תמונות בעמוד

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 thro' groves
Of coral stray, or sporting, with quick glance,
Show to the sun their wav'd coats dropt with gold;.
Or in their pearly shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food
In jointed armoạr watch; on smooth the seal,
And bended dolphins play; part huge of bulk
Wallowing unwieldy', enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean. Their 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 - 415
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea.
Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens and shores,
Their brood as numerous hatch, from th' egg that soon, .
Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclos'd
Their callow young, but, feather'd soon and fledge,
They summ’d their pens, and soaring th' air sublime,
With clang despis’d the ground, under a cloud
In prospect; there the eagle and the stork
On cliffs and cedar top their eyries build :
Part loosely wing the region, part more wise . 425
In common, rang’d in figure wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their airy caravan high over seas
Flying, and over land 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
Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings

Till even, nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays;
Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd
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 aerial sky. Others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds

The silent hours, and th' 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,
Ev'ning and morn solemniz'd the fifth day.

“ The sixth, and of creation last, arose
With evening harps and matin, when God said,

Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind, Cattle and creeping things, and beast of th' 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, Limü'd and full grown: out of the ground up rose, As from his lair, the wild beast, where he wons 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 : Those rare and solitary, these in flocks Pasturing at once, and in hroad herds upsprung. The grassy clods now caly’d, 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 Bare up his branching head; scarce from his mould 470

Behemoth, biggest born of earth, unheav'd
His vastness ; fleec'd the flocks and bleeting 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 wav'd 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, involv'd
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart enclos’d,
Pattern of just equality perliaps
Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes
Of commonality; swarming next appear'd
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stor’d. The rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gay'st 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 Heav'n in all her glory shone, and rollid Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand

500 First wheel'd their course; earth in her rich attire : Consummate lovely smil'd; 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
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
Of all his works: therefore th' Omnipotent
Eternal Father (for where is not he
Present?) thus to his son audibly spake.

"Let us make now Man in our image, Mati
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 breath'd
The breath of life ; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express, and thou becam’st a living soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort
Female for race; then bless'd mankind, and said,
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 th' 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
Gave thee; all sorts are here that all th' earth yields
Variety without end; but of the tree,

540 Which tasted works knowledge of good and evil, . Thou may'st not; in the day thou eat'st thou dy’st; Death is the penalty impos’d, beware

545 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:
Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up return'd,
Up to the Heav'n of Heay’ns, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new created world,
Th’ addition of his empire, how it show'd
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea. Up he rode,
Follow'd with acclamation and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand harps that tun'd
Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air.
Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heard'st)
The Heav'ns and all the constellations rung,
The planets in their station list'ning stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
• Open, ye everlasting gates,' they sung,
• Open, ye Heav'ns, 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 vist oft the dwellings of just men
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
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,

« הקודםהמשך »