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In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong,
Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace,
And judgment from above. Him old and young
Exploded, and had seized with violent hands,
Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence, 670
Unseen amid the throng : so violence
Proceeded, and oppression, and sword-law
Through all the plain; and refuge none was found
Adam was all in tears, and to his Guide
Lamenting, turn'd full sad : 0 what are these ? 675
Death's ministers, not men, who thus deal death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply
Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew
His brother! for of whom such massacre
Make they but of their brethren, men of men !

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
To judge them with his saints ; him the Most High
Rapt in a balmy cloud with winged steeds, 705
Did, as thou saw'st, receive to walk with God,
High in salvation and the climes of bliss,
Exempt from death ; to shew thee what reward
A vaits the good, the rest what punishment : 710
Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold.

He look'd and saw the face of things quite changed.
The brazen throat of war had ceased to roar:
All now was turn'd to jollity and game,
To luxury and riot, feast and dance,

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

wings

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
From under Heaven; the hills to their supply 740
Vapour, and exhalation dusk and moist,
Sent up amain. And now the thickeu'd sky
Like a dark ceiling stood ; down rush'd the rain
Impetuous, and continued till the earth
No more was seen. The floating vessel swum 745
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow,
Rode tilting o'er the waves : all dwellings else
Flood overwhelm'd, and them with all their pomp
Deep under water roll’d ; sea cover'd sea,
Sea without shore : and in their palaces,

750
Where luxury late reign'd, sea monsters whelp'd
And stabled. Of mankind, so numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swum imbark'd.
How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,

755
Depopulation! Thee another flood,
Of tears and sorrow' a flood, thee also drown'd,
And sunk thee as thy sons ; till gently rear'd
By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last,
Though comfortless, as when a father mourns 760
His children, all in view destroy'd at once :
And scarce to th' Angel utter'dst thus thy plaint:

O visions ill foreseen! Better had I
Lived ignorant of future, so had borne
My part of evil only, each day's lot

766
Enough to bear! those now, that were dispensed
The burden of many ages, on me light
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth
Abortive, to torment me ere their being,
With thought that they must be ! Let no man seek
Henceforth to be foretold what shall befal

771
Him or his children : evil he may be sure,
Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
And he the future evil shall no less
In apprehension than in substance feel

775
Grievous to bear. But that care now is past,
Man is not whom to warn: those few escaped,
Famine and anguish will at last consume,
Wand'ring that watery desert. I had hope
When violence was ceased, and war on earth, 780
All would have then gone well. peace would have

crown'd

.

With length of happy days the race of man ;
But I was far deceived: for now I see
Peace to orrupt no less than war to waste.
How comes it thus ? Unfold, celestial guide ; 785
And whether here the race of man will end ?

T: wbom thus Michael : Those whom last thou
In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they (saw'st
First seen in acts of prowess eminent
And great exploits, but of true virtue void ; 790
Who, having spilt much blood, and done much waste,
Subduing nations, and achieved thereby
Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey,
Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,
Surfeit. and lust, till wantonness and pride 795
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace.
The conquer'd also, and enslaved by war,
Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose
And fear of God, from whom their piety feign'd
In sharp contést of battle, found no aid

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
Of Heav'n, set open on the earth, shall pour 825
Rain day and night; all fountains of the deep
Broke up, shall heave the ocean, to usurp
Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
Above the highest hills : then shall this mount
Of Paradise, by might of waves, be moved 830
Out of his place, push'd by the horned flood,
With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift.
Down the great river to the opening gulf,
And there take root an island salt and bare,
The haunt of seals, and orcs, and sea-mews clang,
To teach thee that God attributes to place

836
No sanctity, if none be thither brought
By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
And now what further shall ensue, behold.

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.

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