Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things:
One foot he center'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 wat❜ry 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
Disparted, and between spun out the air;
And Earth self-balanc'd on her centre hung.

225

240

"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

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 encelebrated, nor unsung

"Again, God said, 'Let there be firmament Amid the waters, and let it divide

250.

255

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'd their golden harps, and bymning prais'd
God and his works; Creator him they sung,

Both when first evening was, and when first morn.

261

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

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

265

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 even
And morning chorus sung the second day.

275

"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
Hasted with glad precipitance, uproll'd,
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,

295

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 wat❜ry 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

270

280

285

290

300

With serpent error wand'ring, 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 call'd seas:

And saw that it was good; and said, 'Let th' earth
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, 310
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:

316

321

Then eerbs of every leaf, that sudden flow'r'd
Opening their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom, smelling sweet; and, these scarce blown,
Forth flourish'd thick the elust'ring vine, forth crept
The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
Embattled in her field, and th' 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 gemm'd
Their blossoms: with high woods the hills were
crown'd;

326

305

330

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
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 th' earth
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

335

345

High in th' expanse of Heav'n 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 Heav'n,
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 Heav'n
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 fram'd, unlightsome first,
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
Her gather'd 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.

340

350

355

365

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'n's high road; the grey
Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danc'd,
Shedding sweet influence: less bright the moon, 375
But opposite in levell'd west was set,
His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
From him; for other light she needed none

370

3.85

In that aspect, and still that distance keeps
Till night, then in the east her turn she shines, 380
Revolv'd on Heav'n's 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 evening 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' open 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, 395
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas,

And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multiply'd on th' earth.'
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay,
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals
400
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,
Stretch'd 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.
Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens and shores,

390

410

415

« AnteriorContinuar »