صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


Unfastens : on a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She opened, 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.
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

highth, 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 mastery, 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, un-number'd as the sands Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, Levied to side with warring winds, and poise

SUV4 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 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 the 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 awhile, Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd 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 Heaven were falling, and these elements In mutiny had from her axle torn The stedfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a leagne, As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meets A vast vacuity: all unawares Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops

loon Ten thousand fathom deep; and to this hour Down had been falling, had not by ill chance The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud, Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him As many miles aloft : that fury staid, 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 flying; 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'd, Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear 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 a:k Which


the nearest coast of darkness lies Bordering on light; when straight behold the throne Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread

' 869-896 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; Rumour next and Chance, And Tumult and Confusion all embroil'd, And Discord with a thousand various mouths, To whom Satan turning boldly, thus: Ye Powers 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 Wandering this darksome desart, as my way Lies through your spacious empire up to light, Alone, and without guide, half lost I seek What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds Confine with Heaven; or if some other place, From your dominion won, the ethereal King Possesses lately, thither to arrive I travel this profound; direct my course ! Directed, no mean recompence it brings 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 the advantage all, mine the revenge!

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,


With faultering speech and visage incompos’d,
Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art,
That mighty leading Angel, who of late
Made head against Heaven's King, though over-

I saw and heard; for such a numerous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded; and Heaven gates
Pour'd out by millions his 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
Weakening the scepter of old Night: first Hell,
Your dungeon, stretehing far and wide beneath;
Now lately Heaven and Earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain
To that side Heaven 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 my gain.

He ceas'd; and Satan staid 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,
Into the wild expanse; and, through the shock
Of fighting elements, on all sides round

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