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Concord and law of nature from the earth;
Hunting (and men, not beasts, shall be his game) 30
With war and hostile snares 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 tow'ards the west, shall find 40
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 name, lest, far dispers'd
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,
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct Heav'n-tow'rs, 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;
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the builders; each to other calls
Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,

Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurp'd, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,

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As mock'd they storm: great laughter was in Heav'ni,
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'd.
"O execrable son! so to aspire

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Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
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

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And upstart passions catch the government
From reason, and to servitude reduce

Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits 90
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 inthrall
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 latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last,

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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

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To worship their own work in wood and stone
For gods! yet him God the most High vouchsafes 120
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 will raise
A mighty nation, and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his seed

All 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 Chaldæa, passing now the ford
To Haran; after him a cumbrous 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 names I call, though yet unnam'd),
From Hermon east to the great western sea;
Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each 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

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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 grandchild leaves,
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
The grandchild, with twelve sons increas'd, departs
From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd
Egypt, divided by the river Nile;

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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 (these two brethren call
Moses and Aaron) sent 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
To know their God, or message to regard,

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Must be compell'd by signs and judgments dire; 175
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 imboss,
And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail,
Hail mix'd with fire, must rend th' Egyptian sky,
And wheel on th' earth, devouring where it rolls:
What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain,

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A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down
Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green;
Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
Palpable darkness, and blot out three days;
Last, with one midnight stroke, all the first-born
Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds 190
The river-dragon tam'd, at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft

Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as ice
More harden'd after thaw, till, in his rage
Pursuing whom he late dismiss'd, the sea
Swallows him with his host, but them lets pass
As on dry land, between two crystal walls,
Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore:
Such wondrous pow'r God to his saint will lend, 200
Though present in his angel, who shall go
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire,
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire,
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while th' obdurate king pursues:
All night he will pursue, but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning watch:
Then through the fiery pillar and the cloud
God looking forth will trouble all his host,
And craze their chariot wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys;

On their imbattled ranks the waves return,
And overwhelm their war: the race elect
Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild desert, not the readiest way,
Lest, ent'ring on the Canaanite alarm'd,
War terrify them inexpert, and fear

Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrain❜d in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay

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