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Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray;
Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home: the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt How sinks his soul!
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When for the dusky spot, which fancy feign'd
His tufted cottaue rising thro' the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track, and blest abode of Man;
While round him night resistless closesfast,
And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost;
Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and (what is land, unknown,
What water) of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish Nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bosom of the dying Man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Jays him along the snows, a stiffened corse,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.
Ah! little think the gay, licentious proud,
How many feel, this very moment, death
The Subject of.Paradise Lost:
INVOCATION.OFTHE MUSE—MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE—LOSS
OF PARADISE—SATAN DitlVEN OUT OF HEAVEN.
Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
That shepherd, Who first taught the chosen seed,
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit! that dost prefer
Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view.
He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.. .
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanqHiih'd rolling in the. fiery gulph, . ;. V .
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride aodstedfast hate:
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round <^
As one great furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow,.doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place eternal justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
Satan Lying on the Burning Lak«.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate
Had risn or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permission of ail-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs;
That with reiterated crimes he might . .
Heap on himself damnatiou, while he sought
Evil to others; and enrag'd might see
How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown
On Man by him seduc'd, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,
Driv'n backward, slope their pointing spires, and, rpll'd
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land
He lights, if it wers land that ever burn'd
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter d sida
Of thund'ring ./Etna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, <
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke; such resting found the sola
Of unblest feet.
Description ^satan's Shield and Spear.
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast