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I charg'd thee, say'ing, Thou shalt not eat thereof: 200
So judg'd he man, both Judge and Saviour sent, And th'instant stroke of death denounc'd that day 210 Remov'd far off; then pitying how they stood Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to affume : As when he wash'd his fervants feet, so now, 218 As father of his family, he clad Their nakedness with skins of beafts, or Plain, Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid ; And thought not much to clothe his enemies : Nor he their outward only with the skins 220 Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness, Arraying cover'd from his Father's fight. To him with fwift ascent he up return’d, Into his blissful borom reassum'd
225 In glory as of old; to him appeas'd, All, tho'all knowing, what had pass'd with man Kecounted, mixing intercellion fweet.
Mean while, ere thus was finn'd and judg'd on earth, Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death, 230 In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous fame Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass’d througlt, Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.
O son, why fit we here each other viewing Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives lo other worlds, and happier seat provides For us his offspring dear? It cannot be But that succeis attends him; if mishap, Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n 240 By his avengers : fince no place like this Can fit his punishment, or their revenge. Methinks I feel new strength within me rise, Wings growing, and dominion given me large Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on, 345 Or sympathy, or some connat'ral force, Powerful at greatest distance to unite, With secret amity, things of like kind, By fecreteft conveyance. Thou, my shade Inseparable, must with me along:
25 For Death from Sin no pow'r can separate. But left the difficulty of passing back Stay his return perhaps cver this gulf Impaffable, impervious, let us try Advent'rous work, yet to thy pow'r and mine 255 Not unagreeable, to found a fath Over this main from hell to that new world Where Satan now prevails; a monument Of merit high to all th' infernal host, Easing their passage hence, for intercourse, 260 Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead. Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawni By this new-felt attraction and instinct.
Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon. Go whether fate and inclination strong 2015 Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err The way, thou leading ; such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable, and talte The favour of death from all things there that live:
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
270 Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he fuff's the smell Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock Of ravenous fowl, tho' many a league remote, Against the day of battle, to a field,
275 Where armies lie incamp'd, come Aying, lur'd With scent of living carcases defign'd For death, the following day, in bloody fight: So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd His noftril wide into the murky air,
28 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 Toft up and down, together crouded drove, From each side fhoaling tow'ards the mouth of hell: As when two polar winds, blowing adverse Upon the Cronian sea, together drive
29 Mountains of ice, that stop th' imagin'd way Beyond Petfora eastward, to the rich Cathanian coast. The aggregated soit 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 flime, broad as the gate, Deep to the roots of hell the gather'd beach They fasten'd, and the mole immense wrought on, 300 Over the foaming deep high-areh'd, a bridge Of length prodigious, joining to the wall Immoveable of this new fenceless world Forfeit to death; from hence a paffrage broad,
Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to hell. 305
320 The confines met of empyréan heaven, And of this world, and on the left hand hell With long reach interpos'd; three several ways In light, to each of these three places led. And now their way to earth they had descry'd, 325 To Paradise firit 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 330 Their parent foon discern'd, though in disguise. He, after Eve feduc'd, unminded slunk Into the wood fast by, and changing shape To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
335 Upon her husband, faw their shame that sought Vain covertures; but when he saw descend 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 pass’d, return'd By night, and list’ning where the hapless pair Sat in their fad 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 wond'rous pontifice, anhop'd Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear. Great joy was at their meeting, and at light 350 Of that stupendous bridge his joy increas'd. Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair Enchanting daughter, thus the filence broke.
O parent, these are thy magnific deeds, Thy trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own; Thou art their author and prime architect : 356 For I no sooner in my heart divin'd, My heart, which by a secret harmony Still moves with thine, join'd in connection sweet, That thou on earth hadit profper'd, which thy looks Now also evidence, but strait 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, 36; Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure Detain from following thy illuftrious track. Thou hast achiev'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's With odds what war hath lost, and fully' aveng'd