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Celestial equipage: and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit livd,
Attendant on their Lord: Heaven open'd wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory, in his powerful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore
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
Heaven'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 staid, 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
Creation, and the wonders of His might
Then staid the fervid wheels, and in His hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things;
One foot he centred, and the other turn'd
Round thro' the vast profundity obscure,

And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds, This be thy just circunference, O world!

Thus God the heaven 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 Spirit of God outspread, And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth 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 several place 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 Æthereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep, and from her native east To journey through the aëry gloom began. 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 Divided: light the Day, and darkness Night He nam’d. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn: Nor pass'd uncelebrated, nor unsung By the celestial quoirs, when orient light, Exhaling first from darkness, they beheld; Birth-day of heaven 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 evening was, and when first morn.

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
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
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous, might distemper the whole frame:
And heaven He nam'd the firmament: so ev'n
And morning chorus sung the second day.

The earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature involv'd,
Appear'd not: over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm
Prolific humour, softning all her glebe,
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture: when GOD said,
Be gather'd now, ye waters under heaven,

Into one place, and let dry land appear.
Immediately the mountains huge appear
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
Hasted with glad precipitance, uprollid
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such fight the great command impress'd
On the swift floods: as armies at the call
Of trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard)
Troop to their standard, so the watry 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,
With serpent-error wand'ring, found their way,
And on the washy ooze deep channels wore;
Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry,
All but within those banks, where rivers now
Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train.

The dry land, Earth, and the great receptacle
Of congregated waters He calld 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,
Whose seed is in herself


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; Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'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 The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed Embattelld 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 With blossoms; with high woods the hills were

crown'd, With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side, With borders 'loog 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 Her sacred shades: though God had not yet rain'd Upon the earth, and man to till the ground None was, but from the earth a dewy mist Went

up, and water'd all the ground, and each Plant of the field, which, ere it was in th' earth,

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