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The Lightning travels not so fast,
The Sunbeams not so far;
The Moon and every Star.
And still erect as on the tomb
In impious act he stood, Is he rapt onward ... onward ... still
In that fix'd attitude.
But as he from the living world
Were dimly visible;
Shapeless, and scarce to be descried
In darkness where they flew; But still as they advanced, the more
And more distinct they grew :
And when their way fast-speeding they
Thro’ their own region went, Then were they in their substance seen, The angelic form, the fiendish mien,
Face, look and lineament.
Behold where dawns before them now,
Far off, the boreal ray,
The limit of their way.
In that drear realm of outer night, Like the shadow, or the ghost of light,
It moved in the restless skies, And went and came, like a feeble flame
That flickers before it dies.
There the fallen Seraph reign’d supreme
Amid the utter waste ;
Son of the Morning! is it then
As if dominion here could joy
To blasted pride impart;
Of Hell within the heart !
Thither the Evil Angels bear
Their service they evince,
Just as they seized him when he made
The Sorcerer's mandate known,
In that same act and attitude
The fallen Seraph cast on him
A dark disdainful look;
The proffer'd tablets took.
" Ay, . . love !” he cried. " It serves me well.
There was the Trojan boy, ..
And fired the towers of Troy.
“ And when my own Mark Antony
Against young Cæsar strove,
The cause was, .. all for love!
“ Some for ambition sell themselves,
By avarice some are driven;
“ Yes, of all human follies, love,
Methinks, hath served me best;
If Eve had not done the rest.
“Well then, young Amorist, whom love
Hath brought unto this pass,
my servant Abibas.
“Thy Master's daughter shall be thine,
And with her sire's consent;
Than to her own content.
or Yea, more ; .
I give thee with the girl, Thine after-days to bless, Health, wealth, long life, and whatsoe'er
The world calls happiness.
“But, mark me!.. on conditions, youth!
No paltering here we know !
Thy hope of Heaven forego ?
“Dost thou renounce thy baptism,
And bind thyself to me,
Through all eternity ?
“No lurking purpose shall avail, When youth may fail and courage quail,
To cheat me by contrition !
The children of Perdition.
“ Remember, I deceive thee not,
Nor have I tempted thee!
And actest knowingly.
“Dost thou, who now to choose art free,
For ever pledge thyself to me?
The wilful castaway.
“ A resolute answer,” quoth the Fiend;
6 And now then, Child of Dust,
For I take thee not on trust!”
Swift as thought a scroll and a reed were brought,
And to Eleëmon's breast,
Of the reed was gently prest.
It pierced not in, nor touch'd the skin ;
Comes forcibly out at a touch ;
A sense no sooner felt than gone,
But with that short feeling then
And fill'd the fatal pen.
And with that pen accurst, he sign'd
The execrable scroll,
His miserable soul.