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And the 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.

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 shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub, and Seraph, Potentates, and Thrones, And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots wing'd From the

armory

of God: where stand of old Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand, Celestial equipage: and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them Spirit lived, Attendant on their Lord. Heaven open'd 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 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 Heaven's highth, and with the centre mix the pole.

Silence, ye troubled Waves! and thou Deep,

peace !'

Said then the 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 ;
For Chaos heard his voice. Him all his train
Follow'd 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 centred, and the other turn'd
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 unform’d and void. Darkness profound
Cover'd 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 centre hung.

"Let there be light!' said God; and forthwith light,
Etherial, 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
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 named. Thus was the first day even and morn;

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Nor pass’d 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 filld, (praised
And touchd their golden harps, and hymning
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 form 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 form’d; but, in the womb as yet Of waters, embryon immature, involved, Appear'd not: over all the face of earth Main ocean flow'd not idle; but, with warm Prolific humor softening 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

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Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky:
So high as heaved the tumid bills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters : thither they
Hasted 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 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 error wandering, 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 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 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 flower'd
Opening their various colors; and made gay
Her bosom, smelling sweet: and, these scarce

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blown,

scarce

Forth Hourish'd 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 gemm'd
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 heaven, a seat where gods might
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt [dwell,
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,
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,

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