Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

The hollow universal orb they fillid,
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 morn.

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, diffu'd
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
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous, might distemper the whole frame:
And heaven He nam'd the firmament: so ev'n
And morning chorus sung the second day.

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 glebe,
Fermented the great inother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture: when God said,
Be gather'd now, ye waters under heaven,

[ocr errors]

Into one place, and let dry land appear.
Inmediately the mountains huge appear
Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky:
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 di
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 flower'd,
Op’ning 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
Embatteld in her held; and th' humble shrub
And bush, with frizzled hair implicit: last:
Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread
Their branches hung with copious fruit,or gemm'd
With 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 not yet 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,

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
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 macle 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
In their vicissitude, and rule the night,
And light from darkness to 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,
Though of æthercal mould; then form't the moon
Globose, and every magnitude of stars,
And sow'd with stars the heaven thick as a field :
Of light hy far the greatest part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and plac’d
In the sun's orb, made porous to receive
And drink the liquid light, firm to retain

1

Her gather'd beams, great palace now of light.
Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
Repairing, in their golden urns draw light,
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 thro' heaven's high road; the grey
Dawn, and the Pleïades before him danc'd,
Shedding sweet influence: less bright the moon,
But opposite in levelld 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,
Revolv'd on heaven's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appeara
Spangling the hemisphere: then first adorn'd
With their bright luminaries that set and rose;
Glad ev'ning and glad morncrown’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

« ForrigeFortsæt »