Imatges de pÓgina

Divided light the day, and darkness night,
He named. Thus was the first day even and morn:
Nor pass'd uncelebrated, nor unsung

By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld,
Birth-day of heaven and earth; with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fill'd,

And touch'd their golden harps, and hymning praised
God and his works, Creator him they sung,
Both when first evening was, and when first morn.
Again, God said, Let there be firmament

Amid the waters, and let it divide

The waters from the waters; and God made
The firmament, expanse of liquid pure,
Transparent, elemental air, diffused-

In circuit to the uttermost convex

Of this great round; partition firm and sure,
The waters underneath from those above
Dividing; for as earth, so he the world
Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far removed, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
And heaven he named the firmament: so even
And morning chorus sung the second day.

The earth was form'd, but, in the womb as yet
Of waters embryon immature involved,
Appear'd not; over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm
Prolific humour softening all her globe
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture, when God said,
Be gather'd now, ye waters uuer heaven,
Into one place, and let dry land appear.
Immediately the mountains huge appear
Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky.
So high as heaved the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters: thither they
Hasted with glad precipitance, uproll'd
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,

For haste; such flight the great command impress'd
On the swift floods; as armies at the call

Of trumpet, for of armies thou hast heard,
Troop to their standard, so the watery throng,
Wave rolling after wave, where way they found;
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain,
Soft ebbing; nor withstood them rock or hill,
But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
With serpent error wandering, found their way,

And on the washy oose deep channels wore,
Easy, ere God had bid the ground he dry,
All but within those banks, where rivers now
Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train.
The dry land earth, and the great receptacle
Of congregated waters he call'd seas;

And saw that it was good, and said, Let the earth
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed,
And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind,
Whose seed is in herself upon the earth.

He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,

Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad
Her universal face with pleasant green;

Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd
Opening their various colours, and made gay

Her bosom smelling sweet; and, these scarce blown,
Forth flourish'd thick the clustering vine, forth crept
The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
Embattled in her field; and the humble shrub,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last

Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread

Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemm'd

Their blossoms: with high woods the hills were crown'd; With tufts the valleys and each fountain side;

With borders long the rivers: that earth now

Seem'd like to heaven, a seat where gods might dwell,

Or wander with delight, and love to haunt

Her sacred shades; though God had yet not rain'd
Upon the earth, and man to till the ground
None was; but from the earth a dewy mist
Went up and water'd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field; which, ere it was in the earth,
God made, and every herb, before it grew
On the green stem. God saw that it was good:
So even and morn recorded the third day.

Again the Almighty spake : Let there be lights
High in the expanse of heaven to divide
The day from night; and let them be for signs,
For seasons, and for days, and circling years;
And let them be for lights, as I ordain
Their office in the firmament of heaven
To give light on the earth; and it was so.

And God made two great lights, great for their use
To man, the greater to have rule by day,

The less by night, altern; and made the stars,
And set them in the firmament of heaven

To illuminate the earth, and rule the day
In their vicissitude, and rule the night,
And light from darkness to divide. God saw,
Surveying his great work, that it was good :
For of celestial bodies first the sun,

A mighty sphere, he framed, unlightsome first,
Though of ethereal mould; then form'd the moon
Globose, and every magnitude of stars,

And sow'd with stars the heaven thick as a field.
Of light by far the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placed
In the sun's orb, made porous to receive
And drink the liquid light, firm to retain
Her gather'd beams, great palace now of light.
Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
Repairing, in their golden urns draw light,
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns;
By tincture or reflection they augment
Their small peculiar, though from human sight
So far remote, with diminution seen.

First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,
Regent of day, and all the horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through heaven's high road; the gray
Dawn and the Pleiades before him danced,
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon,
But opposite in levell'd west was set

His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
From him, for other light she needed none
In that aspect, and still that distance keeps
Till night; then in the cast her turn she shines,
Revolved on heaven's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'
Spangling the hemisphere: then first adorn'd
With their bright luminaries, that set and rose,
Glad evening and glad morn crown'd the fourth day.
And God said, Let the waters generate
Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul:
And let fowl fly above the earth, with wings
Display'd on the open firmament of heaven.
And God created the great whales, and each
Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
The waters generated by their kinds;

And every bird of wing after his kind;

And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas,

And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill ;
And let the fowl be multiplied on the earth.
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay,
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals
Of fish, that with their fins and shining scales
Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft
Bank the mid sea: part single, or with mate,
Graze the sea-weed their pasture, and through groves
Of coral stray, or sporting with quick glance
Show to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold;

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Or in their pearly shells at ease attend
Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food
In jointed armour watch: on smooth the seal
And bended dolphins play; part, huge of bulk,
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean: there Leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretch'd like a promontory, sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land, and at his gills
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out a sea.
Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
Their brood as numerous hatch from the egg, that soon
Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclosed
Their callow young; but feather'd soon and fledge,
They summ'd their pens, and soaring the air sublime
With clang despised the ground, under a cloud
In prospect: there the eagle and the stork
On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build;
Part loosely wing the region, part more wise
In common ranged in figure wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aery caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane
Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air

Floats, as

they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes.

From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays :
Others on silver lakes and rivers bathed
Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and rising on stiff pennons tower
The mid aërial sky. Others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and the other, whose gay train
Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry eyes.
With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
Evening and morn solemnised the fifth day.
The sixth, and of creation last, arose
With evening harps and matin, when God said,
Let the earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Each in their kind. The earth obey'd, and straight
Cattle and creeping things, and beast of the earth,
Opening her fertile womb teem'd at a birth
Limb'd and full-grown. Out of the ground up rose
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,
As from his lair the wild beast, where he wons
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den;

The waters thus


Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk'd;
The cattle in the fields and meadows green :
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks
Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung,
The grassy clouds now calved, now half appear'd
The tawny lion, pawing to get free

His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds,
And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce,
The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw
In hillocks; the swift stag from under ground
Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould
Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved
His vastness; fleeced the flocks and bleating rose,
As plants; ambiguous between sea and land
The river horse and scaly crocodile.

At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
Insect or worm; those waved their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries deck'd of summer's pride,
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green:
These as a line their long dimension drew,
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved
Their snaky folds and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident

Qf future, in small room large heart enclosed,
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes
Of commonalty: swarming next appear'd
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stored: the rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gavest them names,

Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

Now heaven in all her glory shone, and roll'd
Her motions, as the great First Mover's hand
First wheel'd their course; earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovely smiled; air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walk'd
Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the master-work, the end
Of all yet done; a creature, who not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endued
With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence

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