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And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heav'n's height, and with the centre mix the pole. 215
Silence, ye

troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,'
Said then th' omnific Word, 'your discord end:'
Nor stay'd, but on the wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;

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For Chaos heard his voice. Him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might,
Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar’d

225 In God's eternal store, to circumscribe This universe, aud all created things : One foot he center'd and the other turn'd Round through the vast profundity obscure, And said, ' Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,

230 This be thy just circumference, O world.' Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth, Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound Cover'd th' abyss; but on the wat’ry calm His brooding wings the Spi'rit of God outspread, 235 And vital virtue' infus'd, and vital warmth Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purg'd The black tartareous cold infernal dregs Adverse to life; then founded, then conglob’d Like things to like, the rest to several place

2/10 Disparted, and between spun out the air, And Earth self-balanc'd 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 245 To journey through the airy gloom began, Spher'd in a radiant eloud, for yet the sun Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle Sojourn’d the while. God saw the light was good; And light from darkness by the hemisphere

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Divided: light the day, and darkness night
He nam’d. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn :
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the celestial quires, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld;

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Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth ; with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fill’d,
And touch'd their golden harps, and hymning prais'd
God and his works, Creator him they sung,
Both when first evening was, and when first moin. 260

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, diffus'd

265
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

270 Crystalline ocean,

and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame.
And Heav'n he nam'd the firmament; So even
And morning chorus sung the second day.

275 “The earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet Of waters, embryon immature involv'd, Appear'd not: over all the face of earth Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm Prolific humour soft'ning all her globe,

280 Fermented the great mother to conceive, Satiate with genial moisture, when God said, 'Be gather'd now ye waters under Heaven Into one place, and let dry land appear.' Immediately the mountains huge appear

285 Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky;

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So high as heav'd the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters : thither they
Hasted with glad precipitance, uprollid
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 wat’ry 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 wand'ring, found their

way,
And on the washy ooze deep channels wore;
Easy, ere God had bid the ground be 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 th' 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 flow'r'd
Opening their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom smelling sweet; and these scarce blown,
Forth flourish'd thick the clust'ring vine, forth crept
The smelling gourd, up stood the corny

reed
Embattl'd in her field, and th' humble shruh,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last
Rose as in dance the stately trees, and spread

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329 339

Their branches huug with copious fruit, or gemm'd 325
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 Heav'n, 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 th' earth

335 God made, and every herb, before it grew On the green stem. God saw that it was good: So ev'n and morn recorded the third day.

Again th’ Almighty spake, 'Let there be lights High in th’ expanse of Heav'n, to divide

340 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

359 In their vicissitude, and rule the night, And light from darkness

divide. God saw,
Surveying his great work, that it was good;
For of celestial bodies first the sun
A mighty sphere he fram'd, unlightsome first

355
Though of ethereal mould ; then form’d the moon
Globose, and every magnitude of stars,
And sow'd with stars the Heav'n thick as a field.
Of light by far the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placid
Ju the sun's orh, made porous to receive

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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,

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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 th’ horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through Heav'n's high road; the grey
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danıc'd
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon, 375
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 east her turn she shines, 58
Revolv'd on Heav'n's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spaugling the hemisphere. Then, first adorn'd
With her bright luminaries that set and rose,

385 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, 595 • Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill; And let the fowl be multiplied on the earth,'

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