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Distended as the brow of God appeas’d,
Or serve they as a flow’ry verge to bind
The fluid skirts of that same wat’ry cloud,
Lest it again dissolve and show'r the earth?

To whom th' archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st ;
So willingly doth God remit his ire,
Though late repenting him of man deprav'd,
Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw



884. To whom th' archangel. any more a flood to destroy the &c.] The reader will easily ob- earth. Gen. ix. 11. serve how much of this speech

but when he brings is built upon Scripture.

Over the earth a cloud, will therein Though late repenting him of man depravid,

His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to

look, Griev'd at his heart,

And call to mind his covenant: And it repented the Lord that he And it shall come to pass when I had made man on the earth, and bring a cloud over the earth, that it grieved him at his heart, Gen. the bow shall be seen in the cloud : vi. 6.

and I will look upon it, that I may -when looking down he saw remember the everlasting covenant The whole earth fill'd with violence, between God and every living creaand all flesh

ture of all flesh that is upon the Corrupting each their way ;

earth, ver. 14, 16. The earth also was corrupt before

-day and night, God, and the earth was filled with Seed-time and harvest, heat and violence. And God looked upon

hoary frost the earth, and behold it was cor

Shall hold their course, rupt; for all flesh hud corrupted While the earth remaineth, seedhis way upon the earth, ver. 11, time and harvest, and cold and 12.

heat, and summer and winter, and Such grace shall one just man find in day and night shall not cease, his sigbt,

Gen. viii. 22. But Noah found grace in the eyes

--till fire purge all things new,

Both heav'n and earth, wherein the of the Lord, ver. 8.

just shall dwell. And makes a covenant never to de- The heavens being on fire shall stroy

be dissolved, and the elements shall The earth again by flood,

melt wilh fervent heat : nevertheAnd I will establish my covenant less we, according to his promise, with you, neither shall all flesh look for new heavens and a new be cut off any more by the waters earth, wherein dwelleth righteousof a flood, neither shall there be ness, 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13.

The whole earth fill’d with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each their way; yet those remov'd,
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight, 890
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 895
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set
His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to look,
And call to mind bis covenant : day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost
Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new, 900
Both heav'n and earth wherein the just shall dwell.






THE Angel Michael continues from the flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that Seed of the Woman shall be, which was promised Adam 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 composed to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.




As one who in his journey baits at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here th' 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.

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 :
Henceforth what is to come I will relate,


1. As one &c.] In the first great period of nature, disedition, before the last book was patches the remaining part of divided into two, the narration it in narration. He has devised went on without any inter- a very handsome reason for the ruption ; but upon that division angel's proceeding with Adam in the second edition, these first after this

manner; though doubtfive lines were inserted. This less the true reason was the dif. addition begins the book very ficulty which the poet would gracefully, and is indeed (to have found to have shadowed apply the author's own words) out so mixed and complicated a sweet transition.

a story in visible objects. I 11. Henceforth what is to come could wish, however, that the I will relate, Milton, after author had done whatever having represented in vision the pains it might have cost him. history of mankind to the first To give my opinion freely, I

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