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days: the angels celebrate with hymns the | Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream, performance thereof, and his re-ascension into Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites, Heaven.
Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest.
“ Great things, and full of wonder in our ears DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal'd, If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine Divine interpreter! by favour sent Following, above the Olympian hill I soar, Down from the einpyréan, to forewarn Above the fight of Pegaséan wing.
Us timely of what might else have been our loss, The meaning, not the name, I call : for thou Unknown, which human knowledge could not Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end In presence of the Almighty Father, pleas'd
Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsaf"d With thy celestial song. Up led by thee,
Gently, for our instruction, to impart Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presum'd, Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Our knowing, as to highest Wisdom seem'd, Thy tempering : with like safety guided down Deign to descend now lower, and relate Return me to my native element :
What may no less perhaps avail us known, Lest from this flying steed unrein'd, (as once How first began this Heaven which we behold Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Innumerable; and this which yields or fills Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
All space, the ambient air wide interfus'd Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound Embracing round this florid Earth? what cause Within the visible diurnal sphere;
Mov'd the Creator in his holy rest
Through all eternity so late to build
To magnify his works, the more we know.
Much of his race though steep ; suspense in Heaven, Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears, But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
And longer will delay to hear thee tell Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
His generation, and the rising birth Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard Of Nature from the unapparent deep: In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears Or if the star of evening and the Moon To rapture, till the savage clamour drown'd Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring Both harp and voice: nor could the Muse defend Silence; and Sleep, listening to thee, will watch ; Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores : Or we can bid his absence, till thy song For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream. End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine."
Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphaël, Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought: The affable arch-angel, had forewarn'd
And thus the godlike angel answer'd mild. Adam, by dire example, to beware
“ This also thy request, with caution ask'd, Apostacy, by what befel in Heaven
Obtain ; though to recount almighty works To those apostates; lest the like befall
What words or tongue of seraph can suffice, In Paradise to Adam or his race,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend ? Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve If they transgress, and slight that sole command, To glorify the Maker, and infer So easily obey'd amid the choice
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing ; such commission from above
Of knowledge within bounds ; beyond, abstain
Only Omniscient, hath suppress'd in night; And war so near the peace of God in bliss,
To none cominunicable in Earth or Heaven; With such confusion : but the evil, soon
Enough is left besides to search and know. Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less From whom it sprung; impossible to mix
Her temperance over appetite, to know With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd In measure what the mind may well contain ; The doubts that in his heart arose : and now Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind. What nearer might concern him, how this world “ Know then, that, after Lucifer from Heaven Of Heaven and Earth conspicuous first began; (So call him, brighter once amidst the host When, and whereof created : for what cause, Of angels, than that star the stars among) What within Eden, or without, was done
Fell with his flaming legions through the deep Before his memory: as one whose drought Into his place, and the great Son return'd
Victorious with his saints, the Omnipotent
Attendant on their Lord : Heaven open'd wide Eternal Father from his throne beheld
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake. On golden hinges moving, to let forth “ • At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who The King of Glory, in his powerful Word thought
And Spirit, coming to create new worlds. (shore All like himself rebellious, by whose aid
On heavenly ground they stood; and from the This inaccessible high strength, the seat
They view'd the vast immeasureable abyss Of Deity supreme, us dispossess'd,
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild, He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds Drew many, whom their place knows here no more : And surging waves, as mountains, to assault Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole. Their station ; Heaven, yet populous, retains “Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, Number sufficient to possess her realms
peace,' Though wide, and this high temple to frequent Said then the omnific Word; your discord end!" With ministeries due, and solemn rites :
Nor staid ; but, on the wings of cherubim But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven,
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn; My damage fondly deem'd, I can repair
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train That detriment, if such it be to lose
Follow'd in bright procession, to behold Self-lost ; and in a moment will create
Creation, and the wonders of his might. Another world, out of one man a race
Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd Not here ; till, by degrees of merit rais'd,
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things :
And said, • Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth, This I perform ; speak thou, and be it done! Matter unform'd and void : darkness profound My overshadowing spirit and might with thee Cover'd the abyss; but on the watery calm I send along ; ride forth, and bid the deep
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread, Within appointed bounds be Heaven and Earth; And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth Boundless the deep, because I am who fill
Throughout the fluid mass ; but downward purg'd Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
The black tartareous cold infernal dregs, Though I, uncircumscrib'd myself, retire,
Adverse to life : then founded, then conglob'd And put not forth my goodness, which is free Like things to like; the rest to several place To act or not, necessity and chance
Disparted, and between spun out the air; Approach not me, and what I will is fate.'
And Earth, self-balanc'd, on her centre hung. “ So spake the Almighty, and to what he spake “ • Let there be light,' said God; and forthwith His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.
Light Immediate are the acts of God, more swift
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure Than time or motion, but to human ears
Sprung from the deep; and from her native east Cannot without process of speech be told,
To journey through the aery gloom began, So told as earthly notion can receive.
Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the Sun Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven, Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle When such was heard declared the Almighty's will; Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good; Glory they sung to the Most High, good will And light from darkness by the hemisphere To future men, and in their dwellings peace: Divided : light the Day, and darkness Night, Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
He nam'd. Thus was the first day even and morn: Had driven out the ungodly from his siglit Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung And the habitations of the just ; to him
By the celestial quires, when orient light Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd Exhaling first from darkness they beheld; (shout Good out of evil to create ; instead
Birth-day of Heaven and Earth, with joy and Of spirits malign, a better race to bring
The hollow universal orb they fill’d, Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
And touch'd their golden harps, and hymning His good to worlds and ages infinite.
prais'd “ So sang the hierarchies : meanwhile the Son God and his works; Creator him they sung, On his great expedition now appear'd,
Both when first evening was, and when first morn. Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd “ Again, God said, Let there be firmament Of majesty divine ; sapience and love
Amid the waters, and let it divide Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
The waters from the waters ;' and God made
The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Dividing : for as Earth, so he the world
Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd ; lest fierce extremes
“ Again the Almighty spake, 'Let there be lights Contiguous might distemper the whole frame : High in the expanse of Heaven, to divide And Heaven he nam'd the Firmament: so even The day froin night; and let them be for signs And morning chorus sung the second day.
For seasons, and for days, and circling years ; “ The Earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet And let them be for lights, as I ordain Of waters, embryon immature involv'd,
Their office in the firmament of Heaven, Appear'd not : over all the face of Earth
To give light on the Earth ;' and it was so. Main ocean flow'd, not idle; but, with warm And God made two great lights, great for their use Prolific humour softening all her globe,
To Man, the greater to have rule by day, Fermented the great mother to conceive,
The less by night, altern ; and made the stars, Satiate with genial moisture ; when God said, And set them in the firmament of Heaven * Be gather'd now ye waters under Heaven To illuminate the Earth, and rule the day Into one place, and let dry land appear.'
In their vicissitude, and rule the night, Immediately the mountains huge appear
And light from darkness to divide. God saw, Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave Surveying his great work, that it was good : Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky:
For of celestial bodies first the Sun So high as heav'd the tumid hills, so low
A mighty splere he fram'd, unlightsome first, Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep, Though of ethereal mould: then form'd the Moon Capacious bed of waters : thither they
Globuse, and every magnitude of stars, Hasted with glad precipitance, uprollid,
And sow'd with stars the Heaven, thick as a field : As drops on dust conglobing from the dry : Of light by far the greater part he took, Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and plac'd For haste; such fight the great command impress's In the Sun's orb, made porous to receive On the swift floods : as armies at the call
And drink the liquid light; firın to retain Of trumpets (for of armies thou hast heard) Her gather'd beams, great palace now of light. Troop to their standard ; so the watery throng, Hither, as to their fountain, other stars Wave rolling after wave, where way they found, Repairing, in their golden urns draw light, If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain, And hence the morning-planet gilds her horns ; Soft-ebbing ! nor withstood them rock or hill; By tincture or reflection they augment But they, or under ground, or circuit wide Their small peculiar, though from human sight With serpent errour wandering, found their way, So far remote, with diminution seen. And on the washy oose deep channels wore ;
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry,
Regent of day, and all the horizon round All but within those banks, where rivers now Invested with bright rays, jocund to run Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train. His longitude through Heaven's high road; the gray The dry land, Earth ; and the great receptacle Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danc'd, Of congregated waters, he callid Seas : [Earth Shedding sweet influence : less bright the Moon, And saw that it was good; and said, • Let the But opposite in levell’d west was set, Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, His mirrour, with full face borrowing her light And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind, From him ; for other light she needed none Whose seed is in herself upon the Earth.'
In that aspect, and still that distance keeps He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then Till night; then in the east her turn she shines, Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,
Revolv'd on Heaven's great axle, and her reign Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad with thousand lesser lights dividual holds, Her universal face with pleasant green ;
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd Spangling the hemisphere : then first adorn'd Opening their various colours, and made gay With their bright luminaries that set and rose, (day. Her bosom, smelling sweet: and, these scarce Glad evening and glad morn crown'd the fourth blown,
“ And God said, Let the waters generate Forth flourish'd thick the clustering vine, forth crept Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul : The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed And let fowl Ay above the Earth, with wings Embattled in her field, and the humble shrub, Display'd on the open firmament of Heaven.' And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last
And God created the great whales, and each Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously Their branches hung with copious fruit
, or gemm'd The waters generated by their kinds ; Their blossoms : with high woods the hills were And every bird of wing after his kind; crown'd,
And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side ; • Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas, With borders long the rivers : that Earth now And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill : Seem'd like to Heaven a seat where gods might And let the fowl be multiplied on the Earth.' dwell,
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay, Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals Her sacred shades : though God had yet not raind of fish that with their fins, and shining scales, Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft None was; but from the Earth a dewy mist Bank the mid sea : part single, or with mate, Went up, and water'd all the ground, and each Graze the sea-weed their pasture, and through Plant of the field ; which, ere it was in the Earth,
groves God made, and every herb, before it grew
Of coral stray; or, sporting with quick glance, On the green stem : God saw that it was good : Show to the Sun their wav'd coats dropt with gold; So even and morn recorded the third day.
Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriinent; or under rocks their food At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, In jointed armour watch : on smooth the seal, Insect or worm : those wav'd their limber fans And bended dolphins play : part huge of bulk For wings, and smallest lineaments exact Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait, In all the liveries deck'd of summer's pride, Tempest the ocean : there leviathan,
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green: Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
These, as a line, their long dimension drew, Stretch'd like a promontory sleeps or swims, Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all And seems a moving land; and at his gills Minims of nature ; some of serpent-kind, Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea. Wonderous in length and corpulence, involv'd Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept Their brood as numerous hatch, from the egg that The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future; in small room large heart enclos'd; Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd Pattern of just equality perhaps Their callow young; but feather'd soon and Aledge Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes They summ'd their pens; and, soaring the air of commonalty: swarming next appear'd sublime,
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells In prospect; there the eagle and the stork
With honey stor'd: the rest are numberless, On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build : And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them Part loosely wing the region, part more wise
names, In common, rang'd in figure, wedge their way, Needless to thee repeated : nor unknown Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field, Their aery caravan, high over seas
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane Not noxious, but obedient at thy call. Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air
“ Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and roll'd Floats as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand plumes :
First wheel'd their course : Earth in her rich attire From branch to branch the smaller birds with song Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth, Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
walk'd Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays : Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remaind: Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bath'd
There wanted yet the master-work, the end Their downy breast; the swan with arched neck, Of all yet done ; a creature, who, not prone Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows And brute as other creatures, but endued Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit With sanctity of reason, might erect The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower His stature, and upright with front serene The mid aëreal sky: others on ground
Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven, The silent hours, and the other whose gay train But grateful to acknowledge whence his good Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue
Descends, thither with heart, and voice, and eyes Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus Directed in devotion, to adore With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl, And worship God Supreme, who made him chief Evening and morn solemniz'd the fifth day, Of all his works : therefore the Omnipotent “ The sixth, and of creation last, arose
Eternal Father (for where is not he
The breath of life ; in his own image he
Male he created thee ; but thy consort
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold His hinder parts, then springs, as broke from bonds, Over fish of the sea, and fowl of th' air, And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce, And every living thing that moves on th' Earth! The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole
Wherever thus created, for no place Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st, In hillocks : the swift stag from under ground He brought thee into this delicious grove, Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould This garden, planted with the trees of God, Behemoth, biggest born of Earth, upheav'd Delectable both to behold and taste; His vastness : fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose, And freely all their pleasant fruit for food As plants : ambiguous between sea and land Gave thee; all sorts are here that all the Earth The river-horse, and scaly crocodile.
Variety without end; but of the tree,
Thou hast repell’d; whilc impiously they thought Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil, Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw Thou may'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou diest; The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks Death is the penalty imposed; beware,
To lessen thee, against his purpose 'serves And govern well thy appetite ; lest Sin
To manifest the more thy might : his evil Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.' Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
“ Here finish'd he, and all that he had made Witness this new-made world, another Heaven View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
From Heaven-gate not far, founded in view
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world Up to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode ; Of destin'd habitation; but thou know'st Thence to behold this new created world,
Their seasons: among these the seat of men, The addition of his empire, how it show'd
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfus'd, In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair, Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men, Answering his great idea. Up he rode
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc'd ! Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound
Created in his image there to dwell
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
“ So sung they, and the empyréan rung · Open, ye everlasting gates !' they sung,
With halleluiahs : thus was sabbath kept. • Open, ye Heavens! your living doors ; let in And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd The great Creator from his work return'd
How first this world and face of things began, Magnificent, his six days' work, a world ;
And what before thy memory was done Open, and henceforth oft ; for God will deign From the beginning ; that posterity, To visit oft the dwellings of just men,
Inform'd by thee, might know : if else thou seek'st Delighted; and with frequent intercourse
Aught not surpassing human measure, say."
doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest
rather things more worthy of knowledge : Adam Powder'd with stars. And now on Earth the assents; and, still desirous to detain Raphael, seventh
relates to him what he remembered since his own Evening arose in Eden, for the Sun
creation ; his placing in Paradise; his talk with Was set, and twilight from the east came on,
God concerning solitude and fit society: his first Forerunning night; when at the holy mount meeting and nuptials with Eve: his discourse Of Heaven's high-seated top, the imperial throne with the angel thereupon; who, after admonitions Of Godhead fix'd for ever firm and sure,
repeated, departs. The filial Power arriv'd, and sat him down With his great Father! for he also went
The angel ended, and in Adam's ear Invisible, yet staid, (such privilege
So charming left his voice, that he a while Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordain’d, Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear ; Author and End of all things; and, from work Then, as new wak'd, thus gratefully replied. Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day
“ What thanks sufficient, or what recompense As resting on that day from all his work,
Equal, have I to render thee, divine But not in silence holy kept : the harp
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
This friendly condescension to relate
wonder, but delight, and, as is due, Choral or unison : of incense clouds,
With glory attributed to the high
Which only thy solution can resolve.
Their magnitudes; this Earth a spot, a grain, Than from the giant angels : thee that day
An atom, with the firmament compar'd Thy thunders magnified; but to create
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible, (for such
Diurnal,) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous Earth. this punctual spot,