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Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things, parted by th' empyreal bounds,
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world,
Or try thee now more dang'rous to his throne."
Whom thus the prince of darkness answer'd glad:
'Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both,
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

Th' infernal empire, that so near heaven's door
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 thorough-fare. Therefore while I
Descend through darkness, on your road with ease,
To my associate powers, them to acquaint
With these successes, and with them rejoice;
You two this way, among these numerous orbs.
All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
There dwell and reign in bliss, thence on the earth
- Dominion excercise, 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
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, th' affairs of hell
No detriment need fear. Go and be strong."

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. Th' other way Satan went down
The causeway to hell-gate; on either side
Disparted Chaos, over-built, exclaim'd,
And with rebounding surge the bars assail'd,
That scorn'd his indignation; through the gate,

Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd,
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
Of Lucifer, so by allusion call'd

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,
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
The realm of Aladule, in his retreat

To Taurus or Casbeen: so these, the late
Heaven-banish'd host, left desert utmost hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch
Round their metropolis, and now expecting
Each hour their great adventurer from the search
Of foreign worlds. He through the midst unmark'd,
In show plebeian angel militant

Of lowest order, pass'd? and from the door
Of that Plutonian hall, invisible,

Ascended his high throne, which, under state
Of richest texture spread, at th' upper end
Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down awhile
He sat, and round about him saw unseen:
At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent head
And shape star-bright appear'd, or brighter; clad
With what permissive glory since his fall
Was left him, or false glitter. All amaz'd
At that so sudden blaze, the Stygian throng
Bent their aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
Their mighty chief return'd. Loud was th' acclaim;
Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers,
Rais'd from their dark divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
Silence, and with these words, attention won:

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, For in possession such, not only' of right, [powers I call ye and declare ye now, return'd, Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth Triumphant out of this infernal pit Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe, And dungeon of our tyrant: now possess As lords, a spacious world, to' our native heaven Little inferior, by my adventure hard

With peril great achiev❜d.

Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffer'd, with what pain
Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep
Of horrible confusion, over which,

By Sin and Death, a broad way now is pav'd
To expedite your glorious march; but I
Toil'd out my uncouth passage, forc'd to ride
Th' untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild,

That jealous of their secrets fiercely' oppos'd
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting Fate supreme; thence how I found
The new-created world, which fame in heaven
Long had foretold, a fabric wonderful,
Of absolute perfection! therein man,
Plac'd in a Paradise, by our exile

Made happy. Him by fraud I have seduc'd
From his Creator, and, the more to' increase
Your wonder, with an apple! He thereat
Offended, worth your laughter! hath given up
Both his beloved man, and all his world
To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,
Without our hazard, labour, or alarm,
To range in, and to dwell, and over man
To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
True is, me also he hath judg'd, or rather
Me not, but the brute serpent, in whose shape
Man I deceiv'd: that which to me belongs
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind; I am to bruise his heel:
His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head.
A world who would not purchase with a bruise,

Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
Of my performance: what remains, ye gods,➡
But up and enter now into full bliss?'

So having said, awhile he stood expecting
Their universal shout and high applause
To fill his ear; when, contrary, he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues,
A dismal universal hiss, the sound

Of public scorn; he wonder'd, but not long
Had leisure, wond'ring at himself now more ;
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His arms clung to his ribs; his legs intwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vain; a greater Power
Now rul'd him, punish'd in the shape he sinn'd,
According to his doom. He would have spoke
But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue
To forked tongue; for now were all transform'd
Alike, to serpents all, as accessaries

To his bold riot; dreadful was the din

Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters head and tail,
Scorpion, and asp, and amphisbæna dire,
Cerastes horn'd, hydrus, and elops drear,
And dipsas (not so thick swarm'd once the soil
Bedropp'd with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa): but still greatest, he the midst,
Now dragon grown, larger than whom the sun
Engender'd in the Pythian vale on slime,
Huge Python, and his power no less he seem'd
Above the rest still to retain. They all
Him follow'd, issuing forth to th' open field,
Where all yet left of that revolted rout,
Heaven-fallen, in station stood or just array,
Sublime with expectation when to see

In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief.
They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
Of ugly serpents: horror on them fell,
And horrid sympathy; for what they saw
They felt themselves now changing; down their arms

Down fell both spear and shield, down they as fast,
And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form,
Catch'd by contagion, like in punishment
As in their crime. Thus was th' applause they meant,
Turn'd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame, stood
Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There
A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that
Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Us'd by the tempter: on that prospect strange
Their earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude

Now risen, to work them further woe or shame :
Yet, parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
But on they roll'd in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curl'd Megæra: greedily they pluck'd
The fruitage fair to sight, like that which grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flam'd;
This, more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceiv'd; they fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit
Chew'd bitter ashes, which th' offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they' assay'd,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drugg'd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh'd their jaws,
With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as man [plagu'd
Whom they triumph'd, once laps'd. Thus were they
And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their lost shape, permitted, they resum'd;
Yearly enjoin'd, some say, to undergo
This annual humbling certain number'd days
To dash their pride, and joy for man seduc'd.
However, some tradition they dispers'd
Among the heathen of their purchase got,
And fabled how the serpent, whom they call'd
Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide

↑ Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule


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