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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK XII.

THE ARGUMENT,

The angel Michael continues from the flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abra

ham, comes by degrees to explain who that seed of the woman shall be which was promised Adem and Eve in the fall. His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension ; the state of the church till his second 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 com passed lo quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery word waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.

AS one who in his journey baits at noon,
Tho' bent on speed; so here the archangel paus'd
Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor'd,
If Adam ought perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes. 5

« Thus thou hast seen one world begin and end;
And man as from a second stock proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense. 10
Henceforth what is to come I will relate,
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.

“This second source of men, while yet but few, And while the dread of judgment past remains Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity, 15 With some regard to what is just and right, Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace, Lab'ring the soil and reaping plenteous crop, Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock, Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,

20 With large wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred feast, Shall spend their days in joy unblam'd, and dwell Long time in peace, by families and tribes, Under paternal

rule: till one shall rise Of proud ambitious heart, who, not content 25 With fair equality, fraternal state, Will arrogate dominion undeserv'd Over his brethren, and quite dispossess Concord and law of nature from the earth, Hunting (and men, not beasts, shall be his game) 30 With war and hostile snare such as refuse Subjection to his empire tyrannous : A mighty hunter thence he shall be styl'd Before the Lord, as in despite of heaven, Or from heaven claiming second sov'reignty; 35 And from rebellion shall derive his name, Though of rebellion others he accuse. He with a crew, whom like ambition joins With him or under him to tyrannize,

39 Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge, Boils out from under ground, the mouth of hell : Of brick, and of that stuff they cast to build A city' and tower, whose top may reach to heaven; And get themselves a name, lest, far dispers'd 45 In foreign lands, their memory be lost, Regardless whether good or evil fame. But God, who oft descends to visit men Unseen, and through their habitations walks To mark their doings, them beholding soon, 50 Comes down to see their city, ere the tower Obstruct heaven-towers and in derision sets

Upon their tongues a various spirit, to raze
Quite out their native language, and instead
To

sow a jangling noise of words unknown. 55
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the builders ; each to other calls
Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rages
As mock'd, they storm: great laughter was in

heaven, And looking down, to see the hubbub strange 60 And hear the din; thus was the building left Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd."

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd: "O execrable son, so to aspire Above his brethren, to himself assuming 65 Authority usurp'd, from God not given: He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl, Dominion absolute; that right we hold By his donation; but man over men He made not lord: such title to himself 70 Reserving, human left from human free. But this usurper his encroachment proud Stays not on man; to God his tower intends Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food Will he convey up thither to sustain

75 Himself and his rash army, where thin air Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross, And famish him of breath, if not of bread ?"

To whom thus Michael: “Justly thou abhorr'st That son, who on the quiet state of men

80 Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue Rational liberty; yet know withal, Since thy original lapse, true liberty Is lost, which always with right reason dwells Twin'd, and from t.er hath no dividual being. 85 Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd, Immediately inordinate desires And upstart passions catch the government From reason, and to servitude reduce Man till then free. Therefore since he permits 90 Within himself unworthy powers to reign Over free reason, God in judgment just Subjects him from without to violent lords; Who oft as undeservedly inthral His outward freedom: tyranny must be,

95 Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse, Yet sometimes nations will decline so low From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd, Deprives them of their outward liberty,

100 Their inward lost. Witness th' irreverent son Of him who built the ark, who for the shane Done to his father heard his heavy curse,

Servant of servants,' on his vicious race.

Swallows him with his host, but them lets pass Thus will this latter, as the former world, 105 As on dry land between two crystal walls, Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last, Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw

Divided, till his rescued gain their shore. His presence from among them, and avert

Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend, His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth

Though present in his angel, who shall go

201 To leave them to their own polluted ways;

110
Before them in a cloud, and pillar

of fire, And one peculiar nation to select

By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire, From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,

To guide them in their journey, and remove A nation from one faithful man to spring:

Behind them, while th' obdurate king pursues. 205 Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,

All night he

will pursue, but his approach Bred up in idol-worship. Ó that men 115 Darkness defends between till morning watch, (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown, Then through the fiery pillar and the cloud While yet the patriarch liv'd, who scap'd the flood, God, looking forth, will trouble all his host, As to forsake the living God, and fall

And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command, To worship their own work in wood and stone Moses once more his potent rod extends For gods! Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys; To call by vision from his father's house, 121 On their embattled ranks the waves return, His kindred and false gods, into a land

And overwhelm their war: the race elect, Which he will show him, and from him will raise Safe towards Canaan, from the shore advance 215 A mighty nation, and upon him shower

Through the wild desert, not the readiest way His benediction so, that in his seed

125 Lest entring on the Canaanite alarm'd
Al nations shall be bless'd; he straight obeys, War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes. Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith Inglorious life with servitude; for life

220 He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil To noble and ignoble is more sweet Ur of Chaldea, passing now the ford

130

Untraind in arms, where rashness leads not on. To Haran, after him a cumbrous train

This also shall they gain by their delay Of herds, and flocks, and numerous servitude ; In the wide wilderness, there they shall found Not wand'ring poor, but trusting all his wealth Their government, and their great senate choose 225 With God, who cali'd him, in a land unknown. Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd: Canaan he now attains; I see his tents

135 God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top Pitch'd about Shechem, and the neighb'ring plain Shall tremble, he descending, will himself Of Moreh; there by promise he receives

In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpet's sound, Gift to his progeny of all that land,

Ordain them laws; part such as appertain 230 From Hamath northward to the desert south, 139 To civil justice, part religious rites (Things by their names I call, though yet unnam'd) Of sacrifice, informing them, by types From Hermon east to the great western sea;

And shadows, of that destin'd Seed to bruise Mount Hermon, yonder sea, each place behold The serpent, by what means he shall achieve In prospect, as I point them; on the shore

Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God 235 Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream To mortal ear is dreadful; they beseech Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons

145

That Moses might report to them his will, Shall dwell to Seir, that long ridge of bills.

And terror cease: he grants what they besought, This ponder, that all nations of the earth

Instructed that to God is no access Shall in his seed be blessed; by that seed

Without mediator, whose high office now 240 Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise Moses in figure bears, to introduce The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon 150 One greater, of whose day he shall foretell, Plainlier shall be reveald. This patriarch bless'd, Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,

And all the prophets in their age, the times

Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus laws and rites A son, and of his son a grandchild leaves,

Establish'd, such delight hath God in men,

245 Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;

Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes
The grandchild with twelve sons increas'd departs Among them to set up his tabernacle,
From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd 156 The Holy One with mortal men to dwell:
Egypt, divided by the river Nile;

By his prescript a sanctuary is fram'd
See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths
Into the sea; to sojourn in that land,

of cedar, overlaid with gold, therein

250

An ark, and in the ark his testimony, He comes invited by a younger son

160

The records of his covenant, over these In time of dearth; a son whose worthy deeds A mercy-seat of gold between the wings Raise him to be the second in that realm

Of two bright cherubim; before him burn Of Pharaoh: there he dies, and leaves his race Seven lamps, as in a zodiac representing 255 Growing into a nation; and now grown,

The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks

165 Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night, To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests

Save when they journey, and at length they come,
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them Conducted by his angel, to the land
Inhospitably', and kills their infant males: (slaves Promis'd to Abraham and his seed. The rest 260
Till by two brethren (those two brethren call Were long to tell, how many battles fought,
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim 170 How many kings destroy'd and kingdoms won,
His people from inthralment, they return

Or how the sun shall in mid-heaven stand still
With glory' and spoil back to their promis d land. A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
But first the lawless tyrant, who denies
To know their God, or message to regard,

Man's voice commanding, 'Sun in Gibeon stand, 205

And thou moon in the vale of Ajalon, Must be compell’d by signs and judgments dire; 175 Till Israel overcome;' so call the third To blood unshed the rivers must be turn'd;

From Abraham, son of Isaac, and from him Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win." With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land; His cattle must of rot and murrain die;

Here Adam interpos'd: "O sent from heaven, 270 Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, 180 Enlight'ner of my darkness! gracious things And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail, Thou hast reveal'd, those chiefly which concern Hail mix'd with fire, must rend th' Egyptian sky, Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find And wheel on th' earth, devouring where it rolls; What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain,

Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much

eas'd. A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down 185 Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green;

Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts what wculd become

275 Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,

Of me and all mankind; but now I see Palpable darkness, and blot out three days;

His day, in whom all nations shall be bless'd Last with one midnight stroke all the first born Favour unmerited by me, who sought Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means. The river-dragon tam'd at length submits 191 Yet this I apprehend not, why to those 280) To let his sojourers depart, and oft

Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth, Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as ice

So many and so various laws are given. More harden'd after thaw, till in his rage

So many laws argue so many sins Pursuing whom he late dismiss'd, the sea 195 Among them; bow can God with such reside ? 284

[graphic]

To whom thus Michael: “Doubt not but that sin “O prophet of glad tidings, finisher 375
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;

Of utmost hope ! now clear I understand [rain;
And therefore was law given them to evince

What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in
Their natural pravity, by stirring up

Why our great expectation should be called
Sin against law to fight: that when they see

The Seed of Woman. Virgin Mother, hail!
Law can discover sin, but not remove,

290 High in the love of Heaven, yet from my loins 380
Save by those shadowy expiations weak,

Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude Of God Most High ; so God with man unites.
Some blood more precious must be paid for man, Needs must the serpent now his capital bruise
Just for unjust, that in such righteousness,

Expect with mortal pain: say where and when
To them by faith imputed, they may tind

295 Their fight, what siroke shall bruise the victor's
Justification towards God, and peace

heel?"

385
Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease, nor man the moral part

To whom thus Michael: “Dream not of their
Perform, and, not performing, cannot live.

As of a duel, the local wounds

(fi
So law appears imperfect, and but given 300 Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son
With purpose to resign them in full time

Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foi?
Up to a better covenant, disciplin'd

Thy enemy; Nor so is overcome

390 From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit, Satan, whose fall from heaven, a deadlier bruise, From imposition of strict laws to free

Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound:
Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear 305 Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
fo filial, works of law to works of faith.

Not by destroying Satan, but his works
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God In thee and in thy seed. Nor can this be, 395
Highly belov'd, being but the minister

But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;

Obedience to the law of God, impos'd
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call, 310 On penalty of death, and suffering death,
His name and office bearing, who shall quell The penalty to thy transgression due,
The adversary serpent, and bring back,

And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
Through the world's wilderness, long wanderd man So only can high justice rest appaid.

401
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.

The law of God exact he shall fulfil
Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan plac'd, 315 Both by obedience and by love, though love
Long time shall dwell and prosper; but when sins Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment
National interrupt their public peace,

He shall endure by coming in the flesh 405
Provoking God to raise them enemies;

To a reproachful life and cursed death,
From whom as oft he saves them penitent,

Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
By judges first, then under kings; of whom 320 In his redemption, and that his obedience
The second, both for piety renown'd,

Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive

To save them, not their own, though legal works.
Irrevocable, that his regal throne

For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, 411
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing

Seiz'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemn'd
All prophecy, that of the royal stock

325 A shameful and accurs'd,

nail'd to the cross
of David (so I name this king) shall rise

By his own nation, slain for bringing life;
A Son, the woman's seed to thee foretold,

But to the cross he nails thy enemies,

415
Poretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust The law that is against thee, and the sins
All nations, and to kings foretold, of kings

Of all mankind, with him there crucified,
The last, for of his reign shall be no end. 330 Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
But first a long succession must ensue,

In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom fam'd, But soon revives; death over him no power 420
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents

Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Wand'ring, shall in a glorious temple' inshrine. Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise
Such follow him as shall be register'd

335 Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll, Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems,
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults,

His death for man, as many as offer'd life 425
Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense

Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
God, as to leave them, and expose their land By faith not void of works. This godlike act (died,
Their city', his temple, and his holy ark, 340 Annuls thy doom, the death, thou shouldst have
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey

In sin for ever lost from life; this act

429
To that proud city, whose high walls thou saw'st Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength,
left in confusion, Babylon thence callid.

Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms,
There in captivity he lets them dwell

And fix far deeper in his head their stings
The space of seventy years, then brings them back, Than temp'ral death shall bruise the victor's heel,
Remeinb'ring mercy, and his covenant sworn 346 Or theirs whom he redeems, a death-like sleep,
To David, stablish'd as the days of heaven.

A gentle wafting to immortal life.

435 Return'd from Babylon, by leave of kings,

Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Their lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God Longer on earth than certain times t'appear
They first re-edify, and for a while

350 To his disciples, men who in his life
In mean estate live moderate, till grown

Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow; To teach all nations what of him they learn'd 440
But first among the priests dissention springs, And his salvation, them who shall believe
Men who attend the altar, and should most Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign
Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings 355 Of washing them from guilt of sin to life
Upon the temple' itself: at last they seize

Pure, and in mind prepard if so befall,
The sceptre, and regard not David's sons.

For death, like that which the Redeemer died. 445
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true

All nations they shall teach; for from that day
Anointed king Messiah might be born

Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Barr'd of his right: yet at his birth a star, 360 Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons
Unseen before in heaven, proclaims him come, Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world;
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
So in his seed all nations shall be bless'd.

450
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold. Then to the heaven of heavens shall he ascend
His place of birth a solemn angel tells

With victory, triumphing through the air
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night; 365 Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
They gladly thither haste, and by a choir

The serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains
Of squadron'd angels hear his carol sung:

Through all his realm, and there confounded leave;
A virgin is his mother, but his sire
Then enter into glory, and resume

4.36
The power of the Most High; he shall ascend His seat at God's right hand, exalted high
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 370

Above all names in heaven; and thence shall come, With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the When this world's dissolution shall be ripe, heavens.

With glory' and power to judge both quick ard
dead,

460
He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
Surcharg'd, as had, like grief, been dewid in tears, His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Without the vent of words which these he breath d: Whether in heaven or earth, for then the earth

Solom

385

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place

Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love, 650 Than this of Eden, and far happier days." 405

To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss." So spake the archangel Michael, then pausid, He ended; and thus Adam last replied: As at the world's great period; and our sire, “How soon hath thy prediction, seer bless'd! Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied: Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,

Till time stand fix'd ? beyond is all abyss, 555 “O goodness infinite! goodness immense! Eternity, whose end no eye can reach. That all this good of evil shall produce, 470 Greatly instructed I shall hence depart, And evil turn to good; more wonderful

Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill Than that which by creation first brought forth Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain Light out of darkness! Full of doubt I stand, Beyond which was my folly to aspire.

560 Whether I should repent me now of sin

Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
By me done and occasion'd, or rejoice

475 And love with fear the only God, to walk
Much more, that much more good thereof shall As in his presence, ever to observe
To God more glory, more good-will to men (spring, His providence, and on him sole depend,
From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. Merciful over all his works, with good

565 But say, if our Deliverer up to heaven

Still overcoming evil, and by small Must re-ascend, what will betide the few ,480 Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd, Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise The enemies of truth? who then shall guide By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake His people, who defend ? will they not deal Is fortitude to highest victory,

570 Worse with his followers than with him they And to the faithful death the gate of life ; dealt?"

Taught this by his example, whom I now

Acknowledge my Redeemer ever bless'd." “Be sure they will,” said th' angel ; " but from heaven

485 To whom thus also th' angel last replied: 574 He to his own a Comforter will send,

“ This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the suin The promise of the Father, who shall dwell Of wisdom; hope no

higher, though all the stars His Spirit within them, and the law of faith, Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal powers, Working, through love, upon their hearts shall All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, To guide them in all truth, and also arm [write,

Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, With spiritual armour, able to resist

491

And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst, 380 Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts;

And all the rule, one empire; only add What man can do against them, not afraid, Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Though to the death, against such cruelties Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, With inward consolations recompens'd, 495 By name to come cali'd eharity, the soul And oft supported so as shall amaze

of all the rest : then wilt thou not be loath Their proudest persecutors : for the Spirit

To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess Pour'd first on his Apostles, whom he sends A Paradise within thee, happier far. T'evangelize the nations, then on all

Let us descend now therefore from this top Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue Of speculation ; for the hour precise To speak all tongues, and do all miracles, 501 Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards 590 As did their Lord before them. Thus they win By me encamp'd on yonder hill,

expect Great numbers of each nation to receive [length, Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, With joy the tidings brought from heaven: at In signal of remove, waves fiercely round: Their ministry perform'd, and race well run, 505 We may no longer stay. Go, waken Eve; Their doctrine and their story written left,

Her also I with gentle

dreams have calm’d, 595 They die; but in their room, as they forewarn, Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves, To meek submission : thou at season fit Who all the sacred mysteries of heaven

Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, To their own vile advantages shall turn 510 Chiefly what may concern her faith to know, of lacre and ambition, and the truth

The great deliverance
by her seed to come

600 With superstitions and traditions taint,

(For by the Woman's Seed) on all mankind; Left only in those written records pure,

That ye may live, which will be many days, Though not but by the Spirit understood.

Both in one faith unanimous though sad, Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names, With cause, for evils past, yet much more cheer'd Places, and titles, and with these to join

With meditation on the happy end."

603 Secular power, though feigning still to act By spiritual, to themselves appropriating

He ended, and they both descend the hill; The Spirit of God, promis'd alike and given Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve To all believers; and from that pretence, 520 Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wakid, Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force

And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd : On every conscience; laws which none shall find Left them enroll'd, or what the Spirit within

“Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st I Shall on the heart engrave. What will they

know;

610 then

For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise But force the Spirit of grace itself, and hind 525 Which he hath sent propitious, some great good His consort Liberty? What, but unbuild

Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress His living temples, built by faith to stand,

Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on; Their own faith not another's ? for on earth In me is no delay; with thee to go

615 Who against faith and conscience can be heard Is to stay here; without thee here to stay, Infallible? Yet many will presume:

530 Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me Whence heavy persecution shall arise

Art all things under heaven, all places thou, On all who in the worship persevere

Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence. Of spirit and truth; the rest far greater part,

This further consolation yet secure

620 Will deem in outward rites and specious forms I carry hence; though all by me is lost, Religion satisfied; truth shall retire

535

Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,
Bestruck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."
Rarely be found : so shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,

So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard 624 Under her own weight groaning, till the day Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too mgh Appear of respiration to the just

510 Th' archangel stood, and from the other hill And vengeance to the wicked, at return

To their fix'd station, all in bright array, Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,

The cherubim descended; on the ground The Woman's Seed, obscurely then foretold, Gliding meteorous, as evening mist Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord; Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, 630 Last in the clouds from heaven to be reveal'd 545 And gathers ground fast at the lab'rer's heel In glory of the Father, to dissolve

Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd Satan with his perverted world, then raise

The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd, Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date, And vapour as the Libyan air adust,

635

516

Began to parch that'temp'rate clime; whereat With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms: In either hand the hast'ning angel caught

Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them Our ling'ring parents, and to the eastern gate

645 Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast

The world was all before them, where to choose To the subjected plain; then disappear'd. 640 Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. They looking back, all th' eastern side beheld They, hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Wav'd over by that flaming brand, the gate Through Eden took their solitary way.

soon.

slow,

THE END.

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