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But fay, what mean thofe colour'd ftreaks in Heav'n,
Diftended as the brow of GoD appeas'd?
Or ferve they as a flow'ry verge to bind
The fluid fkirts of that fame wat'ry cloud,
Left it again diffolve, and show'r the earth?

To whom th' Arch angel. Dextrously thou aim'ft: So willingly doth Gon remit his ire, 885


Though late repenting him of man deprav'd,
Griev'd at his heart when locking down he faw
The whole earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each their way; yet those remov'd,
Such grace fhall one juft man find in his fight,
That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
And makes a cov'nant never to deftroy
The earth again by flood, nor let the fea
Surpass his bounds, nor rain to drown the world,
With man therein or beaft; but when he brings 895
Over the earth a cloud, while therein fet

His triple colour'd bow, whereon to look,

And call to mind his cov❜nant: day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary froft


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 fhall fucceed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain who that feed of the woman fhall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall; his incarnation, death, refurrection, and afcenfion; the ftate of the church till his fecond coming. Adam greatly fatisfied and recomforted by these relations and promifes, defcends the hill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while had flept, but with gentle dreams compofed to quietness of mind and fubmiffion. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradife, the fiery fword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their fiations to guard the place.

S one who in his journey baits at noon, [paus'd

A Though bent on feed to here th' Arch-angel

Betwixt the world deftroy'd and world reftor'd,
If Adam ought perhaps might interpose:
Then with tranfition fweet new fpeech refumes.
Thus thou haft feen one world begin and end;

And man as from a fecond stock proceed;
Much thou haft yet to fee; but I perceive
Thy mortal fight to fail; objects divine
Muft needs impair and weary human sense:
Henceforth what is to come I will relate.
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend,
This fecond fource of men, while yet but few,
And while the dread of judgement past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
With fome regard to what is juft and right
Shall lead their lives and multiply apace;



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Lab'ring the foil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine, and oil, and from the herd or flock
Oft facrificing bullock, lamb, or kid

With large wine-off'rings pour'd, and facred feaft,
Shall fpend their days in Joy unblam'd, 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 taste,
Will arrogate dominion undeferv'd
Over his brethren, and quite difpoffefs
Concord and law of nature from the earth,



Hunting (and men, not beafts, fhall be his game) 30
With war and hoftile faare fuch as refufe
Subjection to his empire tyrannous:

A mighty hunter thence he fhall be styl❜d
Before the LORD, as in despite of Heav'n,
Or from Heav'n claiming fecond fov❜reignty;
And from rebellion fhall 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 40
The plain wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of hell:
Of brick, and of that stuff, they caft to build

A city' and tow'r, whofe top may reach to Heav'n;
And get themselves a name; left far difpers'd
In foreign lands, their memory be loft,
Regardless whether good or evil fame:
But GOD, who oft defcends to visit men
Unfeen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to fee their city, ere the tow'r
Obftru&t Heav'n tow'rs, and in derifion fets
Upon their tongues a various sp'rit, to raze
Quite out their native language, and instead
To fow a jangling noife of words unknown,
Forthwith a hideous gabble rifes loud,
Among the builders each to others call
Not understood till hoarfe, and all in rage



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As mock'd they ftorm; great laughter was in Heav'n
And looking down, to fee the hubbub ftrange,
And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work confufion nam'd.
Whereto thus Adam fatherly difpleas'd.
O execrable fon so to aspire

Above his brethren, to himself affuming
Authority ufurp'd from GOD, not giv'n;
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion abfolute; that right we hold
By his donation: but man over men
He made not lord; fuch title to himself
Referving, human left from human free.
But this ufurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tow'r intends



Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food
Will he convey up hither to sustain


Himself and his rash army, where thin air

Above the clouds will pine his entrails grofs,

And famifh him of breath, if not of bread?

To whom thus Michael Juftly thou abhorr'it

That fon, who on the quiet state of men


Such trouble brought, affecting to fubdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,

Since thy original lapfe, true liberty

Is loft, which always with right reafon dwells
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being: 85
Reafon in man obfcur'd, or not obey'd,

Immediately inordinate defires.

And upftart paffions catch the government

From reason, and to fervitude reduce

Man till then free. Therefore, fince he permits


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Within himself unworthy pow'rs to reign
Over free reafon, Gon, in judgement juft,
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undefervedly inthral

His outward freedom: tyranny must be,
Though to the tyrant thereby no excufe.
Yet fometimes nations will decline fo low
From virtue, which is reafon, that no wrong,
But juftice, and fome fatal curfe annex'd,


Deprives them of their outward liberty,
Their inward loft: witnefs th' irreverent fon
Of him who built the ark, who, for the fhame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curfe,
Servant of fervants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse, till GoD at laft,
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His prefence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes, refolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to felect
From all the reft, of whom to be invok'd,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this fide Euphrates yet refiding,
Bred up in idol worship: O that man





(Canft thou believe?) fhould be fo fupid grown, While yet the patriarch liv'd, who 'fcap'd the flood, As to torfake the living GoD, and fall

To worship their own work in wood and ftone

For gods! yet him God the Most High vouchiafes 120
To call by vifion from his Father's house,
His kindred and falfe gods, into a land

Which he will fhew him, and from him will raise
A mighty nation, and upon him show'r
His benediction fo, that in his feed


All nations thall be blefs'd; he straight obeys,
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes.
I fee him, but thou canst not, with what faith
He leaves his gods, his friends, and native foil
Ur of Chaldæa, paffing now the ford
To Haran, after him a cumbrous train


Of herds and flocks, and numerous fervitude;

Not wand'ring, poor; but trufting all his wealth
With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.

Canaan he now attains; I fee his tents


Pitch'd about Sechem and the neigh'bouring plain
Of Moreh; there by promise he receives

Gift to his progeny of all that land,

From Hamath northward to the defert fouth,

(Things by their names I call, though yet unnam'd)

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