Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/65

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59
BOOK II.

The lips of Tantalus. Thus roving on,
In confused march forlorn, the adventurous bands,
With shuddering horror pale and eyes aghast,
Viewed first their lamentable lot, and found
No rest. Through many a dark and dreary vale
They passed, and many a region dolorous,
O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp,620
Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death;
A universe of death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good,
Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feigned or fear conceived,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimæras dire.
Meanwhile the Adversary of God and Man,
Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design,630
Puts on swift wings; and toward the gates of Hell
Explores his solitary flight. Sometimes
He scours the right-hand coast, sometimes the left;
Now shaves with level wing the deep; then soars
Up to the fiery concave, towering high.