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And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrown,
If such astonishment as this can seize
They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung
20 virtue, manhood, strength. 21 ensigns, standards, banners.
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
23 The rod of Moses, who was the son
of Amram. 24 In the day of the Ten Plagues of
Egypt. 25 Locusts fly at times in clouds which
darken the sky. 26 Egypt. 27 cope, covering, roof, from same
root as cap. 28 An allusion to the inroads of the
northern "Barbarians," when
they burst on the Roman provinces of sunny Italy from the frozen regions of Germany and
Northern Europe. 29 The Rhine, or the Danube. 30 It was long thought that there was
a passage from Gibraltar to Africa -the Lybian sands-under the
al erst. See note, p. 49.
Though of their names in Heavenly records now
HYMN TO THE CREATOR.
“Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light, Angels—for ye behold Him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night, 32 Many of the Egyptian idols espe- that the devils had got themselves cially were in brute form.
adored by the heathen. 33 Jn the middle ages it was believed 1 (Thou) unspeakable (One).
2 choral symphonies, harmonious songs in choirs.
Circle His throne rejoicing :-ye, in Heaven ;3
" Fairest of Stars !4 last in the train of Night,
“ Thou Sun, of this great World both eye and soul, Acknowledge Him thy greater ; sound His praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gained, and when thou fall'st.
“Moon, that now meet'st the orient? Sun, now fliest, With the fixed Stars,-fixed in their orb that flies ;8
3 Ye, do 8o in heaven; on earth, let
all creatures, &c. 4 The planet Venus.
The words that follow refer to its being sometimes called Phosphorus, or the Morning Star: sometimes Hes
perus, or the Evening Star. sphere, the path through which it
second element; above water, came air, the third element. Then, above air, came fire, the fourth element. Beyond that, ether
notended indefinitely. Beyond, or in the other, were
eight heavens, each above the other, and each containing an immense crystalline sphere or circle. Inside the smallest of these, the earth was enclosed, and the others had each, one or more of the heavenly bodies ixed in it, and moving round with it “ fixed in their orb, that flies." The nearest sphere to that of the earth was that of the moon: then came, successively, spheres or orbs, in which, one beyond the other, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the fixed stars were fixed. These spheres all had a motion of
glides round the sun. 6 prime, an
ecclesiastical word, meaning the hour, at dawn, that succeeded to lauds. Or, hour of
dawn. ? orient, rising, or eastern. 8 Milton writes according to the old
or Ptolemaic idea of the structure of the heavens. Attentive knowledge of this will explain many
things in Paradise Lost. The earth was considered the great
contre, round which all things moved. Earth, the most stable of the elements, held the lowest place, and supported water, the
their own, round the earth.
ye five other wandering Fires !' that move In mysticio dance, not without song, resound His praise, who out of Darkness called up Light.
“Air, and ye Elements ! the eldest birth
6 Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise
"His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines, With every Plant, in sign of worship, wave.
“ Fountains ! and ye that warble, as ye flow, Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune His praise.
“Join voices, all ye living Souls! Ye Birds,
“ Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk