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and gnaw


Engendering with me, of that rape begot Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless The unfounded Deep, and through the cry


void immense Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly con- To search with wandering quest a place ceived


830 And hourly born, with sorrow infinite Should be-and by concurring signs, ere To me: for, when they list, into the womb That bred them they return, and howl, Created vast and round-a place of bliss

In the purlieus of Heaven; and therein My bowels, their repast; then, bursting placed forth

800 A race of upstart creatures, to supply Afresh, with conscious terrors vex me Perhaps our vacant room, though more round,


835 That rest or intermission none I find. Lest Heaven, surcharged with potent mulBefore mine eyes in opposition sits

titude, Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets Might hap to move new broils. Be this, them on,

or aught And me, his parent, would full soon devour Than this more secret, now designed, I For want of other prey, but that he knows haste His end with mine involved, and knows To know; and, this once known, shall soon that I

807 return, Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane, And bring ye to the place where thou and Whenever that shall be: so Fate pro- Death

840 nounced,

Shall dwell at ease,


and down unBut thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope 811 Wing silently the buxomair, embalmed To be invulnerable in those bright arms, With odors: there ye shall be fed and filled Though tempered heavenly; for that mor- Immeasurably; all things shall be your tal dint,

prey.Save he who reigns above, none can re- He ceased; for both seemed highly sist.”

pleased, and Death

845 She finished; and the subtle Fiend his Grinned horrible a ghastly smile, to hear lore

815 | His famine should be filled, and blessed his Soon learned, now milder, and thus answered smooth:

Destined to that good hour. No less re“Dear daughter-since thou claim'st me joiced for thy sire,

His mother bad, and thus bespake her And my fair son here show'st me, the dear sire: pledge

“The key of this infernal pit, by due 850 Of dalliance had with thee in Heaven, and And by command of Heaven's all-powerful joys

King, Then sweet, now sad to mention, through I keep, by him forbidden to unlock dire change

820 These adamantine gates; against all force Befallen us unforeseen, unthought of- Death ready stands to interpose his dart, know,

Fearless to be o’ermatched by living I come no enemy, but to set free

might. From out this dark and dismal house of But what owe I to his commands above, pain

Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me Both him and thee, and all the Heavenly down host

Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, Of Spirits that, in our just pretences To sit in hateful office here confined, armed,

Inhabitant of Heaven and HeavenlyFell with us from on high. From them I go born,

860 This uncouth errand sole, and one for all

1 yielding, obedient.




me soon

Here in perpetual agony and pain, And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold 895 With terrors and with clamors compassed Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise round

Of endless wars, and by confusion stand. Of mine own brood, that on my bowels For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four feed?

champions fierce, Thou art my father, thou my author, thou Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring My being gav'st me; whom should I obey Their embryon atoms; they around the But thee? whom follow? Thou wilt bring flag

200 866 Of each his faction, in their several clans, To that new world of light and bliss, among Light-armed or heavy, sharp, smooth, The gods who live at ease, where I shall swift, or slow, reign

Swarm populous, unnumbered as the sands At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, Thy daughter and thy darling, without Levied to side with warring winds, and end.870 poise

905 Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, | Their lighter wings. To whom these most Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;

adhere, And, towards the gate rolling her bestial He rules a moment; Chaos umpire sits, train,

And by decision more embroils the fray Forthwith the huge portcullis high up- By which he reigns; next him, high arbiter, drew,

Chance governs all. Into this wild Abyss, Which but herself not all the Stygian The womb of Nature, and perhaps her Powers 875 grave,

QII Could once have moved; then in the key- Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire, hole turns

But all these in their pregnant causes The intricate wards, and every bolt and mixed bar

Confusedly, and which thus must ever Of massy iron or solid rock with ease


914 Unfastens. On a sudden open fly, Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain With impetuous recoil and jarring sound, His dark materials to create more worldsThe infernal doors, and on their hinges Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend grate

881 Stood on the brink of Hell and looked Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom awhile, shook

Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith Of Erebus. She opened; but to shut

He had to cross. Nor was his ear less Excelled her power: the gates wide open


920 stood,

With noises loud and ruinous (to compare That with extended wings a bannered Great things with small) than when Belhost,


lona storms Under spread ensigns marching, might With all her battering engines, bent to

pass through With horse and chariots ranked in loose Some capital city; or less than if this frame array;

Of Heaven were falling, and these elements So wide they stood, and like a furnace- In mutiny had from her axle torn 926 mouth

The steadfast Earth. At last his sailCast forth redounding smoke and ruddy

broad vans flame.

He spreads for flight, and, in the surging Before their eyes in sudden view appear smoke The secrets of the hoary Deep, a dark 891 Uplifted, spurns the ground; thence many Illimitable ocean, without bound,

a league, Without dimension; where length, breadth, As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides and highth,

Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, And time, and place, are lost; where eldest meets Night

A vast vacuity. All unawares,




Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb-down And Discord with a thousand various he drops

mouths. Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this To whom Satan, turning boldly, thus:hour

“Ye Powers Down had been falling, had not, by ill And Spirits of this nethermost Abyss, chance,


Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy, The strong rebuff of some tumultuous With purpose to explore or to disturb 971 cloud,

The secrets of your realm; but, by conInstinct with fire and nitre, hurried him

straint As many miles aloft. That fury stayed- Wandering this darksome desert, as my Quenched in a boggy Syrtis, neither


Lies through your spacious empire up to Nor good dry land-nigh foundered, on light, he fares,

940 Alone and without guide, half lost, I seek Treading the crude consistence, half on What readiest path leads where your foot,

gloomy bounds

976 Half flying; behoves him now both oar Confine{ with Heaven; or if some other and sail.

place, As when a gryphon through the wilderness From your dominion won, the Ethereal With winged course, o'er hill or moory King dale,

Possesses lately, thither to arrive Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth 945 I travel this profound. Direct my course: Had from his wakeful custody purloined Directed, no mean recompense it brings The guarded gold: so eagerly the Fiend To your behoof, if I that region lost,

982 O'er bog or steep, through strait, rough, All usurpation thence expelled, reduce dense, or rare,

To her original darkness and your sway With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues (Which is my present journey), and once

985 And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, Erect the standard there of ancient Night. or flies.


Yours be the advantage all, mine the reAt length a universal hubbub wild

venge!” Of stunning sounds and voices all confused, Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch Borne through the hollow dark, assaults old, his ear

With faltering speech and visage incom-
With loudest vehemence. Thither he plies posed,
Undaunted, to meet there whatever Answered:—“I know thee, stranger, who

thou art:

990 Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss

That mighty leading Angel, who of late Might in that noise reside, of whom to Made head against Heaven's King, though ask

overthrown. Which way the nearest coast of darkness I saw and heard; for such a numerous host lies

Fled not in silence through the frighted Bordering on light; when straight behold Deep, the throne

With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, 995 Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread 960 Confusion worse confounded; and HeavenWide on the wasteful Deep! With him gates enthroned

Poured out by millions her victorious Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,

bands, The consort of his reign; and by them stood Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name Keep residence; if all I can will serve Of Demogorgon; Rumor next, and Chance, That little which is left so to defend, 1000 And Tumult, and Confusion, allem- Encroached on still through our intestine broiled,

broils, Iquicksand.

2 are contiguous to.

his way,




Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first, Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night Hell,

A glimmering dawn. Here Nature first Your dungeon, stretching far and wide begins beneath;

Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire, Now lately Heaven and Earth, another As from her outmost works, a broken foe, world

With tumult less and with less hostile Hung o'er my realm, linked in a golden din;

1040 chain

1005 That Satan with less toil, and now with To that side Heaven from whence your ease, legions fell!

Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious If that way be your walk, you have not light, far:

And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds So much the nearer danger. Go, and Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle speed!


1044 Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain." Or in the emptier waste, resembling air, He ceased; and Satan stayed not to Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to bereply,

hold But, glad that now his sea should find a Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended shore,

wide With fresh alacrity and force renewed In circuit, undetermined square or round, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, With opal towers, and battlements Into the wild expanse, and through the adorned

1049 shock

Of living sapphire, once his native seat; Of fighting elements, on all sides round And fast by, hanging in a golden chain, Environed, wins his way; harder beset 1016 This pendent World, in bigness as a star And more endangered, than when Argo Of smallest magnitude close by the moon. passed

Thither, full fraught with mischievous reThrough Bosporus betwixt the justling venge, rocks;

Accurst, and in a cursed hour, he hies. 1055 Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steered:

From BOOK XII So he with difficulty and labor hard

THE EXPULSION FROM PARADISE Moved on. With difficulty and labor he; But, he once passed, soon after, when Man He ended, and they both descend the fell,


604 Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve Following his track (such was the will of Lay sleeping ran before, but found her Heaven)

1025 waked; Paved after him a broad and beaten way And thus with words not sad she him reOver the dark Abyss, whose boiling gulf

ceived: Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous “Whence thou return'st and whither length,

went'st I know;

610 From Hell continued, reaching the utmost For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, orb

Which he hath sent propitious, some great Of this frail World; by which the Spirits good perverse

1030 Presaging, since, with sorrow and heart's With easy intercourse pass to and fro

distress To tempt or punish mortals, except whom Wearied, I fell asleep. But now lead on; God and good Angels guard by special In me is no delay; with thee to go grace.

Is to stay here; without thee here to stay But now at last the sacred influence Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me Of light appears, and from the walls of Art all things under Heaven, all places Heaven






Who for my wilful crime art banished demean themselves as well as men; and hence.

thereafter to confine, imprison, and do This further consolation yet secure 620 sharpest justice on them as malefactors. I carry hence: though all by me is lost, For books are not absolutely dead things, Such favor I unworthy am voutsafed, but do contain a potency of life in them By me the Promised Seed shall all restore.” to be as active as that soul was whose So spake our mother Eve; and Adam progeny they are; nay, they do pre- (10 heard

serve as in a vial the purest efficacy and Well pleased, but answered not; for now extraction of that living intellect that too nigh

625 bred them. I know they are as lively, The Archangel stood, and from the other and as vigorously productive, as those hill

fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown To their fixed station, all in bright array, up and down, may chance to spring up The Cherubim descended, on the ground armed men. And yet on the other hand, Gliding meteorous, as evening mist unless wariness be used, as good almost Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a And gathers ground fast at the laborer's man kills a reasonable creature, God's (20 heel


image; but he who destroys a good book, Homeward returning. High in front ad- kills reason itself, kills the image of God, vanced,

as it were in the eye. Many a man lives The brandished sword of God before them a burden to the earth; but a good book is blazed,

the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, embalmed and treasured up on purpose And vapor as the Libyan air adust,

635 to a life beyond life. 'Tis true, no age Began to parch that temperate clime; can restore a life, whereof perhaps there whereat

is no great loss; and revolutions of ages In either hand the hastening Angel caught do not oft recover the loss of a rejected (30 Our lingering parents, and to the eastern truth, for the want of which whole nagate

tions fare the worse.

We should be wary Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast therefore what persecution we raise against To the subjected plain—then disappeared. the living labors of public men, how we They, looking back, all the eastern side spill that seasoned life of man, preserved bebeld

641 and stored up in books; since we see a Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, kind of homicide may be thus committed, Waved over by that flaming brand; the sometimes a martyrdom, and if it extend gate

to the whole impression, a kind of masWith dreadful faces thronged and fiery sacre, whereof the execution ends not (40 arms.

in the slaying of an elemental life, but Some natural tears they dropped, but strikes at that ethereal and fifth essence wiped them soon;

645 the breath of reason itself; slays an imThe world was all before them, where to mortality rather than a life. ... But choose

some will say, "What though the inTheir place of rest, and Providence their ventors were bad, the thing for all that guide.

may be good?” It may so; yet if that They, hand in hand, with wandering steps thing be no such deep invention, but and slow,

obvious, and easy for any man to light Through Eden took their solitary way. on, and yet best and wisest common- (50

wealths through all ages and occasions From AREOPAGITICA

have forborne to use it, and falsest se

ducers and oppressors of men were the I deny not, but that it is of greatest first who took it up, and to no other purconcernment in the Church and Common- pose but to obstruct and hinder the first wealth, to have a vigilant eye how books approach of Reformation, I am of those I scorched.

who believe, it will be a harder alchemy

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