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As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the Arch-Angel

paus'd

Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor’d,
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;
Labouring 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
With fair equality, fraternal state,
Will arrogate dominion undeserv’d
Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Concord and law of nature from the earth;
Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game)
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous :
A mighty hunter thence he shall be styl’d
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
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 dispers'd
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,
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,
And hear the din : Thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeas’d.
Q 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 :
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires,
And upstart passions, catch the government
From reason; and to servitude reduce
Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits
Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God, in judgement just,
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
His outward freedom: Tyranny must be ;
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low

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From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex’d,
Deprives them of their outward liberty;
Their inward lost: Witness the irreverent son
Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse ; till God at last,
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invok’d,
A nation from one faithful man to spring :
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship: 0, that men
(Canst thou believe ?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the patriarch liv’d, who, 'scap'd the floods-
As to forsake the living God, and fall
To worship their own work in wood and stone
For Gods! Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes
To call by vision, from his father's house,
His kindred, and false Gods, into a land
Which he will show him; and from him will raise
A mighty nation; and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his seed

VOL. II,

Dd

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