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To yonder gates ? Through them I mean to pass, That be assur'd, without leave ask'd of thee:685 Retire or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, Hell-born, not to contend with Sp'rits of Heav'n.
To whom the goblin full of wrath reply'd, Art thou that traitor Angel, art thou He, Who first broke peace in Heav'n and faith, till then
690 Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms Drew after him the third part of Heav'n's sons, Conjur'd against the High'st, for which both thou And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd To waste eternal days in woe and pain? 695 And reckon'st thou thyself with Sp'rits of Heav'n, Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn Where I reign king, and to enrage thee more, Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punishment, False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, 700 Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue Thy ling'ring, or with one stroke of this dart Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.
So spake the grisly terror, and in shape, So speaking, and so threat’ning, grew tenfold 705 More dreadful and deform. On th' other side, Incens'd with indignation, Satan stood Unterrify'd, and like a comet burn’d, That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge In th’arctic sky, and from his horrid hair 710 Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head Leveld his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend, and such a frown
O Father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd, Against thy only Son? What fury, O Son, Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart Against thy Father's head? and know'st for whom;
730 For Him who sits above and laughs the while At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids; His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both.
She spake, and at her words the hellish pest Forbore; then these to her Satan return'd. 736
So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange Thou interposest, that my sudden hand Prevented, spares to tell thee yet by deeds What it intends, till first I know of thee, 740 What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why
In this infernal vale first met thou call'st
main'd (For what could else ?) to our Almighty Foe Clear victory; to our part loss and rout 770
Through all the empyrean. Down they fell,
grew Transform’d: but he my inbred enemy 785 Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart, Made to destroy. I fled, and cry'd out Death; Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd From all her caves, and back resounded Death. I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, 790 Inflam'd with lust than rage) and swifter far, Me overtook his mother all dismay’d, And in embraces forcible and foul Ingend'ring with me, of that rape begot 794 These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry Surround me, as thou saw'st, hourly conceiv'd And hourly born, with sorrow infinite To me; for when they list, into the womb That bred them they return, and howl and gnaw My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth 800