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Sagacious of his quarry from so far.
Then both from out Hell-gates into the waste
Wide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark,
Flew diverse, and with pow'r (their pow'r was

great)
Hov’ring upon the waters, what they met, 285
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea
Tost

up and down, together crowded drove From each side shoaling tow'rds the mouth of

Hell: As when two polar winds, blowing adverse Upon the Cronian sea, together drive 290 Mountains of ice, that stop th' imagin'd way Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich Cathaian coast. The aggregated soil Death with his mace petrific, cold and dry, As with a trident smote, and fix'd as firm 295 As Delos floating once; the rest his look Bound with Gorgonian rigour not to move; And with Asphaltic slime, broad as the gate, Deep to the roots of Hell the gather'd beach They fasten’d, and the mole immense wrought on Over the foaming deep high arch’d, a bridge Of length prodigious, joining to the wall Immoveable of this now fenceless world Forfeit to Death: from hence a passage broad, Smooth, easy, inoffensive down to Hell.

305 So, if great things to small may be compar'd, Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke, From Susa his Memnonian palace high

Came to the sea, and over Hellespont
Bridging his

way, Europe with Asia join'd, 310 And scourg'd with many a stroke th' indignant

waves. Now had they brought the work by wondrous art Pontifical, a ridge of pendent rock, Over the vex'd abyss, following the track Of Satan to the self-same place where he 315 First lighted from his wing, and landed safe From out of Chaos, to the outside bare Of this round world. With pins of adamant And chains they made all fast, too fast they made And durable; and now in little space 320 The confines met of empyrean Heav'n And of this World, and on the left hand Hell With long reach interpos’d: three sev’ral ways In sight to each of these three places led. And now their way to Earth they had descry'd, To Paradise first tending, when, behold, Satan, in likeness of an Angel bright, Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion, steering His zenith, while the sun in Aries rose. Disguis'd he came; but those his children dear Their parent soon discern'd, though in disguise. He, after Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk Into the wood fast by, and changing shape T' observe the sequel, saw his guileful act By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded 335 Upon her husband, saw their shame that sought Vain covertures; but when he saw descend

326

The Son of God to judge them, terrify’d
He fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
The present, fearing guilty what his wrath 340
Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
By night, and list’ning where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gather'd his own doom, which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy 345
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd,
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd,
Met who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight 350
Of that stupendous bridge his joy increas’d.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke:

O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds, Thy trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own!

355 Thou art their author and prime architect : For I no sooner in my heart divin'd, My heart, which by a secret harmony Still moves with thine, join'd in connexion sweet, That thou on earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks

360 Now also evidence, but straight I felt, Tho' distant from thee worlds between, yet felt That I must after thee with this thy son; Such fatal consequence unites us three : Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds, 365

Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast atchiev'd our liberty, confin'd
Within Hell-gates till now; thou us impower'd
To fortify thus far, and overlay

370
With this portentous bridge the dark abyss.
Thine now is all this world; thy virtue' hath won
What thy hands builded not; thy wisdom gain'd
With odds what war hath lost, and fully ’veng'd
Our foil in Heav'n: here thou shalt nionarch reign;
There didst not; there let him still victor sway,
As battle hath adjudg’d, from this new world
Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things parted by th' empyreal bounds, 380
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world,
Or try thee now more dang’rous to his throne.
Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answer'd

glad : Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both, High proof ye now have giv'n to be the race Of Satan (for I glory in the name, Antagonist of Heav'n's Almighty King); Amply have merited of me, of all Th'infernal empire, that so near Heav'n's door Triumphal with triumphal act have met,

390 Mine with this glorious work, and made one realm Hell and this world, one realm, one continent Of easy thoroughfare. Therefore, while I Descend through darkness, on your road with ease,

386

ye,

To my associate pow'rs, them to acquaint 395 With these successes, and with them rejoice, You two this way, among these num'rous orbs All yours, right down to Paradise descend; There dwell and reign in bliss, thence on the earth Dominion exercise, and in the air,

400 Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declar'd; Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill. My substitutes I send

and create Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might Issuing from me. On your joint vigour now My hold of this new kingdom all depends, Through Sin to Death expos’d by my exploit. If your joint pow'r prevail, th'affairs of Hell No detriment need fear. Go, and be strong.

So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed Their course thro' thickest constellations held, Spreading their bane; the blasted stars look'd wan, And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse Then suffer'd. Th' other way Satan went down The causey to Hell-gate; on either side

415 Disparted Chaos over-built exclaim'd, And with rebounding surge the bars assail'd That scorn'd his indignation. Through the gate, Wide

open and unguarded, Satan pass’d, And all about found desolate; for those

420 Appointed to sit there had left their charge, Flown to the upper world; the rest were all Far to th’inland retir'd, about the walls Of Pandemonium, city and proud seat

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