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Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego, Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers,
To what thou hast; and, for the air of youth, And charming symphonies, attached the heart
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign Of Adam, soon inclined to admit delight,
A melancholy damp of cold and dry

The bent of nature; which he thus expressed. To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume " True opener of mine eyes, prime angel blest, The balm of life." To whom our ancestor. Much better seems this vision, and more hope

“ Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong Of peaceful days portends, than those two past; Life much; bent rather how I may be quit

Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse; Fairest and easiest of this cumbrous charge; Here nature seems fulfilled in all her ends." Which I must keep till my appointed day

To whom thus Michael. "Judge not what is Of rendering up, and patiently attend

best My dissolution.” Michael replied.

By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet; "Nor love thy life, nor hate ; but what thou Created, as thou art, to nobler end, liv'st

Holy and pure, conformity divine. Live well; how long or short, permit to Heaven: Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents And now prepare thee for another sight.” Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race

He looked, and saw a spacious plain, whereon Who slew his brother; studious they appear
Were tents of various hue; by some, were herds Of arts that polish life, inventors rare;
Of cattle grazing ; others, whence the sound Unmindful of their Maker, though his spirit
Of instruments that made melodious chime Taught them; but they his gifts acknowledged
Was heard, of harp and organ; and, who moved
Their stops and chords, was seen; his volant touch, Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget,
Instinct through all proportions, low and high, For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seemed
Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
In other part stood one who, at the forge Yet empty of all good wherein consists
Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ;
Had melted, (whether found where casual fire Bred only and completed to the taste
Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Of lustful appetance, to sing, to dance,
Down to the veins of earth; thence gliding hot To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye:
To some cave's mouth; or whether wash'd by To these that sober race of men, whose lives
stream

Religious titled them the sons of God,
From under ground;) the liquid ore be drained Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame
Into fit moulds prepared; from which he formed Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
First his own tools; then, what might else be of these fair atheists; and now swim in joy,
wrought

Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for which Fusil or graven in metal. After these,

The world ere long a world of tears must weep." But on the hither side, a different sort

To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft. From the high neighbouring hills, which was their “O pity and shame, that they, who to live well seat,

Entered so fair, should turn aside to tread Down to the plain descended: by their guise Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint ! Just men they seemed, and all their study bent But still I see the tenor of man's wo To worship God aright, and know his works Holds on the same, from woman to begin." Not hid; nor those things last which might pre- “From man's effeminate slackness it begins,"

Said the angel, “who should better hold his place Freedom and peace to men: they on the plain By wisdom, and superior gifts received. Long had not walked, when from the tents, behold! But now prepare thee for another scene. A bevy of fair women, richly gay

He looked, and saw wide territory spread In gems and wanton dress; to the harp they sung Before him, towns, and rural works between Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on: Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, The men, though grave, eyed them, and let their Concourse in arms, fierce faces threåtening war, eyes

Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise; Rove without rein; till in the amorous net

Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed, Fast caught, they liked; and each his liking chose; Single, or in array of battle ranged, And now of love they treat, till the evening star, Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood; Love's harbinger, appeared; then, all in heat One way a band select from forage drives They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine, Hymen, then first to marriage rites invoked: From a fat meadow ground; or fleecy flock, With feast and music all the tents resound. Ewes and their bleating lambs, over the plain, Such happy interview, and fair event

Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly,

serve

But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray; High in salvation and the climes of bliss,
With cruel tournament the squadrons join; Exempt from death; to show thee what reward
Where cattle pastured late, now scattered lies Awaits the good, the rest what punishment;
With carcasses and arms the ensanguined field, Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.”
Deserted: others to a city strong

He looked, and saw the face of things quite
Lay siege, encamped; by battery, scale, and mine, changed;
Assaulting; others from the wall defend

The brazen throat of war had ceased to roar; With dart, and javelin, stones and sulphurous fire, All now was turned to jollity and game, On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds. To luxury and riot, feast and dance, In other part the sceptred heralds call

Marrying or prostituting, as befell, To council, in the city gates: anon

Rape or adultery, where passing fair Gray headed men and grave, with warriors mix’d, Allured them; thence from cups to civil broils. Assemble, and harangues are heard; but soon At length a reverend sire among them came, In factious opposition; till at last

And of their doings great dislike declared, Of middle age one rising, eminent

And testified against their ways; he oft In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong, Frequented their assemblies, whereso met, Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace,

Triumphs or festivals; and to them preached And judgment from above: him old and young Conversion and repentance, as to souls Exploded, and had seized with violent hands, In prison under judgments imminent : Had not a cloud descending snatched him thence But all in vain : which when he saw, he ceased. Unseen amid the throng : so violence

Contending, and removed his tents far off; Proceeded, and oppression, and sword-law, Then, from the mountain hewing timber tall, Through all the plain, and refuge none was found. Began to build a vessel of huge bulk, Adam was all in tears, and to his guide

Measured by cubit, length, and breadth, and Lamenting turned full sad; “O! what are these, height, Death's ministers, not men ? who thus deal death Smeared round with pitch, and in the side a door Inhumanly to men and multiply

Contrived, and of provisions laid in large Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew For man and beast: when lo, a wonder strange! His brother; for of whom such massacre Of every beast, and bird, and insect small, Make they, but of their brethren; men of men ? Came sevens, and pairs, and entered in as taught But who was that just man, whom had not Heaven Their order: last the sire and his three sons, Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost ?" With their four wives; and God made fast the

To whom thus Michael. “These are the product door. Of those ill-mated marriages thou sawest; Meanwhile the southwind rose, and, with black Where good with bad were matched, who of them- wings selves

Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove Abhor to join; and, by imprudence mixed, From under Heaven; the hills to their supply Produce prodigious births of body or mind. Vapour, and exhalation dusk and moist, Such were these giants, men of high renown; Sent up amain ; and now the thickened sky For in those days might only shall be admired, Like a dark ceiling stood; down rushed the rain And valour and heroic virtue called ;

Impetuous, and continued till the earth To overcome in battle, and subdue

No more was seen; the floating vessel swum Nations, and bring home spoils with infinito Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow Manslaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Rode tilting o'er the waves; all dwellings else Of human glory; and for glory done

Flood overwhelmed, and them with all their pomp
Of triumph, to be styled great conquerors, Deep under water rolled; sea covered sea,
Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods; Sea without shore; and in their palaces,
Destroyers rightlier called, and plagues of men. Where luxury late reigned, sea monsters whelped
Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth; And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late,
And what most merits fame in silence hid. All left, in one small bottom swum embarked.
But he, the seventh from thee, whom thou be- How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
heldest

The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,
The only righteous in a world perverse, Depopulation! thee another flood,
And therefore hated, therefore so beset

Of tears and sorrow a flood thee also drowned, With foes, for daring single to be just,

And sunk thee as thy sons; till, gently reared And utter odious truth, that God would come By the angel, on thy feet thou stood’st at last, To judge them with his saints; him the most High, Though comfortless; as when a father mourns Rapt in a balmy cloud, with winged steeds His children, all in view destroyed at once; Did, as thou saw'st, receive, to walk with God And scarce to the angel utteredst thus thy plaint.

L

"O visions ill foreseen! better had I

Of them derived, but of God observed Lived ignorant of future! so had borne

The one just man alive; by his command My part of evil only, each day's lot

Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou behell'st, Enough to bear; those now that were dispensed To save himself and household frorn amidst The burden of many ages, on me light

A world devote to universal wrack.
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth No sooner he, with them of man and beast
Abortive, to torment me ere their being, Select for life, shall in the ark be lodged,
With thought that they must be. Let no man And sheltered round, but all the cataracts
seek

Of Heaven set open on the earth shall pour Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall Rain, day and night; all fountains of the deep, Him or his children; evil he may be sure,

Broke up, shall heave the ocean to usurp Which neither his foreknowing can prevent, Beyond all bounds; till inundation rise And he the future evil shall no less

Above the highest hills: then shall this mount In apprehension than in substance feel

Of Paradise by might of waves be moved Grievous to bear: but that care now is past, Out of his place, pushed by the horned flood, Man is not whom to warn: those few escaped, With all his verdure spoiled, and trees adrift, Famine and anguish will at last consume,

Down the great river to the opening gulf, Wandering that watery desert: I had hope, And there take root, an island salt and bare, When violence was ceased, and war on earth,

The haunt of seals and orcs, and seamews clang: All would have then gone well; peace would have To teach thee that God attributes to place crown'd

No sanctity, if none be thither brought With length of happy days the race of man; By men who there frequent or therein dwell. But I was far deceived; for now I see

And now, what further shall ensue, behold." Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste. He looked, and saw the ark hull on the flood, How comes it thus ? unfold, celestial guide, Which now abated; for the clouds were fled, And whether here the race of man will end." Driven by a keen northwind, that, blowing dry, To whom thus Michael. “ Those whom last Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decayed; thou saw'st

And the clear sun on his wide watery glass In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they Gazed hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew, First seen in acts of prowess eminent

As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink And great exploits, but of true virtue void; From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole Who, having spilt much blood, and done much With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt

His sluices, as the Heaven his windows shut. Subduing nations, and achieved thereby The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey; Fast on the top of some high mountain fixed. Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and And now the tops of hills as rocks appear: sloth,

With clamour, thence the rapid currents drive Surfeit, and lust; till wantonness and pride Towards the retreating sea their furious tide. Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies, The conquered also, and enslaved by war, And after him the surer messenger, Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose A dove sent forth once and again to spy And fear of God; from whom their piety feigned Green tree or ground whereon his foot may light; In sharp contest of battle found no aid

The second time returning, in his bill Against invaders; therefore, cooled in zeal, An olive leaf he brings, pacific sign: Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure, Anon dry ground appears, and from his ark Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords The ancient sire descends with all his train; Shall leave them to enjoy; for the earth shall bear Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout, More than enough, that temperance may be tried: Grateful to heaven, over his head beholds So all shall turn degenerate, all depraved; A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow Justice and temperance, truth and faith forgot; Conspicuous with three listed colours gay, One man except, the only son of light

Betokening peace from God, and covenant new. In a dark age, against example good,

Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad, Against allurement, custom, and a world Greatly rejoiced, and thus his joy broke forth. Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,

"O thou, who future things canst represent Or violence, he of their wicked ways

As present, heavenly instructor! I revive Shall them admonish, and hefore them set At this last sight, assured that man shall live, The paths of righteousness, how much more safe, With all the creatures, and their seed preserve. And full of peace; denouncing wrath to come Far less I now lament with one whole world On their impenitence; and shall return Of wicked sons destroyed, than I rejoice

waste

ven

For one man found so perfect and so just, This second source of men, while yet but few, That God vouchsafes to raise another world And while the dread of judgment past remains From him, and all his anger to forget.

Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity, But say, what mean those coloured streaks in Hea- With some regard to what is just and right

Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace; Distended, as the brow of God appeased ? Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop, Or serve they as a flowery verge, to bind Corn, wine, and oil; and from the herb or flock, The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud, Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid, Lest it again dissolve, and shower the earth ?” With large wine offerings poured, and sacred feast, To whom the archangel. Dexterously thou Shall spend their days in joys unblamed; and dwell aimist;

Long time in peace, by families and tribes, So willingly doth God remit his ire,

Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
Though late repenting, him of man depraved; Of proud ambitious heart; who not content
Grieved at his heart, when looking down he saw With fair equality, fraternal state,
The whole earth filled with violence, and all flesh Will arrogate dominion undeserved
Corrupting each their way; yet, those removed, Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight Concord and law of nature from the earth ;
That he relents not to blot out mankind; Hunting (and men, not beasts, shall be his game)
And makes a covenant never to destroy

With war and hostile snares such as refuse
The earth again by flood; nor let the sea Subjection to his empire tyrannous:
Surpass his bounds; nor rain to drown the world, A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled
With man therein or beast; but when he brings Before the Lord; as, in despite of Heaven,
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set

Or from Heaven claiming second sovereignty; His triple-coloured bow, whereon to look,

And from rebellion shall derive his name,
And call to mind his covenant: day and night, Though of rebellion others he accuse.
Seed time and harvest, heat and hoary frost, He with a crew whom like ambition joins
Shall hold their course,

till fire purge all things With him or under him to tyrannize, new,

Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find Both Heaven and earth, wherein the just shall The plain wherein a black bituminous gurge dwell.

Boils out from under ground, the mouth of hell :
Of brick, and of that stuff they cast to build

A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven,
BOOK XII.

And get themselves a name; lest, far dispersed

In foreign lands, their memory be lost;
THE ARGUMENT.

Regardless whether good or evil fame. The angel Michael continues, from the flood, to relate what But God, who of descends to visit men shall succeed; then in the mention of Abraham, comes by de. Unseen, and through their habitations walks grees to explain, who that seed of the woman shall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall; his incarnation, To mark their doings, them beholding soon, death, resurrection and ascension; the state of the church in Comes down to see their city, ere the tower his second coming. Adam, greatly satisfied and recomforted Obstruct Heaven's towers, and in derision sets by these relations and promises, descends the hill with Michael; Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase awakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle Quite out their native language; and, instead, dreams composed to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery To sow a jangling noise of words unknown: sword waving behind them, and the cherubim taking their Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud stations to guard the place.

Among the builders; cach to other calls

Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage, As one, who in his journey bates at noon, As mock'd they storm: great laughter was in Though bent on speed; so here the archangel Heaven, paused

And looking down, to see the hubbub strange Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored, And hear the din: thus was the building left If Adam aught perhaps might interpose; Ridiculous, and the work confusion named." Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes. Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased.

" Thus thou hast seen one world begin and end; “O execrable son! so to aspire
And man, as from a second stock proceed. Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Much thou hast yet to see; but I perceive Authority usurped, from God not given:
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Must needs impair and weary human sense; Dominion absolute; that right we hold
Henceforth what is to come I will relate; By his donation; but man over men
Thou therefore give due audience and attend. He made not lord; such title to himself

Reserving human left from human free. | I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith
But this usurper his encroachment proud He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil,
Stays not on man: to God his tower intends Ur of Chaldæa, passing now the ford
Siege and defiance: wretched man! what food To Haran; after him a cumbrous train
Will he convey up thither to sustain

Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude,
Himself and his rash army, where thin air Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross, With God, who called him, in a land unknown.
And famish him of breath, if not of bread ?" Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
To whom thus Michael. “Justly thou ab- Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain
horr'st

Of Moreh; there by promise he receives That son, who on the quiet state of men Gift to his progeny of all that land, Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue From Hamath northward to the desert south; Rational liberty: yet know withal,

(Things by their names I call, though yet unSince thy original lapse, true liberty

named;) Is lost, which always with right reason dwells From Hermon east to the great western sea; Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being: Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,

In prospect, as I point them; on the shore Immediately inordinate desires

Mount Carmel; here the double founted stream And upstart passions catch the government Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons From reason, and to servitude reduce

Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills. Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits This ponder, that all nations of the earth Within himself unworthy powers to reign Shall in his seed be blessed: by that seed Over free reason, God, in judgment just, Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise Subjects him from without to violent lords ; The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon Who oft as undeservedly inthral

Plainlier shall be revealed. This patriarch blest His outward freedom: tyranny must be ; Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call, Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse. A son, and of his son a grandchild leaves, Yet sometimes nations will decline so low Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown; From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, The grandchild, with twelve sons increased, deBut justice, and some fatal curse annexed,

parts Deprives them of their outward liberty,

From Canaan, to a land hereafter called Their inward lost: witness the irreverent son Egypt, divided by the river Nile; Of him who built the ark, who, for the shame See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths Done to his father, heard this heavy curse, Into the sea : to sojourn in that land Servant of servants, on his vicious race.

He comes, invited by a younger son Thus will this latter, as the former world, In time of dearth; a son, whose worthy deeds Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last, Raise him to be the second in that realm Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw'

Of Pharaoh: there he dies, and leaves his race His presence from among them, and avert Growing into a nation; and now grown, His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks To leave them to their own polluted ways; To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests And one peculiar nation to select

Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them From all the rest, of whom to be invoked,

slaves A nation from one faithful man to spring: Inhospitably, and kills their infant males : Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, Till by two brethren (these two brethren called Bred up in idol-worship; O, that men

Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim (Canst thou believe ?) should be so stupid grown, His people from inthralment, they return While yet the patriarch lived who 'scaped the With glory and spoil, back to their promised land. flood,

But first the lawless tyrant, who denies As to forsake the living God, and fall

To know their God, or message to regard, To worship their own work in wood and stone Must be compelled by signs and judgments dire; For gods ! yet him God the most high vouchsafes To blood unshed the rivers must be turned; To call by vision from his father's house, Frogs, lice, and flies must all his palace fill His kindred, and false gods, into a land

With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land; Which he will show him, and from him will raise His cattle must of rot and murrain die; A mighty nation, and upon him shower Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, His benediction so, that in his seed

And all his people; thunder mixed with hail, All nations shall be blest: he straight obeys, Hail mixed with fire, must rend th' Egyptian sky, Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes: And wheel on th' earth, devouring where it rolls:

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