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Heavn'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 Cherubin Uplifted, in paternal glory rode Far into Chaos, and the world unborn ,
220 For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train Follow'd in bright procession, to behold Creation, and the wonders of his might. Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand He took the golden compasses, prepared
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, 230 This be thy just circumference, O world ! Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth, Matter un form'd and void. Darkness profound Cover'd th' abyss; but on the wat'ry calm His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread, 235 And vital virtue' infused and vital warmth Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purged The black tartareous cold infernal dregs Adverse to life : then founded, then conglobed Like things to like, the rest to sev'ral place 240 Disparted, and between spun out the air ; And Earth. selt-balanced, on her centre hung.
Let there be light, said God; and forth with light Ethereal first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep, and from her native east 245 To journey through the aery gloom began, Sphered in a radiant cloud; for yet the sun
225. Prov, viii. 27. 232. It is well observed, that this book is a magnificent para
phrase of the Moral account of the creation. 243. Geni. i. 3. I cannot but nhserve here that one of the most sublime, and at the same tine learned of niodern reaxopers, in speaking to me on this pasnige of Scripture, remark, d, that the tisnal wity in which it is understood is nni onis incorrect, but greatly diminishes its sublimity. It is highly wrong, according to hir, ic suppose that light was first called into bring on the creation of this world, for Heaven nad been for over filled with it, and Goul bisself is compared to it: the expression, consequently,
Let there be light,' is to be interpreted, Let the light flow forth, let there be light shining from its great original fountain on the commencing systeni.'
Was not: she in a cloudy tabernacle
Again, God said, Let there be firmament 261 Amid the waters, and let it divide The waters from the waters. And God inade The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure, Transparent, elemental air, diffused
265 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 270 Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule Of Chaos far removed, lest fierce extremes Contiguous might distemper the whole frame: And Heav'n he named 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 involved, Appear'd not. Over all the face of th' earth Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm Prolific huniour 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
256. Job xxxviii. 4. 7. I might multiply references without end i ihis part of the poem, but it must be left to the industry or curiosity of the reader to discover the scriptural allusions where they are so numerous as in the present instance.
Into the clouds ; their tops ascend the sky:
316 Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flow'r'a Opening 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, upstood the corny reed
321 Einbattled in her field, 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
321. Swelling has been suggested, and most probably correctly,
323. Hair, cona is the same in Latin, small leaves, twigs, &ci. implicit, en angled.
323. Gemm'd, from gemmare, to put forth blossoms.
Their blossoms : with high woods the hills were
Again the Almighty spake, Let there be Lights
By tincture or reflection they augment Their small peculiar, though for human sight So far remote, with diminution seen. First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, 370 Regent of day, and all ta' horizon round Invested with bright rays, jocund to run His longitude through Heav'n's high road. The grey Dawn and the Pleiades before him danced, Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon, But opposite in levell'd west was set 376 His mirror, with full face borrowing her light From him, for other light she needed none In that aspéct; and still that distance keeps Till night, then in the east her turn she shines, 380 Revolved on Heav'n'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 adorm'd With her bright luminaries that set and rose, 385 Glad ev'ning and 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 th' open firmament of Heav'n. 390 And God created the great whales, and each Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously The waters generated by their kinds, And ev'ry bird of wing after his kind; And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas, 396 And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill; And let the fowl be multiply'd on th’ earth. Forth with 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 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, 405 Shew to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold, Or in their pearly shells at ease, attend
373. For longitude Bentley reads his long career.