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Without my op’ning. Pensive here I fat
Alone, but long I fat not, till my womb
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes !
At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
Tore through my intrails; that with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transform’d. But he my inbred enemy
Forth-iffu'd, brandishing his fatal dart,
Made to destroy : I fled, and cry'dout Death!
Hell trembled at the hideous name, and figh'd
From all her caves; and back resounded, Death!
I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, 790
Inflam'd with lust than rage) and, swifter far!
Me overtook his mother, all dismay'd :
And in embraces forcible and foul,
Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
These yelling monsters; that with ceaseless cry 795
Surround me, as thou saw'st; hourly conceiv'd,
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 repait: then buriting forth,

Afresh with conscious terrors vex me round,
That rest or intermiffion none I find.
Before mine eyes in opposition fits
Grim Death my son and foe; who sets them on,
And me his parent would full foon devour
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with mine involv'd: and knows that I
Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,
Whenever that shall be ; fo Fate pronounc'd.
But thou O father! I forewarn thce, shun

810 His deadly arrow ; neither vainly hope To be invulnerable in those bright arms, Though temper'd heav'nly; for that mortal dint, Save He who reigns above, none can refift!


She finish'd, and the subtle fiend his lore



Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.

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Dear daughter! since thou claim'st me for thy fire,

fair son here show'st me (the dear pledge
Of dalliance had with thee in heav'n, and joys
Then sweet, now sad to mention, thro' dire change
Be fall'n us, unforeseen, unthought of!) know 821
I come no enemy, but to set free
From out this dark and dismal house of pain,
Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly host
Of spirits that (in our just pretences arm’d,)
Fell with us from on high : from them I go
This uncouth errand fole; and one for all
My self expose, with lonely steps to tread
'Th' unfounded Deep, and through the void immense
To search with wandring quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere-now
Created, vast and round ; a place of bliss
In the pourlieus of heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room ; though more remov’d,
Left heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude 836
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or ought
Than this more fecret, now design'd, I hafte
To know: and this once known, shall foon return,
And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death
Shalt dwell at ease, and up and down unseen

Wing filentiy the buxom air, imbalmd
With odors: there ye shall be fed, and fill'd
Immeasurable, all things shall be your prey.

He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas’d, and DEATH
Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear

His famine should be fill'd; and bleft his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her fire ::


The key of this infernal pit by due,
And by command of heav'n's all pow'rful King,
I keep; by Him forbidden to unlock



These admantine gates ; against all force
Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
Fearless to be o’ermatch'd by living wight.
But what owe I to His commands above
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of TARTARUS 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 compassid round,
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ?
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
My Being gav'it me; whom should I obey

865 But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon To that new world of light and bliss, among The Gods who live at ease, where I shall reign At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems Thy daughter, and thy darling, without end.


Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, Sad instrument of all our woe! she took; And tow'rds the gate rolling her bestial train, Forthwith the huge portculis high up.drew ; Which but herself, not all the STYGIAN Pow'rs 875 Could once have mov’d; then in the key-hole turas Th’ intricate wards, and every bolt and har Of mafly iron, or folid rock, with ease Unfastens : on a sudden open ffy, With impetuous recoil and jarring found,

880 Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook Of EREBUS. She open'd, but to shut Excell'd her pow'r; the gates wide open stood, That with extended winds a banner'd hoft, Under spread enligns marching, might pass through With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array, So wide they stood! and, like a furnace mouth, Caft forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame. Before their eyes in sudden view appear

890 The secrets of the hoáry Deep; a dark



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Illimitable ocean! without bound,
Without dimenfion; where length, breadth, and height,
And time and place are loft ; where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand:
For, hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce,
Strive here for mai'ry, and to battel bring
Their embryon atoms ; they around the flag 900
Of each his faction, in their sev'ral clans,
Light-arm's or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or flow,
Swarm populous, unnumbred as the sands
OF BARCA, or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levy'd to side with warring winds, and poise

Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
He rules a moment : Chaos umpire fits,
And by decision 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 sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
(Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain

His dark materials to create more worlds)
Into this wild abyss this wary

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 less peal'd

With noises loud, and ruinous, (to compare
Great things with small) than when BELLONA storms,
With all her bate'ring engins bent to raze
Some capital city ; or less than if this frame
Of heav'n 'were falling, and these elements 925
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The stedfafi earth. At last his fail-broad vans
He spreads for fight, and in the surging smoke
Up-lifted spurns the ground: thence many a league,
As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides

930 Audacious; but that feat soon failing, mects


A vast 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 strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land, nigh founder'd on he fares,

940 Treading the crude confistence, half on foot, Half flying ; behooves him now both oar and fail. As when a gryfon, through the wilderness With winged course o'er hill or moory dale, Pursues the ARIMASPIAN, who by stealth

945 Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd The guarded gold : so eagerly the fiend O'er bog or fleep, through ftrait, rough, dense, or rare, With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way ; And swims, or finks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. At length a universal hubbub wild

951 Of fturining sounds, and voices all confus'd, Born through the hollow dark assaults his ear With loudest vehemence: thither he plies, .. Undaunted to meet there whatever Pow'r,

955 Or spirit, of the nethermost abyss, Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask Which


the nearest coast of darkness lies,
Bordering on light: when straight behold the throne
Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wasteful Deep: with him inthron'd
Sat fable-vested Night, eldest of things,
The confort of his reign : and by them stood
Orcụs, and Hades, and the dreaded name
Of DeMOGORGON: Rumor next, and CHANCE,
And TUMULT, and CONFUSION all imbroil'd,
And DISCORD with a thousand various mouths.
'T'' -vhom Saran turning boldly, thus- Ye Pow'rs,
And spirits of this nethermost abyss,
Chaos and Antient Night! I come no spy
With purpose to explore, or to difiurb




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