Imágenes de páginas

Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the fiend, Or in behalf of man, or to invade



Vacant possession, some new trouble raise:
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God,
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair,
From hallow'd ground th' unholy, and denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
For I behold them soften'd and with tears
Bewailing their excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My covenant in the woman's seed renew'd;
So send them forth, tho' sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch, and of a sword the flame
Wide waving, all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life:
Lest Paradise a receptacle prove




To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey,
With whose stolen fruit man once more to delude."

He ceas'd; and th' archangelic power prepar'd For swift descent, with him the cohort bright Of watchful cherubim; four faces each Had, like a double Janus, all their shape Spangled with eyes, more numerous than those 130 Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse, Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the past'ral reed Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile, To re-salute the world with sacred light, Leucothea wak'd and with fresh dews embalm'd The earth, when Adam and first matron Eve Had ended now their orisons, and found Strength added from above, new hope to spring, Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link'd; Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd:




"Eve, easily may faith admit that all The good which we enjoy from heaven descends; But that from us ought should ascend to heaven So prevalent as to concern the mind Of God high-bless'd, or to incline his will Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer, Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne Even to the seat of God. For since I sought By prayer th' offended Deity t' appease, Kneel'd, and before him humbled all my heart, 150 Methought I saw him placable and mild, Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew That I was heard with favour; peace return'd Home to my breast and to my memory

His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe;' Which then not minded in dismay, yet now Assures me that the bitterness of death


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To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek: Ill worthy I such title should belong To me transgressor, who, for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare; to me reproach Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise: But infinite in pardon was my Judge, That I, who first brought death on all, am grac'd The source of life; next favourable thou, Who highly thus to' entitle me vouchsaf'st, Far other name deserving. But the field To labour calls us now, with sweat impos'd Though after sleepless night; for see the morn, All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins Her rosy progress smiling; let us forth, I never from thy side henceforth to stray, Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoin'd Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell, What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks? Here let us live, though in fallen state, content." 180


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Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind;
Direct to th' eastern gate was bent their flight. 190
Adam observ'd, and with his eye the chase
Pursuing, not unmov'd, to Eve thus spake⚫

"O Eve! some further change awaits us nigh, Which heaven by these mute signs in nature shows, Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn 195 Us, haply too secure, of our discharge From penalty, because from death releas'd


Some days; how long, and what 'till then our life,
Who knows? Or more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return and be no more?
Why else this double object in our sight
Of flight pursu'd in th' air, and o'er the ground,
One way the self-same hour? Why in the east
Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning light
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws 205
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends, with something heavenly
fraught ?"

He err'd not, for by this the heavenly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;

A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear, that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
Not that inore glorious, when the angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw

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"Eve! now expect great tidings, which perhaps Of us will soon determine, or impose New laws to be observ'd; for I descry From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill, One of the heavenly host, and by his gait None of the meanest, some great potentate, Or of the thrones above; such majesty Invests him coming; yet not terrible, That I should fear, nor sociably mild, As Raphael, that I should much confide, But solemn and sublime, whom not to' offend, With reverence I must meet, and thou retire:"


He ended; and the archangel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape celestial, but as man Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms A military vest of purple flow'd,

Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain

Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old


In time of truce; Iris had dipp'd the woof;
His starry helm unbuckled show'd him prime 245
In manhood, where youth ended; by his side,
As in a glist'ring zodiac, hung the sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear.
Adam bow'd low; he kingly, from his state
Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd:


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He added not, for Adam at the news Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen, 265 Yet all had heard, with audible lament Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

"O unexpected stroke, worse than of death! Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus lea"e Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades,270 Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend, Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day


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Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left

Familiar to our eyes, all places else
Inhospitable' appear, and desolate;




Nor knowing us, nor known: and if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries:
But prayer against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that departing hence, 315
As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd
His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent
With worship, place by place, where he vouchsaf'd
Presence divine, and to my sons relate,

'On this mount he appear'd, under this tree 320 Stood visible, among these pines his voice

I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd :'
So many grateful altars I would rear

Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone Of lustre from the brook, in memory,

Or monument to ages, and thereon

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Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The hemisphere of earth in clearest ken
Stretch'd out to th' amplest reach of prospect lay.
Not higher that hill, or wider looking round,
Whereon, for diff'rent cause, the tempter set
Our second Adam in the wilderness,

To show him all earth's kingdoms and their glory
His eye might there command wherever stood 385
City of old or modern fame, the seat

Of mightiest empire, from the destin'd walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin, of Sinæan kings, and thence
To Agra, and Lahor, of great Mogul,
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Czar
In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance,
Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
Th' empire of Negus, to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings,
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala, thought Ophir, to the realm
Of Congo, and Angola farthest south;
Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount,
The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez, and Sus,
Morocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen ;







On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
The world: in spirit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons
Call El Dorado. But to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov'd,
Which that false fruit that promis'd clearer sight
Had bred; then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see;
And from the well of life three drops instill'd,
So deep the power of these ingredients pierc'd,
Even to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforc'd to close his eyes,
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranc'd;
But him the gentle angel by the hand
Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd:




Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers.
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet, recall'd
To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now
Gladly behold, though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore."




To whom thus Michael with regard benign: "Adam! thou know'st heaven his, and all the earth, Not this rock only'; his omnipresence fills Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives, Fomented by his virtual power and warm'd: All th' earth he gave thee to possess and rule, No despicable gift; surmise not then His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd Of Paradise or Eden: this had been Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread All generations, and had hither come, From all the ends of th' earth, to celebrate And reverence thee their great progenitor. But this pre-eminence thou' hast lost, brought down To dwell on even ground now with thy sons: Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain God is as here, and will be found alike Present, and of his presence many a sign Still following thee, still 'compassing thee round With goodness and paternal love, his face Express, and of his steps the track divine. Which that thou may'st believe, and be confirm'd, Ere thou from hence depart; know, I am sent To show thee what shall come in future days To thee, and to thy offspring; good with bad Expect to hear, supernal grace contending With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn




"Adam! now ope thine eyes, and first behold Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd 425 Th' excepted tree, nor with the snake conspir'd, Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds."


His eyes he open'd, and beheld a field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves
New reap'd, the other part sheep-walks and folds;
I' th' midst an altar as the land-mark stood
Rustic, of grassy sod; thither anon
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
First fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf,435
Uncull'd, as came to hand; a shepherd next,
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock
Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid

The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform'd. 440
His offering soon propitious fire from heaven
Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steam;
The other's not, for his was not sincere ;
Whereat he inly rag'd, and as they talk'd,
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
Groan'd out his soul with gushing blood effus'd
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismay'd, and thus in haste to th' angel cried:



"O teacher, some great mischief hath befallen To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd; Is piety thus and pure devotion paid?

To whom Michael thus, he also mov'd, replied:
"These two are brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins; th' unjust the just hath slain, 455
For envy that his brother's offering found
From heaven acceptance; but the bloody fact
Will be aveng'd, and th' other's faith approv'd
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore." To which our sire 460

"Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
I must return to native dust? O sight
Of terror, foul and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!"


To whom thus Michael: "Death thou hast seen




In his first shape on man; but many shapes
Of death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave, all dismal; yet to sense
More terrible at th' entrance than within.
Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
By fire, flood, famine; by intemp'rance more
In meats and drinks, which on the eartli shall bring
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
Before thee shall appear; that thou may'st know
What misery th' inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on men." Immediately a place
Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark,
A lazar-house it seem'd, wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, cholic pangs,
Demoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch; 490
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invok'd
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept, 495
Though not of woman born; compassion quell'd
His best of man, and gave him up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess;
And scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd:

"O miserable mankind, to what fall
Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd!
Better end here unborn. Why is life given
To be thus wrested from us? Rather why
Obtruded on us thus? who, if we knew
What we receive, would either not accept
Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
Glad to be so dismiss'd in peace.
Th' image of God in man, created once
So goodly and erect, though faulty since,
To such unsightly sufferings be debas'd
Under inhuman pains? Why should not man,
Retaining still divine similitude

Can thus

In part, from such deformities be free, And for his Maker's image sake exempt?"




So may'st thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gather'd, not harshly pluck'd, for death mature:
This is old age; but then thou must outlive [change
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which wil
To wither'd, weak, and gray; thy senses then 540
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego,
To what thou hast; and for the air of youth,
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry,
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
The balm of life." To whom our ancestor :


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He look'd, and saw a spacious plain, whereon Were tents of various hue; by some were herds Of cattle grazing; others, whence the sound Of instruments that made melodious chime Was heard, of harp and organ; and who mov'd 560 Their stops and chords were seen; his volant touch Instinct through all proportions, low and high, Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who at the forge, Lab'ring, two massy clods of iron and brass Had melted, (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Down to the veins of earth, thence gliding hot To some cave's mouth, or whether wash'd by stream From underground,) the liquid ore he drain'd 570 Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he form'd First his own tools; then, what might else be Fusil or grav'n in metal. After these," [wrought



But on the hither side, a different sort
From the high neighb'ring hills, which was their
Down to the plain descended: by their guise [seat,
Just men they seem'd, 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 walk'd, when from the tents behold
A bevy of fair women, richly gay


In gems and wanton dress; to th' harp they sung Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on. The men, tho' grave, eyed them, and let their eyes Rove without rein, till in the amorous net Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose; And now of love they treat, till th' evening star, Love's harbinger, appear'd; then all in heat 505 They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke Hymen, then first to marriage-rites invok'd: 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, attach'd the heart 595 Of Adam, soon inclin'd t' admit delight,




"Their Maker's image," answer'd Michael," then Forsook them, when themselves they vilified To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took His image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice, Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore so abject is their punishment, Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own, Or if his likeness, by themselves defac'd, While they pervert pure nature's healthful rules To loathsome sickness; worthily, since they God's image did not reverence in themselves." 525

"I yield it just," said Adam, "and submit. But is there yet no other way, besides These painful passages, how we may come To death, and mix with our connatural dust ?" 529

"There is," said Michael, "if thou well observe The rule of not too much, by temp'rance taught, In what thou eat'st and drink'st, seeking from Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight [thence Till many years over thy head return,

The bent of nature; which he thus express'd :


"True opener of mine eyes, prime angel bless'd! 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; Here nature seems fulfill'd in all her ends."



To whom thus Michael: "Judge not what is By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet, [best Created, as thou art, to nobler end, Holy and pure, conformity divine. Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who slew his brother; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare, Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none. Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget; For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seem'd Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay, 615 Yet empty of all good, wherein.consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise; Bred only and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance, To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye. 620

High in salvation and the climes of bliss, Exempt from death; to show thee what reward Awaits the good, the rest what punishment; Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold."

To these, that sober race of men, whose lives
Religious titled them the sons of God,
Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame,
Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
Of these fair atheists, and now swim in joy,
Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for which
The world ere long a world of tears must weep."

To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft:
"O pity' and shame! that they who to live well
Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread
Paths indirect, or in the midway faint!
But still I see the tenor of man's wo




He look'd, and saw the face of things quite chang'd;

The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar;
All now was turn'd to jollity and game,
To luxury and riot, feast and dance;
Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
Rape or adultery, where passing fair


Holds on the same, from woman to begin."

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He look'd, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between, Cities of men with lofty gates and towers; Concourse in arms, fierce faces threat'ning war, Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise: Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed, Single, or in array of battle rang'd,


Allur'd them; thence from cups to civil broils.
At length a reverend sire among them came,
And of their doings great dislike declar'd,
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;
But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
Contending; and remov'd his tents far off';
Then from the mountain hewing timber tall,
Began to build a vessel of huge bulk;
Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and height,
Smear'd round with pitch, and in the side a door
Contriv'd; and of provisions laid in large
For man and beast: when lo, a wonder strange!
Of every beast, and bird, and insect small 734
Came sevens, and pairs, and enter'd in, as taught
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




Both horse and foot, nor idly must ring stood: 645
One way a band select from forage drives
A herd of beeves, fair oxen, and fair kine,
From a fat meadow-ground; or fleecy flock,
Ewes and their bleating lambs, over the plain,
Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly, 650
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray;
With cruel tournament the squadrons join;
Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies
With carcasses and arms, th' ensanguin'd field
Deserted others to a city strong-


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Lay siege, encamp'd; by battery, scale, and mine,
Assaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fire;
On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
In other part the sceptred heralds call
To council in the city gates; anon
Gray-headed men and grave, with warriors mix'd,
Assemble, and harangues are heard, but soon
In factious opposition; till at last
Of middle age one rising, eminent


In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong,
Of justice, of religion, truth and peace,
And judginent from above: him old and young
Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands, 669
Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence
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; "O what are these,
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 heaven
Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost ?"

To whom thus Michael: "These are the product
Of those ill-mated marriages thou saw'st;
Where good with bad were match'd, who of them-

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No more was seen; the floating vessel swam 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,
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swam imbark'd.
How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,
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:




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"O visions ill foreseen! better had I Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne My part of evil only, each day's lot Enough to bear; those now, that were dispens'd 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 befall 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, Grievous to bear: but that care now is past, Man is not whom to warn; those few escap'd, Famine and anguish will at last consume, Wand'ring that wat'ry desert. I had hope, When violence was ceas'd, and war on earth, 780 All would have then gone well, peace would have crown'd,





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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
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace.
The conquer'd also, and enslav'd by war,
Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose,
And fear of God, from whom their piety feign'd,
In sharp contest of battle found no aid
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 temp'rance may be tried:
So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd;
Justice and temp'rance, 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
Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
Or violence, he of their wicked ways





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 fix'd,
And now the tops of hills as rocks appear;
With clamour thence the rapid currents drive
Tow'rds the retreating sea their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies,
And after him, the surèr 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 cov'nant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,
Greatly rejoic'd, and thus his joy broke forth:



Shall them admonish, and before them set
The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
And full of peace, denouncing wrath to come
On their impenitence; and shall return



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Of them derided, but of God observ'd
The one just man alive; by his command
Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st,
To save himself and household from amidst
A world devote to universal wrack.
No sooner he, with them of man and beast
Select for life, shall in the ark be lodg'd,
And shelter'd round, but all the cataracts
Of heaven, set open on the earth, shall pour
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 mov'd
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
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 wat❜ry glass Gaz'd 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 tow'rds the deep, who now had stopp'd

But say, what mean those colour'd streaks in heaven,
Distended as the brow of God appeas'd,

Or serve they as a flowery verge to bind
The fluid skirts of that same wat'ry cloud,

Lest it again dissolve and shower the earth ?"


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Corrupting each their way; yet, those remov'd,
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
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set
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 frost,
Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things
Both heaven and earth, wherein the just shall

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