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Driv'n by a keen north wind, that, blowing dry,
Wrinkl’d the face of deluge, as decay'd;
And the clear sun on his wide wat'ry glass 844
Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew,
As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole
With soft foot tow’rds the Deep, who now had

His sluices, as the Heav'n his windows shut.
The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground,
Fast on the top of some high mountain fix’d.
And now the tops of hills as rocks appear.
With clamour thence the rapid currents drive
Tow'rds the retreating sea their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies, 855
And after him, the surer messenger,
A dove, sent forth once and again to spy
Green tree or ground whereon his foot may light.
The second time returning, in his bill
An olive leaf he brings : pacific sign. 860
Anon dry ground appears; and from his ark
The ancient sire descends with all his train :
Then, with uplifted hands and eyes devout,
Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow 865
Conspicuous, with three listed colours gay,
Betok’ning peace from God, and cov'nant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,
Greatly rejoic'd; and thus his joy bruke forth :

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O thou, who future things can'st represent As present, heav'nly Instructor, I revive At this last sight; assur'd that man shall livé With all the creatures, and their seed presérve. 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

Heav'n Distended as the brow of God appeas’d, 880 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’ Arch-Angel: Dext'rously thou


So willingly doth God remit his ire,

885 Though late repenting him of man deprav'd, Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw 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, That he relents, not to blot out mankind, 891 And makes a cov’nant 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

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His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to look,
And call to mind his cov’nant. Day and night, ,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost
Shall hold their course, till fire


all things ,

900 Both Heav'nand Earth,wherein thejustshall 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; bis incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension; the state of the church till bis second coming. Adam, greatly satisfied and recomforted by these relations and promises, descends the bill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while bad slept, but with gentle dreams compos'd to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either band leads them out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving bebind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.

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