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Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,
Arraying cover'd from his Father's sight.
To him with swift ascent he up return'd,
Into his blissful bosom re-assum'd
In glory as of old; to him appeas'd,
All, though all-knowing, what had pass'd with man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd on earth,
Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death,
In counterview within the gates, that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass'd throughi,
Sin opening, who thus now to Death began:
O son, why sit we here each other viewing
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us his offspring dear?. It cannot be
But that success attends him; if Inishap,
Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n
By his avengers; since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge,
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion giv'n ine large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connat'ral force,
Pow'rful at greatest distance to unite
With secret amity things of like kind
By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade
Inseparable, must with me along:
For Death from Sin no pow'r can separate.
But lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return, perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious, let us try
Advent'rous work, yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path
Over this main from hell to that new world
Where Satan now prevails; a monument
Of merit high to all th' infernal host
Easing their passage hence, for intercourse,
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn.
By this new-felt attraction and instinct.
Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon:
Go whither fate and inclination strong
Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err
The way, thou leading; such ascent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
The savour of death from all things there that live:
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he snufl'd the sinell Of moral change on earth. As when a flock Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote, Against the day of battle, to a field, Where armies lie incamp'd, come flying, lur'd With scent of living carcases design'd For death, the following day, in bloody fight: So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd His nostril wide into the milky air, Sagacious of his quarry from so far. Then both from out hell gates, into the waste Wide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark, Flew diverse; and with pow'r (their pow'r was great) Hovering upon the waters, what they met Solid or slimny, as in raging sea Tost up and down, together crowded drore, from each side shoaling tow'rds the mouth of hell; As when two polar winds, blowing adverse Upon the Cronian sea, together drive Mountains of ice, that stop the imagin'd way Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich Cathaian coast. The aggregated soil Death with his mace petrific, cold and dry As with a trident smote, and fix'd as firm. As Delos ffoating once; the rest his look Bound with Gorgonian rigour not 10 move; And with Asphaltic slime, broad as the gate,
Deep to the roots of hell the gather'd beach
They fasten'd, and the mole immense wrought ong.
Over the foaming deep high arch’d; a bridge
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall
Immoveable of this now fenceless world
Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to hell.
So, if great things to sırall may be compar’dy
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,
From Susa his Memnonian palace high
Came to the sea, and over Hellespont
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia join'd,
And scourg'd with many a stroke th’indignant wavese
Now had they brought the work by wondrous art
Pontifical, a ridge of pendant rock,
Over the vex'd abyss, following the track
Of Satan, to the self-same place where he
First lighted from his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
of this round world: with pins of adamant.
And chains they made all fast; too fast they made,
And durable; and now in little space
The confines met of empyrean heav'n,
And of this world and on the left hand hell
With long reach interpos’d; three several ways
In sight to each of these three places led.
And now their way to earth they had descry'd,
To Paradise first tending; wlien behold
Saian, in likeness of an Angel bright,
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering
Ilis zenith, while the sun in Aries rose:
Disguis'd he came; but those his children dear
Their parent soon discern’d, though in disguise.
Ile, after Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by, and changing shape,
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
Upon her husband, saw their shame that sought
Vain overtures; but when he saw descend,
The Son of God to judge them, terrify'd
He fied, not hoping to escape, but shun
The present, fearing guilty what his wrath
Might suddenly inflict; that pass’d, return'd
By night, and list’ning where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gather'd his own doom; which understood
Not instant, but of future time with joy
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd;
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd
Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight
Of that stupendous bridge his joy increasid.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke:
O parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
Thy trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own;
Thou art their author and prime architect:
For I no sooner in my heart divin'd,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine, join'd in connection sweet,
That thou on earth hadst prosperd, which thy looks
Now also evidence, but straight I felt
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt
That I must after thee with this thiy son;
Such fatal consequence unites us there.
Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast atchiev'd our liberty, confin'd
Within hell gates till now; thou us impowerd
To fortify thus far, and overlay
With this portentous bridge the dark abyss.
Thine now is all this world; thy virtue hath won
What thy hands builded not, thy wisdom gain'd
With odds what war hath lost, and fully aveng'd
Our foil in Heav'n; here thou shalt monarch reign,
There didst not: there let him still victor sway
As battle hath adjudg'd, from this new world
Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things parted by th’empyreal bounds
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world,
Or try thee now more dang’rous to his throne.
Whom thus the prince of darkness answer'd glad:
Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both,
High proof ye now have giv'n to be the race
Of Satan, (for I glory in the name,
Antagonist of Heav'n's almighty king),
Amply have merited of me, of all
Th'infernal empire, that so near heav'n's door
Triuinphal with triumphal act have met,
Mine with this glorious work, and made one realm
Hell and this world, one realm, one continent
Of easy thoroughfare. Therefore, while I
Descend through darkness, on your road with ease,
To my associate pow'rs, them to acquaint
With these successes, and with them rejoice;
You two this way, among these numerous orbs
All yours, right down to Paradise descend,
There dwell, and reign in bliss; thence on the earth
Dominion exercise, and in the air,
Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declar'd;
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
My substitutes I send ye, and create
Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might
Issuing from me: on your joint vigour now
My hold of this new kingdom all depends,
Through sin to death expos’d by my exploit.
If your joint pow'r prevail, th’affairs of hell
No detriment need fear; go, and be strong.
So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed Their course through thickest constellations held Spreading their bane; the blasted stars look'd wan, And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse Then suffer'd. Th’other way Satan went down The causey to hell gate; on either side