Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

He look'd, and saw the face of things quite When violence was ceas'd, and war on Earth, chang'd;

All would have then gone well ; peace would have The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar:

crown'd All how was turn'd to jollity and game,

With length of happy days the race of Man; To luxury and riot, feast and dance;

But I was far deceived ; for now I see Marrying or prostituting, as befell,

Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste. Rape or adultery, where passing fair

How comes it thus ? unfold, celestial guide, Allur'd them; thence from cups to civil broils. And whether here the race of Man will end." At length a reverend sire among them came,

To whom thus Michael. “ Those, whom last thou And of their doings great dislike declar'd,

saw'st And testified against their ways; he oft

In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they Frequented their assemblies, whereso met, First seen in acts of prowess eminent Triumphs or festivals; and to them preach'd And great exploits, but of true virtue void ; Conversion and repentance, as to souls

Who, having spilt much blood, and done inuch waste. In prison, under judgments imminent:

Subduing nations, and achiev'd thereby But all in vain : which when he saw, he ceas'd Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey ; Contending, and remov'd his tents far off:

Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth Then, from the mountain hewing timber tall, Surfeit, and lust; till wantonness and pride Began to build a vessel of huge bulk;

Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and height; The conquer'd also, and enslav'd by war, Smear'd round with pitch ; and in the side a door Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose Contriv'd ; and of provisions laid in large,

And fear of God; from whom their picty feign'd For man and beast; when lo, a wonder strange! In sharp contést of battle found no aid Of every beast, and bird, and insect small, Against invaders; therefore, cool'd in zeal, Came sovens and pairs; and enter'd in as taught Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure, Their order: last the sire and his three sons, Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords With their four wives; and God made fast the door. Shall leave them to enjoy; for the Earth shall bear Meanwhile the south-wind rose, and, with black More than enough, that temperance may be tried : wings

So all shall turn degenerate, all depravd;
Wide-hovering, all the clouds together drove Justice and temperance, truth and faith, forgot;
From under Heaven; the hills to their supply One man except, the only son of light
Vapor, and exhalation dusk and moist,

In a dark age, against example good,
Sent up amain ; and now the thicken'd sky Against allurement, custom, and a world
Like a dark ceiling stood ; down rush'd the rain Offended : fearless of reproach and scorn,
Impetuous; and continued, till the Earth

Or violence, he of their wicked ways
No more was seen: the floating vessel swum Shall them admonish; and before them set
Uplified, and secure with beaked prow

The paths of righteousness, how much more safe
Rode tilting o'er the waves; all dwellings else And full of peace; denouncing wrath to come
Flood overwhelm'd, and them with all their pomp On their impenitence; and shall return
Deep under water roll'd; sea cover'd sea,

Of them derided, but of God observed Sea without shore ; and in their palaces,

The one just man alive; by his command Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st, And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late, To save himself, and household, from amidst All left, in one small bottom swum embark'd. A world devote to universal wrack. How didst thou grieve, then, Adam, to behold No sooner he, with them of man and beast The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,

Select for life, shall in the ark be lodg’d, Depopulation! Thee another food,

And shelter'd round; but all the cataracts Of tears and sorrow a flood, thee also drown'd, Of Heaven set open on the Earth shall pour And sunk thee as thy sons; till, gently rear'd Rain, day and night; all fountains of the deep, By the angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last ; Broke up, shall heave the ocean to usurp Though comfortless ; as when a father mourns Beyond all bounds; till inundation rise His children, all in view destroy'd at once ; Above the highest hills: then shall this mount And scarce to the angel utter'dst thus thy plaint. Of Paradise by might of waves be mov'd “O visions ill foreseen! better had I

Out of his place, push'd by the horned flood, Liv'd ignorant of future! so had borne

With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift My part of evil only, each day's lot

Down the great river to the opening gulf, Enough to bear; those now, that were dispens'd And there take root an island salt and bare, The burden of many ages, on me light

The haunt of seals, and orcs, and sea-mews' clang:
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth To teach thee that God attributes to place
Abortive, to torment me ere their being,

No sanctity, if none be thither brought
With thought that they must be. Let no man seek By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
Henceforth to be foretold, what shall befall

And now, what further shall ensue, behold."
Him or his children ; evil he may be sure,

He look'd, and saw the ark hull on the flood, Which neither his foreknowing can prevent; Which now abated; for the clouds were fled, And he the future evil shall no less

Driven by a keen north-wind, that, blowing dry, In apprehension than in substance feel,

Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decay'd; Grievous to bear: but that care now is past, And the clear Sun on his wide watery glass Man is not whom to warn: those few escap'd Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew, Famine and anguish will at last consume,

As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink Wandering that watery desert: I had hope From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole

[ocr errors]

With soft foot towards the deep; who now had stopt promises, descends the hill with Michael ; waHis sluices, as the Heaven his windows shut.

kens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground, gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and Fast on the top of some high mountain fix'd.

submission. Michael in either hand leads them And now the tops of hills, as rocks, appear;

out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving behind With clamor thence the rapid currents drive,

them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to Towards the retreating sea, their furious tide. guard the place. Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies, And after him, the surer messenger,

As one who in his journey bates at noon, A dove sent forth once and again to spy

Though bent on speed; so here the archangel Green tree or ground, whereon his foot may light:

paus'd The second time returning, in his bill

Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor’d, An olive-leaf he brings, pacific sign:

If Adam aught perhaps might interpose ; Anan dry ground appears, and from his ark Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes. The ancient sire descends, with all his train :

“ Thus thou hast seen one world begin, and end, Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout, And Man, as from a second stock, proceed. Grateful to Heaven, over his head beholds Much thou hast yet to see ; but I perceive A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow

Thy mortal sight to fail : objects divine Conspicuous with three listed colors gay,

Must needs impair and weary human sense : Betokening peace from God, and covenant new. Henceforth what is to come I will relate; Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,

Thou therefore give due audience, and attend. Greatly rejoic'd ; and thus his joy broke forth.

This second source of men, while yet but sew, “O thou, who future things canst represent And while the dread of judgment past remains As present, heavenly instructor! I revive

Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
At this last sight; assur'd that Man shall live, With some regard to what is just and right
With all the creatures, and their seed preserve.

Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace;
Far less I now lament for one whole world Laboring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Of wicked sons destroy'd, than I rejoice

Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock, For one man found so perfect, and so just,

Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid, That God vouchsafes to raise another world With large wine-offerings pour’d, and sacred feast, From him, and all his anger to forget.

Shall spend their days in joy unblam'd ; and dwell But say, what mean those color'd streaks in Heaven Long time in peace, by families and tribes, Distended, as the brow of God appeas'd ?

Under paternal rule: till one shall rise Or serve they, as a flowery verge, to bind

Of proud ambitious heart; who, not content The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud,

With fair equality, fraternal state, Lest it again dissolve, and shower the Earth ?” Will arrogate dominion undeservid

To whom the archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st; Over his brethren, and quite dispossess So willingly doth God remit his ire,

Concord and law of nature from the Earth ; Though late repenting him of Man depravd; Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game) Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all filesh Subjection to his empire tyrannous : Corrupting each their way; yet, those remov'd, A mighty hunter thence he shall be styl'd Such grace shall one just man find in his sight, Before the Lord; as in despite of Heaven, That he relents, not to blot out mankind;

Or from Heaven, claiming second sovranty ; And makes a covenant never to destroy

And from rebellion shall derive his name,
The Earth again by flood ; nor let the sea

Though of rebellion others he accuse.
Surpass his bounds; nor rain to drown the world, He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With man therein or beast ; but, when he brings With him or under him to tyrannize,
Over the Earth a cloud, will therein set

Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find His triple-color'd bow, whereon to look,

The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
And call to mind his covenant: day and night, Boils out from under-ground, the mouth of Hell
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost, of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build
Shall hold their course; till fire purge all things new, A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven;
Both Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall And get themselves a name; lest, far dispers'd
dwell."

In foreign lands, their memory be lost;
Regardless whether good or evil fame.

But God, who oft descends to visit men
BOOK XII.

Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,

Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
THE ARGUMENT.

Obstruct Heaven-towers; and in derision sets

Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
The angel Michael continues, from the flood, to re- Quite out their native language; and, instead,

late what shall succeed ; then, in the mention of To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud,
seed of the woman shall be, which was promised Among the builders; each to other calls
Adam and Eve in the Fall; his incarnation, death, Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,
resurrection, and ascension ; the state of the As mock'd they storm: great laughter
church till his second coming. Adain, greatly

Heaven,
satisfied and recomforted by these relations and And looking do'vn, to see the hubbub str

And hear the din: thus was the building left To Haran; after him a cumbrous train Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd." Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude ;

Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeas'd. Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth O execrable son! so to aspire

With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown. Above his brethren; to himself assuming

Canaan he now attains ; I see his tents Authority usurp'd, from God not given:

Pitch'd about Sechem, and the neighboring plain He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,

Of Moreh: there by promise he receives Dominion absolute; that' right we hold

Gift to his progeny of all that land, By his donation; but man over men

From Hamajh northward to the desert south; He made not lord ; such title to himself

(Things by their names I call, though yet unnam'd :) Reserving, human left from human free..

From Hermon east to the great western sea; But this usurper his encroachment proud

Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold Stays not on man; to God his tower intends

In prospect, as I point them; on the shore Siege and defiance: wretched man! what food Mount Carmel; here, the double-founted stream, Will he convey up thither, to sustain

Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons Himself and his rash army; where thin air Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills. Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross, This ponder, that all nations of the Earth And famish him of breath, if not of bread ?” Shall in his seed be blessed : by that seed

To whom thus Michael. “ Justly thou abhorrist is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise That son, who on the quiet state of men

The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue

Plainlier shall be reveal'd. This patriarch blest, Rational liberty ; yet know withal,

Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call, Since thy original lapse, true liberty

A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves; Is lost, which always with right reason dwells Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown:

Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being : The grand-child, with twelve sons increas'd, departs We Reason in man obscurd, or not obey'd,

From Canaan, to a land hereafter callid Immediately inordinate desires,

Egypt, divided by the river Nile; And upstart passions, catch the government See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths From reason ; and to servitude reduce

Into the sea : to sojourn in that land Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits He comes, invited by a younger son Within himself unworthy powers to reign In time of dearth ; à son, whose worthy deeds Over free reason, God, in judgment just,

Raise him to be the second in that realm Subjects himn from without to violent lords ; Of Pharaoh : there he dies, and leaves his race Who oft as undeservedly enthral

Growing into a nation; and, now grown, His outward freedom : tyranny must be;

Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.

To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests (slaves Yet sometimes nations will decline so low

Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, Inhospitably, and kills their infant males : But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd,

Till by two brethren, (these two brethren call Deprives them of their outward liberty ;

Moses and Aaron,) sent from God to claim Their inward lost: witness the irreverent son His people from enthralment, they return Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame With glory, and spoil, back to their promis'd lend. Done to his father, heard this heavy curse, But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies Servant of servants, on his vicious race.

To know their God, or message to regard, Thus will this latter, as the former world,

Must be compell’d by signs and judgments dire ; Still tend from bad to worse ; till God at last, To blood unshed the rivers must be turn'd; Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw

Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill
His presence from among them, and avert With loth'd intrusion, and fill all the land ;
His holy eyes ; resolving from thenceforth His cattle must of rot and murrain die;
To leave them to their own polluted ways; Botches and blains must all his fesh emboss,
And one peculiar nation to select

And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail,
From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,

Hail mix'd with fire, must rend the Egyptian sky, A nation from one faithful man to spring :

And wheel on the Earth, devouring where it rolls; Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,

What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain, Bred up in idol-worship: 0, that men

A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down (Canst thou believe ?) should be so stupid grown, Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green; While yet the patriarch liv’d, who 'scap'd the flood, Darkness must overshadow all his bounds, As to forsake the living God, and fall

Palpable darkness, and blot out three days ; To worship their own work in wood and stone Last, with one midnight-stroke, all the first-born For gods! Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds To call by vision, from his father's house,

The river-dragon tam'd at length submits
His kindred, and false gods, into a land

To let his sojourners depart, and oft
Which he will show him; and from him will raise Humbles his stubborn heart; but still, as ice
A mighty nation; and upon him shower

More harden'd after thaw; till, in his rage
His benediction so, that in his secd

Pursuing whom he late dismiss'd, the sea All nations shall be blest: he straight obeys; Swallows him with his host ; but them lets pass, Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes : As on dry land, between two crystal walls; I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil, Divided, till his rescued gain their shore : Ur of Chaldsea, passing now the ford

Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,

[graphic]

Though present in his angel; who shall go Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire; Thou hast reveal'd; those chiefly, which concern
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire ; Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find
To guide them in their journey, and remove Mine eyes true-opening, and my heart much eas'd
Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues : Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts, what would be.
All night he will pursue ; but his approach

come
Darkness defends between till morning watch ; Of me and all mankind: but now I see
Then through the fiery pillar, and the cloud, His day, in whom all nations shall be blest ;
God looking forth will trouble all his host, Favor unmerited by me, who sought
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
Moses once more his potent rod extends

This yet I apprehend not, why to those
Over the sea ; the sea his rod obeys;

Among whom God will deign to dwell on Earth On their embattled ranks the waves return, So many and so various laws are given. And overwhelm their war: the race elect

So many laws argue so many sins Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance Among them; how can God with such reside ?” Through the wild desert, not the readiest way; To whom thus Michael.“ Doubt not but that sin Lest, entering on the Canaanite alarm’d,

Will reign among them, as of thee begot ; War terrify them inexpert, and fear

And therefore was law given them, to evince Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather Their natural pravity, by stirring up Inglorious life with servitude ; for life

Sin against law to fight; that when they see To noble and ignoble is more sweet

Law can discover sin, but not remove, Untrain’d in arms, where rashness leads not on. Save by those shadowy expiations weak, This also shall they gain by their delay

The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude In the wide wilderness: there they shall found Some blood more precious must be paid for man; Their government, and their great senate choose Just for unjust; that in such righteousness Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd: To them by faith imputed, they may find God from the mount of Sinai, whose grey top Justification towards God, and peace Shall tremble, he descending, will himself of conscience; which the law by ceremonies In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound, Cannot appease: nor man the moral part Ordain them laws ; part, such as appertain Perform ; and, not performing, cannot live. To civil justice ; part, religious rites

So law appears imperfect; and but given Of sacrifice ; informing them, by types

With purpose to resign them, in full time, And shadows, of that destin'd Seed to bruise Up to a better covenant; disciplin'd The serpent, by what means he shall achieve From shadowy types to truth ; from flesh to spirit, Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God From imposition of strict laws to free To mortal ear is dreadful: they beseech

Acceptance of large grace; from servile fear That Moses might report to them his will, To filial: works of law to works of faith. And terror cease ; he grants what they besought, And therefore shall not Moses, though of God Instructed that to God is no access,

Highly belov’d, being but the minister Without mediator, whose high office now

of law, his people into Canaan lead; Moses in figure bears; to introduce

But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call, One greater, of whose day he shall foretell, His name and office bearing, who shall quell And all the prophets in their age the times The adversary-serpent, and bring back Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus, laws and rights Through the world's wilderness long-wander'd man Establish'd, such delight hath God in men Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes

Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan plac'd, Among them to set up his tabernacle;

Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sing The Holy One with mortal men to dwell : National interrupt their public peace, By his prescript a sanctuary is fram'd

Provoking God to raise them enemies; Of cedar, overlaid with gold ; therein

From whom as oft he saves them penitent An ark, and in the ark his testimony,

By judges first, then under kings; of whom
The records of his covenant; over these

The second, both for piety renown'd
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Of two bright cherubim ; before him burn Irrevocable, that his regal throne
Seven lamps as in a zodiac representing

For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
The heavenly fires ; over the tent a cloud All prophesy, that of the royal stock
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night; Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
Save when they journey, and at length they come, A Son, the woman's seed to thee foretold,
Conducted by his angel, to the land

Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
Promis'd to Abraham and his seed :-the rest All nations; and to kings foretold, of kings
Were long to tell; how many battles fought; The last ; for of his reign shall be no end.
How many kings destroy'd; and kingdoms won ; But first, a long succession must ensue;
Or how the Sun shall in mid Heaven stand still And his next son, for wealth and wisdom fam’d,
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn, The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Man's voice commanding; Sun, in Gibeon stand; Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
And thou, Moon, in the vale of Aialon,

Such follow him, as shall be register'd Till Israel overcome! So call the third

Part good, part bad : of bad the longer scroll; From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him Whose foul idolatries, and other faults His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.” Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense

Here Adam interpos'd. “O sent from Heaven, God, as to leave them, and expose their land,

9

Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,

In his redemption; and that his obedience, With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey Imputed, becomes their's by faith ; his merits To that proud city, whose high walls thou saw'st To save them, not their own, though legal, works. Left in confusion ; Babylon thence call'd.

For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, Chere in captivity he lets them dwell

Seiz'd on by force, judg’d, and to death condemn'd The space of seventy years; then brings them back, A shameful and accurs'd, nail'd to the cross Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn By his own nation; slain for bringing life : so David, stablish'd as the days of Heaven. But to the cross he nails thy enemies, Return'd from Babylon by leave of kings The law that is against thee, and the sins Their lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God Of all mankind with him there crucified, They first re-edify; and for a while

Never to hurt them more who rightly trust In mean estate live moderate; till grown

In this his satisfaction: so he dies, In wealth and multitude, factious they grow : But soon revives ; Death over him no power But first among the priests dissension springs, Shall long usurp: ere the third dawning light Men who attend the altar, and should most

Return; the stars of morn shall see him rise Endeavor peace : their strife pollution brings. Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light, Upon the temple itself: at last they seize Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems, The sceptre, and regard not David's sons ;

His death for man, as many as offer'd life Then lose it to a stranger, that the true

Neglect not, and the benefit embrace Anointed king Messiah might be born

By faith not void of works: this godlike act Barr'd of his right; yet at his birth a star, Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have died, Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come; In sin for ever lost from life; this act And guides the eastern sages, who inquire Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold : Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms; His place of birth a solemn angel tells

And fix far deeper in his head their stings To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night; Than temporal death shall bruise the victor's heel, They gladly thither haste, and by a quire

Or theirs whom he redeems; a death, like sleep, Of squadron'd angels hear his carol sung.

A gentle wafting to immortal life. A virgin is his mother, but his sire

Nor after resurrection shall he stay The power of the Most High: he shall ascend Longer on Earth, than certain times to appear The throne hereditary, and bound his reign To his disciples, men who in his life With Earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the Hea- Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge vens."

To teach all nations what of him they learn'd He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy And his salvation ; them who shall believe Surcharg'd, as had like grief been dew'd in tears, Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign Without the vent of words; which these he breath'd. Of washing them from guilt of sin to life “O prophet of glad tidings, finisher

Pure, and in mind prepar’d, if so befall, Of utmost hope! now clear I understand For death, like that which the Redeemer died. What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in vain; All nations they shall teach ; for, from that day, Why our great Expectation should be call’d Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins The seed of woman: virgin mother, hail, Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons High in the love of Heaven; yet from my loins Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world ; Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son So in his seed all nations shall be blest. Of God Most High; so God with man unites. Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend Needs must the serpent now his capital bruise With victory triumphing through the air Expect with mortal pain : say where and when Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel.” The serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains

To whom thus Michael. “Dream not of their fight, Through all his realm, and there confounded leave ; As of a duel, or the local wounds

Then enter into glory, and resume Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son His seat at God's right hand, exalted high Manhood to godhead, with more strength to foil Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall come, Thy enemy; nor so is overcome

When this world's dissolution shall be ripe, Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise, With glory and power to judge both quick and dead; Disabled, not to give thee thy death's wound: To judge the unfaithful dead, but to reward Which he, who comes thy Savior, shall recure, His faithful, and receive them into bliss, Not by destroying Satan, but his works

Whether in Heaven or Earth; for then the Earth In thee, and in thy seed : nor can this be Shall all be Paradise, far happier place But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Than this of Eden, and far happier days." Obedience to the law of God, impos

So spake the archangel Michael; then paus'd, On penalty of death, and suffering death ;

As at the world's great period ; and our sire, The penalty to thy transgression due,

Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied. And due to theirs which out of thine will grow: “O Goodness infinite! Goodness immense ! So only can high Justice rest appaid.

That all this good of evil shall produce, The law of God exact he shall fulfil

And evil turn to good ; more wonderful Both by obedience and by love, though love Than that which by creation first brought forth Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment

Light out of darkness ! Full of doubt I stand, He shall endure, by coming in the flesh

Whether I should repent me now of sin To a reproachful life, and cursed death;

By me done, and occasion'd; or rejoice Proclaiming life to all who shall believe

Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring

« AnteriorContinuar »