8

Apr

On Hell

„(…) along the Banks
Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge
Into the burning Lake thir baleful streams;
(thir = their; Anm. d. Weltensammlers)
Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,
Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
Cocytus, nam’d of lamentation loud
Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegeton
Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
Lethe the river of oblivion rolls
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 ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
(…) Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air
Burns frore, and cold performs th’effect of Fire.
(frore = frosty, very cold)
(…) At certain revolutions all the damn’d
Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce
From beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice.
(…) They ferry over this Lethean Sound
(…) And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose
In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
All in one moment, and so near the brink;
But Fate withstands, (…)
Thus roving on
In confus’d march forlorn, th’advent’rous Bands
(th’advent’rous = the adventurous)
With shudd’ring horror pale, and eyes aghast
View’d first thir lamentable lot, and found
No rest: through many a dark and dreary Vale
They pass’d, and many a Region dolorous,
(…) 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
Then fables yet have feign’d, or fear conceiv’d,
Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.“

(J. Milton on Hell, „Paradise Lost“)

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