1 Matching Annotations
- Sep 2018
BOOK 12 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 Ascention; 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 compos'd 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 thir Stations to guard the Place. AS one who in his journey bates at Noone, Though bent on speed, so heer the 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 perceave Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine Must needs impaire and wearie human sense: [ 10 ] Henceforth what is to com I will relate, Thou therefore give due audience, and attend. This second sours of Men, while yet but few; And while the dread of judgement past remains Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie, [ 15 ] With some regard to what is just and right Shall lead thir lives and multiplie apace, Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop, Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock, Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid, [ 20 ] With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast, Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell Long time in peace by Families and Tribes Under paternal rule; till one shall rise Of proud ambitious heart, who not content [ 25 ] With fair equalitie, fraternal state, Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd Over his brethren, and quite dispossess Concord and law of Nature from the Earth, Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game) [ 30 ] With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse Subjection to his Empire tyrannous: A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n, Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie; [ 35 ] And from Rebellion shall derive his name, Though of Rebellion others he accuse. Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns With him or under him to tyrannize, Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde [ 40 ] The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell; Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build A Citie and Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n; And get themselves a name, least far disperst [ 45 ] In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost, Regardless whether good or evil fame. But God who oft descends to visit men Unseen, and through thir habitations walks To mark thir doings, them beholding soon, [ 50 ] Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase Quite out thir Native Language, and instead To sow a jangling noise of words unknown: [ 55 ] Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud Among the Builders; each to other calls Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage, As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n And looking down, to see the hubbub strange [ 60 ] 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 Above his Brethren, to himself assuming [ 65 ] Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n: He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl Dominion absolute; that right we hold By his donation; but Man over men He made not Lord; such title to himself [ 70 ] Reserving, human left from human free. But this Usurper his encroachment proud Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food Will he convey up thither to sustain [ 75 ] Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire 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 [ 80 ] Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue Rational Libertie; yet know withall, Since thy original lapse, true Libertie Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being: [ 85 ] Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd, Immediately inordinate desires And upstart Passions catch the Government From Reason, and to servitude reduce Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits [ 90 ] Within himself unworthie Powers to reign Over free Reason, God in Judgement just Subjects him from without to violent Lords; Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
Book XII: continues Michael's vision. Adam and Eve are comforted by hearing of the future redemption of their race. The poem ends as they wander forth out of Paradise and the door closes behind them.