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This is old age ; but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change

To wither’d, weak, and grey; thy lenses, then, 540
Obtruse, all taste of pleature must forego
To what thou halt; 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 lait consume 545
The balm of life. To whoin our ancestor :

Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong
Life much, hent rather how I may be quit
Fairest and easiest of this cumbrous charge,
Which I must keep till my appointed day

Of rendering up, and patiently attend
My diffolution. Michael reply'd :

Nor love thy life, nor hate : but what thou liv'st
Live well; how long or hort permit to heav'n:
And now prepare thee for another sight.

He look'd, and law a spacious plain, whereon
Were tents of various hue : by fome were herds
Of cattle grazing; others, whence the found
Of inftruments, that made rnelodious chime,
Was heard, of harp and organ; and who mov’d
Their stops and chords was teen; his volant touch
Inftinet through all proportion Now and high
Fled and purlu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
In other part food one who, at the forge
La’bring, two masly clods of iron and brass 565
Had melted, (whether found where casual fire
Had waited woods on mountainor in vale,
Down to the veins of eartii, thence gliding hot
To fome cave's mouth, or whether wash'd by stream
From underground,) the liquid ore be drain'd

Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he form’d
Firit his own tools; then what might else be wrought
Full or grav'n in metal. After these,
But on the hither side, a different fort
From the high-neighb'ring hills, which was their leat,
Down to the plain descended : by their guile 57 5
Jutt men they feen’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
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, though grave, ey'd theni, and let their eyes
Rove without reign, till in the amorous net
Fatt caught, they lik’d, and each his liking chose;
And now of love they treat, till th'ev'ning star,
Love's harbinger, appear’d; then all in heat
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke

Hymen, then first to marriage rites invok’d:
With feast and music all the tents relound,
Such happy interview and fair event
Of love and youth not loft, songs, garlands, flowers,
And charming fymphonies, attach'd the heart 595
Of Adam, foon inclin'd to adinit delight,
The bent of Nature ; which he thus express’d:

True opener of mine eyes, prime angel bleit,
Much better seems this vilion, and more hope
Of peaceful Jays portends, than those two past; 600
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worle i
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 tenis thou law'st fo pleasant, were the tents
Of wickedness, wherein thall dweil his race
Who slew his brother ; studious they appear
Of arts that polish life, inventors rare,

Unmindful of their Maker, though his fpirit
Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg’d none.
Yet they a beauteous offspring thall beget;
For that fair female troop shou law'it, that seem'd
Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, fo gay,

625 Yet empty of all good, wherein contiits Women's domestic honour and chief praise ;



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Bred only and completed to the taste
Of luftful appetite, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye. 620
To these that fober 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 finiles
Of these fair atheists, and now swim in joy,
Ere long to twim at Varge; and laugh, for which
The world ere long a world of tears must weep.

To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft:

pity and Mame, that they who to live well
Enter'd fo fair, Mould turn aside to tread

Path's indirect, or in the mid way faint !
But still I see the tenor of man's woe
Holds on the same, from woman to begin.

From man's effeminate flackness it begins,
Said th' angel, who should better hold his place
By wildom and superior gifts receivid :
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,

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 food;
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 paltur’d late, now scatter'd lies
With carcaffes and arms th’insanguin'd field
Deserted : others to a city itrong
Lay fiege, encamp'd; by battery, scale, and nine,
Allaulting ; others from the wall detend



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With dart and javelin, stones and sulphurous fire ;
On each hand flaughter and gigantic deeds.
In other parts the scepter'd heralds call

To council in the city gates: anon
Grey-headed men and grave, with warriors mix'd,
Afemble, and harangues are heard, but soon
In factious opposition, till at last
Of middle age one rising, eminent
In wile deport, fpake much of right and wrong,
Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace,
And judgment from above, him old and young
Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,
Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence
Unleen amid the throng : fo 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 fad : 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 New
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 heav'n
Rescued, had, in his righteoufness, been lost?

To whom thus Michael : These are the product Of thole ill-mated marriages thou saw'it; Where good with bad were match’d, who of themselves Abhor to join ; and by imprudence mix'd

686 Produce prodigious births of body or mind. Such were these giants, men of high renown; For in those days might only shall b'admir’d, And valour and heroic virtue callid;

бра Το

'o 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
Oftriumph, to be stylid greater conquerors,
Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods,
Destroyers rightlier callid and plagues of men.



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Thus fame shall be achiev'd, renown on earth,
And what most merits fame in silence hid.
But he the fev’nth from thee, whom thou beheldit

The only righteous in a world perverse,
And therefore hated, therefore so belet
With foes for daring single to be juit,
And utter odious truth, that God would come

To judge them with his faints: him the Most High
Rapt in a balmy cloud, with winged steeds
Did, as thou saw'lt, receive, to walk with God
High in salvation, and the climes of bliss,
Exempt from death; to show thee what reward
Awaits the good, the rest what punishment ; 710
Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold.

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 befel,
Rape or adultery, where passing fair
Allur’d them ; thence from cups to civil broils.
At length a reverend fire among them came,
And of their doings great dislike declar'd, 720
And testify'd against their ways ; he oft
Frequented their assemblies, whereso met,
Triumphs of festivals, and to them preachd
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 vesiel of huge bulk,
Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and height,
Smear'd round with pitch, and in the side a door 731
Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large ,
For man and beast : when lo a wonder strange !
Of every veait, and bird, and insect small,
Came fev'ns, and pairs, and enter'd in, as taught
Their order : last the fire, and his three fons

736 With their four wives ; and God made falt the door.


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