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Will once more lift us up in spite of fate,
Nearer our ancient seat; perhaps in view
Of those bright confines, whence with neigh
b'ring arms

And opportune excursion we may chance
Re-enter Heav'n; or else in some mild zone'
Dwell not unvisited of Heav'n's fair light
Secure, and at the brightning orient beam
Purge off this gloom; this soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of those corrosive fires,
Shall breathe her balm. But first, whom
shall we send
[find
In search of this new world; whom shall we
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand'ring

feet

The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight
Upborne with indefatigable wings

Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy isle? what strength, what art can
then

Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe Through the strict senteries and stations thick Of angels watching round? Here he bad need All circumspection, and we now no less Choice in our suffrage? for on whom we send, The weight of all and our last hope relies.

This said, he sat; and expectation held His looks suspence, awaiting who appear'd To second, or oppose, or undertake The perilous attempt: but all sat mute, Pond'ring the danger with deep thoughts; and each

In others count'nance read his own dismay
Astonish'd: none among the choice and prime
Of those Heav'n-warring champions, could be
found

So hardy as to proffer or accept
Alone the dreadful voyage: till at last
Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd
Above his fellows, with monarchial pride
Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus
spake:

O Progeny of Heav'n! empyreal Thrones! With reason hath deep silence and demur Seis'd us, though undismay'd: long is the

way

Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape?
But I should ill become this throne, © Peers!
And this imperial sov'rignty, adorn`d
With splendor, arm'd with pow'r, if oughɛ,
propos'd

And hard, that out of Hell lends up to light;
Our prison strong; this huge convex of fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round
Ninefold, and gates of burning adamant
Barr'd over us, prohibit all egress.
These pass'd, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential Night receives him next
Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being
Threatens bin, plung'd in the abortive gulf.
If thence he 'scape into whatever world,
Or unknown region, what remains him less

And judg'd of public moment, in the shape
Of difficulty or danger could deter
Me from attempting. Wherefore do I asume
These royalties, and not refuse to reign,
Refusing to accept as great a share,
Of hazard as of honour, due alike

To him who reigns, and so much to him due.
Of hazard more, as he above the rest

High honour'd sits? Go, therefore, mighty
Powers,
[home,
Terror of Heav'n, though fall'n; intend at
While here shall be our home, what best may.

ense

The present misery, and render Hell
More tolerable; if there be cure or charm
To respite or deceive, or slack the pain
Of this ill mansion; intermit no watch
Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad
Through all the coast of dark Destruction,

seek

Deliverance for us all: this enterprise
None shall partake with me. Thus saying,

rose

The Monarch, and prevented all reply,
Prudent, least from his resolution rais'd
Others among the chief might offer now
(Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd;
And so refus'd, might in opinion stand
His rivals, winning cheap the high repute
Which he through hazard buge must earn.
But they

Dreaded not more the adventure than his
voice
Forbidding; and at once with him they rose;
Their rising all at once was as the sound
Of thunder heard remote. Tow'rds him they
bend

With awful reverence prone; and as a god
Extol him equal to the Highest in Heav'n :
Nor fail'd they to express how much they
prais'd,

That for the general safety he despis'd
His own for neither do the spirits damu'd
Lose all their virtue; least bad men should
boast

Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites,

Or close ambition varnish'd o'er with zeal.
Thus they their doubtful consultations dark
Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief:
As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds
Ascending, while the North-wind siceps, o'er-
spread

Heav'n's cheerful face, the louring element

Scowls o'er the darken'd landskip, snow, or
shower;

If chance the radiant suu with farewel sweet
Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive,
The birds their notes renew, and bleating

herds

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.
O shame to men, devil v ith devil danı'd
Firm concord holds, man only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly grace: and God proclaiming
peace,

Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife
Among themselves, and levy cruel wars,
Wasting the earth, each other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes enow besides,
That day and night for his destruction wait.
Thy Stygiau council thus dissolv'd; and

forth

In order came the grand infernal Peers: Midst came their mighty paramount, and

seem'd

Alone th' antagonist of Heav'n, nor less
Than Hell's dread emperor with pomp su-

preme,

And Godlike imitated state; him round
A globe of fiery seraphim inclus'd

With bright emblazonry, and borrent arms.
Then of their session ended they bid cry
With trumpets' regal sound the great result:
Tow'rds the four winds four speedy che-
rubim

Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy
By herald's voice explain'd; the hollow abyss
Heard far and wide, and all the host of Hell
With deaf'ning shout returu'd them loud
acclame.
[what rais'd
Thence more at ease their minds, and some.
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged
powers

Disband, and wand'ring, each his several way
Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
Leads him perplex'd, where he might likeliest
find

Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
The irksome hours, till his great chief return.
Part on the plain, or in the air sublime,
Upon the wing, or in swift race contend,
As at th' Olympian games or Pythian fields.
Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigade form,
As when to warn proud cities war appears
Wag'd in troubled sky, and armies rush
To battle in the clouds, before each van
Pick forth the acry knights, and couch their
spears

Others, with vast Typhœan rage more fell, Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild up.

roar.

Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns.

As when Alcides, from Oechalia crown'd With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and

tore

Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of Octa threw
Into the Euboic sea. Others more mild,
Retreated in a silent valley, siug
With notes augelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall
By doom of battle; and complain that Fate
Free virtue should enthrall to force or chance.
Their song was partial, but the harmony
(What could it less when sp'rits immortal
sing?)

Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet

(For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense) Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,

In thoughts more elevate, aud reasou'd high
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,
Fix'd fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.
Of good and evil much they argued then,
Of happiness and final misery,
Passion and apathy, and glory and shame,
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy:
Yet with a pleasing sorcery could charm
Pain for a while or anguish, and excite
Fallacious bope, or arm th' obdured breast
With stubboru patience as with triple steel.
Another part, in squadrons and gross bands,
In bold adventure to discover wide
That dismal world, if any clime perhaps
Might yield them easier habitation, bend
Four ways their flying march, along the

banks

Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge
Into the burning lake their baleful streams;
Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;
Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud
Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegethon
Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage,
Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
Her watry labyrinth, whereof who drinks,
Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain,
Beyond this food a frozen continent

Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land
Thaws not, but gather heaps, and ruin seems
Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
A gulph profound as that Serboniau bog

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Betwixt Damiata and mount Casias old, Where armies whole have sunk: the parching

air

Burns frore, and cold perfumes th' effect of fire.
Thither by harpy footed furies hal'd
At certain revolutions all the damu'd
Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter
change
[fierce,
Officrce extremes, extremes by change more
From beds of raging fire to starve in ice
Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine
Immoveable, infix'd, and frozen round,
Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire.
They ferry over this Lethean sound

Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment,
And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
The tempting stream, with one small drop to
lose

In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
All in one moment, and so near the brink;
But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt
Medusa, with Gorgonian terror, guards
The ford, and of itself the water flies
All taste of living wight, as once it fled
The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
In confus'd march forlorn, th' advent'rous
bands

With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast,
View'd first their lamentable lot, and found
No rest: through many a dark and dreary vale
They pass'd, and many a regiou dolorous,
O'er many a frozen, many a tiery Alp,
Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bugs, dens, and
shades of death,

Far off the flying fiend: at last appear
Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid roof,
And thrice three fold the gates; three folds
were bass,

Three iron, three of adamantin rock,
Impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire,
Yet unconsum'd. Before the gates there sat
On either side a formidable shape;

The one seem'd woman to the waste, and fair,

But ended foul in many a scaly fold
Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm'd
With mortal sting: about her middle round
A cry of hell-bounds never ceasing bark
With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and
[creep,

Tung

A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would If ought disturb'd their noise, into her womb, And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howl'd

A universe of death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good,

Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,

Perverse, ali monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
Gorgons, and hydras, and chimeras dire.

Mean while the adversary of God and Man, Satan, with thoughts inflam'd of high'st design, [hell Puts ou swift wings, and tow'rds the gates of Explores his solitary flight; sometimes He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left, Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars Up to the fiery concave tow'ring high. As when far off at sea a fleet descry'd Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds. Close sailing from Bengala, or the iles Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring

Their spicy drugs: they on the trading flood
Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape
Ply stemming nightly tow'rd the Pole. So
seem'd

Within, unseen. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vex'd Scylla bathing in the sea that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when call'd
In secret, riding through the air she comes,
Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the lab'ring mooa
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape,
If shape it might be call'd that shape had uoue
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb,
Or substance might be call'd that shadow
seem'd,

For each seem'd either; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as heli,
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 mouster moving onward came as fast
With horrid strides, bell trembled as he strode.
Th' undaunted fiend what this might be
admir'd,

Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his son except,
Created thing nought valued he nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look thus first began:

Whence and what art thou, execrable shape, That dars't, though grim and terrible, advance Thy miscreated front athwart my way

To yonder gates? through them I mean tẹ 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 sprits 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, till then

Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's sor

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Son;

Conjur'd against the High'st, for which both Me Father, aud that phantasm call'st my
[condemn'd
here

thou

I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
Sight more detestable than him and thee.
T' whom thus the portress of hell gate
reply'd:

And they, outcast from God, are
To waste eternal days in woe and pain?
And reckon'st thou thyself with sprits of
Heav'n,
[scorn
Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and
Where I reign king, and to carage 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 scise thee, and pangs unfelt

before.

So spake the grisly terror, and in shape,
So speaking and so threatening, grew ten-fold
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 Opiuchus huge
In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head
Level'd his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend, and such a frown
Each cast at th` other, as when two black
clouds,
[on
With Heav'n's artillery fraught, come rattling
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front
Hov'ring 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
Had been achiev'd, whereof all hell had rung,
Had not the snaky sorceress that sat
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 Sun,
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
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.

So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange

Thon 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
why

In this infernal vale, first met, thou call'st

Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem
Now in thine eye so foul? 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
[fast

swum

In darkness, while thy head flames thick and
Threw forth, till on the left side opening wide,
Likest to thee in shape and count'nauce
bright,

Then shining heav'nly fair, a goddess arm'd
Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seis'd
All th' host of Heav'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 image viewing,
Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou

took'st

With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd
A growing burden. Mean while war arose,
And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein
remain'd

(For what could else?) to our almighty fos
Clear victory, to our part loss and rout
Through all the empyréan, down they fell
Driv'n headlong from the pitch of Heav's,

down

Into this deep, and in the general fall
I also at which time this powerful key
Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep
These gates for ever shut, which none can
pass

Without my op'ning. Pensive here I sat
Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb,
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion feit and rueful throes.
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 be my inbred enemy
Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart
Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out Death;
Hall trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd
From all her caves, and back resounded
Death.

I fled, but he pursued (though more, it seems,

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Inflam'd with lust than rage) and swifter far,
Me overtook his mother all dismay'd,
And in embraces forcible and foul
Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
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
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 1 find.
Before my eyes in opposition sits
Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on,
And me his parent would full soon devour
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with nine involv'd; and knows that I
Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,
Whenever that shall be; so fate pronounc'd,
But thou, O Father, I forewarn thee, shun
His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invulnerable in those bright arms,
Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal
dint,

Save he who reigns above, none can resist.

She finish'd, 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 show'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 arm'd
Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand sole, and one for all
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
Th' unfounded deep, and through the void
immense

Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
Wing silently the buxom air, inbalın'd
With odours; there we 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

To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold
Should be, and, by concurring sigus, ere now
Created vast and round, a place of bliss
In the purlieus of Heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room, though more re-
mov'd,

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-powerful
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'ermatch'd by living might.
But what owe i to his commands above
Who hates me, and bath hither thrust me
down

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Th' intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease
Unfastens on a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her pow'r, the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd host
Under spread ensigns marching might pass
through

With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Cast forth rebounding smoke and ruddy flame.
Before their eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoary deep, a dark
limitable ocean, without bound,

D

Lest Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude
Might hap to move new broils: be this or aught
Than this more secret now design'd, I haste
To know, and this once known, shall soon re-
turn,
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
N.. III.-N. S. Continued from the Poetical Part of No. II.

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