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Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts 660
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore :
Nor uglier follow the Night-hag, when call'd
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
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape

(If Tape it might be call'd, that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance might be call’d that shadow seem'd,
For each seem'd either :) black it stood as night, 670
Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell,
And Mook 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 monster moving, onward came as fast
With horrid strides : hell trembled as he ftrode.
Th’undaunted fiend what this might be admir'd;
Admir'd, not fear’d; God and his Son except,
Created thing naught valued he, nor Thun'd;
And with disdainful look thus first began. 680

Whence, and what, art thou ! execrable shape! That dar'ft, though grim and terrible, advance Thy mis-created front athwart my way

To yonder gates ? through them I mean to pass, " That be assur'd, without leave ask'd of thee. 685

Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof,
Hell-born! not to contend with spirits of heav'n.

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 arms 691
Drew after him the third part of heav'n's fons,
Conjur'd against the Highest; for which both thou
And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd
To waste eternal days in woe and pain ? 695
And reckon'st thou thy self with spirits of heav'n,
Hell-doom'd! and breath'st defiance here and fcorn,
Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more,
Thy King, and Lord ? Back to thy punishment,
False 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 spake the griesly Terror, and in shape,
(So speaking, and so threatning) 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 Ophiucus 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 artil'ry fraught, come rattling on 715
Over the Caspian; then stand front to front,
Hov'ring a space, till winds the signal blow
To join their dark encounter in mid air:
So frown'd the mighty combatants, that he'l

Grew darker at their frown: so 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 atchiev'd, whereof all hell had rung, Had not the snaky forceress that sat Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key, 725 Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rulh'd between.

O father! what intends thy hand, the cry'd, gainst thy only fon? What fury, O fon, Possesses thee, to bend that mortal dart Against thy father's head ? and know'st for whom ; For Him who fits above, and laughs the while 731 At thee, ordain'd his drudge, to execute Whate'er his wrath, which He calls justice, bids; His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both !

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

So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange "Thou interposest, 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 vale first met, thou call'st Me father, and that phanta'm call'st my fon : I know thee not, nor ever saw till now Sight more detestable than him, and thee.

745 T' whom thus the portress of hell-g ate reply'd: Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem Now in thine eye fo foul ? once deem'd so 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 miferable pain
Surpriz'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzy fwum
In darkness; while thy head flames thick and fast
Threw forth; till on the left side op'ning wide, 755
Likest to thee in Mhape, and count'nance bright,
Then shining heav'nly fair, a Goddess arm’d,
Out of thy head I fprung: amazement feiz'd
All th' hoft of heav'n; back they recoil'd, afraid
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 averse, thee chiefly, who full oft
(Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing)
Becam'ft inamor'd, and such joy thou took'it 765
With me in fecret, that my womb conceiv'd
A growing burthen. 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 lofs, and rout, 770
Through all the empyrean: 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 775
These gates for ever shut, which none can pass
Without my op'ning. Penfive here I fat
Alone, but long I fat not, till my womb
Pregnant by thee, and now exceffive grown,


Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes ! 780
At last this odious offspring whom thou feeft,
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
Tore through my 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 Aed, and cry'd out Deatb!
Hell trembled at the hideous name, and ligh'd
From all her caves, and back resounded, Death!
I fled, but he pursu'd (though 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,
Ingendring 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 sorrow infinite
To me! For, when they lift, into the womb
That bred them they return; and howl, and gnaw
My bowels, their repast: then bursting forth, 800
Afresh with cončcious terrors vex me round,
That reft, or intermission 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,

Mall be;

Fate pronounc'd,

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