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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 tund
Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air
Resounded, (thou remember’st, for thou heard'st ;)
The heavens 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 heavens, 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 visit 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
Seen in the galaxy, that milky way
Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest
Powder'd with stars. And now on earth the seventh
581 Powder'd] Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 76.
Powdred with stars streaming with glorious light.' Todd.
Evening arose in Eden, for the sun
Was set, and twilight from the east came on,
Forerunning night; when at the holy mount
Of heaven's high seated top, th’ imperial throne 585
Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arriv’d, and sat him down
With his great Father; for he also went
Invisible, yet stay’d, (such privilege
Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordain'd,
Author and end of all things, and from work
Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day,
As resting on that day from all his work,
But not in silence holy kept; the harp
Had work, and rested not; the solemn pipe
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison: of incense clouds
Fuming from golden censers hid the mount.
Creation and the six days acts they sung ;
Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
Thy power; what thought can measure thee, or tongue
Relate thee! greater now in thy return
Than from the giant angels; thee that day
Thy thunders magnified; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire ! easily the proud attempt
Of spirits apostate and their counsels vain
Thou hast repell?d, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another heaven
From heaven gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destin'd habitation ; but thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfus'd,
Their pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happy men, 625
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc’d,
Created in his image, there to dwell
And worship him; and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
Holy and just: thrice happy, if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright.
So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With Hallelujahs: thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
How first this world and face of things began,
And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning, that posterity
Inform’d by thee might know.
If else thou seek'st Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.
Adam inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answer'd, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowl. edge. Adam assents; and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remember'd since his own creation; his placing in Paradise ; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society; his first meeting and nuptials with Eve; his discourse with the angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.
The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear :
Then, as new wak’d, thus gratefully replied.
What thanks sufficient, or what recompence
Equal, have I to render thee, divine
Historian ? who thus largely hast allay'd
1 The angel] In the first edition of this poem in ten books, here was only this line,
To whom thus Adam gratefully replied.
This would have been too abrupt a beginning for a new book.
5 What thanks] See Beaumont's Psyche, c. xii. st. 171.
My soule's sweet friend, what thanks can I repay
For all this honey which thy tongue hath shed.'
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator : something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world,
Of heaven and earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible, (for such
Their distance argues, and their swift return
Diurnal,) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire,
How nature wise and frugal could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold, to this one use,
For aught appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
8 The thirst] See Dante Il Purgator. c. xviii. ver. 4.
· Ed io, cui nuova sete ancor frugava,
Di fuor taceva, e dentro dicea.' 9 condescension] Conversation, ver. 649. Bentl. MS. 14 solution] Decision. Bentl. MS. 15 goodly] Hamlet, act ii. scene ii.
• This goodly frame the Earth.'