« AnteriorContinuar »
Which now abated; for the clouds were fled,
But say, what mean those colour'd streaks in Heav'n
Distended, as the brow of God appeas'd?
To whom th' arch-angel. "Dext'rously 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 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 895Over the earth a cloud, will therein set His triple-colour'd bow, whereon to look, 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, Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.
THE END OF THE ELEVENTH BOOK.
I he 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 Adam, greatly satisfied and recomforted
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 bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the arch-angel paus'd
"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; 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, Corn, 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: till one shall rise Of proud ambitious heart, who, not content With fair equality, fraternal state, Will arrogate dominion undeserv'd Over his brethren, and quite dispossess