صور الصفحة

Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, C25
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear eoneeived,
Gorgons, and hydras, and ehimseras dire.

Meanwhile, the adversary of God and man,
Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design, ».
Puts on swift wings, and toward the gates of hell
Explores his solitary flight: sometimes
He seours the right-hand eoast, sometimes the left;
Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars
Up to the fiery eoneave towering high. 080
As when far off at sea a fleet deseried
Hangs in the elouds, by equinoetial winds
Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
Of Temate and Tidore, whenee merehants bring
Their spiey drugs, they on the trading flood Mo
Through the wide ..Ethiopian to the Cape
Ply, stemming nightly toward the pole: so seem'd
Far off the flying fiend. At last appear
Hell bounds, high reaehing to the horrid roof,
And thriee threefold the gates; three folds were brass, 0*4
Three iron, three of adamantine roek,
Impenetrable, impaled with eireling fire,
Yet uneonsumed. Before the gates there sat
On either side a formidable shape;

The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair, «so

But ended foul in many a sealy fold

Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm'd

With mortal sting: about her middle round

A ery of hell hounds never eeasing bark'd

With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung 005

A hideous peal: yet, when they list, would ereep,

If aught disturb'd their noise, into her womb,

And keunel there; yet there still bark'd and howl'd

Within unseen. Far less abhorr'd than those

Vex'd Seylla, bathing in the sea that parts 000

Calabria from the hoarse Trinaerian snore:

Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, eall'd

In seeret, riding through the air she eomes,

Lured with the smell of infant blood, to danee

With Lapland witehes, while the labouring moon 0t0

Eelipses at their eharms. The other shape,

If shape it might be eall'd, that shape had none

048. Here begins that renowned allegory, the most terrifieally sul.iime, it seen,s to me, of any thing written hy that "greatest of all great men." The idea is taken from James i. 15: "Then, when Lust hath eoneeived, it l,ringeth forth 8in; and 8in, when it is finished, bringeth forth neath.''

051 Lured wRb the nvO, Ae. Here is

a ndxture of elassieal and demonologleal loarning: hags were fabled as slanghtering infants, drinking their bloed, and applying their mangled iimbs to purposes of ineantation.

Ctni. Theatl,rr ,hape,ke. "One of those masterly touehes of horrible magnifieenee whieh the hand of Miiton only eould deiineate;'—Tonn.

Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb,

Or substanee might be eull'd that shadow seem'd,

For eaeh seem'd either: blaek it stood as night, s?o

Fieree as ten furies, terrible as hell,

And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head

The likeness of a kingly erown had on.

Satan was now at hand, and from his seat

The monster moving onward eame as fast, 070

With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.

The undaunted fiend what this might be admired

Admired, not fear'd: God and his Son exeept,

Created thing naught valued he, nor shuun'd;

And with disdainful look thus first began:— oso

Whenee and what art thou, exeerable shape,
That darest, though grim and terrible, advanee
Thy misereated front athwart my way
To yonder gates? through thein I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave ask'd of thee: 085
Retire, or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,
Hell-born, not to eontend with spirits of heaven!

To whom the goblin full of wrath replied:—
Art thou that traitor angel, art thou he,
Who lirst broke peaee in heaven, and faith, till then euo
Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him the third part of heaven's sons
Conjured against the Highest; for whieh both thou
And they, outeast from God, are here eondemn'd
To waste eternal days in woe and pain? 000
And reekon'st thou thyself with spirits of heaven,
Hell-doomed, and breathest defianee here and seorn,
Where 1 reign king, and, to eurage thee more,
Thy king and lord? Baek to thy punishment,
False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings; 7oo
Lest with a whip of seorpions I pursue
Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart
Strange horrour seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.

So spake the grisly terrour; and in shape,
So speaking, and so threatening, grew tenfold 705
More dreadful and deform: on the other side,
Ineensed with indignation, Satan stood
Unterrified, and like a eomet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophinehus huge
In the aretie sky, aud from his horrid hair 710
Shakes pestilenee and war, Eaeh at the head
Levell'd his deadly aim: their fatal hands
No seeond stroke intend; and sueh a frown
Eaeh east at the other, as when two blaek elouds

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With heaven's artillery fraught, eome rattling on 7ls

Over the Caspian; then stand front to front,

Hovering a spaee, till winds the signal blow

To join their dark eneounter in mid air;

So frown'd the mighty eombatants, that hell

Grew darker at their frown; so mateh'd they stood; 720

For never but onee more was either like

To meet so great a Foe: and now great deeds

Had been aehieved, whereof all hell had rung,

Had not the snaky soreeress, that sat

Fast by hell gate, and kept the fatal key, 72s

Risen, and with hideous outery rush'd between.

0 father, what intends thy hand, she eried,
Against thy only son? What fury, 0 son,
Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart
Against thy fat.her's head? and know'st for whom? 730
For him who sits above, and laughs the while
At thee, ordain'd his drudge, to exeeute
Whate'er his wrath, whieh he ealls justiee, bids;
His wrath, whieh one day will destroy ye both.

She spake, and at her words the hellish pest 73 4
Forbore; then these to her Satan return'd:—

So strange thy outery, and thy words so strange
Thou interposest, that my sudden hand
Prevented spares to tell thee yet by deeds
What it intends; till lirst I know of thee, 740
What thing thou art, thus double-formed; and why,
In this infernal vale first met, thou eall'st
Me father, and that phantasm eall'st my son:
I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
Sight more detestable than him and thee. 7«

To whom thus the portress of hell gate replied:
Hast thou forgot mo then, and do I seem
Now in thine eye so foul, onee deem'd so fair
In heaven? when at the assembly, and in sight
Of all the seraphim with thee eombined 7W
In bold eonspiraey against heaven's King,
All on a sudden miserable pain
Surprised thee; dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum
In darkness, while thy head flames thiek and fast
Threw forth: till on the left side opening wide, 701
Likest to thee in shape and eountenanee bright,
Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess arm'd.
Out of thy head I sprung; amazement seized
All the host of heaven; baek they reeoil'd afraid
At first, and eall'd me Sin, and for a sign 763

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Portentous held me: but, familiar grown,

I pleased, and with attraetive graees won

The most averse; thee ehiefly; who full oft

Thyself in me thy perfeet image viewing

Beeamest enamour'd: and sueh joy thou took'st 704

With me in seeret, that my womb eoneeived

A growing burden. Meanwhile war arose,

And fields wero fought in heaven; wherein remain'd

lFor what eould else?) to our Almighty Foe

Clear vietory, to our part loss and rout 770

Through all the empyrean: down they fell

Driven headlong from the piteh of heaven, down

Into this deep, and in the general fall

I also; at whieh time this powerful key

Into my hand was given, with eharge to keep 770

These gates for ever shut, whieh none ean pass

Without my opening. Pensive here I sat

Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb,

Pregnant by thee and now exeessive grown,

Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes. 780

At last this odious offspring whom thou seost,

Thine own begotten, breaking violent way,

Tore through my entrails, that, with fear and pain

Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew

Transform'd: but he, my inbred enemy, 780

Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart

Made to destroy: I fled, and eried out, Death;

Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd

From all her eaves, and baek resounded, Death.

I fled, but he pursued, though more, it seems, 700

Inflamed with lust than rage: and, swifter far,

Me overtook, his mother, all dismay'd;

And, in embraees foreible and foul

Ingendering with mo, of that rape begot

These yelling monsters, that with eeaseless ery 708

Surround me, as thou saw'st; hourly eoneeived

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 8to

Afresh with eonseious terrours vex me round,

That rest or intermission none I find.

Before mine eyes in opposition sits

Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on;

And me his parent would full soon devour 00s

For want of other prey, but that he knows

His end with mine involved; and knows that I

Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,

Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronouneed.

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 heavenly; for that mortal dint,
Save he who reigns above, none ean resist.

She finish'd, aud the subtle fiend his lore 810
Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth:—
Dear daughter, sinee thou elaim'st me for thy sire,
And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge
Of dallianee had with thee in heaven, and joys
Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire ehange 820
Befallen us, unforeseen, unthought of; know
I eome no enemy, but to set free
From out this dark and dismal house of pain
Both him and thee, and all the heavenly nost
Of spirits, that, in our just pretenees arm'd 820
Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uneouth errand sole, and one for all
Myself expose; with lonely steps to tread
The unfounded deep, and through the void immense
To seareh with wandering quest a plaee foretold 8M
Should be, and, by eoneurring signs, ere now
Created, vast and round, a plaee of bliss
In the purliens of heaven, and therein plaeed
A raee of upstart ereatures, to supply
Perhaps our vaeant room; though more removed, 830
Lest heaven, sureharged, with potent multitude,
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or aught
Than this more seeret, now design'd, 1 haste
To know; and, this onee known, shall soon return,
And bring ye to the plaee where thou and Death 810
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd
Immeasurably; all things shall be your prey.

He eeased, for both seem'd highly pleased, and Death
Griun'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear 848
His famine should be fill'd, and bless'd his maw
Destined to that good hour: no less rejoieed
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire:—

The key of this infernal pit by due, 800
And by eommand of heaven's all-powerful King,
I keep, by him forbidden to unloek
These adamantine gates; against all foree
Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
Fearless to be o'ermateh'd by living might. 855
But what owe I to his eommands above,
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
To sit in hateful offiee, here eonfined,

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