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To yonder gates ? Through them I mean to pass,
To whom the goblin full of wrath reply'd,
690 Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's sons, Conjur'd against the High’st, 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 Sp’rits 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, 700 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 the grisly terror, and in shape, So speaking, and so threat’ning, grew tenfold 705 More dreadful and deform. On th' other side, 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 710 Shakes pestilence and war.
Each at the head Leveld his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend, and such a frown
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;
730 For Him who sits above and laughs the while At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids; 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. 736
So strange 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, 740 What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why
In this infernal vale first met thou call'st
eyes, and dizzy swum In darkness, 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'nly fair, a Goddess arm’d Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seiz'd All th' host of Heav'n; back they recoil'd, afraid At first, and call’d me Sin, and for a sign 760 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 image viewing Becam’st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st With me in secret, that womb conceiv'd
766 A growing burthen. Mean while war arose, And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein re
main'd (For what could else?) to our Almighty Foe Clear victory; to our part loss and rout 770
Through all the empyrean. Down they fell,
hand was giv'n, with charge to keep 775