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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, diffused “ 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 removed ; lest fierce extremes

Contiguous might distemper the whole frame : “ And Heaven he named the firmament: so even And morning chorus sung the second day.

"The earth was formed, but in the womb as yet Of waters, embryon immature, involved,

Appeared not: over all the face of earth

Main ocean flowed, not idle; but, with warm “Prolific humour softening all her globe, Fermented the great mother to conceive,

Satiate with genial moisture : when God said, “ 'Be gathered 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 heaved the tumid hills, so low “Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad, and deep

Capacious bed of waters: thither they

Hasted with glad precipitance, uprolled, “ As drops on dust conglobing from the dry; “ Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct, “For haste; such flight the great command impressed “On the swift floods : as armies, at the call “Of trumpets (for of armies thou hast heard), * Troop to their standard ; so the watery 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;





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“ But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
“ With serpent error wandering, 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 called Seas; “And saw that it was good : and said, 'Let the Earth “ Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, 310 And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind, “ Whose seed is in herself upon the Earth.' “He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then “ Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorned,

Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad “ Her universal face with pleasant green; “ Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flowered,

Opening their various colours, and made gay Her bosom, smelling sweet : and, these scarce blown, “ Forth flourished thick the clustering vine; forth crept 320 “ The swelling gourd; up stood the corny reed “ Embattled in her field, and the 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 gemmed “ Their blossoms: with high woods the hills were crowned, “ With tufts the valleys, and each fountain-side; “ With borders long the rivers : that Earth now “ Seemed like to Heaven, a seat where Gods might dwell, Or wander with delight, and love to haunt

330 “Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rained

Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground “None was; but from the Earth a dewy mist Went up, and watered all the ground, and each “ Plant of the field; which, ere it was in the earth, “ God made, and every herb, before it grew “On the green stem: God saw that it was good: “ So even and morn recorded the third day.

“ Again the Almighty spake, 'Let there be lights High in the expanse of Heaven, to divide


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" The day from night; and let them be for signs,
“For seasons, and for days, and circling years;
“ And let them be for lights, as I ordain
" Their office in the firmament of Heaven,
To give light on the Earth :' and it was so.
“ And God made two great lights, (great, for their use
“ To man,) the greater to have rule by day,
“ The less by night, altern ; and made the stars,
" And set them in the firmament of Heaven
" To illuminate the Earth, and rule the day
“ In their vicissitude, and rule the night,
“ And light from darkness to divide. God saw,

Surveying his great work, that it was good:
“ For of celestial bodies first the Sun,
A mighty sphere, he framed, unlightsome first,

Though of ethereal mould: then formed the Moon

Globose, and every magnitude of stars; “ And sowed with stars the Heaven, thick as a field : “Of light by far the greater part he took, “ Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placed “In the Sun's orb, made porous to receive And drink the liquid light; firm to retain “ Her gathered beams-great palace now of light. “ Hither, as to their fountain, other stars

Repairing, in their golden urns draw light, “ And hence the morning planet gilds her horns. “ By tincture or reflection they augment “ Their small peculiar, though, from human sight “ So far remote, with diminution seen. “ First in his East the glorious lamp was seen,

Regent of day, and all the horizon round “ Invested with bright rays, jocund to run “ His longitude through Heaven's high road; “ Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danced,

Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon, “ But opposite in levelled West was set“ His mirror, with full face borrowing her light From him; for other light she needed none “ In that aspect; and still that distance keeps “ Till night; then in the East her turn she shines,



the gray


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“Revolved on Heaven's great axle, and her reign
“ With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
“ With thousand thousand stars, that then appeared

Spangling the hemisphere—then first adorned
“ With their bright luminaries, that set and rose:
“Glad evening and glad morn crowned 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 Displayed on the open firmament of Heaven.'

390 “ And God created the great whales, and each “ Soul living, each crept, which plenteously “ The waters generated by their kinds: “ And every bird of wing after his kind; “ And saw that it was good, and blessed them, saying, “'Be fruitful, multiply; and in the seas, “ And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill : “ And let the fowl be multiplied on the Earth.' “ Forthwith 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, “ Show to the sun their waved 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 “And bended dolphins play: part huge of bulk, 410

Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait, “ Tempest the ocean : there leviathan, “ Hugest of living creatures, on the deep “ Stretched like a promontory, sleeps or swims, “ 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 numerous hatch, from the egg that, soon

Bursting with kindly rapture, forth disclosed “Their callow young; but feathered soon and Aledge 420



“They summed their pens; and, soaring the air sublime, “With clang despised the ground, under a cloud “In prospect: there the eagle and the stork “On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build : “ Part loosely wing the region; part, more wise,

In common, ranged in figure, wedge their way, “ Intelligent of seasons, and set forth “ Their airy 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, fanned with unnumbered plumes. “ From branch to branch the smaller birds with song “ Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings “ Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale “Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays. “ Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck “Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows “Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit

440 “ The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower “ The mid aërial sky. Others on ground “ Walked firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds “The silent hours; and the other, whose gay train “ Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue “Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus “With fish replenished, and the air with fowl, “Evening and morn solemnized the fifth day.

“The sixth, and of creation last, arose “With evening harps and matin; when God said,

450 “ • 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 obeyed, and straight

Opening her fertile womb, teemed at a birth, “ Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, “ Limbed 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 walked: “The cattle in the fields and meadows green;




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