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Paradise Lost: Book 07

John Milton

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.

Added: 2 Sep 2002 | Last Read: 21 Mar 2019 9:40 AM | Viewed: 4144 times

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