Imágenes de páginas


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 grey
Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danced,
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the Moon,
But opposite in levelled 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 appeared
Spangling the hemisphere. Then first adorned
With their bright luminaries, that set and rose,
Glad evening and glad morn crowned 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 Displayed on the open firmament of heaven!'

390 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, and blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and, in the seas, And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill; And let the fowl be multiplied on the earth!' Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay, With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals

400 Of fish that, with their fins and shining scales, Glide under the green wave in sculls that oft

[ocr errors]

that soon,

Bank the mid-sea. Part, single or with mate,
Graze the sea-weed, their pasture, and 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, 410
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean. There leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretched 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

Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed
Their callow young ; but feathered soon and fledge 420
They summed their pens, and, soaring the air sublime,
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, Intelligent of seasons, and set forth Their aery caravan, high over seas Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing Easing their flight: so steers the prudent crane 430 Her annual voyage, borne on winds: the air Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered 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. 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 pennons, tower
The mid aerial sky. Others on ground
Walked firm—the crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and the other, whose gay train
Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry eyes.

The waters thus
With Fish replenished, and the air with Fowl,
Evening and morn solemnized the fifth Day.

“The sixth, and of Creation last, arose With evening harps and matin ; when God said,

450 * Let the Earth bring forth soul living in her kind, Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth, Each in their kind !' The Earth obeyed, and, straight Opening her fertile womb, teemed at a birth Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, Limbed and full-grown.

Out of the ground up rose, 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 walked ; The cattle in the fields and meadows green : 460 Those rare and solitary, these in flocks Pasturing at once and in broad herds, upsprung. The grassy clods now calved ; now half appeared The tawny lion, pawing to get free His hinder parts—then springs, as broke from bonds, And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce, The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw In hillocks; the swift stag from underground Bore up his branching head ; scarce from his mould Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness ; fleeced the flocks and bleating rose,



As plants; ambiguous between sea and land,
The river-horse and scaly crocodile.
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
Insect or worm. Those waved their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries decked of summer's pride,
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green ;
These as a line their long dimension drew,
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace: not all
Minims of nature ; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart enclosed —
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter,—joined in her popular tribes
Of commonalty. Swarming next appeared
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stored. The rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them names,
Needless to thee repeated ; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

“Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled Her motions, as the great First Mover's hand

500 First wheeled their course ; Earth, in her rich attire Consummate, lovely smiled ; Air, Water, Earth, By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walked, Frequent; and of the sixth Day yet remained. There wanted yet the master-work, the end Of all yet done-a creature who, not prone And brute as other creatures, but endued


[ocr errors]

With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence 510
Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven,
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends; thither with heart, and voice, and eyes
Directed in devotion, to adore
And worship God Supreme, who made him chief
Of all his works. Therefore the Omnipotent
Eternal Father (for where is not He
Present ?) thus to his Son audibly spake :-
'Let us make now Man in our image, Man
In our similitude, and let them rule

Over the fish and fowl of sea and air,
Beast of the field, and over all the earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground !'
This said, he formed thee, Adam, thee, O Man,
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed
The breath of life ; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express, and thou becam'st a living soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort
Female, for race; then blessed mankind, and said, 530
* Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth;
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold
Over fish of the sea, and fowl of the air,
And every living thing that moves on the Earth!'
Wherever thus created for no place
Is yet distinct by name—thence, as thou know'st,
He brought thee into this delicious grove,
This Garden, planted with the trees of God,
Delectable both to behold and taste,
And freely all their pleasant fruit for food

540 Gave thee. All sorts are here that all the earth yields, Variety without end ; but of the tree

« AnteriorContinuar »