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Betokening peace from God, and covenant new :
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,
Greatly rejoiced; and thus his joy broke forth:

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O thou, who future things canst represent As present, heavenly instructor! I revive At this last sight; assured that man shall live, With all the creatures, and their seed preserve. Far less I now lament for one whole world Of wicked sons destroy'd, than I rejoice 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 streaks in heaven

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Distended, as the brow of God appeased?
Or serve they, as a flowery verge, to bind
The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud,
Lest it again dissolve, and shower the earth?
To whom the archangel: Dextrously thou aim'st;
So willingly doth God remit his ire,

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Though late repenting him of man depraved;
Grieved at his heart, when looking down he saw
The whole earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each their way; yet, those removed,
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight,
That he relents, not to blot out mankind;
And makes a covenant never to destroy
The earth again by flood; nor let the sea
Surpass his bounds; nor rain to drown the world,
With man therein or beast; but, when he brings
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set
His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to look,

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And call to mind his covenant: day and night,
Seed time and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
Shall hold their course; till fire purge all things

new,

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Both heaven and earth, wherein the just shall

dwell.

NOTES ON BOOK XI.

1 VERSE 5. Sighs now breathed. See Rom. viii. 26:"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."-HUME.

2 Ver. 8. Yet their port. The poet could not have thought of a more apt similitude to illustrate his subject, (than of Deucalion and Pyrrha) and he has plainly fetched it from Ovid, Met. i. 318, &c. Milton has been often censured for his frequent allusions to the heathen mythology, and for mixing fables with sacred truths: but it may be observed in favour of him, that what he borrows from the heathen mythology, he commonly applies only by way of similitude; and a similitude from thence may illustrate his subject as well as from any thing else.-NEWTON.

Ovid, who was a favourite with Milton, might be so among other reasons from so many of his subjects being in a certain degree founded on Scripture, or at least having a

palpable relation thereto; as the creation, deluge, foreshowing of the destruction of the world by fire, &c.— DUNSTER.

3 Ver. 18. With incense. See Psalm cxli. 2:-" Let my prayer be set before thee as incense."-TODD.

4 Ver. 84. O sons. This whole speech is founded upon

Gen. iii. 22-24.-NEWTON.

every

Ver. 128. Four faces each. Ezekiel says that " one had four faces," x. 14; see also, x. 12 :-" And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, were full of eyes round about."-NEWTON.

Ver. 135. Leucothea. The white goddess, as the name in Greek imports: the same with Matuta in Latin. Matuta is the early morning, that ushers in the Aurora rosy with the sunbeams, according to Lucretius, v. 655. and from Matuta is derived matutinus, "early in the morning." This is the last morning in the poem; the morning of the fatal day, wherein our first parents were expelled out of Paradise.-NEWTON.

7 Ver. 186. Two birds of gayest plume. Such omens are not unusual in the poets: see Virg. Æn. i. 393; and Æn. xii. 247. But these omens have a singular beauty here, as they show the change that is going to be made in the condition of Adam and Eve; and nothing could be invented more apposite and proper for this purpose;—an eagle pursuing two beautiful birds, and a lion chasing a fine hart and hind; and both to the eastern gate of Paradise; as Adam and Eve were to be driven out by the angel at that gate.-NEWTON.

These two incidents are indeed inimitably beautiful and affecting.

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