Betwixt those regions and our upper light, Deep forests and impenetrable night Possess the middle space: th’ infernal bounds Cocytus, with his sable waves, surrounds.
Think’st thou, thus unintomb’d, to cross the floods, To view the Furies and infernal gods, And visit, without leave, the dark abodes?
Here his gigantic limbs, with large embrace, Infold nine acres of infernal space.
The Fury laid aside Her looks and limbs, and with new methods tried The foulness of th’ infernal form to hide.
Behold the Fates’ infernal minister!
From this light cause th’ infernal maid prepares The country churls to mischief, hate, and wars.
To this infernal lake the Fury flies; Here hides her hated head, and frees the lab’ring skies.
Full in the midst of this infernal road, An elm displays her dusky arms abroad: The God of Sleep there hides his heavy head, And empty dreams on ev’ry leaf are spread.
Th’ infernal waters trembled at thy sight; Thee, god, no face of danger could affright; Not huge Typhoeus, nor th’ unnumber’d snake, Increas’d with hissing heads, in Lerna’s lake.
Thus having said, she sinks beneath the ground, With furious haste, and shoots the Stygian sound, To rouse Alecto from th’ infernal seat Of her dire sisters, and their dark retreat.
Amidst the crowd, infernal Ate shakes Her scourge aloft, and crest of hissing snakes.
And now the goddess, exercis’d in ill, Who watch’d an hour to work her impious will, Ascends the roof, and to her crooked horn, Such as was then by Latian shepherds borne, Adds all her breath: the rocks and woods around, And mountains, tremble at th’ infernal sound.
…as by day: she seems, alone, To wander in her sleep, thro’ ways unknown, Guideless and dark; or, in a desart plain, To seek her subjects, and to seek in vain: Like Pentheus, when, distracted with his fear, He saw two suns, and double Thebes, appear; Or mad Orestes, when his mother’s ghost Full in his face infernal torches toss’d, And shook her snaky locks: he shuns the sight, Flies o’er the stage, surpris’d with mortal fright; The Furies guard the door and intercept his flight.
This off’ring to th’ infernal gods I bear."
Or tell what other chance conducts your way, To view with mortal eyes our dark retreats, Tumults and torments of th’ infernal seats."