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BOOK XII. THE ARGUMENT.

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.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK XII.

As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the archangel paus'd,
Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor’d,

If Adam aught perhaps might interpose : 5 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
10 “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 15 “ 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 20 “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

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“ Long time in peace, by families and tribes,

“Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
25 “ 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 ;
30 “ 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 styld
“ Before the Lord; as in despite of heaven,
“ Or from heaven, 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,)
40 “ Marching from Eden tow'rds the west, shall find

“ The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
“ Boils out from underground-the mouth of hell.
“ Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build

“A city, and tower whose top may reach to heaven, 45 “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 50 “ To mark their doings, them beholding soon,

“ Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
“ Obstruct heaven-towers; and in derision sets
“Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase

“ Quite out their native language ; and, instead, 55 “ 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,

As mock'd they storm : great laughter was in heaven, 60 And looking down, to see the hubbub strange,

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