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In part, from such deformities be free,
“Their Maker's image,” answer'd Michael, “then
“I yield it just,” said Adam, “and submit:
“There is,” said Michael, “if thou well obscrve
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
First, his own tools; then, what might else be
wrought Fusil or graven in metal. After these, But on the hither side, a different sort, From the high neighbouring 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 the harp they sung Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on: The men, though grave, eyed them; and let their
eyes Rove without rein; till, in the amorous net Fast caught, they liked; and each his liking chose. And now of love they treat, till the evening star, Love's harbinger, appear'd; tben, all in heat, They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke Hymen, then first to marriage rites invoked : 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 Of Adam, soon inclined to admit delight, The bent of nature; which he thus express'd: “True opener
of mine eyes, prime angel blest, , 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 his gifts acknowledged 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 Justful 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 atheists; and now swim in joy, Ere long to swim at large: and laugh, for which The world ere long a world of tears must weep.'
To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft: "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!
“From man's effeminate slackness it begins,'
He looked, 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 threatening war, Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise : Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed, Single or in array of battle ranged, Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood; One way a band select from forage drives A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine, From a fat meadow-ground; or fleecy flock, 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 pastured late, now scatter'd lies, With carcasses and arms, the ensanguined 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 sulphurous fire On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds. In other part the sceptred heralds call To council, in the city gates; anon