Billeder på siden



At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a sign
Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won
The most averfe, thee chiefly, who full oft
Thyfelf in me thy perfect image viewing,
Becam'it enamour'd, and such joy thou took’ft 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 empycéan: down they fell
Driv'n headlong from the pitch of heav'n, down
Into this deep; and in the gen'ral fall
1 also; at which time this pow'rful key
Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep
These gates for ever shut, which none can pass
Without my op'ning Penfive here I fat
Alone ; but long I 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 seest,
Thine own begotten; breaking violent way
Tore thro' my intrails, that with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transform'd: but be my inbred enemy : 785
Forth iflu'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 refounded, Death..
I fled, but he purfu'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 ine, of that rape.begot -


780 805

These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry 795
Surround me, as thou saw'ft, 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
Ny bowels, their repait; then bursting forth 800
Afresh, 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 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 fall be ; so fate pronounc'd.
But thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun 810
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 refift.

She finish'd ; and the subtle fiend his lore 815 Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.

Dear daughter, since thou claim'l me for thy fire, And my fair son here show'st 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 fpirits, 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




[ocr errors]

To search with wand'ring quelt a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
Created valt 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 surcharg'd with patent multitude
Might hap to more 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
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 841
Wing filently the buxom air," imbalm'd
With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill’d,
Immeasurably, all things fhall be your prey.

He ceas’d, for both seem'd highly pleas’d, and Death:
Grinn'd horrible'a ghaltty'smile; to hear 846.9
His farine should be fill'd, and bless'd his maw
Destin'd to that good hour! no lefs rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus befpake her 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 adamanlige 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 ia hateful office here confin'd, Inhabitant of heav'n, and heav'nly borte, 860 Here in perpetual agony and pain, With terrors and with clamours compars'd round Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ? Thou art my father, thou my author, thou F6

MŽ. 870

My being gav'it me; whom should I obey 865
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.

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 herself, 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 maffy ir'on or folid rock with ease
Unfaltens : on a sudden open fly,
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound, 880
'Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Ilarsh thunder, that the lowest bottom fook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her.pow'r; the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd hoft,
Under spread enfigns marching, might pass thro'
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth

a Caft forth redounding smoke and ruddy frame. Before their eyes in sudden view appear 890 The secrets of the hoary deep; a dark Illimitable 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, Strive here for mast'ry, and to battle bring



Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Light-arm’d or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or flow,
Swarm populous, vonumber'd as the sands
Of 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 high arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wild abyfs,

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 fight,
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 lefs than if this frame. Of heav'n were falling, and these elements 925 In mutiny had from her alle torn The Redfaft earth. At lait his fail-broad vans He spreads for fight, and in the surging smoke Uplifted fpurns the ground; thence many a league, As in a cloudy chair, ascending 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



« ForrigeFortsæt »