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In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong,
680 But who was that just man, whom had not Heav'n Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost?
To whom thus Michael : These are the product Of those ill-mated marriages thou saw'st; 681 Where good with bad were match’d,who of themselves Abhor to join, and by imprudence mix'd, Produce prodigious births of body' or mind. Such were these giants, men of high renown; For in those days might only shall be' admired, And valour and heroic virtue callid,
000 To overcome in battle and subdue Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Of human glory, and for glory done Of triumph, to be styled great conquerors,
095 Patrons of mankind, Gods, and sons of Gods : Destroyers rightlier call’d, and plagues of men. Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth, And what most merits fame in silence hid. But he the seventh from thee, whom thon beheld'st The only righteous in a world perverse,
701 And therefore hated, therefore so beset With foes for daring single to be just,
668. Gen. vi. 4. It iş supposed by some interpreters that the glants were so called from their tyranny and power rather thar their extraordinary bulk. The common idea, however, seems the more correct, as it is supported by an immense mass of tradiuonary evidence.
700. Jude 14.
And utter odious truth, that God would come
He look'd and saw the face of things quite changed.
715 Marrying or prostituting, as befel, Rape or adultery, where passing fair Allured them : thence from cups to civil broils. At length a rev'rend sire among them came, And of their doings great dislike declared, 720 And testified against their ways. He oft Frequented their assemblies, whereso met, Triumphs or festivals, and to them preach'd Conversion and repentance, as to souls In prison under judgments imminent:
725 But all in vain : which when he saw, he ceased Contending, and removed his tents far off. Then from the mountain, hewing timber tall, Began to build a vessel of huge bulk, Measured by cubit, length, and breadth, and highth, Smear'd round with pitch, and in the side a door 731 Contrived; and of provisions laid in large For man and beast; when lo, a wonder strange! Of every beast, and bird, and insect small, Came sevens and pairs, and enter'd in as taught 735 Their order. Last, the sire and his three sons With their four wives; and God made fast the door. Meanwhile the south wind rose, and with black
723. 2 Pet. 11. 5. Josephus is Milton's authority for what is said respecting Noah's conduct when he found his preaching vain; or It might be taken, possibly, from our Saviour's directions to the disciples to flee from the cities which refused to hear them.
735. Gen. vii. 2, &c. 738. Ovid, Met. i. The comparison which has been instituted between the descriptions which the two poets have given of the deluge is highly interesting, and the classical reader will da fufficient pleasure in making it for himself to reward the little labour it requires.
Wide hov'ring, all the clouds together drove
O visions ill foreseen! Better had I
With length of happy days the race of man ;
T: wbom thus Michael : Those whom last thou
800 Against invaders ; therefore cool'd in zeal, Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure, Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords Shall leave them to enjoy : for th' earth shall bear More than enough, that temperance may be try'd : So all shall turn degenerate, all depraved, 806 Justice and temperance, truth and faith forgot; One man except, the only son of light In a dark age, against example good, Against allurement, custom, and a world
810 Offended ; fearless of reproach and scorn, Or violence, he of their wicked ways Shall them admonish, and before them set The paths of righteousness, how much inore safe, And full of peace, denouncing wrath to come 815 On their impenitence; and shall return Of them derided, but of God observed The one just man alive. By his command Shall build a wondrous ark, as thon beheld’et To save himself and household from amidst 820 A world devote to universal wrack. No sooner he with them of man and beast Select for life shall in the ark be lodged,
821. Denote, for denotoda
And shelter'd round, but all the cataracts
He look'd, and saw the ark hull on the flood, 840 Which now abated; for the clouds were fled, Driven by a keen north-wind, that blowing dry, Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decay'd ; And the clear sun on his wide watery glass Gazed hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew, 845 As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole With soft foot towards the Deep, who now had stopt His sluices, as the Heav'n his windows shut. 849 The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground, Fast on the top of some high mountain fix'd. And now the tops of hills as rocks appear : With clanuour chence the rapid currents drive Towards the retreating sea their furious tide. Forth with from out the ark a raven flies, 855 And after him, the surer messenger, A dove, sent forth once and again to spy Green tree or ground whereon his foot may light. The saci.nd time returning, in his bill
824. Gen. vii. 11. 829. Paradise, it is supposed, was destroyed by the deluge.
831. Horned, that is, curved as rivers sometimes are when opposed in their current.-Euphrates, which flowed through Eden, is called in Scripture the great river; it emptied itself into the Persian Gulf.
835. Orcs, a kind of sea monster. 810. Hull, floating like a hulk, without sails or rudder. 842. North-wind, the Scripture does not mention any particular wind.
948. Gen. viii. 3, &c.