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Into his place, and the great Son return'd

135 Victorious with his saints, th' Omnipotent Eternal Father from his throne beheld Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake.

““At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought All like himself rebellious, by whose aid

140 This inaccessible high strength, the seat Of Deity supreme, us dispossest, He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud Drew many, whom their place knows here no more; Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,

145 Their station ; Heav'n 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

150 Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n My damage fondly deem'd, 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

155 Of men innumerable, there to dwell, Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd They open to themselves at length the way Up hither, under long obedience trid, And Earth be chang’d to Heav'n, and Heav'n to Earth, 160 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,

170 And put not forth my goodness, which is free To act or not, Necessity and Chance

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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
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, 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: meanwhile 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 shon.
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Virtues, winged spirits, and chariots wing'd,
From th' armoury of God, where stand of old
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg’d
Against a solemn day, harnest at hand,
Celestial equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord; Heav'n op'nd 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 Heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore




210 220

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
Heav'ns highth, and with the centre mix the pole. 215

"“Silence, ye troubl’d waves, and thou Deep, peace!”
Said then th’ omnific Word, “your discord end :"
Nor stay’d, 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

225 In God's eternal store, to circumscribe This universe, and all created things : One foot he centr'd, and the other turn'd Round through the vast profundity obscure, And said, “ Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds, 230 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 watry calm His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread, 235 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

240 Disparted, and between spun out the air, And Earth self-balanc't on her centre 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

245 To journey through the airy gloom began, Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle

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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 quires, 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't their golden harps, and hymning prais’d
God and his works, Creator him they sung,
Both when first ev’ning 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 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
Hastened with glad precipitance, uprollid
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight 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 wandring, 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 call’d 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 upon 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 flow'rd,
Op'ning their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom smelling sweet : and these scarce blown.
Forth flourish't thick the clustring vine, forth crept
The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
Embattl'd in her field : and the humble shrub,
And bush with frizzld hair implicit : last
Rose as in dance the stately trees, and spread




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