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My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reiga
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 tow'rds the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up drew;
Which, but herself, not all the Stygian powers
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole 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
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 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.
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 height,
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 battle bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
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 sail,
Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
He rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision inore embroils the fray,
By which he reigns; next hiin 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 in' Alinighty Maker them ordain
Ilis dark materials to create more worlds;
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stoon on the brink of hell, and look'd awhile,
Pond'ring his voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd
With noises loud and ruinous, (to coinpare
Great things with small), than when Bellona storms,
With all her battering engines bent to rase
Soine capital city; or less than if his frame
Of heav'n were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The stedfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans
He spreads for fight, and in the surging sinoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league,
As in a cloudy chair, ascending, rides
Audacious; but that seat soon failing, meets
A vast yacuity: all unawares,
Flutt ring his pennons vain, plumb down he drops
Ten thousand fathoin deep; and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
The strong rebuff of soine tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many iniles aloft; that fury stay'd,
Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land, nigh founder'd, on he fares,
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half fils behoves him now both oar and sail.

As when a gryphon, through the wilderness
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
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.
At length a universal hubbub wild
of stunning sounds, and voices all confus',
Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his car
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there whatever power
Or spirit of the nethermost abyss
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies
Bord'ring on light; when strait behold the throne
Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wasteful deep; with him enthron’d,
Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
The consort of his reign, and by them stood
Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
Of Demogorgon; Rumor next, and Chance,
And Tumult, and Confusion, all embroil'd,
And Discord with a thousand various mouths.

To whom Satan, turning boldly, ihus: Ye pow'rs
And spirits of this nethermost abyss,
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy,
With purpose to explore or to disturb
The secrets of your realm; but by constraint
Wand'ring this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light,
Alone, and without guide, half lost, 1 seck
What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds
Confine with heav'n; or if soine other place,
From your dominion won, th'ethereal King
Possesses lately, thither to arrive
I travel this profound; direct iny course :
Directed, no mean recompence it brings.

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To your behoof; if I that region lost,
All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce
To her original darkness, and your sway,
(Which is my present journey,) and once more
Erect the standard there of ancient Night;
Yours be th' advantage all, inine the revenge.

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
With falt'ring speech and visage incompos'd,
Answer'd: I know thee, stranger, who thou art,
That mighty leading angel, who of late
Made head against heav'n's King, though overthrown.
I saw, and heard; for such a nunerous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep,
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded; and heav'n-gates
Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands,
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
Keep residence; if all I can will serve
That little which is left so to defend,
Encroach'd on still through your intestine broils
Weak'ning the sceptre of old Night: first hell,
Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath;
Now lately heav'n and earth, another world,
Hung o'er iny realm, link'd in a golden chain
To that side heav'n from whence your legions fell:
If that way be your walk, you have not far;
So much the nearer danger; go, and speed;
Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are iny gain.

He ceas'd; and Satan stay'd not to reply,
But, glad that now his sea should find a shore,
With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd,
Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, ai
Into the wild expanse; and through the shock
Of fighting elements, on all sides round
Environd, wings his way; harder beset
And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd
Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks:
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunnid
Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steer'd.

So he with difficulty and labour hard"
Mov'd on; with difficulty and labour he;
But, he once pass’d, soon after, when man fell,
Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain,
Following his track, such was the will of heav'n,
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling guif
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length,
From hell continu'd, reaching th' utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which th' spirits perverse
With easy intercourse pass to and fro,
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God and good angels guard by special grace.

But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of heav'n
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
A gliminering dawn: here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire,
As from her outmost works, a broken foe,
With tumult less, and with less hostile din ;
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease,
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off th' empyreal heav'n, extended wide..
In circuit, undetermin'd square or round,
With opal tow'rs and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude, close by the moon.
Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge, de
Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour, he hies.

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