Page images

“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, and through groves 405 “Of coral stray; or, sporting with quick glance,

“Show to the sun their wav'd 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 410 “ 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, 415 “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 num'rous hatch, from the egg that, soon

“ Bursting with kindly rapture, forth disclos'd 420 “ Their callow young; but feather'd soon, and fledge,

They summ'd their pens; and, soaring the air sublime, “ With clang despis’d the ground, under a cloud “In prospect: there the eagle and the stork

“On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build :
425 “ Part, loosely wing the region; part, more wise,

“ In common, rang’d 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
“Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air
“ Floats as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes.
“ From branch to branch the smaller birds with


“ Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings 435 “ Till ev'n; nor then the solemn nightingale

“ Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays.
“ Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bath'd
“Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck


“ Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows 440 “ Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit

“ The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
“ The mid aëreal sky. Others on ground
“ Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds

“ The silent hours, and the other whose gay train
445 Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue
“ Of rainbows and starry eyes.

The waters thus
“ With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
“Ev'ning and morn solemniz'd the Fifth Day.

“ The Sixth, and of creation last, arose
450 “ With ev'ning harps and matin; when God said,

“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 obey'd, and straight “ Opening her fertile womb, teem'd at a birth 455 “Innum'rous living creatures, perfect forms,

“Limb'd 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 walk'd: 460 “ The cattle, in the fields and meadows green:

“ Those rare and solitary; these in flocks

Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung. “ The grassy clods now calv'd; now half appear'd

“ The tawny lion, pawing to get free 465 “ 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 under ground 470 Bore

up his branching head : scarce from his mould “Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheav'd “His vastness: fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose, “ As plants: ambiguous between sea and land,

“ The river-horse, and scaly crocodile. 475 “ At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,

“ Insect or worm: those wav'd their limber fans
“For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
“ In all the liv'ries deck'd of summer's pride,

“ With spots of gold and purple, azure and green: 480 “ 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, involv'd

“ Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept 485 “ The parsimonious emmet, provident

“Of future; in small room large heart enclos'd;
“ Pattern of just equality perhaps
“Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes

“Of commonalty. Swarming next, appear'd 490 “ The female bee, that feeds her husband drone

Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells “ With honey stor'd. The rest are numberless, And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them names,

“ Needless to thee repeated: nor unknown 495 “ 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 rollid 500 “ Her motions as the great first Mover's hand

“ First wheel'd their course: earth in her rich attire
“ Consummate lovely smil'd! air, water, earth,
“By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walkid,

“ Frequent; and of the Sixth Day yet remain'd505 “ There wanted yet the master-work, the end

“ Of all yet done; a creature, who, not prone
“ And brute as other creatures, but endu'd
“ With sanctity of reason, might erect

His stature, and upright with front serene
510 “Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence

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
515 “ 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 520 ««•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 form'd thee, Adam, thee, O man!
“ Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
“ 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 bless'd mankind, and said

“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;
540 And freely all their pleasant fruit for food

“Gave thee: all sorts are here that all th' earth yields, “ Variety without end: but of the tree

Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil,

“ Thou may'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou diest; 545 “Death is the penalty impos'd: beware,

And govern well thy appetite; lest Sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.

Here finish'd he, and all that he had made

“ View'd, and, behold, all was entirely good! 550 “ So ev'n and morn accomplish'd the Sixth Day:

“ Yet not till the Creator, from his work

“ Desisting, though unwearied, up return’d,

Up to the heaven of heavens, his high abode;

" Thence to behold this new-created world, 555 “The addition of his empire-how it show'd

“In prospect from his throne-how good-how fair,
“ Answ'ring his great idea. Up he rode
“ Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound

Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tun'd 560 “ Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air

“Resounded,—thou remember'st, for thou heard'st,)-
" The heavens and all the constellations rung,-
“ The planets in their station list’ning stood, -

“ While the bright pomp ascended jubilant. 565 “ Open, ye everlasting gates !' they sung,

Open, ye heavens! your living doors ; let in
“. The great Creator from his work return'd
Magnificent, his six days' work, a world!

“Open, and henceforth oft ; for God will deign 570 « To visit oft the dwellings of just men,

Delighted; and with frequent intercourse
- « Thither will send his winged messengers,
« On errands of supernal grace.' So sung

“The glorious train ascending. He through heaven, 575 “ That open'd wide her blazing portals, led

“ To God's eternal house direct the way;
"A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
“ And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear

“Seen in the galaxy,—that milky way
580 “ Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest
“ Powder'd with stars.

“ And now on earth the Seventh “Ev'ning arose in Eden, for the sun “ Was set, and twilight from the East came on,

Forerunning night; when, at the holy mount 585

“Of heaven's high-seated top,—the imperial throne
" Of Godhead fix'd for ever firm and sure,-
“ The Filial Power arriv'd, and sat him down
“ With his great Father: for he also went

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »