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For each seem'd either; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,
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
With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.
Th' undaunted fiend what this might be admi
Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his son except,
Created thing nought valu'd he, nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look thus first began:

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

To whom the goblin, full of wrath, reply'd: Art thou that traitor-angel, art thou he, Who first broke peace in heav'n and faith, ti Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms. Drew after him the third part of heav'n's sons, Conjur'd against the Highest ; for which both thou And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd To waste eternal days in woe and pain? And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of heav'n, Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn Where I reign king; and, to enrage thee more, Thy king and lord ? 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

So spake thc grisly terror, and in shape, . So speaking and so threat'ning, grew tenfold More dreadful and deform. On th’ other si Incens'd with indignation, Satan stood Unterrify'd; and like a comet burn'd, ..

That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge In th'arctic sky, and from his horrid hair - Shakes pestilcnce and war. Each at the head Leveld his deadly aim; their fatal hands of No second stroke intend; and such a frown Each cast at th other, as when two black clouds, With heav'n's artillery fraught, come rattling on Over the Caspian, then stand front to front, Hovering 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 frown; so match'd they stood ; For never but once more was either like. To meet so great a foe.' ' And now great deeds Jad been achiev'd, whereof all hell had rung, Had not the snaky forceress that sati . Fast by hell gate, and kept the fatal key, Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.

O father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd, Against thy only son? What fury, O'son! Possesses thee, to bend that mortal dart Against thy father's head and know'st for whom; For him who sits above, and laughs the while At thee, ordain'd his drudge, to execute Wbate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bid His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both.

She spake, and at her words the hellish pest Forbore; then these to her Satan return'd:

Soʻstrange thy outcry, and thy words so strange Thou interposest, that my sudden hand

Prevented, spares to tell thee yet by deeds'
• What it intends; till first I know of thee
What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and
In this infernal vale first met, thou call'st
Me father, and that phantasm call'st my son:
I know thee not, nor ever saw iill now
Sight more detestable than him and thee.

T' whom thus the portress of hell gate reply'd: Hast thou forgot me, then, and do I seem .**

Now in thine eyes so soul? once deem'd so fair
In heav'n, when at th'assembly, and in sight
Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd
In bold conspiracy against heav'n's King,
All on a sudden miserable pain
Surpris'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum
In dark ness, while thy head flames thick and fast
Threw forth; till on the left side op'ning wide,
Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright,
Then shining heav'ııly fair, a goddess arm'd
Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seiz'd
All th' host of beay'n; back they recoil'd, afraid
At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a sign
Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won
The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft
Thyself in me thy perfect inage viewing,
Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st
With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd
A growing burden. Meanwhile war arose,
And fields were fought in heav'n; wherein remain'd
(For what could else?) to our almighty foe
Clear victory; to our part loss and rout,
Through all the empyreau : down they fell,

Driv'n headlong from the pitch of heaven, down · Into this deep; and in the generalfall

I also; at which time this pow'rful key
Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep
These gates for ever shut, which none can pass
Without my opening. Pensive here I sat
Alone; but long i sat not, till my womb,
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion felt, and rueful thrves.
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 nether shape thus grew
Transform'd: but he my inbred enemy
Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal dart,

Made to destroy: Ited, and cry'd out, Death !
Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd
Froin all her caves, and back resoundert, Death..
I Bed; but he pursu'd, though more, it seems,
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 rape begot i
These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry
Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly conceiv'd .
And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
To me; for when they list, into the womb ft.
That bred them they return, and howl, and gnaw
My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth ***
Afresh, with conscious terrors vex me round, *?!
That rest or intermission none I find. '""}
Before mine eyes in opposition sits .
Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on,
And inc his parent would full soon devour.
For want of other prey, but that he knows..
His end with mine involv'd; and knows that I
Should prove a bitter inorsel, and his bane, na
Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd. .
But thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun . dri
Ilis deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invulnerable in those bright arms,
Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint,
Save he who reigas above, none can resist.

She finishd; and the subtle fiend his lore
Soon learn’d, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth:

Dear Daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy sire, And my fair son here shew'st me, the dear pledge Of dalliance had with thee in heav'n, and joys Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change Befall'n us unforseen, unthought of; know . I come no enemy, but to set free From out this dark and dismal house of pain Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly host Of spirits, that, in our just pretences armid, vis två

Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand sole; and one for all
My self expose, with lonely steps to tread
Th’unfounded deep, and through the void immense
To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold
Should be, and by concurring signs, ere now
Created, vast and round; a place of bliss
In the purlieus of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart ereatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room; though more remov'd
Lest heav'n, surcharg'd with potent multitude,
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or ought
Than this more secret now design'd, I haste
To know; and this once known, shall soon return,
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd
Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.

He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and Death
Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear
His famine should be fill'd; and blest his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire:

The key of this infernal pit by due, And by command of heav'n's all-pow'rful King, I keep, by him forbidden to unlock These adamantine gates; against all force Death ready stands to interpose his dart, Fearless to be o’ermateh'd by living might. But what owe I to his commands above Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, To sit in hateful office here confin'd, Tnhabitant of heav'n, and heav'nly born, Here in perpetual agony and pain, With terrors and with clamours compass'd round, of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed? Thou art my father, thou my audhor, thou .

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