Page images
[ocr errors]

Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit 440
The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aerial sky: others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds
The silent hồurs, and the other whose gay train
Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue.
Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
Evening and morn solemnized the fifth day.

The sixth, and of creation last, arose
With evening harps and matin ; when God said, 450
Let the Earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the Earth,
Each in their kind. The Earth obey'd, and straight
Opening her fertile womb teem'd at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, 455
Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground uprose,
As from his lair, the wild beast where he wors
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den;
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk'd :
The cattle in the fields and meadows green: 460
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks
Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung.
The grassy clods now calved; now half appear'd
The tawny lion, pawing to get free,
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds, 465
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 470
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, 475
Insect or worm: those waved their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact


In all the liveries deck'd of suinmer's pride
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green:
These, as a line, their long dimension drew, 480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature ; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulenco, involved
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of 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, 495
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 rollid Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand 500 First wheeld 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 505 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 510 Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven, . But grateful to acknowledge whence his good Descends, thither with heart, and voice, and eyes Directed in devotion, to adore And worship God Supreme, who made him chief 515

Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent
Eternal Father (for where is not he
Present ?) thùs to his Son audibly spake : .

Let us make now Man in our image, Man
In our similitude, and let them rule
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air,
Beast of the field, and over all the Earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.
This said, he form'd thee, Adam, thee, O Man,
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed 523
The breath of life ; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express; and thou becamest a living soul.
Male he created thee; but thy consort
Female, for race; then bless'd mankind, and said, 530
Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth;
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold
Over fish of the sea, and fowl of the air,
And every living thing that moves on the Earth.
Wherever thus created, for no place

Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st,
He brought thee into this delicious grove,
This garden, planted with the trees of God,
Delectable both to behold and taste;
And freely all their pleasant fruit for food 540
Gave thee; all sorts are here that all the Earth yields
Variety without end; but of the tree,

[ocr errors][merged small]

Thou mayst not; in the day thou eat'st, thou diest :
Death is the penalty imposed; beware,

And govern well thy appetite ; lest Sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death. .

Here finish'd he, and all that he had made
View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day; 550
Yet not till the Creator from his work

l'p to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode ;

[ocr errors]

Thence to behold this new created world,
The addition of his empire, how it show'd 555
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea. Un he rode
Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound i
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies : the earth, the air

Resounded (thou remember’st, for thou heard'st,)
The heavens and all the constellations rung,
The planets in their station listening stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
Open, ye everlasting gates! they sung, 565
Open, ye Heavens! your living doors ; let in
The great Creator from his work return'd
Magnificent, his six days' work; a World ;
Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign
To visit oft the dwellings of just men,

570 Delighted ; and with frequent intercourse Thither will send his winged messengers On errands of supernal grace. So sung The glorious train ascending : He through Heaven, That open'd wide her blazing portals, led 575 To God's eternal house direct the way; A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear, Seen in the galaxy, that milky way, Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest 580 Powder'd with stars. And now on Earth the seventh Evening arose in Eden, for the sun Was set, and twilight from the east came on, Forerunning night ; when at the holy mount Of Heaven's high-seated top, the imperial throne 585 Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure, The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down With his great Father; for he also went : Invisible, yet staid (such privilege Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordain'd, 59 Author and End of all things; and, from work

Now resting, blessed and hallow'd the seventh day,
As resting on that day from all his work:
But not in silence holy kept: the harp
Had work and rested not; the solemn pipe,

And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison: of incense clouds,
Fuming from golden censers, hid the mount. 600
Creation and the six days' acts they sung:
Great are thy works, Jehovah ! infinite
Thy power! what thought can measure thee, or tongue
Relate thee! Greater now in thy return
Than from the giant Angels : Thee that day 605
Thy thunders magnified; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, Mighty King, or bound
Thy empire! Easily the proud attempt
Of Spirits apostate, and their counsels vain, 610
Thou hast repelled; while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might : his evil 615
Thou usest, and from thence createst more good.
Witness this new-made world, another Heaven -
From Heaven gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;.
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars 620
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destined habitation; but thou know'st
Their seasons : among these the seat of Men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfused,

And sons of Men, whom God hath thus advanced !
Created in his image, there to dwell
And worship him; and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,

« PreviousContinue »