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As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink The From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole flood With soft foot towards the deep, who now had subsides

stopt

His sluices, as the heaven his windows shut.

The ark no more now floats, but seems on

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ground,

Fast on the top of some high mountain fixed.
And now the tops of hills as rocks appear;
With clamour thence the rapid currents drive
Towards the retreating sea their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies,
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 second time returning, in his bill
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 Heaven, 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 canst represent 870
As present, Heavenly 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 destroyed, than I rejoice
For one man found so perfect, and so just,
That God voutsafes to raise another world

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A bevy Fusil or graven in metal. After these, of fair But on the hither side, a different sort

women

From the high neighbouring hills, which was their seat,

Down to the plain descended: by their guise
Just men they seemed, and all their study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
Not hid; nor those things last which might
preserve

Freedom and peace to men. They on the plain 580
Long had not walked when from the tents behold
A bevy of fair women, richly gay

In

gems and wanton dress! to the harp they sung Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on. The men, though grave, eyed them, and let their eyes

Rove without rein, till, in the amorous net
Fast caught, they liked, and each his liking chose.
And now of love they treat, till the evening-star,
Love's harbinger, appeared; then, all in heat,
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke 590
Hymen, then first to marriage rites invoked :
With feast and music all the tents resound.
Such happy interview, and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands,
flowers,

And charming symphonies, attached the heart
Of Adam, soon inclined to admit delight,
The bent of Nature; which he thus expressed :-

'True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
Much better seems this vision, and more hope
Of peaceful days portends, than those two past: 600
Those were of hate and death, or pain much

worse;

PARADISE LOST

BOOK XII

THE ARGUMENT

THE Angel Michael continues, from the Flood, to relate Michael what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, relates comes by degrees to explain who that Seed of the Woman what is shall be which was promised Adam and Eve in the Fall: to come his incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension; the state of the Church till his second 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 the Archangel
paused

Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then, with transition sweet, new speech re-

sumes:

"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;

EQ

Nimrod, Thou, therefore, give due audience, and attend.
the 'This second source of men, while yet but
mighty
few,

hunter And while the dread of judgement past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
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-offerings poured, and sacred
feast,

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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

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game

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 Heaven,
Or from Heaven claiming second sovranty,
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,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall

find

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Babel

The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell. Tower
Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build
A city and tower, whose top may reach to

Heaven;

And get themselves a name, lest, far dispersed
In foreign lands, their 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, 50
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct Heaven-towers, and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
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 mocked they storm. Great laughter was in
Heaven,

And looking down to see the hubbub strange 60
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 usurped, 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

Y

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