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Who first broke peace in heav'n, and faith, till then
Unbroken; and in proud rebellious arms

Drew after him the third part of heaven’s fons,
Conjúr'd against the High'est; for which both thou
And they, outcast from God; are here condemn’d,
To waste eternal days in woe and pain ? 695
And reckon'st thou thyself with spi'rits of heaven,
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
Left with a whip of scorpions I pursue
Thy ling'ring, or with one stroke of this dart
Strange horrour seize thee', and pangs unfelt before.

So spake the grilly terrour, 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 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, With heav'n's artillery fraught, come rattling on 715 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; fo match'd they stood; For never but once more was either like

721 To meet so great a foe : and now great deeds Had been achiev'd, whereof all hell had

rung Had not the fnaky forceress that sat

Fast by liell-gate, and kept the fatal key, 725. Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.

O father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd, Against thy only fon? What fury', O fon, Possesses thee, to bend that mortal dart Against thy father's head? and know'ít for whom For him who lits above, and laughs the while 7311 At thee, ordain’d his drudge, to execute Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, lids"; His wrath, which one day will destroy ye.booth.. She fpake, and at her words the hellish pest

735, Forbore; then these, to her, Satan return'd.

So strange thy. oatcry, and thy words fo ftrange : Thou interpofest, 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 yale first met, thou call'st Me father, and that phantafin call'st my on: I know thee not, nor ever law till now Sight more detestable than himn and thee.

745.; T' whom thus the portress of hell-gate reply'd.. Halt thou forgot me then, and do I feem Now in thine eye fo foul ? once deem'd so fair In heav'n, when at th'affembly, and in fight: Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd

750 In bold conspiracy against heavin's King... All on a sudden miserable pain Surpris'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast Threw forth; till on the left side op'ning wide, 755. Likest to thes in shape and count'nance bright, Then shining heav'nly fair, a goddess arm'd, Out of thy head I sprung: amazement feiz'd All th' host of heav'n; back they recoil'd, afraid

At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a fign 760
Portentous held mes 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 765
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 foe
Clear victory ; to our part loss and rout, 770
Through all the empyréan : down they fell
Driv'n headlong from the pitch of heaven, down
Into this deep; and in the general fall
I also ; at which time this pow'rful key
Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep 775

for ever shut, which none can pass
Without my opening. Penfive here I fat
Alone; but long I fat not, till my womb
Pregnant by thee, and now excellive grown,
Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes.

At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
Thine own begotten, breaking-violent way
Tore through my intrails, that with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transform’d: but he my


Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal dart
Made to destroy : I fled, and cry'd out, Death ;
Hell trembled at the hideous name, and figh'd
From all her caves, and back resounded, Death.
I fled; but he pursu'd, (tho' more, it seems,

790 Inflam'd with lust than rage), and, swifter far, Me overtook his mother, all dismay'd, And in embraces forcible and foul Ingend'ring with me, of that rape begot


These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry

795 Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly conceiv'd And hourly born, with forrow infinite To me ;

for when they lift, into the womb. That bred them they return, and howls and

gnaw My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth 800 Afresh with conscious terrours vex me round, That rest or intermiffion none I find: Before mine eyes in opposition fits Grim Death, niy fon and fơe ; who fets them on, And me his parent would full soon devour. For want of other prey, but that he knows His end with mine involy'd, and knows that I Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane, Whenever that shall be ; fo Fate pronounc'd. But thou, O father, I forewarn thes, shun,

8103 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 refilt.

She finish'd; and the subtle fiend his lore Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.

Dear daughter, since thou claiin'st me for thy fire, And my fair fon here show'st me, the dear pledge Of dahliance had with thee in heav'n, and joys 'Then fweet, now fad to mention, thro' dire change Befall’n us, unforeseen, unthought of; know 821 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 spi'rits, that, in our just pretences arm’d, 825 Fell with us from on high : from them I go This uncouth errand fole; and one for all Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread Th' unfounded deep, and thro' the void immenfe :


To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
Created, vast and round ; a place of bliss
In the pourlieus of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room; tho' more remov'd, 835
Lest heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or aught
Than this more fecret, now defign'd, I haste
To know; and this once known, shall foon return,
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 841
Wing filently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours; there ye fhall 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 846
His famine should be fillid; and bless’d his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her fire.

The key of this infernal pit by due, And by command of Heaven'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'ermatch'd by living might. 855 But what I owe to his commands above, Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, To fit in hateful office here confin'd, Inhabitant of heav'n, and heav'nly born, 860 Here in perpetual agony and pain, With terrours and with clamours compass’d round, Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ? Thou art my father, thou my author, thou


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