페이지 이미지


And earth be chang'd to heav'n, and heav'n to earth,
One kingdom, joy and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye powers of heav'n,
And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform, speak thou, and be it done.
My overshadowing spirit and might with thee 165
I send along; ride forth, and bid the deep
Within appointed bounds be heav'n and earth,
Boundless the deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I uncircumscrib'd myself retire,
And put not forth my goodness, which is free
To act, or not, necessity and chance
Approach not me, and what I will is fate.



So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spake His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect. Immediate are the acts of God, more swift Than time or motion, but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receive. Great triumph and rejoicing was in heav'n, When such was heard declar'd the Almighty's will; Glory they sung to the Most High, good will


173 fate] Todd has quoted Plato's Timæus, ed. Serrani, vol. iii. p. 41. Bentley cites Lucan, v. ver. 91. Jortin, Statii Theb. i. 212. Thyer, Claud. de R. Pros. ii. 306. and Tasso Gier. Lib. iv. 17.

• Sia destin cio, ch' io voglio.'

182 the] Bentley reads to God most high,' which Newton approves.

To future men, and in their dwellings peace;
Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
And th' habitations of the just; to him
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd
Good out of evil to create, in stead

Of spirits malign a better race to bring

Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to worlds and ages infinite.




So sang the Hierarchies. Mean while the Son On his great expedition now appear'd, Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd Of Majesty divine, sapience and love Immense, and all his Father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And Virtues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd, From the armoury of God, where stand of old 200 Myriads, between two brazen mountains locg'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 205 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,

[blocks in formation]


Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault 214
Heav'n's highth, and with the center 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 stay'd 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 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.



Thus GOD the heav'n created, thus the earth, Matter unform'd and void. Darkness profound Cover'd th' Abyss; but on the watʼry 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

214 And] Newton would read In surging waves;' it seems better, says Todd, as the Doctor observes, to say of the sea, ' in surging waves,' than 'by.'


fervid] Hor. Od. i. i. 4.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The black, tartareous, cold, infernal, dregs,
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
Like things to like; the rest to several place 240
Disparted, and between spun out the air,
And earth self-balanc'd on her center 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,
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 past uncelebrated, nor unsung



By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld,
Birth-day of heav'n and earth; with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fill'd,

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

209 founded] Rounded. Bentl. MS.


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
Crystallin 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.





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 soft'ning all her globe 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 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, 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 imprest On the swift floods: as armies at the call Of trumpet, for of armies thou hast heard,



« 이전계속 »