Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods,
Destroyers rightlier call'd, and plagues of men.
Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth;
And what most merits fame in silence hid.
But he, the seventh from thee, whom thou beheld'st
The only righteous in a world perverse,
And therefore hated, therefore so beset
With foes, for daring single to be just,
And utter odious truth, that God would come
To judge them with his saints : him the Most High,
Wrapt in a balmy cloud, with winged steeds
Did, as thou saw'st, receive, to walk with God,
High in salvation, and the climes of bliss,
Exempt from death ; to show thee what reward
Awaits the good; the rest, what punishment;
Which now direct thine eyes, and soon behold.”
He look'd, & saw the face of things quite chang'd.
The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar;
And all was turn'd to jollity and game,
To luxury and riot, feast and dance,
Marrying, or prostituting, as befel,
Rape or adultery, where passing fair
Allured them; thence from cups to civil broils.
At length a reverend sire among them came,
And of their doings great dislike declared,
And testified against their ways; he oft
Frequented their assemblies, whereso met,
Triumphs or festivals, and to them preach'd
Conversion and repentance, as to souls
In prison, under judgments imminent:
But all in vain : which when he saw, he ceas'd
Contending, and removed his tents far off.
Then from the mountain hewing timber tall,
Began to build a vessel of huge hulk,
Measured by cubit, length, & breath, and highth,
Smear'd round with pitch, & in the side a door
Contrived; and of provisions laid in large
For man & beast : when, lo, a wonder strange!
Of every beast and bird, and insect small,
Came sevens, & pairs, & enter'd in, as taught
Their order; last the sire, and his three sons,
With their four wives ; & God made fast the door
Meanwhile the south wind rose, with black wings
Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove,
From under Heaven; the hills, to their supply,
Vapour and exhalation dusk and moist
Sent up amain ; and now the sicken'd sky