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Of majesty divine; sapience and love

195 Immense, and all his father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And virtues, winged Sp'rits, 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 Spontaneous, for within them Spirit liv’d, Attendant on their Lord : Heav'n open'd wide Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound! 206 On golden hinges moving, to let forth The King of Glory in his pow'rful Word And Spirit, coming to create new worlds. On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore

210 They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild, Up from the bottom turn’d by furious winds And surging waves, as mountains, to assault 214 Heav'n's height, and with the centre mix the pole. Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep,

peace, Said then th'omnific Word; your discord end. Nor stay'd, but on the wings of Cherubim Uplifted, in paternal glory rode Far into Chaos, and the world unborn; For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train Follow'd in bright procession, to behold

220

Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd 225
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things.
One foot he center'd, 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!

231
Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth,
Matter unform'd and void. Darkness profound
Cover'd th' abyss : but on the wat’ry calm
His brooding wings the Sp'rit of God outspread,
And vital virtue' infus'd, and vital warmth 236
Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purg'd
The black tartareous cold infernal dregs
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
Like things to like, the rest to sev'ral place 240
Disparted, and between spun out the air ;
And Earth, self-balanc'd, on her centre hung.
Let there be light, said God; and forthwith

light Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep, and from her native east To journey through the aery gloom began, 246 Spher'd 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 250 Divided: light the Day, and darkness Night

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He nam’d. Thus was the first day ev’n and morn:
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld. 255
Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and

shout
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 ev’ning was, and when first
morn.

260
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, diffus'd

265
In circuit to the utmost 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 270
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov’d, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament. So ev'n
And morning chorus sung the second day. 275

The earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature involvid,
Appear'd not. Over all the face of th' earth

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Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm
Prolific humour soft'ning all her globe, 280
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture, when God said,
Be gather'd now, ye waters, under Heav'n
Into one place, and let dry land

appear.
Immediately the mountains huge appear 285
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

290 Hasted with glad precipitance, uproll’d As drops on dust conglobing from the dry; Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct, For haste : such flight the great command im

pressid On the swift foods. As armies at the call 295 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 301 With serpent error wand'ring, found their way, And on the washy oose deep channels wore; Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry, All but within those banks, where rivers now 305 Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train. The dry land, Earth ; and the great receptacle

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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, 311
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, 316
Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flow'r’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

320 The smelling gourd, upstood the corny reed Embattl'd in her field, and th’humble shrub, And bush with frizzl'd hair implicit. Last Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread Their branches, hung with copious fruit, or gemm’d

325 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 Heav'n, a seat where Gods might

dwell, Or wander with delight, and love to haunt 330 Her sacred shades. Tho'God had yet not rain'd Upon the earth, and man to till the ground

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