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By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade 250 Inseparable, must with me along:

“ For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But, lest the difficulty of passing back

Stay his return, perhaps, over this gulf
“Impassable—impervious, let us try
“ Adventurous work, yet to thy power 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 the 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-felt attraction and instinct."

Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon : 265 “Go, whither fate, and inclination strong,

“ Leads thee: I shall not lag behind, nor err
“ The way, thou leading ; such a scent I draw
“Of carnage, prey innumerable ! and taste

“ The savour of death from all things there that live: 270 “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, 275 Against the day of battle, to a field

Where armies lie encamp'd, come flying, lur'd
With scent of living carcasses, design'd
For death the following day in bloody fight :

So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd 280 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 power (their power was great) 285 Hovering upon the waters, what they met

Solid or slimy, (as in raging sea


Toss'd up and down,) together crowded drove,
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of hell :

As when two polar winds, blowing adverse 290 Upon the Cronian sea, together drive

Mountains of ice, that stop the imagin'd way
Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich
Cathaian coast. The aggregated soil

Death, with his mace petrific, cold and dry,
295 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
300 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
Immoveable of this now fenceless world,

Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad, 305 Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to hell.

So, if great things to small may be compar'd,
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,
From Susa, his Memnonian palace high,

Came to the sea; and, over Hellespont
310 Bridging his way, Europe with Asia join'd,

And scourg'd with many a stroke the indignant waves.

Now had they brought the work, by wondrous art Pontifical,-a ridge of pendant rock,

Over the vex'd abyss, following the track 315 Of Satan to the self-same place where he

First lighted from his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
Of this round world : with pins of adamant,

And chains, they made all fast—too fast they made, 320 And durable! And now, in little space,

The confines met of empyréan heaven,
And of this world; and on the left hand, hell
With long reach interpos'd: three several ways
In sight, to each of these three places led.

325 And now their way to earth they had descried,

To Paradise first tending; when, behold!
Satan, in likeness of an angel bright,
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering

His zenith, while the sun in Aries rose :
330 Disguis'd he came; but those his children dear

Their parent soon discern'd, though in disguise.
He, after Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by; and, changing shape

To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act 335 By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded

Upon her husband-saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures : but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them, terrified

He fled; not hoping to escape, but shun
340 The present; fearing, guilty, what his wrath

Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
By night, and, listening where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse and various plaint,

Thence gather'd his own doom; which understood, 345 Not instant, but of future time, with joy

And tidings fraught, to hell he now return'd;
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd

Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear. 350 Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight

Of that stupendous bridge his joy increas'd.
Long he admiring stood; till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke:

“O parent! these are thy magnific deeds355 " Thy trophies ! which thou view'st as not thine own;

“ Thou art their author, and prime architect;
“For I no sooner in my heart divin'd
(My heart, which by a secret harmony

“Still moves with thine, join'd in connexion sweet) 360 “ That thou on earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks

“Now also evidence, but straight I felt,
“ Though distant from thee worlds between-yet felt,

“ That I must after thee, with this thy son:

“Such fatal consequence unites us three.
365 “Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,

“ Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
“ Detain from following thy illustrious track:
“ Thou hast achiev'd our liberty, confin'd

“ Within hell-gates till now: thou us empower'd 370 “ To fortify thus far, and overlay,

“ With this portentous bridge, the dark abyss.
“ Thine now is all this world; thy virtue hath won
“ What thy hands builded not; thy wisdom gain'd

“ With odds what war hath lost, and fully aveng'd 375 “Our foil in heaven: here thou shalt monarch reign

“ There didst not: there let him still victor sway,
“ As battle hath adjudg'd; from this new world
“Retiring, by his own doom alienated;

“ And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
380 “Of all things, parted by the empyreal bounds-

“ His quadrature, from thy orbicular world;
“Or try thee, now more dangerous to his throne.”

Whom thus the prince of darkness answer'd glad :

“Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both, 385 High proof ye now have given to be the race

“Of Satan, (for I glory in the name,

Antagonist of heaven's Almighty King,)

Amply have merited of me-of all

The infernal empire, that, so near heaven's door, 390 " Triumphal with triumphal act have met,

“ Mine, with this glorious work; and made one realm,
“ Hell, and this world-one realm, one continent
“Of easy thoroughfare. Therefore, while I

“ Descend through darkness, on your road with ease, 395 “ To my associate Powers, them to acquaint

“ With these successes, and with them rejoice,
“You two this way, among these num'rous orbs—
“ All yours, right down to Paradise descend;

“There dwell, and reign in bliss: thence on the earth 400 “ Dominion exercise and in the air,


Chiefly on man, sole lord of all declar'd; “ Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill. • My substitutes I send ye, and create

“Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might 405 Issuing from me: on your joint vigour now

My hold of this new kingdom all depends;

Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit. “ If your joint power prevail, the affairs of hell

“ No detriment need fear. Go, and be strong !" 410 So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed

Their course through thickest constellations held,
Spreading their bane : the blasted stars look'd wan;
And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse
Then suffer'd. The other


Satan went down 415 The causey to hell-gate: on either side

Disparted Chaos, overbuilt, exclaim'd,
And with rebounding surge the bars assaild,
That scorn’d his indignation. Through the gate,

Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass’d, 420 And all about found desolate; for those

Appointed to sit there, had left their charge,
Flown to the upper world ; the rest were all
Far to the inland retir'd, about the walls

Of Pandemonium-city and proud seat 425 Of Lucifer, so by allusion callid

Of that bright star to Satan paragon'd :
There kept their watch the legions, while the grand
In council sat, solicitous what chance

Might intercept their emperor sent; so he 430 Departing gave command, and they observ'd.

As when the Tartar from his Russian foe,
By Astracan, over the snowy plains,
Retires; or Bactrian Sophi, from the horns

Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond 435 The realm of Aladule, in his retreat

To Taurus, or Casbeen; so these, the late
Heav'n-banish'd host, left desert utmost hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch


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