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And found no End, in wand'ring Mazes loft.
Of Good and Evil much they argu'd then,
Of Happiness and final Misery,
Passion and Apathy, Glory and Shame;
Vain Wisdom all, and false Philosophy:
Yet with a pleasing Sorcery could charm
Pain for a while, or Anguilh , and excite
Fallacious Hope, or arm th’obdurate Breast
With stubborn Patience as with triple Steel.
Another Part in Squadrons and grofs Bands,
On bold Adventure, to discover
That dismal World, bend
Four Ways their flying March, along the Banks
Of Four infernal Rivers, that disgorge
Into the burning Lake their baleful Streams.
Abhorred Styx, the Flood of deadly Hate ;
Sad Acheron, of Sorrow black and deep:
Cocytus, nam'd of Lamentation loud
Heard on the ruful Stream: Fierce Phlegeton,
Whose Waves of torrent Fire enflame with Rage :
Far off from these, a llow and filent Stream,
Lethe, the River of Oblivion rowls
Her wat'ry Labyrinth; whereof who drinks,
Forthwith his former State and Being forgets,
Forgets both Joy and Grief, Pleasure and Pain.
Beyond this Flood a frozen Continent
Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual Storms
Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm Land
Thaws not, but gathers Heap, and Ruin seems
Of antient Pile : All elfe deep Snow and Ice.
The parching Air
Burns frore, and Cold performs th'Effect of Fire:
Thither by Harpy-footed Furies halla,
At certain Revolutions, all the Damn'd
Are brought, and feel by Turns the bitter Change
Of fierce Extreams, Extreams by Change more fierce :
From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice
Their soft ethereal Warmth, and there to pine
Immoveable, infix'd, and frozen 'round,
Periods of time; thence hurry'd back to Fire,
They ferry over this Lethean Sound
Both to and fro, their Sorrow to augment ;
And will, and struggle, as they pass to reach
The tempting Stream, with one Imall Drop to lose
In sweet Forgetfulness, * all Pain and Woe;
But Fate withstands, and to oppose th'Attempt
Medusa with Gorgonian Terrour guards
The Ford, and of it self the Water flies
All Taste of living Wight, as once it fled
The Lip of Tantalsu. Thus roving on,
In confus'd March, forlorn, th'advent'rous Bands
With shudd'ring Horrour pale, and Eyes aghast,
View'd first their lamentable Lot, and found
No Reft: Thro' many a dark and dreary Vale
They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous,
O’er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp,
Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and Shades of Death:
A Universe of Death,
Where all Life dies, Death lives; and Nature breeds
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious Things.
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than Fables yet have feign'd, or Fear conceiv'd;
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.
Obscure they went through dreary Shades that led
Along the waste Dominions of the Dead.
Thus wander Travellers in Woods by Night,
By the Moon's doubtful and malignant Light;
When Jove in dusky Clouds involves the Skies,
And the faint Crescent shoots by Fits before their Eyes.
Just in the Gates, and in the Jaws of Hell,
Revengeful Cares, and sullen Sorrows dwell;
And pale Diseases, and repining Age,
Want, Fear, and Famine's unrelifted Rage :
Here Toils and Death, and Death's half-Brother, Sleep,
Forms terrible to view, their Centry keep;
With anxious Pleasures of a guilty Mind,
Deep Frauds before, and open Force behind :
The Furies Iron Beds, and Strife, that Ihakes,
Her hifling Treffes, and unfolds her Snakes.
Full in the midst of this infernal Road,
An El displays her dusky Arms abroad:
The God of Sleep there hides his heavy Head,
And empty Dreams on ev'ry Leaf are spread :
Of various Forms unnumber'd Speatres more,
Centaurs and double Shapes besiege the Door;
Before the Passage horrid Hydra stands,
Briareus with all his Hundred Hands,
Gorgons, Geryon with his triple Frame,
And vain Chinæra vomits empty Flame.
Before the Gates the Cries of Babes new-born,
Whom Fate had from their tender Mothers torn,
Assault his Ears: Then those whom Form of Laws
Condemn'd to dye, when Traitors judg'd their Caule;
Nor want they Lots, nor Judges to review
The wrongful Sentence, and award a new :
Minos, the strict Inquisitor, appears,
And Lives, and Crimes, with his Affeffors, hears :
Round in his Urn the blended Balls he rolls,
Absolves the juft, and dooms the guilty Souls.
The next in Place and Punilhment are they,
Who prodigally throw their Souls away :
Fools, who, repining at their wretched State,
And loathing anxious Life, suborn'd their Fate.
With late Repentance now they would retrieve
The Bodies they forfook, and wish to live :
Their Pains and Poverty desire to bear,
To view the Light of Heav'n, and breathe the vital Air.
But Fate forbids: The Stygian Pools oppose, (Dryd, Virg:
And, with Nine circling Streams, the captive Souls inclose.
They haften'd onward to the penfive Grove,
The silent Mansion of disaftrous Love.
Here Jealousy with Jaundice Looks appears,
And broken Slumbers, and fantastick Tears:
The widow'd Turtle hangs her moulting Wings,
And to the Woods in mournful Numbers sings.
No Winds but Sighs are there ; no Floods but Tears.
Each conscious Tree a tragick Signal bears:
Their wounded Bark records some broken Vow,
And Willow Garlands hang on ev'ry Bough.
Not far from thence the mournful Fields appear,
So call'd from Lovers that inhabit there:
The Souls, whom that unhappy Flame invades,
In secret Solitude, and Myrtle Shades,
Make endless Moans, and pining with Desire,
Lament too late their unextinguish'd Fire.
The Heroe looking on the Left, espy'd
A lofty Tow's, and strong on ev'ry Side
With treble Walls, which Phlegeton surrounds,
Whose fiery Flood the burning Empire bounds: (sounds.
And press'd betwixt the Rocks, the bellowing Noise re.)
Wide is the fronting Gate, and rais'd on high,
With adamantine Columns threats the Sky.
Vain is the Force of Man, and Heav'n's as vain,
To crush che Pillars which the Pile sustain :
Sublime on these a Tow'r of Steel is rear'd,
And dire Tifiphone there keeps the Ward ;
Girt in her sanguin Gown by Night and Day,
Obfervant of the Souls that pass the downward Way:
-From hence are heard the Groans of Ghosts, the Pains
Of sounding Lashes, and of dragging Chains;
And loud Laments that rend the liquid Air.
These dire Abodes
Contain the Tortures of ch'avenging Gods :
These are the Realms of unrelenting Fate,
And awful Radamanthus rules the State :
He hears and judges each committed Crime,
Enquires into the
Manner, Place, and Time :
The conscious Wretch must all his Acts reveal,
Loath to confess, unable to conceal,
From the first Moment of his vital Breath,
To his last Hour of unrepenting Death.
Strait o'er the guilty Ghosts the Fury shakes
Whip, and brandishes her Snakes,
And the pale Sinner, with her Sisters, cakes.
High o'er their Heads a mould'ring Rock is plac'd,
That promises a Fall, and shakes at ev'ry Blast.
They lie below on golden Beds display'd,
And genial Feasts with regal Pomp are made :
The Queen of Furies by their Sides is fer,
And snatches from their Mouths th'untasted Meat ;
Which if they touch, her hissing Snakes she rears,
Toffing her Torch, and thund'ring in their Ears.
Then they, who Brothers better Claim disown,
Expel their Parents, and usurp the Throne ;
Defraud their Clients, and, to Lucre fold,
Sit brooding on unprofitable Gold ;
Who dare not give, and ev'n refuse to lend
To their poor Kindred, or a wanting Friend.
Vaft is the Throng of these; nor less the Train
Of luftful Youths for foul Adult’ry flain :
Hosts of Deferters, who their Honour fold,
And basely broke their Faith for Bribes of Gold.
All these within the Dungeon's Depth remain,
Despairing Pardon, and expe&ting Pain.
Some roul a weighty Stone; some laid along,
And bound with burning Wires, on Spokes of Wheels are hung.
To Tyrants others have their Country fold,
Imposing foreign Lords for foreign Gold.
Some have old Laws repeald, new Statutes made,
Not as the People pleas'd, but as they pay’d.
With Incest fome their Daughter's Bed prophan'd;
All dar'd the worst of Ills, and what they dar'd attain'd.
Had I a Hundred Mouths, a Hundred Tongues,
And Throats of Brass, inspir'd with Iron Lungs,
I could not half those horrid Crimes repeat,
Nor half the Punishments those Crimes have met. Dryd. Virg,
HEROE. See Butcher, Fortune.
I pay my Debts,
I steal from no Man ; would not cut a Throat,
To gain Admiflion to a great Man's Purse,
Or å Whore's Bed : I'd not betray my Friend,
To get his Place or Fortune : I scorn to flatter
A blown-up Fool above me, or crush the Wretch beneath me.
Honest as the Nature (Otw. Ven. Pref.
Of Man first made, e'er Fraud and Vice were Falhions.
Honour! a raging Fit of Virtue in the Soul;
A painful Burthen which great Minds must bear ;
Obtain'd with Danger, and poffess’d with Fear. Dxyd. Ind. Emp.
Honour is like a Widow, won
With brisk Attempt and pushing on;
With entring manfully, and urging,
Not flow Approaches, like a Virgin.
O Honour ! frail as Life, thy fellow-Flow'r,
Cherish'd, and watch'd, and hum'rously esteemid;
Then worn for short Adornment of an Hour ;
And is, when lost, no more to be redeem'd!
Honour is like that glasfy Bubble
Which finds Philosophers such Trouble:
Whofe least Part crackt, the whole does fly,
And Wits are cracke to find out why.
That Man is sure to lose
That fouls his Hands with dirty Foes ;
For where no Honour's to be gain'd,
'Tis thrown away in being maintain'd.
Honour in the Breech is lodg'd,
As wife Philosophers have judg’d;
Because a Kick in that part, more
Hurts Honour, chan deep Wounds before.
Honour, the Errour and the Cheat,
Of the ill-natur'd burie Great!
Fond Idol of the slavilh Croud!
Nonsense invented by the Proud!
Oh cursed Honour thou who first didft damn
A Woman to the Sin of Shame!
Honour, who first caught lovely Eyes the Art,
To wound and not to cure the Heart ;
With Love t'invito, but to forbid with Awe,
And to themselves prescribe a cruel Law.
His chiefeft Attributes are Pride and Spight;
His Pow'r is robbing Lovers of Delight!
Honour, that puts our Words that should be free,
Into a fet Formality!