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"To teach thee that God áttributes to place
"No sanctity, if none be thither brought
"By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
"And now,
what farther shall ensue, behold."


He looked, and saw the ark hull on the flood,1
Which now abated; for the clouds were fled,
Driven by a keen north-wind, that, blowing dry,
Wrinkled the face of Deluge, as decayed;
And the clear Sun on his wide watery glass 3
Gazed hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew,
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 Heaven his windows shut.

The ark no more now floats, but seems on 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!4


1 Saw the ark hull on the flood,-hull is here a verb, signifying to float or drift on the water, like a ship without masts or sails.

2 Wrinkled the face of Deluge.-The deluge is here personified, and when hastening to disappear, compared to a wrinkled old man: the waters having now become very shallow, could no longer be heaved into majestic waves, but exhibited a rippled surface like the wrinkled face of age. At 1. 847, he again likens the currents retiring to their usual bed to young persons stepping lightly upon the toes.

3 And the clear Sun on his wide watery glass, &c.-A bold, but beautiful personification of the Sun, indicating his power in aiding evaporation, and poetically accounting for his rapid abstraction of the waters of the deluge, as after thirst. The Deep and the Heaven are also here spoken of

as persons.

An olive leaf he brings-pacific sign! The olive was considered as emblematic of peace and plenty, and was anciently carried in the hands of ambassadors suing for peace; a use of it which may have had its origin

in the incident here noticed.

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 colours1 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
"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 vouchsafes to raise another world

"From him, and all his anger to forget.


"But say, what mean those coloured streaks in Heaven "Distended, as the brow of God appeased? "Or serve they, as a flowery verge, to bind "The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud, "Lest it again dissolve, and shower the earth?" To whom the Archangel:

"Dextrously thou aimst;3

"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 filled with violence, and all flesh "Corrupting each their way; yet, those removed, "Such grace shall one just man find in his sight, "That he relents, not to blot out mankind; "And makes a covenant never to destroy "The earth again by flood; nor let the sea



1 Listed colours,-colours arranged in stripes: three are mentioned, as red, yellow, and blue are the most conspicuous; hence also the "triplecoloured bow" is mentioned at 1. 897.

2 The grounds of this speech will be found in the following passages of Scripture: Gen. vi. 6-12; viii. 22; ix. 11-14, 16; 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13.

"Surpass his bounds; nor rain to drown the world,
"With man therein or beast; but, when he brings
"Over the earth a cloud, will therein set
"His triple-coloured 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 Heaven 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 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 baits 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 transition1 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


1 Transition, a technical term in the rhetoric of the ancients, denoting a graceful embellishment of a speech, in which a brief summary is given of the points already handled, and of what remain to be discussed.

"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,
"With some regard to what is just and right1
"Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace;

66 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,
"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)
"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,

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1 With some regard to what is just and right, &c.-This answers to the silver age of the ancient poets, as the state of bliss in Paradise corresponded to the golden age: that of iron begins soon, 1. 24.

2 Till one shall rise of proud ambitious heart, &c.-Nimrod, his name meaning (as in 1. 36) in Hebrew Rebel. He is believed to have been the first to lay the foundation of kingly government. The unfavourable view which Milton takes of his occupation, as a hunter of men, and not beasts, and of the cruelties practised on his captives, is amply justified by the recent discoveries of the remains of Assyrian sculpture in the palaces of Nineveh, that have been so long buried in ruins.

"Marching from Eden towards the West, shall find
"The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge1
"Boils out from under ground—the mouth of Hell.
"Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build2

"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,
"Comes down to see their city,3 ere the tower
"Obstruct Heaven-towers; and in derision sets

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Upon their tongues a various spirit, to raze Quite out their native language; and, instead, "To sow a jangling noise of words unknown: "Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud,

66 Among the builders; each to other calls,

"Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,

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"As mocked they storm: great laughter was in Heaven,4 "And looking down, to see the hubbub strange, "And hear the din: thus was the building left

66 Ridiculous, and the work Confusion' named. "5 Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased:

"O execrable son! so to aspire

1 Gurge,-whirlpool. The word rendered slime (Gen. xi. 3), denotes what the Greeks called asphaltos, and the Latins bitumen - mineral pitch. This substance was found in abundance in the plain of Babylon, oozing out of the ground, and served to cement the bricks used in building. The inflammable nature of this production suggested the poetical phrase the mouth of hell.

2 Cast to build,-"meditate," "project," as the word is used, b. iii. 1. 634. 3 Comes down to see their city,-Gen. xi. 3; speaking after the manner of men. See also Ps. xi. 4.

4 Great laughter was in Heaven,-Compare Ps. ii. 4; xxxvii. 13; lix. 8; Prov. i. 26. Such terms must be read and understood with reverence; and they serve to show, in a strong light, the pitiable case of those who have become the objects of the derision of Him, without whom, and against whose will, they can do nothing.

5 And the work Confusion' named.-Babel, meaning in Hebrew "confusion."

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