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Though temper'd heavenly; for that mortal dint, Save he who reigns above, none can resist.


She finish'd, and the subtle fiend his lore
Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.
Dear daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy sire,
And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge
Of dalliance had with thee in heaven, and joys
Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire

Befall'n us, unforeseen, unthought of, know
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,
Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand sole, and one for all
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
Th' unfounded deep, and through the void immense
To search with wandering quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
Created, vast and round, a place of bliss

In the purlieus of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply

Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov❜d,
Lest heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or aught
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 and down unseen 841



Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours; 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
Grinn'd horrible a gastly smile, to hear [Death
His famine should be fill'd, and blest his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire:
The key of this infernal pit by due,
And by command of heav'n's all-powerful 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.
But what owe I to his commands above,
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,

To sit in hateful office, here confin'd,
Inhabitant of heav'n and heav'nly-born,
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 being gav'st me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon

842 buxom air] Spenser, F. Q. i. xi. 37.


'And therewith scourge the buxom air so sore.' Newton. 846 Grinn'd horrible] Imitated, Mr. Carey thinks, from Dante, Inf. v.;

'Stavvi Minos orribilmente e ringhia.'


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 saying, from her side the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
And, towards the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up drew,
Which but herself not all the Stygian powers 875
Could once have mov'd; then in the keyhole turns
Th' intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease
Unfastens on a sudden open fly


With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
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 power; the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd host
Under spread ensigns marching might pass through
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.

868 live at ease] From Homer, Oɛoì peła wovтes.



879 open fly] Don Bellianis, part ii. chap. 19. Open flew the brazen folding doors, grating harsh thunder on their turning hinges.' Swift.

869 smoke] See Dante Il Purg. c. xxiv.

'E giammai non si videro in fornace
Vetri, o metalli sì lucenti e rossi,
Com' io vidi un, che dicea—›

Before their eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoary deep, a dark
Illimitable ocean, without bound,



Without dimension, 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 confusion stand:


For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce,
Strive here for mast'ry, and to battel bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag 900
Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow,
Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,

Levy'd to side with warring winds, and poise 905
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
He rules a moment; Chaos umpire sits,

And by decision more imbroils the fray

By which he reigns:

next him high arbiter

Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss,
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
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,

898 For hot] Ovid. Met. i. 19. Newton.



Pondering 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 battering engines bent to rase
Some capital city; or less than if this frame
Of heav'n were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn


The stedfast earth. At last his sail-broad vannes
He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league
As in a clouded chair ascending rides

Audacious; but, that seat soon 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 some 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,

927 sail-broad] See Maximi Tyrii Diss. vol. i. p. 214, ed. Reiske. τεινάσαι τὰς πτερύγας ὥσπερ ἱστία. And Lucret. vi. 743. Pennarum vela remittunt.' Or consult Wakefield's See Milton's Prose Works, i. 148: ed. Symmons. 936 rebuff] Compare Statii Theb. vii. 35.


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Atque illum Arctoæ labentem cardine portæ
Tempestas æterna plagæ, prætentaque cœlo
Agmina nimborum, primique Aquilonis hiatus
In diversa ferunt.'

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