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Who first broke peace in heav'n, and faith, till then
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
for ever shut, which none can pass
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
He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and Death
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