.
First, Moloch, horrid King, besmeared with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents tears; Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, Their childrens cries unheard that passed through fire To his grim idol. Such place Eternal Justice had prepared For those rebellious; here their prison ordained In utter darkness, and their portion set, As far removed from God and light of Heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. Milton had become totally blind when he wrote Paradise Lost and had fallen upon evil days. These were the prime in order and in might: The rest were long to tell; though far renowned The Ionian gods-of Javan's issue held Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth, Their boasted parents;-Titan, Heaven's first-born, With his enormous brood, and birthright seized By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove, His own and Rhea's son, like measure found; So Jove unsurping reigned. As when the potent rod Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day, Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind, That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile; So numberless were those bad Angels seen Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Till, as a signal given, th' uplifted spear Of their great Sultan waving to direct Their course, in even balance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain: A multitude like which the populous North Poured never from her frozen loins to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? He, above the rest 590In shape and gesture proudly eminent, Stood like a tower. As bees In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus rides. Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms 790Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large, Though without number still, amidst the hall Of that infernal court. With these in troop Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called Astarte, queen of heaven, with cresent horns; To whose bright image nightly by the moon Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; In Sion also not unsung, where stood Her temple on the offensive mountain, built By that uxorious king whose heart, though large, Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell To idols foul. All access was thronged; the gates And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall Though like a covered field, where champions bold Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair Defied the best of Paynim chivalry To mortal combat, or career with lance , Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air, Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings.
They rise: their numbers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. Anon they move 550In 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 valour breathed, firm, and unmoved 555With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain From mortal or immortal minds. But these thoughts Full counsel must mature. Him the Ammonite Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain, In Argob and in Basan, to the stream Of utmost Arnon. Pour forth their populous youth about the hive In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, The suburb of their straw-built citadel, New rubbed with balm, expatiate, and confer Their state-affairs: so thick the airy crowd Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given, Behold a wonder! These, first in Crete And Ida known, thence on the snowy top Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air, Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields, And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost Isles.
But what if he our Conqueror whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours Have left us this our spirit and strength entire, Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls By right of war, whate'er his business be, Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep? Yet, even here, we find that the whole poem is coloured by the personality of Milton; we see Milton, the Puritan, Milton, the classical scholar, Milton, the hater of autocratic government and kingship, Milton, the despiser of women. And now his heart Distends with pride, and, hardening in his strength, Glories: for never, since created Man, Met such embodied force as, named with these, 575Could merit more than that small infantry Warred on by cranes—though all the giant brood Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were joined That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds 580In fable or romance of Uther's son, Begirt with British and Armoric knights; And all who since, baptized or infidel, Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, 585Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. The broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views At evening, from the top of Fesole, 290Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. All is not lost—the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome? Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last, Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch, At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, 380While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof? In his own way he was as determined a rebel against constituted authority and as ardent an apostle of liberty as Byron or Shelley. Which action past over, the Poem hasts into , presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, describ'd here, not in the Center for Heaven and Earth may be suppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurst but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonisht, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him; they confer of thir miserable fall.
And now his heart Distends with pride, and, hardening in his strength, Glories: for never, since created Man, Met such embodied force as, named with these, Could merit more than that small infantry Warred on by cranes--though all the giant brood Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were joined That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds In fable or romance of Uther's son, Begirt with British and Armoric knights; And all who since, baptized or infidel, Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. Then straight commands that, at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreared His mighty standard. Not Babylon Nor great Alcairo such magnificence Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove In wealth and luxury. With these in troop Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called Astarte, queen of heaven, with cresent horns; To whose bright image nightly by the moon Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; In Sion also not unsung, where stood Her temple on the offensive mountain, built By that uxorious king whose heart, though large, Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell To idols foul. He exposes all his evils, and defeats all his evil designs. And here let those Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell Of Babel and the works of Memphian kings, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, And strength, and art, are easily outdone By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour What in an age they, with incessant toil And hands innumerable, scarce perform.
Hence it will be not just to consider Milton as the hero of the poem. For example, the second xsl:element instruction in the following template and the two xsl:attribute elements inside of the first xsl:element each include a namespace attribute along with their name attributes. He now prepared To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his peers: attention held them mute. And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer Before all temples th' upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread, 20 And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That, to the height of this great argument, I may assert Eternal Providence, Say first--for Heaven hides nothing from thy view, Nor the deep tract of Hell--say first what cause Moved our grand parents, in that happy state, Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off 30 From their Creator, and transgress his will For one restraint, lords of the World besides. Here at least We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice, To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. Darkened so, yet shon 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. But he who reigns Monarch in Heaven till then as one secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custom, and his regal state 640 Put forth at full, but still his strength concealed-- Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
But against this view is the view of the French critic Denis Saurat, who feels that Adam is not a fitting counterpart for Satan and s no match to the dominating figure of Satan. Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, That underneath had veins of liquid fire Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude With wondrous art founded the massy ore, Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion-dross. Too well I see and rue the dire event That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat, Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and Heavenly Essences Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state Here swallowed up in endless misery. It is not only the theme of the poem that lifts the reader to a lofty moral plane, but its style also reaches the highest watermark of grand style in English poetry. Say first—for Heaven hides nothing from thy view, Nor the deep tract of Hell—say first what cause Moved our grand parents, in that happy state, 30Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off From their Creator, and transgress his will For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
Nine times the space that measures day and night 50 To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew, Confounded, though immortal. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 365Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the earth, Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man, By falsities and lies the greatest part Of mankind they corrupted to forsake God their Creator, and th' invisible 370Glory of him that made them to transform Oft to the image of a brute, adorned With gay religions full of pomp and gold, And devils to adore for deities: Then were they known to men by various names, 375And various idols through the heathen world. Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last, Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch, At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. It is Satan who makes bold and heroic speeches, exhibiting the fiery feelings of his heart, and his belief in war. Not Babylon Nor great Alcairo such magnificence Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat 720 Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove In wealth and luxury. Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps Our first eruption--thither, or elsewhere; For this infernal pit shall never hold Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor th' Abyss Long under darkness cover.