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In gems and wanton dress; to th' harp they fung
Soft amorous ditcies, and in dance came on,
The men, tho' grave, ey'd them, and let their eyes
Rove without rein, till in the amorous net
Fast caught, they lik’d, and each his liking chofe :
And now of love they treat, till th’ įvening-star,
Love's harbinger, appear'd; then all in heat
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke
590 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 charming fymphonies, attach'd the heart 595 Of Adam, soon inclin'd r admit delight, The bent of nature'; which he thus exprefs'd.
True opener of mine eyes, prime angel blefs'd, Much better seems this vifion, 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 belt By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet, Created as thou art, to nobler end, Holy andi pure, conformity divine. Those tents thou faw'st fo pleasant were the tents: Of wickedness, wherein shall.dwell his race Who slew his brother ; ftudious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare,
6101 Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spi'rit Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none. Yet they a beauteons offspring shall beget'; For that fair female troop thou faw'lt, that seem'd Of goddesses, fo blithe, to smooth, fo gay, Yet empty of all'good, wherein confifts Woman's dometic honour and chief praife;
Bred only and completed to the taste
Of luftful 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 sons of God.
Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame
Ignobly, to the trains and to the fmiles
Of these fair Atheilts, 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 jry bereft.
O pity' and shame, that they who to live well
Enter'd fo fair, should turn afide to tread 630
Paihs indirect, or in the midway faint !
But ftill 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 fhould better hold his place 635
By wisdom, and fuperior 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, 640
Concourse in arms, fierce faces threat'ning war,
Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise :
Part wield their arms, part curb the foaining steed,
Single or in array of battle rang’d:
Both horse and foot, nor idly must'ring food; (45
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; tcarce with life the shepherds fly, 630
But callin aid, which makes a bloody fray ;
With cruel tournament the squadrons join;
Where cattle paftur'd late, now scatter'd lies
With carcases and arms th’insanguin'd field
Deserted : others to a city strong
Lay fiege, incamp'd; by batt'ry, feale, and mine,
Alfaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and jav'lin, stones and fulph'rous fire ;
On each hand Naughter and gigantic deeds.
In other parts the scepter'd heralds call 660
To council in the city-gates: anon
Gray-headed men and grave, with warriors mix’d,
Assemble, and harangues are heard; but foon
In factious opposition, till at last
Of middle age one rising, eininent
In wife 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 feiz'd with violent hands,
Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence 670
Unseen amid the throng: fo violence
Proceeded, and oppreffion, and sword-law
Thro' 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, not men, who thus deal death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply
Ten thoufandfold the fin of him who flew
His brother; for of whom such mafsacre
Make they but of their brethren, men of men ? 680
But who was that just man, whom had not hear'a:
Rescu'd, had in his righteousnefs been loft ?
To whom thus Michael. These are the produd
Of thofe ill-mated marriages thou faw'ft?
Where good with bad were match'd, who of themfelves
Abhor to join ; and, by imprudence mix'd, 685
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 fubdue
Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
Man-flaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
Of human glory, and for glory done
Of triumph; to be stylid great conquerors,
695 Patrons of mankind, gods, and fons of gods; Destroyers rightlier call's, and plagues of men. Thus fame shall be achiev'd, renown on earth, And what most merits fame in filence hid. But he, the feventh from thee, whom thou beheldit The only righteous in a world perverse,
701 And therefore hated, therefore fo beset With foes, for daring fingle to be just, : And utter odions 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 faw't, receive, to walk with God High in falvation, 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 foon 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,
715 Marrying or prostituting, as befel, Rape or adultery, where pafling 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, where fo met,
Triumphs or festivals, and to them preach'd
Conversion and repentance, as to fouls
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 vessel of huge bulk ;
Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and heighth;
Smear'd round with pitch; and in the side a door
Contriv'd; and of provisions laid in large
For man and beast; when lo, a wonder itrange !
Of every beast, and bird, and in feet (mall
Came sev'ns, and pairs, and enter'd in, as taught 735
Their order : Jast the fire, and his three sons,
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 chicken'd sky
Like a dark cieling stood ; down ruth'd the rain
Impetuous, and continu'd till the earth
No more was seen : the floating vessel (wum 745
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o'er the waves; all dwellings else
Flood overwhelm'd, and then with all their pomp
Deep under water rollid ; sea cover'd fea,
Sea without shore ; and in their palaces 750
Where luxury late reign'd, fea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late,
All left in one small bottom swum imbark'da
How didit thou grieve then, Adams, to behold
The end of all thy offspring, end fo fad,
De ulation ! thee another flood,
Of tears and forrow' a flood, thee also drown'd,