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The end was pointed with a double sting, Which with such dreaded might she woot to fling, That nought could help the wound, but blood of heav'nly King. XXIX. Of that first woman, her the Dragon got, (The foulest bastard of so fair a mother) Whom when she saw so fill'd with monst’rous spot, She cast her hidden shame and birth to smother : But she well nigh her mother's self had slain; And all that dare her kindly entertain : So some parts of her dam, more of her sire remain. XXX. Her viperous locks hung loose about her ears; Yet with a monst’rous snake she them restrains, Which like a border on her head she wears: About her deck hang down long adder chains, In thousand knots, and wreaths infolded round; Which in her anger lightly she unbound, And darting far away would sure and deadly wound. XXXI. Yet fair and lovely seems to fools' dim eyes; But Hell more lovely, Pluto's self more fair Appears, when her true form true light descries: Her loathsome face, blancht skin, and snaky hair; Her shapeless shape, dead life, her carrion smell; The worst of ills, the child, and dam of Hell; Is chaffer fit for fools their precious souls to sell! XXXII. The second in this rank was black Despairo’ Bred in the dark womb of eternal night: His looks fast nail'd to Sin ; long sooty hair Fill'd up his lank cheeks with wild staring fright.
His leaden eyes, retir’d into his head; Light, Heav'n, and Earth, himself, and all things fled: A breathing corpse he seem’d, wrapt up in living lead. XXXIII, His body all was fram'd of earthly paste, And heavy mould ; yet Earth could not content him : Heav'n fast he flies, and Heav'n fled him as fast ; Tho' kin to Hell, yet Hell did much torment him : His very soul was nought but ghastly fright; With him went many a fiend, and ugly spright, Armed with ropes and knives, all instruments of spite. XXXIV. Instead of feathers on his dangling crest A luckless raven spread her blackest wings: And to her croaking throat gave never rest, But deathful verses and sad dirges sings : His hellish arms were all with fiends embost, Who damned souls with endless torments roast, And thousand ways devise to vex the tortur'd ghost. XXXV. Two weapons, sharp as death he ever bore, Strict Judgment, which from far he deadly darts; Sin at his side, a two-edg'd sword he wore, With which he soon appals the stoutest hearts; Upon his shield Alecto with a wreath Of snaky whips the damn'd souls tortureth: And round about was wrote, “ Reward of sin is death.” XXXVI. The last two brethren were far different, Only in common name of death agreeing; The first arm'd with a scythe still mowing went; Yet whom, and when he murder'd, never seeing;
Born deaf, and blind:—nothing might stop his way: No pray'rs, no vows his keenest scythe could stay, Nor beauty's self, his spite, nor virtue's self allay. XXXVII. No state, no age, no sex may hope to move him ; Down falls the young, and old, the boy, and maid: Nor beggar can intreat, nor king reprove him ; All are his slaves in cloth of flesh array'd : The bride he snatches from the bridegroom's arms, And horrour brings in midst of love's alarms; Too well we know his pow'r by long experienc'd harms. XXXVIII. A dead man's skull supplied his helmet's place, A bone his club, his armeur sheets of lead : Some more, some less, fear his affrighting face; But most, who sleep in downy pleasure's bed: But who in life have daily learn'd to die, And dead to this, live to a life more high, Sweetly in death they sleep, and slumb'ring quiet lie. - XXXIX. The second far more foul in every part, Burnt with blue fire, and bubbling sulphur streams; Which creeping round about him fill'd with smart His cursed limbs, that direly he blasphemes: Most strange it seems, that burning thus for ever, No rest, no time, no place these flames may sever, Yet death in thousand deaths without death dieth never. XL. Soon as these hellish monsters came in sight, The Sun his eye in jetty vapours drown'd ; Scar'd at such hell-hounds’ view, Heaven’s mazed light Sets in an early evening : Earth astound, A a
Bids dogs with howls give warning : at which sound The fearful air starts, seas break their bound, And frighted fled away; no sands might them impound. : XLI. The palsied troop like asps first shaken fare, Till now their heart congeal’d in icy blood, Candied the ghastly face :—locks stand and stare: Thus charm’d, in ranks of stone they marshall’d stood : Their useless swords fell idly on the plain, And now the triumph sounds in lofty strain ; So conquering Dragon binds the knights in slavish chain. XLII. . As when proud Phineus in his brother's feast Fill'd all with tumult and intestine broil; Wise Perseus with such multitudes oppress'd, Before him bore the snaky Gorgon's spoil : The vulgar rude stood all in marble chang'd, And in vain ranks, in rocky order rang'd ; Were now more quiet guests, from former rage estrang'd. .
Viewing th' oft changes of this doubtful fight,
What Doedal art such griefs can truly shew,
Chrystalline rocks; coral, the lid appears; Compass'd about with tides of grief and fears : [tears. Where grief stores fear with sighs, and fear stores grief with XLV. At length sad sorrow, mounted on the wings Of loud breath’d sighs, his leaden weight appears; And vents itself in softest whisperings, Follow’d with deadly groans, usher'd by tears : While her fair hands, and watry shining eyes Were upward bent upon the morning skies, Which seem'd with cloudy brow her grief to sympathize. XLVI. Long while the silent passion, wanting vent, Made flowing tears her words, and eyes her tongue; Till faith, experience, hope, assistance lent To shut both flood-gates up with patience strong : The streams wellebb'd, new hopes some comforts borrow From firmest truth; then glimps’d the hopeful morrow : So spring some dawns of joy, so sets the night of sorrow. - - XLVII. * Ah dearest Lord ' my heart's sole Sovereign, V Who sitt'st exalted on thy burning throne; Hear from thy Heav'ns, where thou dost safely reign, Cloth'd with the golden Sun, and silver Moon : Cast down awhile thy sweet and gracious eye, And low avail that glorious Majesty, Deigning thy gentle sight on our sad misery. XLVIII. To thee, dear Lord ' I lift this wat'ry eye, This eye which thou so oft in love hast prais'd; This eye with which thou wounded oft wouldst die; To thee, dear Lord! these suppliant hands are rais'd :