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Of rendering up, and patiently attend
Nor love thy life, nor hate : but what thou liv'st Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n: And now prepare thee for another sight.
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 539 Was heard, of harp and organ; and who mov'd Their stops and chords was seen ; his volant touch Instinct through all proportion slow 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
From under ground) the liquid ore he drain'd 570 Into fic moulds preparid ; from which he formd First his own tools; then, what might else be
wrought Fusil or grav’n in metal. After these, But on the hither side, a different sort From the high neighb'ring hills, which was their
seat, Down to the plain descended : by their guise Just men they seem'd, and all their study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest, 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 best By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet, Created, as thou art, to nobler end Holy and pure, conformity divine.
Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the teuts
To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft;
From man's effeminate slackness it begins, Said th’Angel, who should better hold his place By wisdom and superior gifts receiv'd:
But now prepare thee for another, scene.
He look'd, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between, Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, 640 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 Both horse and foot, nor idly must'ring stood; 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, But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray : 651 With cruel tournament the squadrons join ; Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies With carcasso and arms th' insanguin'd field Deserted : others to a city strong Lay siege, incamp'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 scepter'd heralds call 660 To council in the city gates : anon Grey-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,
To whom thus Michael : These are the product
selves Abhor to join; and by imprudence mix’d, Produce prodigious births of body' or mind. Such were these giants, men of high renown; For in those days might only shall be admir’d, And valor and heroic virtue call'd;
690 To overcome in battle, and subdue Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Of human glory, and for glory done Of triumph, to be stylid greater conquerors,