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Forth with his former state and be'ing forgets, 585
Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
Beyond this flood a frozen continent
Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land
Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems

Of ancient pile; or else deep snow and ice,
A gulf profound, as that Serbonian bog
Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old,
Where armies whole have funk: the parching air
Purns frore, and cold performs th' effect of fire. 595
Thither by harpy-footed furies hald,
At certain revolutions, all the damn'd
Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce ;
From beds of raging fire to starve in ice

600 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 forrow to augment, And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach The tempting Itream, 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, 616 Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards The ford, and of itself the water flies All taite of living wight, as once it fled The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on In confus'd march forlorn, th’advent'rous bands 615 With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghaft, View'd first their lamentable lot, and found No reit: through many a dark and dreary vale They pass’d, and many a region dolorous,



O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp,

620 Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of A universe of death, which God by curse [death, Created ev'il, for evil only good, Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds, Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, 625 Abominable, inutterable, and worfe Than fables yet have feign’d, or fear conccivd, Gorgons, and hydras, and chimeras dire.

Mean while the adversary of God and man, Satan, with thoughts infiam'd of high'eit design, 6,0 Puts on swift wings, and towards tlie gates of hell Explores his folitary 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.

635 As when far off at sea a fleet defcry'd Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds Close failing from Bengala, or the illes Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring Their spicy drugs; they on the trading ilood 040 Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape Ply, Itemming nightly toward the pole: fo feem'd Far off the fiying fiend At last

appear Hello bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof, And thrice threefold the gates; three folds were brals, Three iron, three of adamantine rock ;

646 Impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire, Yet unconsum’d. - Before the gates there fat On either side a formidable shape ; The one feem'd woman to the waite, and fair ; 650 But ended foul in many a scaly fold Voluminous and valt, a serpent arm'd With mortal sting : about her middle round А A cry of hell-hounds never ceafing bark'd




With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung 655
A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep,
If ought disturb’d their noise, into her womb,
And kennel there; yet there still bark'd and howl'd
Within unseen. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts 660
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
Nor uglier follow the night-lag, when callid:
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 moon 665
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape,
If shape it might be call'd that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance inight be call'd that shadow seemd,
For each seem'd either; black it stood as night, 670
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,
And thook 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 moolter moving onward came as fast
With horrid strides; hell 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 valu'd he nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look thus first began. 680

Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
That dar'lt, though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gares? Through them I mean to pass,
That be atfurd, without leave ask'd of thee:

685 Retire, or taste thy folly', and learn by proof, Hell-born, not to contend with spi'rits of heaven.

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 arıns 691"
Drew after him the third part of heav'n's fons
Conjur'd against the High'lt, for which both thou
And they, outcast from God, are liere condemn'd
To walte eternal days in woe and pain ? 69;
And reckon't thou thyself with spirits of heav'n,
Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scom,
Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more;
Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punilhment,
Falfe 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 horror seize thee', and pangs unfelt before.

So fpake the grilly terror, and in shape,
So speaking and so threat'ning, grew tenfold 706
More dreadful and deform. On th' other side,
Incens'd with indignation, Satan food
Unterrify'd, and like a comet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge
la th' ardic sky, and from his horrid hair
Shakes peftilence and war. Each at the head
Levellid his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend; and such a frown
Each cast at ih'other, as when two black clouds,
With beav’n’s artillery fraught, come rattling on 715
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front
Hov'ring a space, till winds the fignal blow
To join their dark encounter in mid air :
So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown; fo matchid 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 snaky sorceress that fat




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

O father, what intends thy hand, fhe cry'd, Against thy only fon? What fury', O son, Poffertes thee to bend that mortal dart Against thy father's head? and know'lt for whom? For him who fits above, and laughs the while 731 At thee, ondaind his drudge, to execute Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids; His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both.

She fpake, and at her words the hellish pelt 735 Forbore; then these to her Satan return'd.

So frange thy outcry, and thy words so strange Thou interposest, that my sudden hand Prevented fpares to tell theç 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 vale first met, thou call'st Me father, and that phantasm call'st my son: I know thee not, nor ever saw till now Sight more detestable than him and thee.

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

750 In bold conspiracy against heav'n'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 falt Threw forth, till on the left-fide op'ning wide, 755 Likest to thee in shape and-countnance bright, Then shining heav'nly fair, a goddess arm’d, Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seiz’d All th' holt of heav'n; back they recoild, afraid


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