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So spake this Oracle, then verify'd When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve, Saw Satan fall like lightning down from Heav'ng Prince of the Air; then rising from his grave Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd In open show, and with ascension bright Captivity led captive through the air, The realm itself of Satan long usurp'd, Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; 190 Ev'n he who now foretold his fatal bruise, And to the woman thus his sentence turn'd: Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply By thy conception; children thou shalt bring In sorrow forth; and to thy husband's will Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd: Because thou’hast hearken' to th' voice of thy wife, And eaten of the tree, concerning which 199 I chargd thee, say'ing, thou shalt not eat thereof: Curs’d is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow 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 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
with swift ascent he up return'd,
Meanwhile ere thus was sinn'dand 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:
O Son, why sit we here each other viewing 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 driven 240 By his avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon: Go whither Fate and inclination strong Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err The
way, thou leading, such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste The savor of death from all things there that live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest 270 Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
from so far. Then both from out Hell gates into the waste Wide anarchy of Chaos damp and dark Flew diverse, and with power (their power was great) Hovering upon the waters, what they met Solid or slimy, as in raging sea Tost up and down, together crowded drove From each side shoaling tow'ards the mouth of Hell: As when two polar winds, blowing adverse Upon the Cronian sea, together drive 290 Mountains of ice, that stop th' imagin'd way Beyond Pecsora 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 floting once; the rest his look Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move; And with Asphaltic slime, broad as the gate, 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 301
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall