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An olive leaf he brings; pacific sign.
Anon dry ground appears, and from his ark
The ancient sire descends with all his train:
Then, with uplifted hands and eyes devout,
Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow
Conspicuous, with three listed colours gay,
Betokening peace from God, and covenant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,
Greatly rejoiced, and thus his joy broke forth:
O thou, who future things can'st represent
As present, heav'nly Instructor, I revive
At this last sight; assured that man shall live
With all the creatures, and their seed preserve.
Far less I now lament for one whole world
Of wicked sons destroy'd, than I rejoice
For one man found so perfect and so just,
That God vouchsafes to raise another world

From him, and all his anger to forget.





But say, what mean those colour'd streaks in Heav'n Distended as the brow of God appeased,

Or serve they as a flow'ry verge to bind


The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud,

Lest it again dissolve and shower the earth?

To whom th' Arch-Angel: Dext'rously thou aim'st;

So willingly doth God remit his ire,


Though late repenting him of man depraved,
Grieved at his heart, when looking down he saw
The whole earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each their way; yet those removed,
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight, 890
That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
And makes a covenant never to destroy

The earth again by flood, nor let the sea
Surpass his bounds, nor rain to drown the world
With man therein or beast; but when he brings 895
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set

860. It may be observed that the olive is made frequent mention of in Scripture, and appears to have had a sort of sacred character among most of the ancient nations. Might it not acquire this by its having been thus appointed by God as a sign of peace between him and his creatures?

866. Three listed colours, the three principal ones are here alluded to.

His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to look,

And call to mind his covenant. Day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost,

Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new
Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.



The Angel Michael continues, from the flood, to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain who that Seed of the Woman shall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall; his incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension; the st te of the church till his se cond coming. Adam, greatly satisfied and recomforted by these relations and promises, descends the hill with Michael: wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.


As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed, so here th' Arch-Angel paused
Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restored,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes.
Thus thou hast seen one world begin and end;
And man, as from a second stock, proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense:
Henceforth what is to come I will relate,
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
This second source of men, while yet but few,
And while the dread of judgment past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,



1. This book was united to the former in the first edition, and on its being separated the first five lines were added to form its commencement.

11. Addison regrets that the poet did not continue the vision instead of reverting to the narrative form-Milton, however, appears to me to have been right in the plan he has pursued. It would, in the first place, have been unnatural to keep Adam longer in a state of ecstasy or trance; and next and principally, the action of the poem would have been entirely stopped too long, had the vision continued. By bringing the angel forward as speaking and conversing with Adam, the plot, though not really for warded, has the appearance of going on.

With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace,
Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine, and oil: and from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,
With large wine-off'rings pour'd, and sacred feast,
Shall spend their days in joy unblamed, and dwell
Long time in peace, by families and tribes,
Under paternal rule, till one shall rise,

Of proud ambitious heart; who not content
With fair equality, fraternal state,

Will arrogate dominion undeserved

Over his brethren, and quite dispossess

Concord and law of nature from the earth,



Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game) 30
With war and hostile snare such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous :

A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled
Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
Or from Heav'n claiming second sov'reignty;
And from rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of rebellion others he accuse.

He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,

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Marching from Eden tow'rds the west, shall find 40
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell:
Of brick, and of that stuff they cast to build


A city' and tow'r, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
And get themselves a name, lest far dispersed
In foreign lands, there memory be lost,
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God, who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to see their city, ere the tow'r
Obstruct Heav'n-tow'rs, and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit to rase


22. The silver age is here meant, as the time of man's innocence was the golden.-The iron age is next mentioned.

24. Nimrod is said to have been the first man who assumed the power and character of a monarch. Gen. x. 9.

36. The name of Nimrod is usually derived from a Hebrew word that signifies to rebel. 40. Gen. xi. 2, &c.

Quite out their native language, and instead
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown.
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the builders; each to other calls,


Not understood, till hoarse, and all in. rage,

As mock'd they storm. Great laughter was in Heav'n;

And looking down, to see the hubbub strange,


And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.
Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased:
O execrable son, so to aspire

Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurp'd; from God not given.
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation: but man over men
He made not lord: such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper, his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tow'r intends
Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither to sustain

Himself and his rash army, where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?




To whom thus Michael: Justly thou abhorr❜st
That son, who on the quiet state of men
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,

Is lost, which always with right reason dwells


Since thy original lapse, true liberty

Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being
Reason in man obscured, or not obey'd,


Immediately inordinate desires

And upstart passions catch the government
From reason, and to servitude reduce

Man till then free. Therefore, since he permits 90
Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God in judgment just

59. Dr. Bentley reads is in this and in line 61. But the angel might regard the event as past, as in his relation he looked from a station which could command the whole extended course of time. 62. Babel signifies confusion in Hebrew. Gen. xi. 9.

Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly inthrall

His outward freedom. Tyranny must be,
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd,
Deprives them of their outward liberty,
Their inward lost. Witness th' irrev'rent son
Of him who built the ark, who for the shame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants,' on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last,
Weary'd with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select

From all the rest, of whom to be invoked,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship. O that men






(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown, While yet the patriarch lived, who scaped the flood, As to forsake the living God, and fall

To worship their own work in wood and stone

For Gods! yet him God the Most High vouchsafes

To call by vision from his father's house,
His kindred, and false Gods, into a land


Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
A mighty nation, and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his seed


All nations shall be blest. He straight obeys,
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes.
I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith

101. Cham; the father of Canaan is here meant. Gen. ix. 22. 25. 110. The narrative is, from this point, confined to the history of the chosen race, the seed of Abraham.

115. Josh. xxiv. 2.

117. Terah, Abraham's father was born 222 years after the flood, and Noah was living till the 350th year after it, so that idolatry had gained ground some years before his death.

120. Gen. xii. 1-3.

126. Heb. xl. 8.

128. This is not, it should be observed, a reverting to the former vision, as some commentators seem to suppose, but a mode of

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