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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,
Which now abated; for the clouds were fled,
Driv'n 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
As after thirst, which made their flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole
With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
His sluices, as the heav'n 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 ence the rapid currents drive
Towards the retreating sea their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies,
And after him, the surer 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 heav'n, over his head beholds
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow
Conspicuous with three listed colours gay,
Betokening peace from God, and covenant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
Greatly rejoic'd, and thus his joy broke forth :
O thou who future things canst represent
As present, heav'nly instructor, I revive
At this last sight, assur'd that man shall live
With all the creatures, and their seed preserve.
Far less I now lament for one whole world
Of wicked sons destroy'd, than I rejoice
For one man found so perfect and so just,
That God vouchsafes to raise another world
From him, and all his anger to forget.
what mean those colour'd streaks in heav'n
Distended as the brow of God appeas'd ?
Or serve they as a flow'ry verge to bind
The fluid skirts of that same wat’ry cloud,
Lest it again dissolve and show'r the earth ?
T' whom th' archangel : Dextrously thou aim'st, So willingly doth God remit his ire, Though late repenting him of man depravid Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw The whole earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh Corrupting each their way; yet those remov'd, Such grace
shall one just man find in his sight, 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 covenant; day and night, Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new, Both heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell.
END OF THE ELEVENTH BOOK.
TAE 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.
As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the archangel paus'd
Betwixt the world destroy'd, and world restorid,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes :
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,
Lab’ring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine and oil; and from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,
With large wine-offerings pour'd and sacred feast,
Shall spend their days in joy unblam'd, and dwell
Long time in peace, by families and tribes
Under paternal rule: till one shall rise
Of proud ambitious heart, who not content