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In gems and wanton dress; to th' harp they sung
Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on.
The men, though grave, ey'd them, and let their eyes
Rove without rein, till in the amorous net 586
Fast caught, they like’d, and each his liking chose:
And now of love they treat, till ther’ning-ftar,
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 resound.
Such happy interview and fair event
Of love and youth not loft, fongs, garlands, flowers,
And tharming fymphonies, attach'd the heart
395 Of Adam, foon inclin'd admit delight, The bent of nature; which he thus express'd.
True opener of mine eyes, prime angel bless’d, Much better seems this vision, and more hope Of peaceful days portends, than those two palt: 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,
605 Holy and pure, conformity divine, Those tents thou saw'lt so pleasant, were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who flew his brother; ftudious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare,
610 Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledge'd none. Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget : For that fair female troop thou saw'it, that seem'd Of goddesses, so blithe, fo smooth, so gay,
615 Yet empty of all good, wherein consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ;
Bred only and completed to the taste
Of lufful appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye. 620
To these, that sober race of men, whose lives
Religious titled them the fons of God,
Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame
Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,
625 Erelong to swim at large ; and laugh, for which The world erelong a world of tears must weep.
To whom thus Adam, of short joy hereft.
O pity and shame, that they who to live well
Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread 620
Paths indirect, or in the midway faint !
But still I fee the tenour of man's woe
Holds on the fame, from women to begin.
From man's effeminate flackness it begins,
Said th' angel, who should better hold his place 635
By wisdom, and superiour gifts receiv'd.
But now prepare thee for another scene.
He look'd, and faw wide territory spread
Before him, towns, and rural works between,
Cities of men with lofty gates and towers,
Concourse in arins, 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 range'd
Both horse and foot, nor idly must'ring stood;
One way a band fele&t 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 ; fcarce with life the shepherds fly, 650
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray;
With cruel tournament the squadrons join ;
Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies
With carcases and arms th' infanguin'd field
Deserted : others to a city strong
Lay fiege, incamp'd; by batt’ry, scale, and mine,
Affaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and jav'lin, stones and fulph'rous fire ;
On each hand flaughter and gigantic deeds.
In other part the scepter'd heralds call
To council in the city-gates: anon
Gray-headed men and grave, with warriours mix’d,
Assemble, and harangues are heard, but soon
In factious oppofition; till at last
Of middle age one rising, eminent
66; In wife deport, spake much of right and wrong, Of justice, of religion, truth and peace, And judgement from above: him old and young, Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands, Had not a cloud defcending snatch'd him thence 670 Unseen amid the throng: fo violence Proceeded, and oppreflion, 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, 675 Death's ministers, pot men, who thus deal death Inhumanly to men, and multiply Ten thousandfold the fin of him who few 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 Heaven Rescu'd, had in his righteousness been lost ?
To whom thus Michael. These are the product Of those ill-mated marriages thou saw'st; 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 be admir'd,
And valour and heroic virtue call'd;
To overcome in battle, and subdue
Nations, and bring home fpoils with infinite
Man-flaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
Of human glory, and for glory done
Of triumph, to be style'd great conquerours,
Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods;
Destroyers rightlier callid, and plagues of men.
Thus fame shall be achiev'd, renown on earth,
And what most merits fame in silence hid.
But he, the sev’nth from thee, whom thou beheldit
The only righteous in a world perverse,
701 And therefore hated, therefore so beset With foes, for daring single to be justi, 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'st, 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; Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold.
He look’d, and saw the face of things quite change’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,
715 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 And of their doings great dislike declar'd, 720 And testify'd against their ways; he oft Frequented their assemblies, wherefo met,
Triumphs or festivals, and to them preach'd
Conversion and repentance, as to souls
In prison under judgements imminent :
But all in vain : which when he faw, he ceas'd
Contending, and remov'd lis tents far off ;
Then from the mountain hewing timber tall,
Began to build a vessel of huge bulk;
Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and height;
Smear'd round with pitch ; and in the side a door
Contriv’d; and of provisions laid in large
For man and bealt: when lo, a wonder strange !
Of every beast, and bird, and infect small
Came fev'ns, and pairs, and enter'd in, as taught 735
Their order : last the fire, and his three fons,
With their four wives; and God made fast the door.
Mean while the south-wind rose, and with black wings
Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove
From under heaven; the hills to their supply 740
Vapour, and exhalation dulk and moist,
Sent up amain ; and now the thicken’d sky
Like a dark cieling stood; down rush'd the rain
Impetuous, and continu'd, till the earth
No more was seen : the floating vessel fwum 745
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o'er the waves : all dwellings effe
Flood overwhelm’d, and them with all their pomp
Deep under water rollid; fea cover'd sea,
Sea without hore; and in their palaces
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled ; of mankind, fo numerous late,
All left, in one fmall bottom fwum imbark'd.
How didst thon grieve then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy offspring, end fo fad, 795
Depopulation ? thee another flood,
Of tears and forrow' a flood, thee also drown'd,