Imágenes de páginas





In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things
One foot he centred, and the other turn d
Round, through the vast profundity obscure
And said, 'Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds
This be thy just circumference, O world.'
Thus God the heaven created, thus the earth.
Matter unform'd and void : darkness profound
Cover'd the abyss : but, on the watery calm,
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth,
Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purg'd
The black tartareous cold infernal dregs,
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglobed
Like things to like, the rest to several place
Departed, and between spun out the air,
And earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung.

“Let there be light,' said God; & forthwith light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep, and, from her native east,
To journey through the airy gloom began,
Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good ;
And light from darkness, by the hemisphere
Divided : liglit the day, and darkness night
He named. Thus was the first day even and morn
Nor pass'd uncelebrated, nor unsung,
By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld;
Birth-day of Heaven and earth; with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fillid,
And touchd their golden harps, & 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, diffused
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 removed, lest fierce extremes,











Contiguous, might distem per the whole frame :
And Heaven he nam'd the firmament: so even
And morning chorus sung the second day.

“The earth was form'd, but in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature involved,
Appear'd not : over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm
Prolific humour softening all her globe,
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture, when God said,
* Be gather'd now ye waters under Heaven
Into one place, and let dry land appear.'
Immediately the mountains huge appear,
Emergent, & their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky:
So high as heay'd the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters: thither they
Hastened 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 cominand impress'd
On the swift foods : as armies at the call
Of trumpet, for of armies thou hast heard,
Troop to their standard, so the watery 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 wandering, 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 callid seas :
And saw that it was good ; & said, ' Let the 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 bad said, when the bare earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadornd,
Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad
Her universal face with pleasant green;
Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd,
Opening their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom, smelling sweet : & these scarce blown,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]






Forth flourish'd thick the clustering vine, forth crept
The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed,
Embattled in her field; and the humble shrub,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last,
Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread
Their 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 Heaven, a seat where Gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
Her sacred shades : though God had yet not rain'd
Upon the earth, and man to till the ground
None was; but from the earth a dewy mist
Went up, and watered all the ground, and each,
Plant of the field, which, ere it was in the earth,
God made, and every herb, before it grew
On the green stem; God saw that it was good :
So even and morn recorded the third day.

"Again the Almighty spake, 'Let there be lights,
High in the expanse of Heaven, 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 made 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 framed, unlightsome first,
Though of ethereal mould : then form'd the moon
Globose, and every magnitude of stars,
And sow'd with stars the Heaven, thick as a field :
Of light, by far the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placed
In the sun's orb, made porous to receive
And drink the liquid light, firm to retain
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 the horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through Heaven's high road; the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd,
Shedding sweet influence : less bright the moon,
But opposite, in levell’d 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
Revolved on Heaven's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spangling the hemisphere: then, first adorn'd
With their bright luminaries that set and rose,
Glad evening & glad morn crown'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
Display'd on the open firmament of Heaven.'
And God created the great whales, and each
Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
The waters generated by their kinds,
And every bird of wing after his kind ;
And saw that it was good, & bless'd them, saying,
• Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas,
And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multiply'd, on the earth.'
Forth with the sounds 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, & through groves
Of coral stray; or sporting, with quick glance
Show to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold ;
Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment; or under rocks, their food
In jointed armour watch. On smooth the seal,
And bended dolphins play : part, huge of bulk,
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean: there 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 Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea, Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, Their brood as numerous hatch, from the egg, that, soon Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed Their callow young; but feather'd soon, and fledge, They summ’d their pens, & soaring the air sublime, 420 With clang despised the ground, under a cloud In prospect; there the eagle and the stork, On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build : Part loosely wing the region ; part more wise, In common, ranged in figure, wedge their way, 425 Intelligent of seasons, and set forth Their airy caravan, high over seas Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air

430 Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes : From branch to branch, the smaller birds with song Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings, Till even, nor then the solemn nightingale Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays :

435 Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed 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 pinions, tower 440 The mid aerial sky: others on ground Walk'd firm : the crested cock, whose clarion sounds The silent hours, and the other, whose


train Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus 445 With fish replenish’d, and the air with fowl, Evening and morn solemnized the fifth day.

“The sixth, and of creation last, With evening harps and matin; when God said, Let the earth bring forth soul living in her kind, 450 Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the 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, Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up rose,

455 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 ind solitary, these in flocks



« AnteriorContinuar »