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Into this gloom of TARTARU S profound,
To fit in hateful office here confin'd,
Inhabitant of Heav'n, and heav'nly-born,
Here in perpetual agony and pain,



With terrors and with clamors compafs'd round,
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
My being gav'ft me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me foon
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The Gods who live at eafe, where I fhall reign
At thy right hand voluptuous, as befeems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.


Thus faying, from her fide the fatal key,
Sad inftrument of all our woe! fhe took;
And tow'rds the gate rolling her bestial train
Forthwith the huge Portcullis high up-drew;
Which but her felf, not all the STYGIAN Pow'rs 875
Could once have mov'd: then in the key-hole turns
Th' intricate wards, and every bolt and bar

Of maffie iron, or folid rock, with ease
Unfaftens on a fudden open fly



With impetuous recoil and jarring found
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harth thunder, that the loweft bottom shook
OF ERERUS. She open'd, but to that
Excell'd her pow'r; the gates wide open ftood,
That with extended wings a banner'd hoft,
Under fpread enfigns marching, might pass through
With horfe and chariots rank'd in loose array,
So wide they ftood; and like a furnace mouth
Caft forth redounding fmoke and ruddy flame:
Before their eyes in fudden view appear
The fecrets of the hoary deep, a dark
Illimitable ocean without bound,


Without dimenfion, where length, breadth, and height And time and place are loft; where eldett NIGHT


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And CHAOS, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise

Of endless wars, and by confufion ftand:



For hot, cold, moift, and dry, four champions fierce,
Strive here for maft'ry, and to battel bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in their fev'ral clans,
Light-arm'd or heavy, fharp, fmooth, fwift or flow,
Swarm populous, un-numbred as the fands
Of BARCA or CYRENE's torrid foil,

Levi'd to fide with warring winds, and poife


Their lighter wing. To whom these most adhere,


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He rules a moment; CHAOS umpire fits,
And by decifion more embroils the fray
By which he reigns: next him high arbiter
CHANCE governs all. Into this wild abyfs,
(The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave,)
Of neither fea, nor fhoar, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
Confus'dly, and which thus muft ever fight,
(Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds)
Into this wild abyfs the wary Fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell, and look'd a while,
Pond'ring his voyage; (for no narrow frith
He had to cross) nor was his ear lefs peal'd
With noifes loud and ruinous (to compare
Great things with fmall) than when BELLONA ftorms,
With all her batt'ring engins bent to rafe
Some capital city; or lefs than if this frame
Of heav'n were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn



The ftedfaft earth. At laft his fail-broad vans
He fpreads for flight, and in the furging smoke
Uplifted fpurns the ground: thence many a league,
As in a cloudy chair, afcending rides

Audacious; but that feat foon failing, meets
A vaft vacuity: all unawares





Flutt'ring his pennons vain, plumb down he drops
Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
The ftrong rebuff of fome, tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quencht in a boggy fyrtis, neither fea,

Nor good dry land, nigh founder'd on he fares, 940.
Treading the crude confiftence, half on foot,
Half flying; behooves him now both oar and fail.
As when a gryfon, through the wilderness
With winged courfe o'er hill or moory dale,
Perfues the ARIMASPIAN, Who by stealth
Had from his wakeful cuftody purloin'd
The guarded gold fo eagerly the Fiend


O'er bog or steep, through ftrait, rough, denfe, or rare, With head, hands, wings or feet perfues his way; And fwims, or finks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. 950 At length a univerfall hubbub wild



Of stunning founds, and voices all confus'd,
Born through the hallow dark affaults his car
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there whatever Pow'r,
Or fpirit of the nethermoft abyss,
Might in that noife refide, of whom to ask
Which way the nearest coaft of darkness lies
Bordering on light: when ftrait behold the throne
Of CHAOS, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wafteful deep: with him inthron'd
Sate fable-vefted NIGHT, eldeft of things,
The confort of his reign: and by them stood
ORCHUS and ADES, and the dreaded name
And TUMULT and CONFUSION all imbroil'd,
And DISCORD with a thousand various mouths.
T'whom SATAN turning boldly, thus. --- Ye Pow'rs,
And fpirits of this nethermoft Abyss,


CHAOS and antient NIGHT, I come no fpy 970

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