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Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
“ O miserable mankind, to what fall
“ Their Maker's image;" answer'd Michael," then
“I it just,” said Adam, " and submit.
“6. There is," said Michael, “ if thou well observe.
“ Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong Life much; bent rather how I may be quitFairest and easiest of this cumb'rous charge, Which I must keep tilt my appointed day Of rend'ring up, and patiently attend My dissolution." Michael replied:
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st Live well; how long or short permit to heaven: And now prepare thice for another sight."
He look'd, and saw a spacious plain, whereon Were tents of various hue; by some were herds Of cattle grazing; others, whence the sound Of instruments that made melodious chime Was heard, of harp and organ'; and' who mov'd Their stops and chords were seen; bis volant touch Instinct through all proportions, low and high, Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who at the forge, Lab'ring, twemassy cluds of iron and brass Had melted, (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale; Down to the veins of earth; thence gliding hot To some cave's mouth; or whether wash'd by stream From underground,) the liquid ore he drain'd Into fit mouids prepar'd; from which he form'a First his own tools; then, what might else be wrought Fusil or grav’n in metal. After these, But on the hither side a different sort From the high neighb'ring hills, which was their seat, Down to the plain descended : by their guise Just men they seem'd, and all their study bent To worship God aright, and know his works Not hid; nor those things last which might preserve Freedom and peace to men : they on the plain Long had not walk'd, when from the tents behold A bevy of fair women, richly gay In gems and wanton dress; to th' barp they'sung Soft amorous ditties, and in dance eame on.. The men, tho' grave, eyed them, and let their eyesRove without rein, till in the amorous net Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose : And now of love they treat, till th' evening star, Love's harbinger, appear'd'; then all in heat They light the nuptial torch, and bid'invoke Hymen, then first to marriage-rites invok'd': With feast and music all the tents resound. Such happy interview and fair event Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers, And charming symphonies, attach'd the heart Qf Adam, soon inclind t'admit delight,
The bent of nature; which he thus express'd :
“ True opener of mine eyes, prime angel bless'd! Much better seems this vision, and more hope Of peaceful days portends, than those two past; Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse; Here nature seems fulfill'd in all her ends.”
To whom thus Michael : “Judge not what is best By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet, Created, as thou art, to nobler end, Holy and pure, conformity divine. Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who slew his brother; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare, Unmindful of their Maker, though his spirit Taught them; but they bis gifts acknowledg'd none. Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget; For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seem'd Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay, Yet empty of all good, wherein consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ; Bred only and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance, To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye. To these, that sober race of men, whose lives Religious titled them the sons of God, Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame, Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles Of these fair athiests, and now swim in joy, Ere long to swim at large;. and laugh, for which The world ere long a world of lears must weep."
To whom thus Adam, of short joy berest: "O pity' and shame! that they who to live well Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread Paths indirect, or in the midway faint ! But still I see the tenor of man's woe Holds on the same, from woman to begin."
“From man's efferninate slackness it begins," Said th' angel, “ wbo should better hold his place By wisdom, and superior gifts receiv'd. But now prepare thee for another scene."
He look’d, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between, Cities of men, with lofty gates and towers ; Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatning war; Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise : Part wield their arms, part curb the foaining steed,, Single, or in array of battle rang'd, Both horse and foot, nor idly must'ring stood :One way a band select from forage drives A berd of beeves, fair oxen, and fair kine, From a fat meadow-ground; or fleecy Hock, Ewes and their bleating lambs, over the plain, Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly, But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray ; With cruel tournament the squadrons join ; Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies With carcasses and arms, th’ensanguin'd field Deserted : others to a city strong Lay siege, encamp'd; by battery, scale, and mine, Assaulting; others from the wall defend With dart and javelin, stones, and sulph'rous fire ; On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds. In other part the sceptred heralds call. To council in the city gates; anon Gray-headed men and grave, with warriors mix'a Assemble, and harangues are heard, but soon In factious opposition; till at last Of middle age one rising, eminent Io wise deport, spake much of right and wrong, Of justice, of religion, truth and peace, And judgment from above: him old and young Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent bands Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence Unseen amid the throng : so violence Proceeded, and oppression and sword-law, Through all the plain, and refuge none was found. Adam was all in tears, and to his guide Lamenting turn'd full sad: “ O what are these, Death's ministers, not men, who thus deal death Inbumanly to men, and multiply Ten thousand-fold the sin of him who slew