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But thou O father! I forewarn thee, fhun

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His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invuln'rable in those bright arms,
Though temper'd heav'nly; for that mortal dint,
Save He who reigns above, none can resist!
She finish'd, and the subtile fiend his lore

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

Dear daughter! since thou claim'ft me for thy fire,
And my fair son here show'st me (the 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 spirits that (in our just pretenses arm’d,)

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Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand fole ; and one for all
My self expose, with lonely steps to tread
Th' unfor Deep, and through the void immenfe
To search with wandring quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, e'er-now
Created, vast and round; a place of bliss
In the pourlieues of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room; though more remov'd,
Left heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude 836
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or ought
Than this more secret, now design’d, I hate
To know; and this once known, mall foon return,

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And bring ye to the place where Thou, and Death,
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 845
Wing filently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odors: there ye shall be fed, and fill'd
Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.

He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and Death Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear

846 His famine should be fillid; and bleft his maw Dettin'd to that good hour : no less rejoic'd His mother bad, and thus bespake her fire :

The key of this infernal pit by due, And by command of heav'n'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 owe I to His commands above Who hates me, and hath hither thruft 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 terrors, and with clamors compass'd round, Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed? Thou art my father, thou my author, thou My Eeing gav'it me; whom fhould I obey 865 But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me foon 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 befeems

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Thy daughter, and thy darling, without end. 870

Thus saying, from her fide the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe! The took ;
And tow'rds the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up-drew;
Which but her felf, not all the Stygian Pow'rs
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns
Th’intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
Of maffy iron, or folid rock, with ease
Unfastens i on a sudden open fly,
With impetuous recoil, and jarring found,

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Th’infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
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 Inarching, might pass through
With horse, and chariots, rank'd in loose array,
So wide they stood ! and, like a furnace mouth,
Caft forth redounding smoke, and ruddy Aame.
Before their eyes in fudden view appear 890
The secrets of the hoary Deep; a dark
Illimitable ocean! without bound, [height,
Without dimenfion; where length, breadth, and
And time, and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confufion stand:
For, hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce,
Strive here for maftry, and to battel bring

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Their embryon atoms ; they around the fag 900
Of each his faction, in their sey'ral clans,
Light-arm’d, or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or Now,
Swarm populous, un-number'd as the sands
Of Barca, or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levy'd to fide with warring winds, and poise 905
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
He rules a moment : Cbaos umpire fits,
And by decision more embroils the fray,
By which he reigns : next him high arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss,

910 (The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave) Of neither sea, nor Moar, 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 engins bent to rase 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 steadfast earth. At last his fail-broad vans He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke Vp-lifted spurns 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, plumb down he drops Ten thousand fathom deep: and to this hour Down had been falling, had not by ill chance 935 The strong rebuff of fome tumultuous cloud, Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him As many miles aloft : that fury stay'd, Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea, Nor good dry land, nigh founder'd on he fares, 940 Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, Half Aying; behooves him now both oar and fail. As when a gryfon, through the wilderness With winged course o'er hill, or moory dale, Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth 945 Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd The guarded gold: so eagerly the fiend O'er bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense or rare, With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way; And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. 950 At length a universal hubbub wild Of stunning sounds, and voices all confus’d, Born through the hollow dark assaults his ear With loudest vehemence : thither he plies, Undaunted to meet there whatever Pow's, 955 Or fpirit, of the nethermost abyss, Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies, Bordering on light; when Itrait behold the throne

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