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    Chapter 7

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    Chapter 7
    Previous Chapter
    Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that name
    If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
    Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
    Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
    The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
    Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
    Of old Olympus dwellest; but, heavenly-born,
    Before the hills appeared, or fountain flowed,
    Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
    Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
    In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
    With thy celestial song. Up led by thee
    Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
    An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
    Thy tempering: with like safety guided down
    Return me to my native element:
    Lest from this flying steed unreined, (as once
    Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
    Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
    Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
    Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
    Within the visible diurnal sphere;
    Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
    More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
    To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,
    On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues;
    In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,
    And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
    Visitest my slumbers nightly, or when morn
    Purples the east: still govern thou my song,
    Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
    But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
    Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
    Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
    In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
    To rapture, till the savage clamour drowned
    Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend
    Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
    For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.
    Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphael,
    The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarned
    Adam, by dire example, to beware
    Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven
    To those apostates; lest the like befall
    In Paradise to Adam or his race,
    Charged not to touch the interdicted tree,
    If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
    So easily obeyed amid the choice
    Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
    Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve,
    The story heard attentive, and was filled
    With admiration and deep muse, to hear
    Of things so high and strange; things, to their thought
    So unimaginable, as hate in Heaven,
    And war so near the peace of God in bliss,
    With such confusion: but the evil, soon
    Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
    From whom it sprung; impossible to mix
    With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repealed
    The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
    Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
    What nearer might concern him, how this world
    Of Heaven and Earth conspicuous first began;
    When, and whereof created; for what cause;
    What within Eden, or without, was done
    Before his memory; as one whose drouth
    Yet scarce allayed still eyes the current stream,
    Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
    Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest.
    Great things, and full of wonder in our ears,
    Far differing from this world, thou hast revealed,
    Divine interpreter! by favour sent
    Down from the empyrean, to forewarn
    Us timely of what might else have been our loss,
    Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach;
    For which to the infinitely Good we owe
    Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
    Receive, with solemn purpose to observe
    Immutably his sovran will, the end
    Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsafed
    Gently, for our instruction, to impart
    Things above earthly thought, which yet concerned
    Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemed,
    Deign to descend now lower, and relate
    What may no less perhaps avail us known,
    How first began this Heaven which we behold
    Distant so high, with moving fires adorned
    Innumerable; and this which yields or fills
    All space, the ambient air wide interfused
    Embracing round this floried Earth; what cause
    Moved the Creator, in his holy rest
    Through all eternity, so late to build
    In Chaos; and the work begun, how soon
    Absolved; if unforbid thou mayest unfold
    What we, not to explore the secrets ask
    Of his eternal empire, but the more
    To magnify his works, the more we know.
    And the great light of day yet wants to run
    Much of his race though steep; suspense in Heaven,
    Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears,
    And longer will delay to hear thee tell
    His generation, and the rising birth
    Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
    Or if the star of evening and the moon
    Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring,
    Silence; and Sleep, listening to thee, will watch;
    Or we can bid his absence, till thy song
    End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine.
    Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought:
    And thus the Godlike Angel answered mild.
    This also thy request, with caution asked,
    Obtain; though to recount almighty works
    What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
    Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
    Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve
    To glorify the Maker, and infer
    Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
    Thy hearing; such commission from above
    I have received, to answer thy desire
    Of knowledge within bounds; beyond, abstain
    To ask; nor let thine own inventions hope
    Things not revealed, which the invisible King,
    Only Omniscient, hath suppressed in night;
    To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
    Enough is left besides to search and know.
    But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
    Her temperance over appetite, to know
    In measure what the mind may well contain;
    Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
    Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.
    Know then, that, after Lucifer from Heaven
    (So call him, brighter once amidst the host
    Of Angels, than that star the stars among,)
    Fell with his flaming legions through the deep
    Into his place, and the great Son returned
    Victorious with his Saints, the Omnipotent
    Eternal Father from his throne beheld
    Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake.
    At least our envious Foe hath failed, who thought
    All like himself rebellious, by whose aid
    This inaccessible high strength, the seat
    Of Deity supreme, us dispossessed,
    He trusted to have seised, and into fraud
    Drew many, whom their place knows here no more:
    Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
    Their station; Heaven, yet populous, retains
    Number sufficient to possess her realms
    Though wide, and this high temple to frequent
    With ministeries due, and solemn rites:
    But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm
    Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven,
    My damage fondly deemed, I can repair
    That detriment, if such it be to lose
    Self-lost; and in a moment will create
    Another world, out of one man a race
    Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
    Not here; till, by degrees of merit raised,
    They open to themselves at length the way
    Up hither, under long obedience tried;
    And Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to Earth,
    One kingdom, joy and union without end.
    Mean while inhabit lax, ye Powers of Heaven;
    And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
    This I perform; speak thou, and be it done!
    My overshadowing Spirit and Might with thee
    I send along; ride forth, and bid the Deep
    Within appointed bounds be Heaven and Earth;
    Boundless the Deep, because I Am who fill
    Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
    Though I, uncircumscribed 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 the 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 Heaven,
    When such was heard declared the Almighty's will;
    Glory they sung to the Most High, good will
    To future men, and in their dwellings peace;
    Glory to Him, whose just avenging ire
    Had driven out the ungodly from his sight
    And the habitations of the just; to Him
    Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordained
    Good out of evil to create; instead
    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 appeared,
    Girt with Omnipotence, with radiance crowned
    Of Majesty Divine; sapience and love
    Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
    About his chariot numberless were poured
    Cherub, and Seraph, Potentates, and Thrones,
    And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots winged
    From the armoury of God; where stand of old
    Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged
    Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand,
    Celestial equipage; and now came forth
    Spontaneous, for within them Spirit lived,
    Attendant on their Lord: Heaven opened 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 viewed the vast immeasurable abyss
    Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
    Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
    And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
    Heaven's highth, and with the center mix the pole.
    Silence, ye troubled Waves, and thou Deep, peace,
    Said then the Omnifick 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
    Followed 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, prepared
    In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
    This universe, and all created things:
    One foot he centered, and the other turned
    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 Heaven created, thus the Earth,
    Matter unformed and void: Darkness profound
    Covered the abyss: but on the watery calm
    His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,
    And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth
    Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purged
    The black tartareous cold infernal dregs,
    Adverse to life: then founded, then conglobed
    Like things to like; the rest to several place
    Disparted, and between spun out the air;
    And Earth self-balanced 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,
    Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
    Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
    Sojourned the while. God saw the light was good;
    And light from darkness by the hemisphere
    Divided: light the Day, and darkness Night,
    He named. Thus was the first day even and morn:
    Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
    By the celestial quires, when orient light
    Exhaling first from darkness they beheld;
    Birth-day of Heaven and Earth; with joy and shout
    The hollow universal orb they filled,
    And touched their golden harps, and hymning praised
    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, 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
    Prolifick 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 trumpet (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;
    But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
    With serpent errour wandering, found their way,
    And on the washy oose 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,
    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
    Desart 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
    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
    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
    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; the gray
    Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danced,
    Shedding sweet influence: Less bright the moon,
    But opposite in levelled west was set,
    His mirrour, 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,
    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.
    And God created the great whales, and each
    Soul living, each that 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
    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
    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.
    Mean while the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
    Their brood as numerous hatch, from the egg that soon
    Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclosed
    Their callow young; but feathered soon and fledge
    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 aery 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 tun'd 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
    The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
    The mid aereal 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,
    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:
    Those rare and solitary, these in flocks
    Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung.
    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 hillocks: The swift stag from under ground
    Bore up his branching head: Scarce from his mould
    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,
    Wonderous in length and corpulence, involved
    Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
    The parsimonious emmet, provident
    Of future; in small room large heart enclosed;
    Pattern of just equality perhaps
    Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes
    Of commonalty: Swarming next appeared
    The female bee, that feeds her husband drone
    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 terrifick, 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
    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
    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
    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,
    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 knowest,
    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
    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 mayest not; in the day thou eatest, 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:
    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
    Angelick harmonies: The earth, the air
    Resounded, (thou rememberest, for thou heardst,)
    The heavens and all the constellations rung,
    The planets in their station listening stood,
    While the bright pomp 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,
    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
    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,
    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 tunings, intermixed with voice
    Choral or unison: of incense clouds,
    Fuming from golden censers, hid the mount.
    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,
    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;
    Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
    Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
    Of destined habitation; but thou knowest
    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 hath 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 empyrean 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 seekest
    Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.
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