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Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot ;,
One Man except, the only Son of light
In a dark Age, against example good,
Against allurement, custom, and a World 870
Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
Or violence, he of their wicked ways
Shall them admonish, and before them set
The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
And full of peace, denouncing wrath to come
On their impenitence; and fall return
of them derided, but of God observ'd
The one just Man alive; by his command
Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou behelda,
To save himself and houfhold from amidft
A World devote to universal rack.
No sooner he with them of Man and Beast
Select for life fall in the Ark be lodg'd,
And shelter'd round, but all the Cataracts
of Heav'n set open on the Earth Mall pour
Rain day and night, all fountains of the Deep
Broke up, thall heave the Ocean to usurp
Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
Above the highest Hills : then shall this Mount
Of Paradise by might of Waves be mov'd 830
Out of his place, push'd by the horned food,
With all his verdure fpoil'd, and Trees adrifo
Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,
And there take root an Iland salt and bare,
The haunt of Scales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang
To teach thee that God attributes to place
No sanctity, if none be thícher 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, 843
Which now abated, for the Clouds were fed,
Driv'n by a keen North-wind, that blowing dry
Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decay'd;
And the clear Sun on his wide watry Glass
Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew, 845
As after thirst, which made their flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that fole
With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows fhut.
The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground
Falt on the top of some high mountain fixt.
And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appear;
With clamour thence the rapid Currents drive
Towards the retreating Sea their furious tyde,
Forthwich from out the Ark a Raven flies,
835 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 fign: Anon dry ground appears, and from his Ark The ancient Sire descends with all his Train; Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout Graceful to Hear'n, over his head beholds
A dewy Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow 863
Conspicuous with three listed colours gay,
Betok’ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
Greatly rejoycd, and thus his joy broke forth.
O thou who future things canst represent 870
As present, Heav'nly instructor, I revive
At tliis last sight, assur'd that Man shall live
With all the Creatures, and their seed preserve.
Far less I now lament for one whole Worid
Of wicked Sons destroy'd, than I rejoyce
For one Man found so perfect and so just,
That God vouchsafes to raise another World
From him, and all his anger to forget.
But say, what mean those colour'd freaks in Heav'n,
Diftended as the Brow of God appeasid, 880
Or serve they as a flowry verge to bind
The Auid skirts of that same watry Cloud,
Let it again dissolve and how'r the Earth?.
To whom th’Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'it; So willingly doch God remit his ire,
885 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 fieth Corrupting each their way; yet those remov'd, Such grace shall one juit Man find in his fight, 890 That he relents, not to blo: out mankind, And makes a Covenant never to destroy The Earth again by food, nor iet the sea.
Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World
With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings 895
Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look
And call to mind his Cov’nant : Day and Night,
Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new,
Roth Heav'n and Earth, wherein the juft ihalldwell.
The ARGUMENT. The 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, bis Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascen
. tion; the state of the Church till biler cond 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 compos'd to quietness of mind and submision. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery Sword waving behind them, and the Cherrebim taking i beir Station to guard the Place,