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"Stand still in bright array, ye saints! here Ye angels arm'd, this day from battle rest; [stand, Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause; And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done Invincibly; but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs; Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints: Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude; stand only and behold God's indignation on these godless pour'd By me; not you, but me, they have despis'd, Yet envied; against me is all their rage, Because the Father, to' whom in heaven supreme Kingdom, and power, and glory appertains, Hath honour'd me according to his will. Therefore to me their doom he hath assign'd; That they may have their wish, to try with me In battle which the stronger proves; they all, Or I alone against them, since by strength They measure all, of other excellence Not emulous, nor care who them excels; Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe."
"So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd His count nance, too severe to be beheld, And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the Four spread out their starry wings, With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the sound Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host. He on his impious foes right onward drove, Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels The steadfast empyrean shook throughout, All but the throne itself of God. Full soon Among them he arriv'd, in his right hand Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent Before him, such as in their souls infix'd Plagues; they, astonish'd, all resistance lost, All courage; down their idle weapons dropp'd; O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode Of thrones, and mighty seraphim prostrate, That wish'd the mountains now might be again Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire. Nor less on either side tempestuous fell His arrows, from the fourfold- visag'd Four Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One spirit in them rul'd, and every eye Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength, And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd, 351 Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n.
"Thus, measuring things in heaven by things on earth,
At thy request, and that thou may'st beware
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
Of disobedience; firm they might have stood, Yet fell. Remember, and fear to transgress."
END OF BOOK SIXTH.
Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created, that God, after the expelling of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory and attendance of angels to perform the work of creation in six days: the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into heaven.
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly born,
Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsaf'd
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd
Though wand'ring. He with his consorted Eve 50 End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine."
Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphael, The affable archangel, had forewarn'd
Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befell in heaven
To those apostates, lest the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,
To glorify the Maker, and infer
"Know then, that after Lucifer from heaven
116 Celestial equipage! and now came forth
Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
Their station; heaven yet populous retains
On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore
Said then th' omnific Word, 'your discord end :' Nor staid, but, on the wings of cherubim Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
Thus God the heaven 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, 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.
"Let there be light! said God, and forthwith light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Though I uncircumscrib'd 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 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 heaven, When such was heard declar'd th' 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
Of this great round; partition firm and sure,
"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 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 heav'd the tumid hills, so low
He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then
The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side,
66 Again the Almighty spake: 'Let there be lights High in th' 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 T'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, 355 Though of ethereal mould; then form'd the moon Globose, and every magnitude of stars, And sow'd with stars the heaven thick as a field. Of light by far the greater part he took, Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and plac'd 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.
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, 370
His longitude through heaven's high road; the grey
His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
"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 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 bless'd them, saying, 'Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas, 396 And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill; And let the fowl be multiplied on th' 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 thro' groves Of coral stray, or, sporting, with quick glance, 405 Show to the sun their wav'd coats dropp'd with Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend [gold; Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food In jointed armour watch: on smooth the seal, And bended dolphins, play; part huge of bulk 410 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, Their brood as numerous hatch, from th' egg that
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
"The sixth, and of creation last, arose With evening harps and matin; when God said, 450 Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind, Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of th' earth, Each in their kind! The earth obey'd, and straight, Opening her fertile womb, teem'd at a birth Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, Limb'd 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 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
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, 475
Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd!
Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes'
"Now heaven in all her glory shone, and roll'd Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand First wheel'd their course; earth in her rich attire Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth, By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swam was walk'd
Frequent and of the sixth day yet remain'd;
And worship God supreme, who made him chief
Eternal Father (for where is not he
Present?) thus to his Son audibly spake :
Beast of the field, and over all the earth,
Express, and thou becam'st a living soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort
Female, for race; then bless'd mankind, and said,
Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth,
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold,
Yet not till the Creator from his work Desisting, though unwearied, up return'd, Up to the heaven of heavens, his high abode, Thence to behold this new-created world, Th' addition of his empire, how it show'd In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair, Answering his great idea. Up he rode, Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound Symphonious of ten thousand harps that tun'd Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heard'st) The heavens, and all the constellations rung, The planets in their station list'ning 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 return'd 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 open'd 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 Powder'd 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, th' imperial throne Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure, The Filial Power arriv'd, and sat him down With his great Father, for he also went Invisible, yet stay'd,, (such privilege Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd Author and end of all things, and from work Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd 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, Temper'd soft tunings intermix'd 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 [tongue Thy power; what thought can measure thee, or Relate thee? greater now in thy return
Than from the giant angels; thee that day 605 Thy thunders magnified; but to create
Is greater than, created, to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
"So sung they, and the empyrean rung
Inform'd by thee might know; if else thou seek'st
END OF BOOK SEVENTH.