Imágenes de páginas
PDF

eta wechs fountain wiele, crown'

Their branches hung with copious fruit; or gemm'd 325
Their blossoms : with high woods the hills were crown'd,
With tufts the valleys and each fountain side,
With borders long the rivers. That Earth now
Seem'd like to Heav'n, a seat where gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt

330
Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd
Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
None was, but from the earth a dewy mist
Went up and water'd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field, which ere it was in the earth 335
God made, and every herb, before it grew
On the green stem; God saw that it was good.
So Ev'n and Morn recorded the third day.

"Again th' Almighty spake : « Let there be lights High in th' expanse of heaven, to divide

340 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 heav'n To give light on the Earth;” and it was so.

345, 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 heav'n To illuminate the Earth, and rule the day

350 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 fram’d, unlightsome first,

355 Though of ethereal mould: then form'd the moon Globose, and every magnitude of stars, And sow'd with stars the heav'n thick as a field : Of Light by far the greater part he took, Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and plac'd 360 In the sun's orb, made porous to receive And drink the liquid light, firm to retain

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

Her gather'd beams, great palace now of Light.
Hither as to their fountain other stars
Repairing, in their gold’n 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 th’ horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through heav'ns high road : the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd
Shedding sweet influence : less bright the moon,
But opposite in levell’d 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
Revolv'd on heav'ns great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spangling the hemisphere: then first adorn'd
With their bright luminaries that set and rose,
Glad Ev'ning and glad Morn crown'd 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
Display'd on the op'n firmament of heav'n.”
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 bless'd them, saying,
“Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas,
And lakes, and running streams the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multipli’d on the earth.”
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals

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

410

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

405
Show to the sun their wav'd 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
Stretcht like a promontory sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land, and at his gills

415 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 rupture forth disclos'd Their callow young, but feather'd soon and fledge 420 They summ'd their pens, and soaring th' air sublime With clang despis’d 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

425 In common, rang'd 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

430 Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes : From branch to branch the smaller birds with song Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings Till ev'n, nor then the solemn nightingale

435 Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays : Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd Their downy breast; the swan with arched neck

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

Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and rising on stiff pennons, tow'r
The mid aerial sky: others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and th' other whose gay train
Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenisht, and the air with fowl,
Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the fifth day.

“The sixth, and of creation last, arose
With ey'ning harps and matin, when God said,
“Let th’ Earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth,
Each in their kind.” The Earth obey'd, and straight
Op’ning her fertile womb teem'd at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfet forms,
Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up rose
As from his lair the wild beast where he wonns
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den;
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk’d:
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 calv'd; now half appear'd
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 crumbld 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 upheav'd
His vastness : fleec't 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

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries deckt of summer's pride
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green :
These as a line their long dimension drew,

480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind
Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident

485 Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd, Pattern of just equality perhaps Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes Of commonalty: swarming next appear'd The female bee that feeds her husband drone Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells, With honey stor'd: the rest are numberless, And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them names, Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown The serpent, subtl'st beast of all the field,

495
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

Now Heav'n in all her glory shon, and rollid
Her motions, as the great First-Mover's hand
First wheeld their course; Earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt
Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the master-work, the end

505
Of all yet done; a creature who not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endu'd
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 Heav'n,
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes
Directed in devotion, to adore

500

« AnteriorContinuar »