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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 véllel of huge bulk;
Measur'd by cubit, length and breadth and

height;

730 Smear'd round with pitch; and in the lide a

door Contriv'd; and of provisions laid in large, For man and bealt: when lo, o wonder

ftrange! Of every beast, and bird, and infect small Came levens, and pairs, and enter'd in,

taught

735 Their order: last the fire, and his three sons With their four wives, and God made fast the

door. Meanwhile the south wind rose, and with black

wings Wide-hov'ring, all the clouds, together drove From under Heav'n.; the hills to their

supply

740 Vapor, and exhalation dusk and moilt, Sent

up amain: and now the thicken’d sky Like a dark ceiling stood; down rush'd the

rain Impetuous : and continu'd till the earth No more

feen :

the floating vessel fwum

745

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was

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Uplifted; an secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o'er the waves : all dwellings elle
Fluod overwhelm’d, and them with all their

pomp
Deep under water rollid: sea cover'd sea;
Sea without shore!, and in their palaces, 750
Where luxury late reign’d, sea-monsters

whelp'd
And stabled: of mankind, fo numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swum imbark'd.
How didst thou grive then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy oftspring, end fo fad, 755
Depopulation! Thee another flood,
Of tears and sorrow a flood thee also drown'd,
And lunk thee as thy fons; till gently rear'd
By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last,
‘Tho'comfortless; as when a fai her mourns 760°
His children, all in view destroy'd at once:
And scarce to th’ Angel utter’dst thus thy plaint.

O visions ill foreseen! Better had I -
Liv'd ignorant of future, so had born
My part of evil only, each day's lot 765
Enough to bear: thole now, that were dif-

pens'd
The burden of many ages, on me light
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth
Abortive, to torment me ere their being,
With thought, that they must be. Let no men

feek

770

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Henceforth, to be foretold, what shall befal
Him or his children: evil he may be sure:
Which neither his foreknowing can prevent;
And he the future evil shall no less
In apprehension than in substance feel;

775 Grievous to bear! But that care now is past, Man is not whom to warn: those few escap'd Famin and anguish will at last consume Wand'ring that watry desert. I had hope, When violence was ceas'd, and war on

earth,

780 All would have then gone well, peace would

have crown'd With length of happy days the race of man. But I was far deceiv'd! For now I see Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste. How comes it thus ? Unfold, celestial gui

de!

785 And whether here the race of man will end. To whom thus Michael. Those, whom last

thou saw'st
In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
First seen in acts of prowess eminent
And great exploits ;

exploits ; but of true virtue
void:

790 Who having spilt much blood, and done much

waste, Subduing nations; and achiev'd thereby Fame in the world, 'high titles, and rich preyi

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Shall change their course to pleasure, ease and

floth, Surfeit, and lust; till wantonnels and pride 795 Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. The conquer'd also, and enslav'd by war, Shall with their freedom left all virtue lose And fear of God; from whom their piety

feign'd In sharp contest of battel found no aid 800 Against invaders: therefore coold in zeal, Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure, Worldly or dissolute, on what their Lords Shall leave them to enjoy : for th' earth shall

bear More than enough, that temperance may be

try'd:

805 So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd; 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 810 Offended, fearless of reproach and scorn, Or violence; he of their wicked ways Shall them admonish; and before them set The paths of righteoussness, how much mo

re safe, And full of peace, denouncing wrath to

815 On their impenitence; and shall return

come

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Of them derided. But, of God obferv'd,
The one just man alive, by his command
Shall build a wandrous ark, as thou beheldst,
To save himself and

and household , from
amidst

820 A world devote to universal wrack. No sooner he with them of man and beast Select for life shall in the ark be lodgid, And shelier'd round, but all the cataracts Of Heav'ı set open on the earth (hall pour 825 Rain day and night: all fonntains of the deep Broke up, shall heave the ocean, to usurp Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise Above the highest hills. Then shall this

monnt of Paradise, by might of waves be mov'd 830 Out of his place, push'd by the horned

flood, With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift, Down the great river to the opening gulf, And there take, root and island salt and bare, The haunt of Seals, and Orcs, and Sea-mews

clang;

835 To teach thee, that God attributes to place 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,

840

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