Obrázky na stránke

Behemoth biggest borne 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.

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 :
These as a line their long dimension drew, 480
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
The parsimonious emmet, provident

Of future, in small room large heart inclos'd,
Pattern of just equality perhaps

Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes


Of commonalty: swarming next appear'd
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



Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field, 495
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

Now Heav'n in all her glory shone, and roll'd


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

Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the master-work, the end 505
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,
Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence
Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n, 511
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 th'Omnipotent 516 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 ev'ry 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.


[blocks in formation]

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 th' air,
And ev'ry living thing that moves on th' 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 th' earth


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



Death is the penalty impos'd; beware,
And govern well thy appetite, lest Sin
Surprize thee, and her black attendant Death.
· Here finish'd he, and all that he had made
View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day: 550
Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unweary'd, up return'd,
Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new-created world
Th' 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
Angelic harmonies. The earth, the air 560
Resounded (thou remember'st, for thou heard'st);
The Heav'ns and all the constellations rung;
The planets in their station list'ning stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
Open, ye everlasting gates, they sung ;
Open, ye Heav'ns, 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
To visit oft the dwellings of just men
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
Thither will send his winged messengers
On errands of supernal grace.
The glorious train ascending. He thro' Heav'n,
That open'd wide her blazing portals, led 575
To God's eternal house direct the way:

So sung

A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear,
Seen in the galaxy, that milky way,


Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest 580 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 Of Heav'n's high-seated top, th' imperial throne


Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,

The Filial Pow'r arriv'd, and sat him down
With his great Father (for he also went
Invisible) yet stay'd (such privilege

Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd, 590
Author and End of all things, and from work
Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the sev'nth day,
As resting on that day from all his work,

But not in silence holy kept: the harp

Had work and rested not, the solemn pipe, 595
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,

All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison: of incense clouds

Fuming from golden censers hid the mount. 600
Creation and the six days acts they sung:
Great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite

Thy pow'r! What thought can measure thee, or tongue

Relate thee! Greater now in thy return
Than from the giant Angels! thee that day 605
Thy thunders magnify'd! but to create,

Is greater than created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire! Easily the proud attempt
Of Spirits apostate and their counsels vain 610
Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves

« PredošláPokračovať »