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Made to destroy: I fied, and cry'd out DEATH;
Heli trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd
From all her caves, and back resounded Death.
I fled, but he pursued, (though more, it seems, 790
Infiam'd with lust than rage) and swifter far,
Me overtook his mother all dismay'd,
And in embraces forcible and foul
Ingendering with me, of that rape begot
These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry
Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly conceiv'd
And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
To me; for when they list into the womb
That bred them, they return, and howl and gnaw
My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth 800
Afresh with conscious terrors vex me round,
That rest or intermission none I find.
Before my eyes in opposition sits
Grim Death my son and foe, who sets them on,
And me his parent would full soon devour
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with mine involv'd ; and knows that I
Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,
Whenever that shall be; so fate pronounc'd.
But thou, O Father, I forewarn thee, shun 810
His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invulnerable 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 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 Heav'n, and joys
Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change
Befail’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 Spi'rits, that in our just pretences 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 wand'ring 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 ought
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 up and down unseen
Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours;

shall be fed and fill'd Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.

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

there ye

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, 850
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, 860
Here in perpetual agony and pain,
With terrors and with clamours compass'd round
Of nine 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
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. 870

Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, Sad instrument of all our woe, she took; And tow’ards 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 ir'on or solid rock with case
Unfastens : on a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound 880
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 830
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, anidst 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 900 Of each his faction, in their several clans, Light-arm’d or heavy, siiarp, smooth, swift or siowy Swarm populous, un-number'd as the sands Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, 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 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 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,
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 battering engines bent to raze
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 steadfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans
He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league,
As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides

930
Audacious; but that seat soon failing, meets
A vast vacuity: all unawares
Fluttering his pennions vain, plumb down he drops
Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
Down had been failing, had not by ill chance
The strong rebuff of some tuinultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried hini

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