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Beyond thus high, insatiale to pursue

When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear Vain war with Heaven, and, by success untaught, Insulting, and pursued us through the deep, His proud imaginations thus display'd.'

With what compulsion and laborious flight “ Powers and dominions, deities of Heaven ; We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then ; For since no deep within her gulf can hold The event is fear'd; should we again provoke Immortal vigour, though oppress'd and fall'n, Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent To our destruction; if there be in Hell Celestial virtues rising, will appear

Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse More glorious and more dread than from no fall, Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, conAnd ust themselves fear no second fate.

demn'd
Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven, In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Did first create your leader ; next, free choice, Where pain of unextinguishable fire
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,

Must exercise us without hope of end,
Hath been achiev'd of merit ; yet this loss,

The vassals of his anger, when the scourge Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more Inexorably, and the torturing hour, Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,

Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus, Yielded with full consent. The happier state We should be quite abolish’d, and expire. In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw What fear we then? what doubt we to incense Envy from each inferior ; but who here

His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd, Will envy whom the highest place exposes

Will either quite consume us, and reduce
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, To nothing this essential; happier far
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Than miserable to have eternal being :
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
From faction ; for none sure will claim in Hell On this side nothing ; and by proof we feel
Precedence, none whose portion is so small Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind

And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Will covet inore. With this advantage then Though inaccessible, his fatal throne :
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,

Which, if not victory, is yet revenge. More than can be in Heaven, we now return

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd To claim our just inheritance of old,

Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous Surer to prosper than prosperity

To less than gods. On th' other side up-rose Could have assur'd us; and, by what best way, Belial, in act more graceful and humane : Whether of open war, or covert guile,

A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seem'd We now debate ; who can advise, may speak.” For dignity compos'd, and high exploit :

He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king, But all was false and hollow; though his tongue Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair : The better reason, to perplex and dash His trust was with the Eternal to be deem'd Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low Equal in strength; and rather than be less

To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Car'd not to be at all ; with that care lost

Tim'rous and slothful: yet he pleas’d the car,
Went all his fear : of God, or Hell, or worse, And with persuasive accent thus began.
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake. “ I should be much for open war, O peers,

“ My sentence is for open war : of wiles, As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd
More unexpert, I boast not : them let those Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait When he, who most excels in fact of arms,
The signal to ascend, sit lingering here

In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, And utter dissolution, as the scope
The prison of his tyranny who reigns

Of all luis aim, after some dire revenge.
By our delay ? No, let us rather choose,

First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are Arm'd with Hell fames and fury, all at once,

fill’d O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way, With arm'd watch, that render all access Turning our tortures into horrid arms

Impregnable : oft on the bordering deep Against the torturer ; when to meet the noise Encamp their legions; or, with obscure wing, Of his almighty engine he shall hear

Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Infernal thunder ; and, for lightning, see

Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way Black fire and horrour shot with equal rage By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise Among his angels ; and his throne itself

With blackest insurrection, to confound Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire, Heaven's purest light : yet our great enemy His own invented torments. But perhaps

All incorruptible, would on his throne The way seems difficult and steep to scale

Sit unpolluted ; and the ethereal mould
With upright wing against a higher foe.

Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Of that forgetful lake benumn not still,

Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
That in our proper motion we ascend

Is flat despair : we must exasperate Up to our native seat ; descent and fall

The almighty victor to spend all his rage, To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,

And that inust end us; that must be our cure,

To be no more. · Sad cure! for who would lose, Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Our purer essence then will overcome
Those thoughts that wander through eternity, Their noxious vapour; or, inur’d, not feel ;
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost

Or, chang'd at length, and to the place conformid In the wide womb of uncreated night,

In temper and in nature, will receive Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows, Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain; Let this be good, whether our angry foe

This horrour will grow mild, this darkness light; Can give it, or will ever ? how he can,

Besides what hope the never-ending flight Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure.

Of future days may bring, what chance, what Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,

change Belike through impotence, or unaware,

Worth waiting ; since our present lot appears To give his enemies their wish, and end

For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, Them in his anger, whom his anger saves

If we procure not to ourselves more woe. To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we then ? Thus Belial, with words cloth'd in reason's garb, Say they who counsel war, we are decreed, Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth, Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe;

Not peace : and after him thus Mammon spake. Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,

“ Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, We war, if war be best, or to regain
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ? Our own right lost : him to unthrone we then
What, when we fled amain, pursued, and struck May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife :
The deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
A refuge from those wounds; or when we lay The latter : for what place can be for us
Chain'd on the burning lake? that sure was worse. Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord
What if the breath, that kindled those grim fires,

supreme
Awak'd, should blow them into sevenfold rage, We overpower ? Suppose he should relent,
And plunge us in the flames ? or, from above, And publish grace to all, on promise made
Should intermitted vengeance arm again

Of new subjection ; with what eyes could we
His red right hand to plague us ? What if all Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Her stores were opened, and this firmament Strict laws impos'd, to celebrate his throne
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing
Impendent horrours, threatening hideous fall Forc'd Halleluiahs ; while he lordly sits
One day upon our heads ; while we perhaps, Our envied sovran, and his altar breathes
Designing or exhorting glorious war,

Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurl'd

Our servile offerings ? This must be our task Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey In Heaven, this our delight ! how wearisome Of wracking whirlwinds ; or for ever sunk Eternity so spent, in worship paid Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains ;

To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue There to converse with everlasting groans,

By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,

Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. Of splendid vassalage ; but rather seek
War therefore, open or conceal’d, alike

Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Views all things at one view ? He from Heaven's Hard liberty before the easy yoke
height

Of servile pomp

Our greatness will appear All these our motions vain sees, and derides; Then most conspicuous, when great things of Not more almighty to resist our might

small, Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles, Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heaven We can create; and in what place so e'er Thus trampled, thus expell’d to suffer here Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, Chains and these torments ? better these than Through labour and endurance. This deep world worse,

Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst By my advice; since fate inevitable

Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,

Sire The victor's will. To suffer, as to do,

Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd, Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust

And with the majesty of darkness round That so ordains : this was at first resolv'd,

Covers his throne ; from whence deep thunders If we were wise, against so great a foe Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell? I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold As he our darkness, cannot we his light And venturous, if that fail them, shrink and fear Imitate when we please? This desert soil What yet they know must follow, to endure Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold; Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,

Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise The sentence of their conqueror : this is now Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more? Our doom ; which if we can sustain and bear, Our torments also may in length of time Our supreme foe in time may much remit

Become our elements; these piercing fires His anger; and perhaps, thus far remov'd, As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd Not mind us not offending, satisfied

Into their temper; which must needs remove With what is punish'd; whence these raging fires The sensible of pain. All things invite

roar

To peaceful counsels, and the settled state

Some easier enterprise ? There is a place, Of order, how in safety best we may

(If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven Compose our present evils, with regard

Err not) another world, the happy seat Of what we are, and were; dismissing quite Of some new race callid Man, about this time All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise." To be created like to us, though less He scarce had finish'd, when such murmur In power and excellence, but favour'd more fillid

Of him who rules above; so was his will The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain

Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath, The sound of blustering winds, which all night That shook Heaven's whole circumference, con long

firm'd.
Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
Sea-faring men o'erwatch'd, whose bark by chance What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
Or pinnace anchors in a craggy bay

Or substance, how endued, and what their power, After the tempest : such applause was heard And where their weakness, how attempted best, As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleas'd, By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be shut, Advising peace : for such another field

And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure
They dreaded worse than Hell: so much the fear In his own strength, this place may lie expos'd,
Of thunder and the sword of Michaël

The utmost border of his kingdom, left
Wrought still within them, and no less desire To their defence who hold it: here perhaps
To found this nether empire, which might rise Some advantageous act may be achiev'd
By policy, and long process of time,

By sudden onset ; either with Hell fire
In emulation opposite to Heaven.

To waste his whole creation, or possess
Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
Satan except, none higher sat, with grave

The puny habitants, or, if not drive,
Aspéct le rose, and in his rising seem'd

Seduce them to our party, that their God
A pillar of state ; deep on his front engraven May prove their foe, and with repenting band
Deliberation sat, and public care ;

Abolish his own works. This would surpass
And princely counsel in his face yet shone, Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
Majestic, though in ruin : sage he stood

In our confusion, and our joy upraise With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear

In his disturbance ; when his darling sons, The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse Drew audience and attention still as night

Their frail original, and faded bliss, Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake. Faded so soon,

Advise, if this be worth “ Thrones and imperial powers, offspring of Attempting, or to sit in darkness here Heaven,

Hatching vain empires.” Thus Beëlzebub Ethereal virtues : or these titles now

Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd Must we renounce, and, changing style, be call’d By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence, Princes of Hell ? for so the popular vote

But from the author of all ill, could spring Inclines here to continue, and build up here So deep a malice, to confound the race A growing empire ; doubtless ; while we dream, Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell And know not that the King of Heaven hath doom'd To mingle and involve, done all to spite This place our dungeon ; not our safe retreat The great Creator? But their spite still serves Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt

His glory to augment. The bold design From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league Pleas'd highly those infernal states, and joy Banded against his throne, but to remain

Sparkled in all their eyes ; with full assent In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd They vote : whereat his speech he thus renews. Under the inevitable curb, reserv'd

“ Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, His captive multitude : for he, be sure,

Synod of gods, and, like to what ye are, In height or depth, still first and last will reign Great things resolv’d, which, from the lowest deep, Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, By our revolt; but over Hell extend

Nearer our ancient seat ; perhaps in view His empire, and with iron sceptre rule

Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbour. Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven,

ing arms
What sit we then projecting peace and war ? And opportune excursion, we may chance
War hath determin’d us, and foil'd with loss Re-enter Heaven : or else in some mild zone
Irreparable: terms of peace yet none

Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light, Vouchsaf'd or sought; for what peace will be Secure ; and at the brightening orient beam given

Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air, To us enslav'd, but custody severe

To heal the scar of these corrosive fires, And stripes, and arbitrary punishment

Shall breathe her balm. But first whom shall we Inflicted ? and what peace can we return,

send But to our power hostility and hate,

In search of this new world ? whom shall we find Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though slow, Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least

The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice And through the palpable obscure find out
In doing what we most in suffering feel?

His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need

Upborne with indefatigable wings With dangerous expedition to invade

Over the vast abrupt, ere hé arrive Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege, The happy islc ? What strength, what art can Or ambush from the deep. What if we find

then

!

Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe

Their rising all at once, was as the sound Through the strict senteries and stations thick Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend Of angels watching round? Here he had need With awful reverence prone ; and as a god All circumspection, and we now no less

Extol him equal to the Highest in Heaven : Choice in our suffrage ; for, on whom we send, Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd, The weight of all and our last hope relies." That for the general safety he despis'd This said, he sat ; and expectation held

His own : for neither do the spirits damn'd His look suspense, awaiting who appear'd

Lose all their virtue ; lest bad men should boast To second, or oppose, or undertake

Their specious deeds on Earth which glory excites, The perilous attempt : but all sat mute,

Or close ambition, varnish'd o'er with zeal. Pondering the danger with deep thoughts ; and Thus they their doubtful consultations dark each

Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief: In other's countenance read his own dismay As when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds Astonish’d: none among the choice and prime Ascending, while the north-wind sleeps, o'erspread Of those Heaven-warring champions could be Heaven's cheerful face, the louring element found

Scowls o'er the darken'd landskip snow, or shower ; So hardy, as to proffer or accept,

If chance the radiant Sun with farewell sweet Alone, the dreadful voyage; till at last

Extend his evening-beam, the fields revive, Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds Above his fellows, with monarchal pride,

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings. Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake. O shame to men ! devil with devil damn'd

“ O progeny of Heaven, empyreal thrones, Firm concord holds, men only disagree With reason hath deep silence and demur

Of creatures rational, though under hope Seiz'd us, though undismay'd. Long is the way Of heavenly grace : and, God proclaiming peace, And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light : Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife, Our prison strong; this huge convex of fire, Among themselves, and levy cruel wars, Outrageous to devour, immures us round

Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy : Ninefold ; and gates of burning adamant,

As if (which might induce us to accord) Barr'd over us, prohibit all egress.

Man had not hellish foes enow besides, These pass’d, if any pass, the void profound That, day and night, for his destruction wait. Of unessential Night receives him next

The Stygian council thus dissolv'd; and forth Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being

In order came the grand infernal peers; Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf. Midst came their mighty paramount, and seem'd If thence he 'scape into whatever world,

Alone the antagonist of Heaven, nor less Or unknown region, what remains him less Than Hell's dread emperor, with pomp supreme, Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape ? And God-like imitated state : him round But I should ill become this throne, O peers, A globe of fiery seraphim enclos'd, And this imperial sovranty, adorn'd

With bright imblazonry, and horrent arms. With splendour, arm'd with power, if aught pro- Then of their session ended they bid cry pos'd

With trumpets' regal sound the great result : And judg'd of public moment, in the shape Towards the four winds four speedy cherubim Of difficulty, or danger, could deter

Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy, Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume By herald's voice explain'd; the hollow abyss These royalties, and not refuse to reign,

Heard far and wide, and all the host of Hell Refusing to accept as great a share

With deafening shout return'd them loud acclaim. Of hazard as of honour, due alike

Thence more at ease their minds, and somewhat To him who reigns, and so much to him due

rais'd Of hazard more, as he above the rest

By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers High honour'd sits? Go therefore, mighty powers, Disband, and, wandering, each his several way Terrour of Heaven, though fall’n; intend at Pursues, as inclination or sad choice home,

Leads him, perplex'd where he may likeliest find While here shall be our home, what best may ease Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain The present misery, and render Hell

The irksome hours, till his great chief return. More tolerable; if there be cure or charm

Part on the plain, or in the air sublime, To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain

Upon the wing, or in swift race contend, Of this ill mansion : intermit no watch

As at the Olympian games or Pythian fields ; Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad

Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek With rapid wheels, or fronted brígades form. Deliverance for us all: this enterprise

As when, to warn proud cities, war appears None shall partake with me.” Thus saying rose Wag'd in the troubled sky, and armies rush The monarch, and prevented all reply;

To battle in the clouds, before each van Prudent, lest, from his resolution rais'd,

Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears Others among the chief might offer now

Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd; From either end of Heaven the welkin burns. And, so refus’d, might in opinion stand

Others, with vast Typhæan rage more fell, His rivals ; winning cheap the high repute, Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air Which he through hazard huge must earn. But In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild uproar they

As when Alcides, from Oechalia crown'd Dreaded not more the adventure, than his voice With conquest, felt the envenom'd robe, and tore Forbidding; and at once with him they rose : Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines,

1

And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw

The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on Into th’ Euboic sea. Others more mild,

In confus'd march forlorn, the adventurous bands Retreated in a silent valley, sing

With shuddering horrour pale, and eyes aghast, With notes angelical to many a harp

View'd first their lamentable lot, and found Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall

No rest.

Through many a dark and dreary rale By doom of battle ; and complain that fate They pass'd, and many a region dolorous, Free virtue should enthral to force or chance. O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp, Their song was partial ; but the harmony

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of (What could it less when spirits immortal sing?)

death, Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment A universe of death ; which God by curse The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet Created evil, for evil only good, (For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense,) Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds, Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,

Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate, Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
Fix'd fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.
And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.

Mean while, the adversary of God and man,
Of good and evil much they argued then,

Satan, with thoughts inflam'd of highest design, Of happiness and final misery,

Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell Passion and apathy, and glory and shame,

Explores his solitary flight : sometimes Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy :

He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left; Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm

Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars Pain for a while or anguish, and excite

Up to the fiery concave towering high. Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured breast

As when far off at sea a fleet descried With stubborn patience, as with triple steel. Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds Another part, in squadrons and gross bands, Close säiling from Bengala, or the isles On bold adventure to discover wide

Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring That dismal world, if any clime perhaps

Their spicy drugs; they, on the trading food, Might yield them easier habitation, bend

Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape,
Four ways their flying march, along the banks Ply stemming nighly toward the pole : so seem'd
Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge

Far off the flying fiend. At last appear
Into the burning lake their baleful streams : Hell bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof,
Abhorred Styx, the flqod of deadly hate ;

And thrice three-fold the gates; three-folds were Sad Acheron, of sorrow, black and deep ;

brass, Cocytųs, nam'd of lamentation loud

Three iron, three of adamantine rock
Heard on the rueful stream ; fierce Phlegethon, Impenetrable, impal'd with cireling fire,
Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage. Yet unconsum'd. Before the gates there sat
Far off from these, a slow and silent stream, On either side a formidable shape;
Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls

The one seem'd woman to the waist and fair ;
Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks,

But ended fuul in many a scaly fold Forthwith his former state and being forgets, Voluminous and vast ; a serpent arm'd Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. With mortal sting: About her middle round Beyond this food a frozen continent

A cry of Hell-hounds never ceasing bark'd Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land A hideous peal ; yet, when they list, would creep, Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems If aught disturb'd their noise, into her womb, Of ancient pile; or else deep snow and ice. And kennel there; yet there still bark'd and howl'd, A gulf profound as that Şerbonian bog

Within unseen.

Far less abhorr'd than these Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,

Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore : Burns frore, and cold performs the effect of fire. Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, callid Thither by harpy-footed furies hald,

In secret, riding through the air she comes, At certain revolutions, all the damn'd

Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change With Lapland witches, .while the labouring Moon Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more Eclipses at their charms. The other shape, fierce,

If shape it might be call'd that shape had none From beds of raging fire, to starve in ice

Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine Or substance might be call’d that shadow seem'd,
Immoveable, infix'd, and frozen round,

For each seem'd either : black it stood as night,
Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire. Fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell,
They ferry over this Lethean sound

And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment,

The likeness of a kingly crown had on. And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach Satan was now at hand, and from his seat The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose The monster moving onward came as fast In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,

With horrid strides ; Hell trembled as he strode. All in one moment, and so near the brink; The undaunted fiend what this might be admir'd, But Fate withstands, and to oppose the attempt Admir’d, not fear'd; God and his Son except, Medusa with Gorgonian terrour guards

Created thing naught valued he, nor shunn'd; The ford, and of itself the water flies

And with disdainful look thus first began. All taste of living wight, as once it fled

1 “ Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,

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