Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On his first views of Hell

Gustave Dore illustration  Paradise Lost Book I

Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night 
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew 
Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe 
Confounded though immortal:...

... But his doom 
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought 
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 
Torments him;...

... round he throws his baleful eyes 
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay 
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate: 
At once as far as Angels kenn he views 
The dismal Situation waste and wilde, 
A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round 
As one great Furnace flam'd,...

... yet from those flames 
No light, but rather darkness visible 
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe, 
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades,...

John Martin, Paradise Lost - Satan on the Burning Lake (Book 1)
... where peace 
And rest can never dwell,... 

... hope never comes 
That comes to all; ...

...but torture without end 
Still urges, ...

... and a fiery Deluge, fed 

With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd: 


(John Milton: Paradise Lost, Book I: 50-69)