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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK XII.

As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the archangel pausid
Betwixt the world destroy'd, and world restor'd,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes

Thus thou hast seen one world begin and en
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,
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,
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace,
Lab’ring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Coin, wine and oil; and from the herd or flock.
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,
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: tili one shail rise
Of proud ambitious heart, who not content

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.)
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 heav'n,
Or from heav'n claiming second sov'reignty;
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,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall finu
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 tow'r, whose top may reach to heav'n
And get themselves a nanie, lesi far dispers’d
In foreign lands their memory be lost,
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God who oft descends to visit rnen
Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, tliem beholding soon,
Lumes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct heav'n-tow'rs, and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit to rate
Quite out their native language, and instead
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown •
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the builders ; each to other calls
Not unders ood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
As mock'd they storm ; great laughter was in heav'n
And looking down to see the hubbub strange,
And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam’d.

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'do
execiable son so to aspire

Above his brethren, to himself assuming
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 mien
He made not lord ; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tow'r intends
Siege and defiance : wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither to sustain
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
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
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being :
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart passions catch the goverment
From reason, and to servitude reduce
Man till then free. Therefore since he permits
Within himself unworthy pow'rs 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,
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,
Their inward lost; witness th’ irreverent son
Of him who built the ark, who for the shame
Done to his father heard this heavy curse,

Servant of servants, on his vicious race. Thus will this later, as the former world, Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw His presence from among them, and avert His holy eyes : resolving from thenceforth To leave them to their own polluted ways; And one peculiar nation to select From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd, A nation from one faithful man to spring; Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, Bred up in idol worship; O that men (Canst thou believe ?) should be so stupid grown, While yet the patriarch liv’d, who 'scap'd the flood, As to forsake the living God, and fall To worship their own work in wood and stone For gods! yet him God the most high vouchsafes To call by vision from his father's house, His kindred and false gods, into a land Which he will show him, and from him wil. raise A mighty nation, and upon him shower His benediction so, that in his seed Ali nations shall be blest; he straight obeys, Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes : I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil Ur of Chaldea, passing now the ford To Haran, after him a cumberous train Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude; Not wand'ring poor, but trusting all his wealth With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown. Canaan he now attains; I see his tents Pitch'd about Sechem, and the neighb'ring plain Of Moreh; there by promise he receives Gift to his progeny of all that land, From Hamath northward to the desert south, (Things by their naines I call, though yet unnam'd.) From Hermon east to the great western sea; Mount Hermon, yonder sea eich place behold

In prospect, as I point them : on the shore Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills. This ponder, that all nations of the earth Shall in his seed be blessed ; by that seed Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise · The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon Plainlier shall be reveal'd. This patriarch blest Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call, A son, and of his son a granchild leaves, Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown; The granchild with twelve sons increas'd departs From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd Egypt, divided by the river Nile; See where it flows, disgorging at sev'n mouths Into the sea : to sojourn in that land He comes invited by a younger son In time of dearth, a son whose worthy deeds Raise him to be the second in that realm Of Pharaoh: there he dies, and leaves his race. Growing into a nation, and now grown Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves Inhospitably, and kills their infant males : Till by two brethren (those two brethren call Moses and Aaron,) sent them from God to claim His people from enthralment, they return With glory and spoil back to their promis'd land. But first the lawless tyrant, who denies l'o know their God, or message to regard, Must be compell’d by signs and judgments dire To blood unshed the rivers must be turn'd ; Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill · With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land ; His cattle must of rot and murrain die ; Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail,

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