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And on the serpent thus his curse let fall.
“ Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd
Above all cattle, each beast of the field ;
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the Woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed;
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.”
So spake this oracle, then verify'd
When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve,
Saw Satan fall like lightning down from Heaven,
Prince of the air; then rising from his grave
Spoild Principalities and Pow'rs, triumph'd
In open show, and with ascension bright
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan long usurp'd,
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Ev'n he who now foretold his fatal bruise,
And to the Woman thus his sentence turn'd.
“ Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth; and to thy husband's will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule."
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd. “ Because thou' hast hearken'd to the voice of thy
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charg'd thee, say’ing, “ Thou shalt not eat thereof :'
Curs'd is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shali eat thereof all the days of thy life;
Thorns also' and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt cat th’ herb of the field,
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth, 207
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.”
So judg'd he Man, both judge and saviour sent,
And th' instant stroke of death denounc'd, that day
Remov'd far off; then pitying how they stood
Before him naked to the air, that now
Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume,
As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now
As father of his family he clad
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,
Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid ;
And thought not much to clothe his enemies :
Nor he their outward only with the skins
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 reassum'd
In glory as of old; to him appeas'd
All, tho' all-knowing, what had pass'd with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn’dand 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 through, 233
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 mishap,
Ere this he had return'd, with fury driven
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 me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural 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 pow'r 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- v-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 a scent I draw
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 snuff’d the smell Of mortal 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 encamp'd, come flying, lur'd 276
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 murky 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 slimy, as in raging sea
Tost up and down, together crowded drove
From each side shoaling tow’ards the mouth of Hell :
As when two polar winds, blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian sea, together drive
Mountains of ice, that stop th' imagin'd way
Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich
Cathaian coast. The aggregated soil
Death with his mace petrific, cold and dry, 294
As with a trident smote, and fix'd as firm
As Delos floating once; the rest his look
Bound with Gorgonian rigour not to 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 on
Over the foaming deep high arch’d, a bridge
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall