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Fairest and easiest, of this eumbrous eharge;
Whieh I must keep till my appointed day 500
Of rendering up, and patiently attend
My dissolution. Miehael replied:
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou livest
He look'd, and saw a spaeious plain, whereon
Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers,
True opener of mine eyes, prime angel blest;
To whom thus Miehael: Judge not what is best By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet; Created as thou art, to nobler end 000 Holy and pure, eonformity divine. Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents Of wiekedness, wherein shall dwell his raee Who slew his brother; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare; 010 Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them; but they his gifts aeknowledged 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, 010 Yet empty of all good, wherein eonsists Woman's domestie honour and ehief praise; Bred only and eompleted to the taste Of lustful appetenee, to sing, to danee, To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye;— 020 To these that sober raee of men, whoso lives Relierious 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, 825 Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for whieh The world ero long a world of tears must weep.
To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft: 0 pity and shame, that they, who to live well Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread 030 Paths indireet, or in the midway faint! But still I see the tenour of man's woe Holds on the same, from woman to begin.
From man's effeminate slaekness it begins, Said the angel, who should bettor hold his plaee 635 By wisdom, and superiour gifts reeeived. But now prepare thee for another seene.
He look'd, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between; Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, 040 Coneourse in arms, lieree faees threatening war, Giants of mighty bone aud bold emprise; Part wield their arms, part eurb the foaming steed, Single or in array of battle ranged
Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood: 545 One way a band seleet from forage drives Of trinmph, to be styled great oonquerours, ees
A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine,
From a fat meadow-ground; or fleeey floek,
Ewes and their bloating lambs over the plain,
Their booty; searee with life the shepherds fly, 000
But eall in aid, whieh makes a bloody fray:
With eruel tournament the squadrons join;
Where eattle pastured late, now seatter'd lies
With eareases and arms the ensanguined field,
Deserted: others to a eity strong 05S
Lay siege, eneamp'd; by battery, seale, and mine,
Assaulting: others from the wall defend
With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fire;
On eaeh hand slaughter, and gigantie deeds.
In other part the seeptred heralds eall 000
To eouneil, in the eity-gates; anon
Gray-headed men and grave, with warriours mix'd,
Assemble, and harangues are heard, but soon
In faetious opposition; till at last
Of middle age one rising, eminent 00s
In wise deport, spake mueh of right and wrong,
Of justiee, of religion, truth, and peaee,
And judgment from above: him old and young
Exploded, and had seized with violent hands,
Had not a eloud deseending snateh'd him thenee, en
Unseen amid the throng: so violenee
Proeeeded, 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: 0, what are these, 070
Death's ministers, not men? who thus deal death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply
Ten thousand-fold the sin of him who slow
His brother: for of whom sueh massaere
Make they, but of their brethren; men of men? 080
But who was that just man, whom had not Heaven
Reseued, had in his righteousness been lost?
To whom thus Miehael: These are the produet
Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods;
Destroyers rightlier eall'd, and plagues of men.
Thus fame shall be aehieved, renown on earth;
And what most merits fame in silenee hid.
But he, the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst 700
The only righteous in a world perverse,
And therefore hated, therefore so beset
With foes, for daring single to be just.
And utter odious truth, that God would eome
To judge them with his saints; him the Most High, 708
Rapt in a balmy eloud with winged steeds,
Did, as thou saw'st, reeeive, to walk with God
High in salvation and the elimes of bliss,
Exempt from death; to show thee what reward
Awaits the good, the rest what punishment; 710
Whieh now direet thine eyes, and soon behold.
He look'd, and saw the faee of things quite ehanged;
those glorious deeds done.) to be styled, l 710. Reverend sire, Noah.
4e.—711. Whieb, governed by behold. I 724. To souls in prison. 1 Pet . iii. 10. 20. Impetnous; and eontinued, till the earth
No more was seen: the floating vessel swum 7«
Uplifted, and seeure 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 eover'd sea,
Sea without shore; and in their palaees, "50
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled: of mankind, so numerous late,
All left in one small bottom swum imbark'd.
How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thv offspring, end so sad, 758
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 the angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last,
Though eomfortless; as when a father mourns 7fl0
His ehildren all in view destrov'd at onee;
And searee to the angel utter'Jst thus thy plaint:
0 visions ill foreseen! better had I Lived ignorant of future! so had borne My part of evil only, eaeh day's lot 705 Knough to bear; those now, that were dispensed The burden of many ages, on me light At onee, by my foreknowledge gaining birth Abortive, to torment me ere their being, With thought that they must be. Let no man seek 770 Heneeforth to be foretold, what shall befall Him or his ehildren; evil he may be sure, Whieh neither his foreknowing ean prevent; And he the future evil shall no less
In apprehension than in substanee feel, 775
Grievous to bear: but that eare now is past;
Man is not whom to warn: those few eseaped
Famine and anguish will at last eonsume,
Wandering that watery desert: I had hope,
When violenee was eeased, and war on earth, 780
All would have then gone well; peaee would have erown'd
With length of happy days the raee of man;
But I was far deeeived; for now I see
Peaee to eorrupt no less than war to waste.
How eomes it thus? unfold, eelestial ijuide, 785
And whether here the raee of man will end.
To whom thus Miehael: Those, whom last thou saw'st
Who, having spilt mueh blood, and done mueh waste,