the wives of thy sons. He commanded them to go conjointly out which disjointly entered, and let go out with them all the beasts and fowls living, and all the reptiles, every each after his kind and gender, to whom our Lord said: Grow ye and multiply upon the earth. Then Noah issued out and his wife, and his sons with their wives, and all the beasts, the same day a year after they entered in, every one after his gender. Noah then edified an altar to our Lord and took of all the beasts that were clean and offered sacrifice unto our Lord; and our Lord smelled the sweetness of the sacrifice and said to Noah: From henceforth I shall not curse the earth for man, for he is prone and ready to fall from the beginning of his youth. I shall no more destroy man by such vengeance. And then our Lord blessed them and said: Grow ye and multiply the earth and be ye lords of all the beasts of the earth, of the fowls of the air, and of the fishes. I have given all things to you, but eat no flesh with the blood. I command you to slay no man, nor to shed no man's blood. I have made man after mine image. Whosomever sheddeth his brother's blood, his blood shall be shed. Go ye forth and grow and multiply and fill the earth. This said our Lord to Noah and his sons: Lo! I have made a covenant with you and with them that shall come after you, that I shall no more bring such a flood to slay all people, and in token thereof I have set my rainbow in the clouds of heaven, for who that trespasseth I shall do justice otherwise on him. Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. From the time of Adam until after Noah's flood, the time and season was alway green and tempered; and all that time men ate no flesh, for the herbs and fruits were then of great strength and effect, they were pure and nourishing. But after the flood the earth was weaker and brought not forth so good fruit, wherefore flesh was ordained to be eaten. And then Noah began to labor for his livelihood with his sons, and began to till the earth, to destroy briars and thorns and to plant vines. And so on a time Noah had drunk so much of the wine that he was drunk, and lay and slept. Ham, his middlest son, laughed and scorned his father, and called his brethren to see, which rebuked Ham of his folly and sin. And Noah awoke, and when he understood how Ham his son had scorned him, he cursed him and also his son Canaan, and blessed Shem and Japhet. All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years and then he died. And after his death his sons dealed all the world between them, Shem had all Asia, Ham Africa, and Japhet all Europe. Thus was it departed. Asia is the best part and is as much as the other two, and that is in the east. Africa is the south part, and therein is Carthage and many rich countries, therein be blue and black men. Ham had that to his part Africa. The third part is Europe which is in the north and west, therein is Greece, Rome, and Germany. In Europe reigneth now most the christian law and faith, wherein is many a rich realm. And so was the world departed to the three sons of Noah.
Triumphal arch, that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood's sight,
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight,
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that optics teach, unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?
When science from creation's face
Enchantment's veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws!
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.
When o'er the green undeluged earth
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,
How came the world's gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!
And when its yellow lustre smiled
O'er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child
To bless the bow of God.
The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshen'd fields,
The snowy mushroom springs.
How glorious is thy girdle, cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirror'd in the ocean vast
A thousand fathoms down!
As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age
That first spoke peace to man.
HERE FOLLOWETH THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM
The Sunday called Quinquagesima is read in the church the history of the holy patriarch Abraham which was the son of Terah. This Terah was the tenth from Noah in the generation of Shem. Japhet had seven sons and Ham four sons. Out of the generation of Ham Nimrod came, which was a wicked man and cursed in his works, and began to make the tower of Babel which was great and high. And at the making of this tower, God changed the languages, in such wise that no man understood other. For tofore the building of that tower was but one manner speech in all the world, and there were made seventy-two speeches. The tower was great, it was ten miles about and five thousand and eighty-four steps of height. This Nimrod was the first man that found mawmetry and idolatry, which endured long and yet doth. Then I turn again to Terah which had three sons, which was Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Of Nahor came Us, Bus, and Batuel. Of Us came Job, of Bus came Balaam, and of Batuel Rebekah and Laban. Of Haran came Lot and two daughters, Melcha and Sara.
Now I shall speak of Abram of whom our blessed lady came. He wedded Sara, daughter of his brother Haran. Abram was ever faithful and true, he was sixty-five years old when his father died, for whom he mourned till our Lord comforted him, which said to Abram: Abram, make thee ready and go out of thy land and kindred, and also from the house of thy father, and come into the land that I shall show to thee. I shall make thee grow into much people; I shall bless thee and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed, and I shall bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall be blessed all the kindreds of the earth.
Abram was seventy years old when he departed from the land of Haran, and he took with him Sara his wife, and Lot the son of his brother, and their meiny [company], and his cattle and his substance, and came into the land of Canaan, and came into the vale of Sichem, in which were ill people which were the people of Canaan. And our Lord said to Abram: I shall give to thee this land and to thine heirs. Then Abram did raise an altar on which he did sacrifice, and blessed and thanked our Lord. Abram beheld all the land toward the south, and saw the beauty thereof, and found it like as our Lord told him. But he had not been long in the land but that there fell great hunger therein, wherefore he left that country and went into Egypt and took with him Sara his wife. And as they went by the way Abram said to his wife: I fear and dread sore that when we come to this people, which be lawless, that they shall take thee for thy beauty and slay me, because they would use thee. Wherefore say thou art my sister, and I thy brother, and she agreed thereto. And when they were come in to that country the people saw that she was so fair, and anon they