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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT,

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven:

some advise it, others dissuade. truth of that pr

A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before ophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another n'orld, and another kind of creature, equal,

Satan, to search the

or not much inferior to themselves, about this time to be created: their doubt nho shall be sent on this dif:

jicult scarch; "Satan their chief undertakes alone, the voyage; is honoured and applauded. thus ended, the rest betake them several nays, and to sever to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to ard them, by nohom at §§ they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf be

passes through, directed by Chaos, the poner of that place,

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HIGH on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind;
Qr where the gorgeous east with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
To that bad eminence: and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high; insatiate to pursue
Vain war with heaven; and §: untaught,
His proud imaginations thus display'd: Io

“Powers, and dominions, deities of heaven! (For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigour, though oppress'd and fallen, I give not heaven for lost; from this descent Celestial virtues rising, will appear More glorious and more dread than from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate.)

e, though just right and the fix’d laws of heaven

id first create your leader; next, free choice; with what jä. in council or in fight 20 Hath been achiev'd of merit: yet this loss Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne, Yielded with full consent. ...The happier state In heaven, which follows dignity, might draw Envy from each inferior: but who here Will envy whom the highest place exposes Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, Your bulwark; and condemns to greatest share Of endless pain P. Where there is then no good 30 For which to strive, no strife can grow up there From faction: for none sure will claim in hell Precedence; none, whose portion is so small Of present pain, that with ambitious mind Will covet more! With this advantage then To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, More than can be in heaven, we now return To claim our just inheritance of old, Surer to prosper than prosperity Could have assur'd us; and by what best way, Whether of open war, or covert guile, We now debate: who can advise may speak.”

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The council employments, as their inclinations lead them heli gates; finds them shut, o

“My sentence is for open war: of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not: them let those Contrive who need; or when they need, not

now :

For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend, sit ling’ring here
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay P No let us rather choose,
Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once
O'er heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer: when to meet the moise

his almighty engine he shall hear
Infernal thunder; and for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels: and his throne itself
Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments.-But perhaps 70
The way seems difficult and steep, to scale
With upright wing against a higher foes—
Let ...}. bethink §§ (if the sleepy drench.
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still)
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. . Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursu'd us through the deep,
With what compulsion, and laborious flight
We unk thusiothocent is easy then;
Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrāth may find
To our destruction: (if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd) What can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, o out from bliss, coin-

demm'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe:
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us, without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance 2 more destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
What fear we then P what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire 2 which to the height enrag’d,
Will either quite consume us, ofreduce
To nothing this essential; happier far,
n miserable to have eternal being:

Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst

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“I should be much for open war, Opeers, As not behind in hate, if what was urg'd Main reason to persuade immediate war, Did not dissuade me most; and seem to cast Ominous conjecture on the whole success; When he who most excels in fact of arms, In what he counsels, and in what excels, Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair, And utter diolution, as the scope Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. [fill'd First, what revenge? The towers of heaven are With armed watch, that render all access 150 Impregnable: oft on the bordering deep Encamp their legions; or with obscure wing, Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Scorning ..T. Or could we break our way By force, and at our-heels all hell should rise With blackest insurrection, to confound Heaven's purest light; 3. our great enemy, All incorruptible, would on his throne Sit unpolluted; and th’ethereal mould Incapable of stain, would soon expel Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope Is flat d ir: we must exasperate Th' almighty Victor to spend all his rage, And that must end us; that must be our cure 145 To be no more.—Sad cure! for who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being; Those thoughts, that wander through eternity; To3. rather, swallow’d up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, Devoid of sense and motion ? And who knows, (Let this be good) whether our angry foe Can give it, or will ever: how he can, Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure. Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire, Belike through impotence, or unaware, To give his enemies their wish, and end Them in his anger, whom his anger saves To punish endless?—Wherefore cease we then? Say they who counsel war; We are decreed, Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe: Whatever doing, what can we suffer more; What can we suffer worse?—Is this then worst, Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms? 164 What when we fled amain, pursu'd, and struck With heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought The deep to shelter us? This hell then seem'd A refuge from those wounds. Or, when we lay Chain'd on the burning lake?' That sure was worse, What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, 170 Awak'd, should blow them into sevenfold rage, And plunge us in the flames? Or, from above, §.; intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand tojo us? What if all Her stores were open'd, and this firmament Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire 2 Impendent horrors! threat'ning hideous fall Qne day upon our heads; while we perhaps Book or exhorting glorious war, Ca t in a fiery tempest shall be hurl’d Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Of racking whirlwinds: or for ever sunk Under yon boiling ocean, wrapp'd in chains; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd #: §hoeonah"Toould be worse. ar therefore, open or conceal’d, alike % voice dissuades: for what can force or guile ith him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye

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Our supreme foe, in time, may much remit 210
His anger; and perhaps thus far remov’d,
Not mind us, not offending, satisfied
With what is punish'd: whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Qur purer essence then will overcome 215

Their noxious vapour; or inur'd, not feel;
Or chang'd at length, and to the place conform'd
In temper, and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain,
This horror will grow mild, this darkness, light:
Besides what hope the never-ending flight 221
Offuture days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting, since our present lot appears
For happy, though but ill; for ill, not worst;
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.” 225
Thus Belial with words cloth'd in reason's garb
Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth,
Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.

“Either to disenthrone the King of heaven We war, if war be best, or to regain Our own right, lost: Him to unthrone we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield To fickse Chance, and Chaos judge the strife: The former vain to hope, argues as vain The latter: for what place can be for us 235 Within heaven's bound, unless heaven's Lord suWe overpower? Suppose he should relent [preme And publish grace to all, on promise made Of new subjection; with what eyes could we Stand in his presence humble, and receive Strict laws impos'd, to celebrate his throne With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing Forc'd hallelujahs P while he lordly sits Our envied Sovereign, and his altar breathes Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, Our servile offerings! This must be our task In heaven, this our delight; how wearisome Eternity so spent, in worship paid To whom we hate | Let us not then sue By force .. by leave obtain' Unacceptable, though in heaven, our state Of splendid vassalage: but rather seek Our own good from ourselves, and from our own Live to ourselves; though in this vast recess, Free, and to none accountable; preferring 255

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Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp. , Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse
We can create; and in what place soe'er 260

Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain,
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread 2 How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark, doth heaven's all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd? 265
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar
Mustering their rage, and heaven resembles hell ?
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please ? This desert soil 270
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems, and gold:
Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can heaven show more?
Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements; these piercing fires 275
As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd
Into their temper; which must needs remove

| The sensible of pain. All things invite

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He scarce had finish'd, when such murmur fill'd Th'assembly, as when hollow rocks retain 285 The sound of blustering winds, which all night long Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull Sea-faring men o'erwatch'd, whose bark by chance, Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay After the tempest: such applause was heard 290 As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleas'd, Advising peace. For, such another field They dreaded worse than hell: so much the fear Of thunder, and the sword of Michael, Wrought still within them; and no less desire 295 To found this nether empire, which might rise, By policy, and long process of time, In emulation opposite to heaven. Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd (than whom, Satan except, none higher sat) with grave 300 Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd A pillar of state: deep on his front engraven, Deliberation sat, and public care; And princely counsel in his face yet shone, Majestic though in ruin! sage he stood, With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look Drew audience, and attention still as night, Or summer's moon-tide air; while thus he spake:

305

“Thrones, and imperial powers, offspring of heaven, 310 Ethereal virtues! or these titles now Must we renounce, and, changing style, be call’d Princess of hell ? for, so the popular vote Inclines, here to continue, and build up here A growing empire: doubtless! while we dream, 515 And know not that the King of heaven hath doom'd This place our dungeon; not our safe retreat Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league Banded against his throne; but to remain 520 In strictest bondage, though thus far remov’d, Under th' inevitable curb, reserv'd His captive multitude: for he, be sure, In height, or depth, still first and last will reign Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part 325 By our revolt; but over hell extend is empire, and with iron sceptre rule Ushere, as with his golden those in heaven. What sit we then projecting peace and war 2 War hath determin'd us, and foil'd with loss Irreparable; terms of peace yet none Vouchsaf'd, or sought: for §: peace will be given To us enslav'd, but custody severe, And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted 2 and what peace can we return ? But, to our power hostility and hate, Untam'd resuctance, and revenge; though slow, Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice In doing what we most in suffering feel? Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need With dangerous expedition, to invade Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege, Or ambush from the deep: what if we find Some easier enterprise? There is a place, 345 (If ancient and prophetic fame in heaven Err not) another world, the happy seat of some new race calid Man; about this time To be created like to us, though less In power and excellence, but favour'd more Of him who rules above: so was his will Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath,. That **** whole circumference, conrm'd. Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn What creatures there inhabit, of what mould, 555 Or substance, how endued, and what their power, And where their weakness, how attempted best, By force, or subtilty. Though heaven be shut, And heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure In his own stre , this to: may lie expos'd 560 The utmost border of his kingdom, left To their defence who hold it; here perhaps Some advantageous act may be achiev'd By sudden onset, either with hell fire To waste his whole creation; or possess All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,

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The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
Seduce them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish his own works. This would surpass 370
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling sons,
Hurl’d headlong to partake with us, shall curse
Their frail original, and faded bliss:
Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.” Thus Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd
By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence,
But from the author of alsill, could spring
So deep a malice, to confound the race
Of mankind in one root, and earth with hell
To mingle and involve, done all to spite
The great Creator? But their spite still serves 385
His glory to augment. The bold design
Pleas'd highly those infernal states, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes; with full assent
ey vote: whereat his speech he thus renews:

“Well haveye judg’d, well ended long debate,
Synod of gods! and, like to what ye are 391
Great things resolv’d; which from the lowest deep
Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate,
Nearer our ancient seat; perhaps in view 394
Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring
And opportune excursión, we may chance [arms,
Re-enter heaven: or else, in some mild zone
Dwell not unvisited of heaven's fair light,
Secure, and at the bright'ning orient beam
Purge off this gloom: the soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of these corrosive fires, [send
Shall breathe her balm.—But first whom shall we
In search of this new world? whom shall we find
Sufficient 2 Who shall tempt with wandering feet
The dark, unbottom’d, infinite abyss, 405
And through the palpable obscure find out

His ''. way; or spread his airy flight,
Upborne with #defatigible wings
Over the vast abrupt, e'er he arrive
The happy isle 2 What strength, what art can then
Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe 411
Through the strict senteries, and stations thick
Of angels watching round? Here he had need
All circumspection; and we now no less
Choice in our suffrage: for, on whom we send, 415
The weight of all, and our last hope, relies.".

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This said, he sat; and expectation held His look suspense, awaiting who appear'd To second or oppose, or undertake The perious attempt; but all sat mute, 4:20 Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and In other's countenance read his own dismay, [each Astonish'd : Nome, among the choice and prime Of those heaven-warring champions, could be found So hardy, as to proffer, or o 4:25 Alone, the dreadful voyage: till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd Above his fellows, with monarchial pride (Conscious of highest worth) unmov'd thus spakes

“O progeny of heaven, empyreal thrones! 450 With reason hath deep silence, and demur, Seiz'd us, though undismay’d: long is the way And hard, that out of hell leads up to light: Our prison strong; this huge convex of fire, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold: and gates of burning adamant Barr'd over us, prohibit all egress. These pass'd (if any pass) the void profound Of unessential night receives him next Wide gaping! and with utter loss of being Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf. If thence he 'scape into whatever world, Or unknown region, what remains him less Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape? But I should ill become this throne, Q peers! And this imperial sovereignty, adorn'd With splendour, arm'd with power, ifought propos'd And judg’d of public moment, in the shape Of difficulty, or danger, could deter Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume 450 These royalties, and not refuse to reign, Refusing to accept as great a share Of hazard, as of fonour, due alike To him who reigns, and so much to him due Of hazard more, as he above the rest

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High-honour’d sits? Go therefore, mighty powers! Terror of heaven, though fallen! intend at home, (While here shalf be our home) what best may ease

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| The present misery, and render hell
More tolerable; if there be cure, or charm,

To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain
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* Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad,

o Through all the coasts of dark destruction, seek
Deliverance for us all: this enterprise 465
None shall partake with me.” Thus saying, rose
The monarch, and prevented all reply;
Prudent, lest, from his resolution rais'd,
Others among the chief might offer now

*

(Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd; 470
And so refus'd, might in opinion stand
His rivals; winning cheap the high repute, [they

Which he through hazard huge rmust earn. But Dreaded not more th' adventure, than his voice Forbidding; and at once with him they rose: 475 Their rising all at once was as the sound Of thunderheard remote. Towards him they bend With awful reverence prone; and as a god | Extol him equal to the highest in heaven; Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd, + That for the general safety he despis'd 481 His own: (for neither do the spirits damn'd Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should boast Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites; Or close ambition warmish'd o'er with zeal.) 485 Thus they their doubtful consultations dark Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief: As when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds * - Ascending, while the north-wind sleeps, o'er-spread Heaven's heerful face, the lowering element 490 Scowls o'er the darken'd landscape snow, or shower: If chance the radiant sun with farewell sweet Extend his evening beam, the fields revive, The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings. 495 0 shame to men Devil with devil damn'd Firm concord holds, men only disagree Of creatures rational, though under hope Of heavenly grace; and, God proclaiming peace, Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife 500 Among themselves, and sevy cruel wars, Wasting the earth, each other to destroy: As if (which might induce us to accord) Man had not hellish foes enow besides, That day and night, for his destruction wait.

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The Stygian council thus dissolv'd; and forth

In order came the grand infermal peers:
"Midst came their mighty paramount, and seem'd
Alone th' antagonist of heaven, nor less
Than hell's dread emperor, with pomp supreme,
And godlike imitated state. Him round
A. globe of fiery seraphim inclos'd,
With bright emblazonry, and horrent arms.
Then, of their session ended, they bid cry
With trumpets regal sound the great result:
Towards the four winds four speedy cherubim
Put to their mouths the soun alchymy,

- #. herald's voice explain'd: the hollow abyss

* Heard far and wide, and all the host of hel 519 With deafning shout return'd them loud acclaim.;

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. Thence more * ease their minds, and somewhat
rais’
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers
Disband, and wand'ring, each his severas way
Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
Leads him perplex'd, where he may likeliest find
Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain 526
The irksome hours, till his great chief return.
Part on the plain, or in the air sublime
Upon the wing, or in swift race contend,
As at th’ Olympian games, or Pythian fields:
Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form.
As when, to warn proud cities, war appears
Yo. in the troubled sky, and armies rush
To battle in the clouds; 'ore each van 535
Prick forth the airy knights, and couch their spears
Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms
From either end of heaven the welkin burns.
Others, with vast Typhoean rage, more fell!
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air 540
in whirlwinds: heli scarce holds the vilă uproar.
As when Alcides from GEchalia crown'd
With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines;

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Up to the fiery concave tow'ring high.

PAR, AIDISE LOST. 9 And Lichas from the top of OEta threw 545 Into th' Euboic Sea. Others more mild,

Retreated in a silent valley, sing
With notes angelical to ...', a harp
Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall
By doom of battle; and complain that fate
Free virtue should enthrall to force, or chance.
Their song was partial; but the .
What could it less when spirits immortal sing?)
Suspended hell, and took with ravishment
The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet,
(For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense) 556
Others apart sat on a hill retir’d,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high,
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, andfate;
Fix’d fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute;
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.
Of #. and evil, much they argued them,
Qf happiness, and final misery,
Passion, and apathy, and glory, and shame:
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy
Yet with a pleasing sorcery, could charm
Pain for a while, or anguish; and excite
Fallacious hope, or arm th’ obdurate breast
With stubborn patience, as with triple steel.
Another part, in squadrons and gross bands,
On bold adventure to discover wide
That dismal world (if #. perhaps
Might yield them easier habitation) bend
Four ways their flying march, along the banks
Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge
Into the burning lake their baleful streams:
Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;
Sad Acheron, of sorrow; black and deep!
Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud
Heard on the rueful stream: fierce o 580.
Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
Far off from these, a slow and silent stream,
Lethe, the river ofoblivion, rolls
Her wat'ry labyrinth; whereof who drinks,
Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
Forgets both joy, and grief, pleasure, and pain.
Beyond this flood a frozen continent
Lies dark, and wild; beat with perpetual storms
Of whirlwind, and dire hail; which on firm land
Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems 590
Of ancient pile: all else, deep snow and ice:
A gulf profound! as that Serbonian bo
Betwixt Damiata, and mount Casius old,
Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air
Burns frone, and cold performs th’ effect of fire.
Thither by harpy-footed furies hal’d, 596
At certain revolutions, all the damm'd
Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce!
From beds of raging fire to starve in Ice 600
Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine
Immoveable, infix'd, and frozen round,
Periods of time; thence hurried back to fire.
They ferry over this Lethaean sound -
Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment, 605.
And wish, and struggle as they pass to reach
The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose
In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
All in one moment, and so near the brink:
But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt 610
Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards
The ford, and of itself the water flies
All taste of living wight; as once it fled
The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
In confus'd march forlorn th' advent'rous bands,
With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast, 616
View'd first their lamentable lot, and found
No rest: through many a dark and dreary vale
They pass'd, and many a region dolorous,
O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp, 620
Rocks, caves; lakes, fems, bogs, dens, and shades of
A universe of death! which God by curse [death;
Created evil; for evil only good,
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, 625
Abominable, inutterable; and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.

550

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585.

Meanwhile the adversary of God and man 629 Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design, Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of hell Explores his solitary flight: sometimes He scours the right-hand coast, sometimes the left: Now shaves with level wing the deep; then soars G33

As when far offat sea a fleet descry'd,
Hangs in the clouds, by Equinoctial winds
Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
Of Ternate, and Tidore, whence merchants bring
Their spicy drugs: they on the trading flood 640
Through the wide AEthiopian, to the Cape
Ply, stemming nightly toward the Pole: so seem'd
Far off the flying fiend. At last appear
Hell bounds, high-reaching to the horrid roof;
And thrice threefold the gates: three folds were
brass, 645
Three iron, three of adamantine rock;
impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire,
Yet unconsum’d. Before the gates there sat
On either side a formidable shape;
The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair; 650
But ended foul in many a scaly fold,
Voluminous and vast! a serpent arm'd
With mortal sting; about her middle round
A cry of hell-hounds never ceasing bark'd
With wide Cerberian mouths full loud, and
rung 655
A hideous peal: yet, when they list, would creep,
If ought disturb’d their noise, into her womb,
And kennel there; yet there still bark'd, and
howl'd
Within, unseen. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
Nor uglier follow the ; when call’d
In secret, riding through the air she comes
Lur'd with the smell of infant-blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the lab'ring moon
Ecli at their charms. The other shape 666
(If shape it might be call'd, that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem’d,
For each seem'd either:) black it stood as might,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell, 67.1
And shook a dreadful dart: what seem'd his head,
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
The monster moving, onward came as fast 675
With horrid strides: "hell trembled as he strode.
Th'undaunted fiend what this might be admir’d;
Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except,
Created thing naught valued he, nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look thus first began : 680

“Whence, and what, art thou! execrable shape! That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance Thy miscreated front athwart my way Toyonder gates? through them I mean to pass, That be assur'd, without leave ask'd of thee. 685 Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, Hell-born! not to contend with spirits of heaven.”

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To whom the goblin full of wrath food; “Art thou that traitor-angel, art thou he, Who first broke peace in heaven, and faith, till then Unbroken; and in proud rebellious arms 691 I}rew after him the third part of heaven's sons, Conjured against the Highest; for which both thou And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd To waste etermal days in woe and pain? ... 695 And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of heaven, Hell-doom'd' and breath'st defiance here and scorn, Where I reign king, and to enrage thee more, Thy king, and lord P Back to thy punishment, False fugitive! and to thy speed add wings; Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue Thy ling ring; or with one stroke of this dart Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.”

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So spake the grisly terror, and in shape,

So speaking, and so threatoning) grew tenfold 705

More dreadful and deform. On § other side Incens'd with indignation Satan stood Unterrify’d; and like a comet burn'd, 'that fires the length of Ophiucus huge In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head Levell'd his deadly aim; their fatal hands No second stroke intend: and such a frown Each cast at th' other, as when two black clouds With heaven's artil'ry fraught, comerattling on 715 Qver the Caspian; then stand front to front, Hov'ring a space, till winds the signal blow To join their dark encounter in mid-air: So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell Grew darker at their #. so match'd they stood: For never but once more was either like 721

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7so At last this odious offspring whom thou seest, Thine own begotten, breaking violent way Tore through my entrails; that with fear and pain Distorted, all my mether shape thus grew Transform’d. ut he, my inbred enemy 7S5 Forth-issu'd, brandishing his fatal dart Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out, Death! Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd From all her caves, and back resounded, Death ! I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, 790 Inflam'd with lust than rage) and, swifter far ! Me overtook, his mother, all dismay’d: And in embraces forcible, and foul, Engendering with me, of that ...]" begot These yelling monsters; that with ceaseless cry 795 Surround me, as thou saw'st; hourly conceiv'd, And hourly born, with sorrow infinite To me! For, when they list, into the womb That bred them they return; and howl, and gnaw %. bowels, their repast: then bursting forth, 800 Afresh with conscious terrors vex me round, That rest, or intermission mone I find. Before mine eyes in opposition sits Grim Death, my son and foe: who sets them on, And me his parent would full soon devour 805 For want of other prey, but that he knows His end with mine involv'd : and knows that I Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd.

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