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Sagacious of his quarry from so far.
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
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
The Son of God to judge them, terrify’d
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
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,
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