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Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st,
To save himself and household from amidst
A world devote to universal wreck.



No sooner he with them of man and beast
Select for life shall in the ark be lodg'd,
And shelter'd round, but all the cataracts
Of heaven set open on the earth shall pour
Rain day and night, all fountains of the deep
Broke up shall heave the ocean to usurp
Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
Above the highest hills: then shall this mount
Of Paradise by might of waves be mov'd
Out of his place, push'd by the horned flood,
With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift,
Down the great river to the op'ning gulf,
And there take root, an island salt and bare,
The haunt of seals, and orcs, and sea-mews' clang;


881 horned] See Browne's Britan. Past. ii. p. 190.

'And now the horned flood bore to our isle.'

Hor. Od. iv. 14. 25.

'Sic tauriformis volvitur Aufidus.'

and Virg. Geo. iv. 371. Æn. viii. 77.

885 haunt] Virg. Æn. V. 128. 'Apricis statio gratissima mergis.' Hom. Hymn. Apoll. 77.

Πουλύποδες δ' ἐν ἐμοὶ θαλάμας, φῶκαί τε μέλαιναι,
Οἰκία ποιήσονται ἀκηδέα.

885 clang] Hom. Il. iii. 3. Stat. Theb. v. 15, xii. 515.
-Grues Aquilone fugatæ

Cum videre Pharon; tunc æthera latius implent
Tunc hilari clangore sonant.'

To teach thee that God attributes to place
No sanctity, if none be thither brought
By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
And now what further shall ensue, behold.


He look'd, and saw the ark hull on the flood,
Which now abated, for the clouds were fled,
Driv'n by a keen north-wind, that blowing dry
Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decay'd;
And the clear sun on his wide wat❜ry glass
Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew, 845
As after thirst, which made their flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole
With soft foot towards the deep, who now had

His sluices, as the heaven 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;


840 hull] v. Donne's Poems, p. 316. xxxi. A great ship overset, or without saile hulling.' Queen Elizabeth's Tear, by C. Lever, 1607, 4to. F. 2. 'Hulling upon the river where she lay.' Sandys's Psalms, p. 181. The ship hulls, as the billows flow.'

847 tripping] Drayton applies this word to the flow of rivers: Polyolb. Song xiii. The Avon trips along;' xv. 'The Isis from her source comes tripping with delight;' and xxvi. 'Darwin from her fount comes tripping down towards Trent.' Todd.

848 soft foot] See Drakenborch's Note on Sil. Italicus, vi. 140. p. 298. Lucret. v. 274. 'Liquido pede,' with Wakefield's Note, and Jer. Taylor's Sermon on Lady Carbery, fol. p. 169.

852 tops] Backs. vii. 206. Bentl. MS.

[blocks in formation]

With clamour thence the rapid currents drive
Towards the retreating sea their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies,
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:

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 heaven, over his head beholds
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow
Conspicuous with three listed colours gay,
Betck'ning peace from God, and cov'nant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
Greatly rejoic'd, and thus his joy broke forth.






Ọ thou, who future things canst represent As present, heav'nly instructor, I revive At this last sight, assur'd that man shall live With all the creatures, and their seed preserve. 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?

Or serve they as a flow'ry verge to bind

880 brow] Fenton proposed to read 'The bow of God.'


The fluid skirts of that same wat❜ry cloud,
Lest it again dissolve and show'r the earth?

To whom th' archangel. Dextrously 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,
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
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set
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 purge all things new.
Both heaven and earth, wherein the just shall dwell.


886 late] Fenton placed a comma after 'late,' but Bentley removed it, and gave the line agreeably to Milton's own editions.






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.

As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed, so here th' archangel paus'd
Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor❜d,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes. 5
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

1 As one] When the last book was divided into two, in the second edition, these first five lines were added.

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