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At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a fign 760
Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won
The most averfe, thee chiefly, who full oft
Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing,
Becam'it enamour'd, and such joy thou took'it 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 empyréair: down they fell
Driv’n headlong from the pitch of heav'n, down
Into this deep; and in the gen’ral fall
I also ; at which time this pow'rful key
Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep

gates for ever shut; which none can pass
Without my op'ning: : Penfive here I fat
Alone; but long 1 sat not, till my womb
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes.
At last this odious offspring whom thou feelt,
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
Tore thromy intrails, that with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transform'd: but he my

inbred enemy : 785' Forth issu’d, brandishing his fatal dart, Made to destroy: I fed, and cry'd out, Death; Hell trembled at the hideous naine, and figh'd From all her caves, and back refounded, Death. 1 fed, but he purfu'd, tho' more, it feems,

790, Inflam'd with lust than rage,) and, swifter far, Me overtook, his mother, all dismay'd, And in embraces forcible and foul lagend'ring with ine, 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 howl, and gnaw
My bowels, their repait; then bursting forth 800
Afreth, with conscious terrors vex me round,
That reft or intermiffion none I find.
Before mine 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 mine involv'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 thee, shun
His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invulnerable in those bright arms,
Tho' temper'd heav'nly; for that mortal dint,
Save he who reigns above, none can resist.
She finish'd ; and the subile fiend his lore

815 Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.

Dear daughter, since thou claim's me for thy fire, And my fair son here show'lt me, thë dear pledge Of dalliance had with thee in heav'n, and joys Then sweet, now sad 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 fpi'rits, that, in our just pretences arm'd, 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 immense



To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring figns, ere now
Creared vast and round, a place of bliss
In the parlieus of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room, tho' more remov’d, 835 :
Left heav'n furcharg'd with patent multitude
Might hap to move new broits. · Be this, or ought
Than this more secret, now design’d, I haste
To know; and this once known, shall soon return
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
Sball dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 841
Wing filently the buxom air," imbalm'd
With odours; there ye shall be fed and fillid,
Immeasurably, all things fhall be your prey.

He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and Death
Grinn's horrible'a ghaltty'smile; to hear 846...
His farine should be fill'd, aud bless'd his maw
Dėstin’d to that good hour! no-lefs rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus befpake ber fire.
The key of this infernal pit by due,

850 : And by command of heav'n's all-pow'rful King, I keep, by him forbidden to unlock '. These adamantiae gates ; against all force Death ready flands to interpose his dart, Fearless to be o’ermatch'd by living might. 855 But what owe I to his commands above Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, To fit io hateful office here confin'd, Inhabitant of heav'n, and heav'nly born, 860 Here in perpetual agony and pain, With terrors and with clamours compassid round Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ? Thou art my father, thou my author, thou FO



My being gav'it me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow ? thou wilt bring me soon
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end. 870

Thus faying, from her fide the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
And tow'rds the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forth with the huge portcullis high up drew,
Which, but herfelf, not all the Stygian pow'rs 875
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns
Th’intricate wards, and ev'ry bolt and bar
Of massy ir'on or folid rock with ease
Unfaitens : on a fudden open fly,
With impetuous récoil and jarring sound, 880
'Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Ilarsh thunder, that the lowest bottom fhook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her.pow'r; the gates wide open food,
That with extended wings a banner'd hoft, 885
Under spread enligns matching, might pass thro'
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Caft forth redounding smoke and ruddy frame.
Before their eyes in sudden view appear 890
The secrets of the hoary deep; a dark
Tilimitable ocean, without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth and height,
And time, and place, are loft; where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold

895 Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise Of endless wars, and by corfusion stand. For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce, Sirive here for malt'ry, and to battle bring

Their embryon atoms; they around the flag

५०० Of each his faction, in their several clans, Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or flow, Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands ef Barca or Cyrene's torrid foil, Levy'd to fide with warring winds, and poise 905 Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere, He rules a moment: Chaos umpire fits, And by decision more embroils the fray By which he reigns: nest him bigh arbiter Chance governs all. Into this wild abyfs, 910 The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave, Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire, But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fighty · Unless th’ Almighty. Maker them ordain. 915 His dark materials to create more worlds. Into this wild abyss the wary

fiend Stood on the brink of hell, and look'd a while, Pond'ring his voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd 920 With noises loud and ruinous, (to compare Great things with small), than when Bellona storms, With all her batt'ring engines bent to raze Some capital city'; or less than if this frame, Of heav'n were falling, and these elements 925 In mutiny had from her axle torn The fedfift earth. At last his fail-broad vans : He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke Uplifted fpurns the ground; thence many a league, As in a cloudy chair, afcending rides

930 Audacious; but that feat foon failing, meets A vast vacuity : all unawares Flutt'ring his pennons vain, plunib down he drops Ten thousand fathoms deep, and to this hour


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