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To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
True is, me also he hath judg'd, or rather
Me not, but the brute serpent in whose shape
Man I deceiv'd : that which to me belongs
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind; I am to bruise his heel ;
His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head :
A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain ? - Ye have the ac-

count
Of my performance: what remains, ye gods,
But up, and enter now into full bliss ?”

So having said, a while he stood, expecting Their universal shout and high applause, To fill his ear; when, contrary, he hears On all sides, from innumerable tongues, A dismal universal hiss, the sound Of public scorn ; he wonder'd, but not long Had leisure, wondering at himself now more ; His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare ; His arms clung to his ribs; his legs entwining Each other, till supplanted down he fell A monstrous serpent on his belly prone, Reluctant, but in vain ; a greater power Now rul'd him, punish'd in the shape he sinn'd, According to his doom: he would have spuke, But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue To forked tongue; for now were all transform'd Alike, to serpents all, as accessories To his bold riot : dreadful was the din Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now With complicated monsters head and tail,

Scorpion, and asp, and amphisbæna dire,
Cerastes horn'd, hydrus, and elops drear,
And dipsas ; (not so thick swarm'd once the soil
Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa,) but still greatest he the midst,
Now dragon grown, larger than whom the Sun
Engender'd in the Pythian vale or slime,
Huge Python, and his power no less he seem'd
Above the rest still to retain ; they all
Him follow'd, issuing forth to the open field,
Where all yet left of that revolted rout,
Heaven-fall’n, in station stood or just array ;
Sublime with expectation when to see
In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief ;
They saw,

but other sight instead! a croud
Of ugly serpents ; horrour on them fell,
And horrid sympathy ; for, what they saw, [arms,
They felt themselves, now changing ; down their
Down fell both spear and shield; down they as fast ;
And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
Catch'd, by contagion ; like in punishment, (meant,
As in their crime. Thus was the applause they
Turn'd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame stood
Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There
A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that
Which grew

in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Us'd by the tempter : on that prospect strange
Their earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude
Now ris'n, to work them further woe or shame;

Yet, parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain;
But on they roll'd in heaps, and, up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curld Megæra : greedily they pluck'd
The fruitage fair to sight, like that which grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flam'd:
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceiv'd: they, fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit
Chew'd bitter ashes, which the offended taste
With spattering noise rejected : oft they assay'd,
Hunger and thirst constraining; drugg'd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh'd their jaws,
With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as Man (plagu'd
Whom they triumph'd once laps'd. Thus were they
And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their lost shape, permitted, they resum'd;
Yearly enjoin'd, some say, to undergo,
This annual humbling certain number'd days,
To dash their pride, and joy, for Man seduc'do
However, some tradition they dispers’d
Among the Heathen, of their purchase got,
And fabled how the serpent, whom they callid
Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide
Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus ; thence by Saturn driven
And Ops, ere yet Dictæan Jove was born.

Meanwhile in Paradise the hellish pair
Too soon arriv'd; Sin, there in power before,
Once actual ; now in body, and to dwell

Habitual habitant; behind her Death,
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale horse : to whom Sin thus began.

“ Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death! What think'st thou of our empire now, though earn'd With travel difficult, not better far (watch, Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat Unnam'd, undreaded, and thyself half-starv'd ?”

Whom thus the Sin-born monster answer'd soon. “ To me, who with eternal famine pine, Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven; There best, where most with ravine I may meet; Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems To stuff this maw, this vast un-hide-bound corps."

To whom the incestuous mother thus replied. “ Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits, and

flowers, Feed first; on each beast next, and fish, and fowl ; No homely morsels! and whatever thing The sithe of Time mows down, devour unspard; Till I, in Man residing, through the race, His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect ; And season him thy last and sweetest prey."

This said, they both betook them several ways, Both to destroy, or unimmortal make All kinds, and for destruction to mature Sooner or later ; which the Almighty seeing, From his transcendent seat the saints among, To those bright orders uttered thus his voice.

“ See, with what heat these dogs of Hell advance To waste and havoc yonder world, which I So fair and good created ; and had still

Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
Let in these wasteful furies, who impute
Folly to me; so doth the prince of Hell
And his adherents, that with so much ease
I suffer them to enter and possess
A place so heavenly: and, conniving, seem
To gratify my scornful enemies,
That laugh, as if, transported with some fit
Of passion, I to them had quitted all,
At random yielded up to their misrule ;
And know not that I calld, and drew them thither,
My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
Which Man's polluting sin with taiụt hath shed
On what was pure; till cramm’d and gorg’d, nigh

burst With suck'd and glutted offal, at one sling Of thy victorious arm, well pleasing Son, Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave, at last, Through Chaos hurl'd, obstruct the mouth of Hell For ever, and seal

up

his ravenous jaws. [pure Then Heaven and Earth renew'd shall be made To sanctity, that shall receive no stain : Till then, the curse pronounc'd on both precedes.”

He ended, and the heavenly audience loud Sung Halleluiah, as the sound of seas, Through multitude that sung: “ Just are thy ways, Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works; Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son, Destin'd Restorer of mankind, by whom New Heaven and Earth shall to the ages rise, Or down from Heaven descend.” Such was their

song ;

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