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Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid, and thou shalt eat th' herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, 205
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.

So judg'd he man, both Judge and Saviour sent: And th' instant stroke of death denounc'd that day Remov'd far off; then pitying how they stood 211 Before him naked to the air, that now

Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume,
As when he wash'd his servants' feet, so now 215
As father of his family he clad

Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,
Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid;
And thought not much to clothe his enemies.
Nor he their outward only with the skins
Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,
Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight.
To him with swift ascent he up return'd,
Into his blissful bosom reassum'd

In glory as of old; to him appeas'd

220

225

All, though all-knowing, what had past with man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.

Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd on

earth,

Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death,

230

In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass'd through, Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.

240

O son, why sit we here, each other viewing 235
Idly, while Satan our great author thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us his offspring dear? It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n
By his avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion giv'n me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite
With secret amity things of like kind
By secretest conveyance. Thou my shade
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

282 belching] Spens. F. Q. i. xi. 44.

'As burning Etna from his boyling stew

Doth belch out flames.'

Todd.

215

250

249 shade]Shade' used in the same manner in class. au

thors. Hor. Sat. ii. 8. 22.

'quos Mæcenas adduxerat umbras.'

Newton.

Advent'rous 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 th' 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.

255

260

265

Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon. Go whither fate and inclination strong Lead 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: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest

Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.

270

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,

266 err Newton has thus pointed the text:

'I shall not lag behind, nor err

The way, thou leading.'

Well may he call it a remarkable expression; but it should thus be stopt:

'I shall not lag behind, nor err,

The way thou leading.'

This error is retained in Mr. Todd's edition. It is, however, proper to observe, that the punctuation of Milton's own editions agrees with Newton's.

268 innumerable] 'Exuberant.' Bentl. MS.

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
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

275

280

Flew diverse, and with power, their power was great,

Hovering upon the waters; what they met
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea

285

290

Tost up and down, together crowded drove
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of hell.
As when two polar winds, blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian sea, together drive
Mountains of ice, that stop th' imagin'd way
Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich
Cathaian coast. The aggregated soil
Death with his mace petrific, cold and dry,
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,

294 mace] So Marlowe and Nash's Trag. of Dido. 1594. 'Whose memory, like pale Death's stony mace, Richardson.

Beates forth my senses.'

297 Gorgonian] Claud. Rufin. i. 279.

295

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Rigidâ cum Gorgone Perseus!' Pearce.

Deep to the roots of hell the gather'd beach
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,
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
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia join'd,

305

310

And scourg'd with many a stroke th' indignant

waves.

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

Over the vex'd abyss, following the track

Of Satan, to the self-same place where he

315

805 inoffensive] Unobstructed. Stillingfleet notes the same Latin idiom in b. viii. 164.

'Or she [Earth] from west her silent course advance With inoffensive pace.'

813 ridge] Bridge. Bentl. MS.

815 Of Satan] Newton has altered the pointing of the first edition, by inserting a comma after Chaos, but I think the passage would be clear, if thus read.

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

Over the vex'd abyss (following the track
Of Satan, to the self-same place where he
First lighted from his wing, and landed safe

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