Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

“ Those rare and solitary, these in Rocks

Pasturing at once, and in broad herds up sprung.
The
grassy

clods now calved ; now half appeared
“ The tawny lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts; then springs, as broke from bonds,
“And rampant shakes his brinded mane: the ounce,
“ The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole
“ Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw
“ In billocks: the swift stag from underground
Bore

up his branching head: scarce from his mould, 470 “ Behemoth, biggest born of Earth, upheaved “ His vastness: fleeced 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 waved their limber fans For wings, and smallest lineaments exact “ In all the liveries decked of summer's pride, “ With spots of gold and purple, azure and green :

These, as a line, their long dimension drew, “ Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all “ Minims of nature; some of serpent kind, “Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved “ Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept “ The parsimonious emmet, provident Of future; in small room large heart inclosed; “ Pattern of just equality perhaps “ Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes “Of commonalty: swarming next appeared “ The female bee, that feeds her husband drone

490 Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells “ With honey stored. The rest are numberless, “ And thou their natures knowest, and gavest them names, “Needless to thee repeated ; nor unknown “ The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field, “Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes “ And hairy mane terrific, though to thee “Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

“Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled “ Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand

500

480

[ocr errors]

“ First wheeled their course; Earth in her rich attire “ Consummate lovely smiled! air, water, Earth, " By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walked,

Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remained

There wanted yet the master-work, the end “Of all yet done ; a creature, who, not prone And brute as other creatures, but endued “ With sanctity of reason, might erect “ His stature, and upright with front serene “Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence 510

Magnanimous, to correspond with Heaven, “ 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 the Omnipotent,

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

520 Over the fish and fowl of sea and air, “ Beast of the field, and over all the earth, And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.'

“ This said, he formed thee, Adam, thee, O Man! “ Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed “ The breath of life; in his own image he “ Created thee, in the image of God

Express; and thou becamest a living soul. “ Male he created thee; but thy consort

Female, for race; then blessed mankind, and said, 530 Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth; “ Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold “Over fish of the sea, and fowl of the air, “And every living thing that moves on the earth.' “ Wherever thus created, (for no place “ Is yet distinct by name,) thence, as thou knowst, “ 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

:

[ocr errors]

“ Gave thee : all sorts are here that all the Earth yields,

Variety without end : but of the tree, “ Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil, Thou mayst not ; in the day thou eatst, thou diest : “ Death is the penalty imposed ; beware, “ And govern well thy appetite ; lest Sin

Surprise thee, and her black attendant, Death.

“Here finished he, and all that he had made - Viewed, and, behold, all was entirely good ; “ So even and morn accomplished the sixth day : 550 " Yet not till the Creator, from his work

Desisting, though unwearied, up returned,

Up to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode ; " Thence to behold this new-created world, “ The addition of his empire-how it showed In prospect from his throne—how good-how fair,

Answering his great idea. Up he rode, Followed with acclamation, and the sound

Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned “ Angelic harmonies : the earth, the air

560 " Resounded—(thou rememberst, for thou heardst,) " The heavens and all the constellations rung“ The planets in their station listening stood“ While the bright promp ascended jubilant.

Open, ye everlasting gates !' they sung ; Open, ye

heavens ! your living doors ; let in “ The great Creator, from his work returned

Magnificent, his six days' work, a world !

Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign " To visit oft the dwellings of just men,

570 “Delighted; and with frequent intercourse - Thither will send his winged messengers “ On. errands of supernal grace.' So sung “ The glorious train ascending. He through Heaven, “ That opened wide her blazing portals, led " To God's eternal house direct the way; “ 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

66

66

" Powdered with stars.

And now on earth the seventh Evening arose in Eden, for the Sun Was set, and Twilight from the East came on, Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount “ Of Heaven's high-seated top,—the imperial throne “ Of Godhead, fixed for ever firm and sure, “ The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down “ With his great Father; for he also went

* Invisible, yet staid, (such privilege " Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordained, 590 “ Author and End of all things; and, from work “Now resting, blessed and hallowed the seventh 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, “ And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop, All sounds on fret, by string or golden wire,

Tempered soft tuning, intermixed 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 power! What thought can measure thee, or tongue “ Relate thee? Greater now in thy return “ Than from the giant Angels; thee that day

Thy thunders magnified; 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 repelled; 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 “ To manifest the more thy might : his evil " Thou usest, and from thence createst more good. Witness this new-made world, another Heaven ! From Heaven-gate not far, founded in view “ On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea ;

66

“Of amplitude almost immense, with stars

620 “Numerous, and every star perhaps a world “ Of destined habitation; but thou knowst “ Their seasons : among these, the seat of Men, “ Earth with her nether ocean circumfused, “ Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy Men, “ And sons of Men, whom God has thus advanced ! “ Created in his image, there to dwell “ And worship him; and, in reward, to rule “Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air, “ And multiply a race of worshippers “Holy and just : thrice happy, if they know “ Their happiness, and persevere upright !'

“So sung they, and the empyréan rung “ With halleluiahs : thus was Sabbath kept.

" And thy request think now fulfilled, that asked
“ How first this world and face of things began,
“ And what, before thy memory, was done

* From the beginning ; that posterity,
“ Informed by thee, might know : if else thou seekst

Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.”

630

640

« НазадПродовжити »