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CREATION AND PROVIDENCE.

CREATION

INVITATION TO PRAISE THE

CREATOR.

MILTON.

MILTON.

LET us with a gladsome mind Praise the Lord, for he is kind, For his mercies shall endure, Ever faithful, ever sure.

Let us blaze his name abroad,
For of gods, he is the God :
Who by his wisdom did create
The painted Heavens so full of state.

Who did the solid Earth ordain
To rise above the wat'ry plain :
Who by bis all-commanding might,
Did fill the new-made world with light.

THE Son On his great expedition now appear'd, Girt with Omnipotence, with radiance

crown'd Of majesty divine ; sapience and love Immense, and all his Father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots

wing'd From th' armoury of God, where stand of

old Myriads between two brazen mountains

lodg'd Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand, Celestial equipage ; and now came forth Spontaneons; for within them spirit liv'd, Attendant on their Lord; Heav'n open'd

wide Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound On golden hinges moving, tu let forth The King of Glory in his powerful Word And Spirit coming to create new worlds. On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the

shore They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild, Up from the bottom torn’d by furious wind's And surging waves, as mountains, to assault Heav'n's height, and with the centre mix

the pole.

He caused the golden-tressed sun
All the day long his course to run :
The horned moon to shine by night,
Amongst her spangled sisters bright.

All living creatures he doth feed,
And with full hand supplies their need;
Let us therefore warble forth,
His mighty majesty and worth :-

That his mansion bath so high Above the reach of mortal eye; For his mercies shall endure, Ever faithful, ever sure.

even

Silence, ye troubled Waves, and thou In circuit to the uttermost convex
Deep, peace,

Of this great round ; partition firm and sare, Said then th'ompific Word; your discordend! The waters underneath from those above Nor stay'd, but on the wings of Cherubim Dividing: for as Earth, so he the world Uplifted, in paternal glory rode

Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide Far into Chaos, and the world unborn; Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule For Chaos beard his voice; him all his train Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes Follow'd in bright procession to behold Contiguous might distemper the whole Creation, and the wonders of his might.

frame: Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his And Heav'n be named the Firmament; so

hard He took the golden compasses prepar'd And morning chorus sung the second day. In God's eternal store, to circumscribe This universe, and all created things ;

The earth was form’d; but in the womb One foot he centred, and the other turn'd as yet Round through the vast profundity obscure, Of waters, embryon immature involv'd And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy Appear'd not : over all the face of Earth bounds,

Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm This be thy just circumference, 0 World. Prolific humour soft'ning all her globe, Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth.

Fermented the great mother to conceive,

Satiate with genial moisture, when God said, Let there be Light, said God, and forth- Be gather'd now, ye waters under Heav'n, with Light

Into one place, and let dry land appear. Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Immediately the mountains huge appear Sprung from the deep, and from her native Emergent, and their broad bare backs upEast

heave To journey through the aëry gloom began, Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky: Spher'd in a radiant cloud; for yet the sun So high as heay'd the tumid hills, so low Was not, she in a cloudy tabernacle Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and Sojourn'd the while; God saw the light deep, was good;

Capacious bed of waters: thither they And light from darkness by the hemisphere Hasted with glad precipitance, uproll'd Divided : light the Day, and darkness Night As drops on dust conglobing from the dry; He nam’d. Thus was the first day ev'n and Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,

For haste; such fight the great command Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung

impress'd By the celestial qnires, when Orient light

On the swift floods: as armies at the call Exbaling first from darkness, they beheld ; Of trumpets (for of armies thou hast heard) Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy Troop to their standard, so the watery throng, and shout

Wave rolling after wave, where way they The hollow universal orb that fillid,

found, And touch'd their golden harps, and hymn- If sleep with torrent rapture, if through plain ing prais'd

Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them rock or hill, God and his works: Creator, him they sung,

But they, or underground, or circuit wide Both when first evening was, and when With serpent error wand'ring, found their first morn.

way,

And on the washy ooze deep channels wore; Again, God said, Let there be firmament Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry, Amid the waters, and let it divide

All but within those banks, where rivers now The waters from the waters: and God made Stream, and perpetual draw their humid The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,

train. Transparent, elemental air, diffus'd The dry land Earth, and the great receptacle

morn:

Of congregated waters, he call'd Seas ; For seasons, and for days, and circling years, And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' And let them be for lights, as I ordain Earth

Their office in the firmament of Heav'n Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding To give light on the Earth; and it was so. seed,

And God made two great lights, great for And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind,

their use Whose seed is in herself upon the Earth. To man, the greater to have rule by day, He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till The less by night altern; and made the stars, then

And set them in the firmament of Heav'n, Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd, To illuminate the Earth, and rule the day Brought forth the tender grass, whose ver- In their vicissitude, and rule the night, dure clad

And light from darkness to divide. God saw, Her universal face with pleasant green, Surveying his great work, that it was good : Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd For of celestial bodies first the sun Opening their various colours, and made gay A mighty sphere he fram’d, unlightsome first, Her bosom smelling sweet; and these scarce Tho' of ethereal mould: then form'd the blown,

moon Forth flourish'd thick the clust’ring vine, Globose, and every magnitude of stars, forth crept

And sow'd with stars the Heav'n thick as The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed

a field : Embattled in her field, and the humble Of light by far the greater part he took, shrub,

Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and And bush with frizzled hair implicit: last plac'd Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and In the sun's orb, made porous to receive spread

And drink the liquid light, firm to retain Their branches hang with copious fruit, or Her gather'd beams, great palace now of gemm'd

light. Their blossoms; with high woods the hills Hither, as to their fountain, other stars were crown'd

Repairing, in their golden uros draw light With tofts the vallies, and each fountain side; And hence the morning planet gilds her With borders long the rivers : that Earth

horns;

By tincture or reflection they augment Seein'd like to Heav'n, a seat where gods Their small peculiar, though from human might dwell,

sight Or wander with delight, and love to haunt So far remote, with diminution seen. Her sacred shades : tho' God bad yet not First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, rain'd

Regent of day, and all the horizon round Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground Invested with bright rays, jocund to run None was, but from the Earth a dewy mist His longitude thro' Heaven's high road; the Went up and water'd all the ground, and each gray Plant of the field, which, ere it was in th' Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd, Earth

Shedding sweet influence: less bright the God made, and every herb, before it grew moon On the green stem ; God saw that it was But opposite in levell’d West was set good :

His mirrror, with full face borrowing her So ev'n and morn recorded the third day. light

From him, for other light she needed none Again th' Almighty spake, Let there be In that aspect, and still that distance keeps lights

Till night ; then in the east her turn she High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide shines, The day from night; and let them be for Revolv'd on Heav'n's great axle, and her signs,

reign

now

crane

with song

fill;

With thousand lesser lights dividual holds, The callow young, but feather'd soon and With thousand thousand stars, that then fledge appear'd

They summ’d their pens, and soaring th' air Spangling the bemisphere: then first adorn'd sublime With their įbright luminaries that set and With clang despis'd the ground under a cloud rose,

In prospect; there the eagle and the stork Glad Ev’ning and glad Morn crowu'd the On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build: fourth day.

Part loosely wing the region, part more wise

In common, ranged in figure, wedge their And God said, Let the waters generate

way, Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul : Intelligent of seasons, and set forth And let fowl fly above the Earth, with wings | Their aëry caravan, high over seas Display'd on the open firmament of Heav'n. Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing And God created the great whales, and each Easing their flight; so steers the prudent Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously

Her annual voyage, borne op winds; th' air The waters generated by their kinds, Floats as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd And every bird of wing after his kind ;

plumes : And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, | From branch to branch the smaller birds

saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas, Svlaced the woods, and spread their painted And lakes, and running streams the waters wings

Till even ; nor then the solemn nightingale And let the fowl be multiply'd on th’Earth. Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her Forth with the sounds and seas, each creek soft lays : and bay,

Others, op silver lakes and rivers, bathed With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals Their downy breast ; the swan with arched Of fish that with their fins and shining scales

neck, Glide under the green wave, in sculis that oft Between her white wings mantling prondly, Bank the mid sea : part single, or with mate rows Graze the sea weed their pasture, and Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit through groves

The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower Of coral stray, or sporting with quick glance The mid aerial sky: others on ground Shew to the sun their wav'd coats dropt Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion with gold,

sounds Or in their pearly shells at ease, attend The silent hours, and the other whose gay Moist nutriment, or onder rocks their food train In jointed armour watch: on smooth the Adorns bim, colour'd with the florid hue seal,

Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters And bended dolphins play : part huge of bulk thus Wallowing unwieldly, enormous in their With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl, gait

Evening and morn solemniz'd the fifth day. Tempest the ocean : there Leviathan, Hugest of living creatures, on the deep The sixth, and of creation last, arose Stretch'd like a promontory, sleeps or swims, With evening harps and matin ; when God And seems a moving land, and at bis gills said, Draws in, and at his trunk spouts ont, a sea. Let the Earth bring forth soul living in her Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and kind, shores,

Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of Their brood as numerous hatch, from th' th’ Earth, egg that soon

Each in their kind. The Earth obey'd, and Bursting with kindly rapture forth disclos'd straight

Opening her fertile womb teem'd at a birth, Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells Ionumerous living creatures, perfect forms, With honey stor'd: the rest are numberless, Limb'd and full grown ; out of the ground And thou their nature know'st, and gav'st uprose,

them names, As from bis lair, the wild beast where he Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown dwells

The serpent subtlest beast of all the field, In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den ; Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes Among the trees in pairs they rose, they And hairy mane terrific, though to thee walk'd :

Not noxious, but obedient at thy call. The cattle in the fields and meadows green: Those rare and solitary, these in flocks Now Heav'n in all her glory shone, and Pasturing at once, and in broad herds up- roll'd sprung.

Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand The grassy clods now calved; now half ap- First wheeled their course; Earth in her rich pear'd

attire The tawoy lion, pawing to get free Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth, His hinder parts, then springs as broke from By fowl, tish, beast, was flown, was swum, bonds,

was walk'd And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remain'd; ounce,

There wanted yet the master work, the end The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole Of all yet done; a creature who not prone Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw And brate as other creatures, but endow'd In billocks: the swift stag from under ground With sanctity of reason, might erect Bore up his branching head : scarce from His stature, and upright with front serene his mould

Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from Behemoth biggest born of earth, upheaved thence His vastness : fleeced the flocks and bleat-Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven ; ing rose,

But grateful to acknowledge wbence his good As plants : ambiguous between sea and land Descends, thither with heart, and voice, and The river-horse, and scaly crocodile.

eyes At once came forth whatever creeps the Directed in devotion, to adore ground,

And worship God Supreme, who made him Insect or worm : those waved their limber chief fans

Of all his works : therefore the Omnipotent For wings, and smallest lineaments exact Eternal Father (for where is not he In all the liveries deck of summer's pride, Present?) thus to his Son audibly spake :With spots of gold and purple, azure and green:

Let us make now man in our image, Man These, as a line, their long dimension drew, In our similitude, and let them rule Streaking the ground with sinuous trace ; Over the fish and fowl of sea and air, not all

Beast of the field, and over all the Earth, Minims of nature; some of serpent kind, And every creeping thing that creeps the Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved ground. Their snaky folds, and added wings. First This said, he form'd thee, Adam, thee, O Man, crept

Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils The parsimonious emmet, provident

breathed Of future; in small room large heart en- The breath of life; in his own image he closed,

Created thee, in the image of God Pattern of just equality, perhaps

Express; and thou becamest a living soul. Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes Male he created thee; but thy consort Of commonality: swarming next appear'd Female, for race; then bless'd mankind, and The female bee, that feeds her husband drone

said,

D

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