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He trusted to have seized, and into fraud
Drew many, whom their place knows here no more:
Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
Their station ; Heaven, yet populous, retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms,
Though wide ; and this high temple to frequent
With ministeries due, and solemn rites :
But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven,
(My damage fondly deemed !) I can repair
That detriment, if such it be, to lose
Self-lost; and in a moment will create
Another world ; out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here ; till, by degrees of merit raised,
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried ;
And Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to Earth,
One kingdom, joy, and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye Powers of Heaven !
And thou my Word, begotten Son! by thee
This I perform ; speak thou, and be it done!
My overshadowing Spirit and Might with thee
I send along : ride forth, and bid the Deep
Within appointed bounds be Heaven and Earth :
Boundless the Deep, because I AM who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I, uncircumscribed myself, retire,
And put not forth my goodness, which is free
To act or not; Necessity and Chance
Approach not me, and what I will is Fate.

So spake the Almighty, and to what he spake His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect. Immediate are the acts of God, more swift Than time or motion, but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told; So told, as earthly notion can receive. Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven, When such was heard declared the Almighty's will ; Glory they sung to the Most High! good will To future men, and in their dwellings peace ! Glory to Him, whose just avenging ire Had driven out the ungodly from his sight, And the habitations of the just! to Him Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordained Good out of evil to create ; instead Of Spirits malign, a better race to bring Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse His good to worlds, and ages, infinite !

So sang the Hierarchies. Meanwhile the Son On his great expedition now appeared, Girt with Omnipotence, with radiance crowned Of Majesty Divine: sapience and love Immense, and all his Father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were poured Cherub, and Seraph, Potentates, and Thrones, And Virtues ; winged Spirits, and chariots winged From the armoury of God; where stand of old Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand, Celestial equipage ! and now came forth Spontaneous (for within them Spirit lived)

Attendant on their Lord : Heaven opened wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound !
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory, in his powerful Word
And Spirit, coming to create new worlds.
On heavenly ground they stood; and from the shore
They viewed the vast immeasurable abyss,
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heaven's highth, and with the centre mix the pole.

Silence, ye troubled Waves, and thou Deep, peace! Said then the Omnifick Word; your discord end !

Nor staid ; but, on the Wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice: Him all his train
Followed in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepared
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things :
One foot he centered, and the other turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure;
And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O World !

Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth;
Matter unformed and void ! darkness profound
Covered the abyss : but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,

And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purged
The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs,
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglobed
Like things to like; the rest to several place
Disparted, and between spun out the air ;
And Earth self-balanced on her centre hung.

Let there be light! said God; and forthwith light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep; and from her native east
To journey through the aery gloom began,
Sphered in a radiant cloud (for yet the sun
Was not ;) she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourned the while. God saw the light was good ;
And light from darkness by the hemisphere
Divided : light the Day, and darkness Night,
He named. Thus was the First Day even and morn:
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the celestial quires, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld;
Birth-day of Heaven and Earth! with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they filled,
And touched 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 formed, but in the womb as yet
Of waters (embryon immature) involved,
Appeared not : over all the face of earth
Main ocean flowed, not idle, but with warm
Prolifick humour softening all her globe,
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture ; when God said,
Be gathered now ye waters under 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, uprolled,
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry:
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command impressed
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,

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