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Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame, And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe we spread : The bristled Boar in infant gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade. Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom, 95 Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.
III. I. “Edward, lo! to sudden fate (Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.)
Half of thy heart we consecrate. (The web is wove. The work is done.)
100 Stay, 0, stay! nor thus forlorn Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn: In yon bright track, that fires the western skies, They melt, they vanish from my eyes. But, O! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height 105
Descending slow, their glittering skirts unroll! Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul! No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail. All hail, ye genuine kings; Britannia's issue, hail! 110
“Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
In bearded majesty appear.
In the midst a form divine !
115 Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
Attemper’d sweet to virgin-grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air!
What strains of vocal transport round her play! 120 Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings, Waves in the eye of heaven her many-colour'd wings.
III. 3. “The verse adorn again,
125 Fierce War, and faithful Love, And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.
In buskin'd measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast. 130
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
134 Fond, impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud,
Raised by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The different doom our fates assign.
140 Be thine despair, and sceptred care;
To triumph, and to die, are mine.” He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height, Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.
THE ARGUMENT. 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.
“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,
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,
15 With large wine-offerings pour'd and sacred feast, Shall spend their davs in joys 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 20
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 bis game) 25
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous :
A mighty hunter thence he shall he 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 35
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 tower, whose top may reach to heaven;
And get themselves a name ; lest, far dispersed 40
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, 45
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 mock'd they storm: great laughter was in heaven,
And looking down to see the hubbub strange, 55
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 tower 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,
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being: 80
Reason in man obscured, or not obey'd,
Iinmediately inordinate desires,