Page images




Part hidden veins digg’d up (nor hath this Earth With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,

But soon obscur'd with smoke, all Heaven appear'd,
Whereof to found their engines and their balls From those deep-throated engines belchd, whose
Of missive ruin; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. Embowelld with outrageous noise the air,
So all ere day-spring, under conscious night, And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul
Secret they finish'd, and in order set,

Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts and hail With silent circumspection, unespied.

Of iron globes; which, on the victor host “ Now when fair mor orient in Heaven appear'd, Levell’d, with such impetuous fury smote, Up rose the victor-angels, and to arms

That, whom they hit, none on their feet might stand, The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell Of golden panoply, refulgent host,

By thousands, angel on archangel rollid; Soon banded; others from the dawning hills The sooner for their arms; unarm'd, they might Look'd round, and scouts each coast light armed Have easily, as spirits, evaded swift scour,

By quick contraction or remove; but now
Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,

Foul dissipation follow'd, and forc'd rout;
Where lodg’d, or whither fled, or if for fight, Nor serv'd it to relax their serried files.
In motion or in halt: him soon they met

What should they do? if on they rush'd, repulse
Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow Repeated, and indecent overthrow
But firm battalion : back with speediest sail Doubled, would render them yet more despis'd,
Zophiel, of cherubim the swiftest wing,

And to their foes a laughter; for in view Came flying, and in mid air aloud thus cried : Stood rank'd of seraphim another row,

« • Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand, In posture to displode their second tire Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit Of thunder : back defeated to return This day; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud They worse abhorr’d. Satan beheld their plight, He comes, and settled in his face I see

And 10 his mates thus in derision call’d. Sad resolution, and secure: let each

"O friends! why come not on these victors proud ? His adamantine coat gird well, and each

Erewhile they fierce were coming; and when we, Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, To entertain them fair with open front Borne even or high ; for this day will pour down, And breast (what could we more ?) propounded If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower, But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.' Of composition, straight they chang’d their minds,

“ So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and soon Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, In order, quit of all impediment;

As they would dance; yet for a dance they seem'd Instant without disturb they took alarm,

Somewhat extravagant and wild ; perhaps And onward mov'd embattled: when behold! For joy of offer'd peace: but I suppose, Not distant far with heavy pace the foe

If our proposals once again were heard, Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube We should compel them to a quick result.' Training his devilish enginery, impald

“ To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood, On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, • Leader! the terms we sent were terms of weight, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home; Awhile; but suddenly at head appear'd

Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud. And stumbled many: who receives them right,

** Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold ; Had need from head to foot well understand ; That all may see who hate us, how we seek Not understood, this gift they have besides, Peace and composure, and with open breast They show us when our foes walk not upright.' Stand ready to receive them, if they like

“So they among themselves in pleasant vein Our overture, and turn not back perverse : Stood scoffing, heighten'd in their thoughts beyond But that I doubt; however witness Heaven! All doubt of victory: Eternal Might Heaven, witness thou anon! while we discharge To match with their inventions they presum'd Freely our part: ye, who appointed stand,

So easy, and of his thunder made a scorn, Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch And all his host derided, while they stood What we propound, and loud that all may hear! Awhile in trouble: but they stood not long;

“ So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce | Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms Had ended; when to right and left the front Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. Divided, and to either flank retir'd;

Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power, Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange, Which God hath in his mighty angels plac'd !) A triple-mounted row of pillars laid

Their arms away they threw, and to the hills
On wheels, (for like to pillars most they seem'd, (For Earth hath this variety from Heaven
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir,

of pleasure situate in hill and dale.)
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain fellid,) Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew ;
Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths From their foundations loosening to and fro,
With hideous orifice gap'd on us wide,

They pluck'd the seated hills, with all their load, Portending hollow truce: at each behind

Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed

Uplifting bore them in their hands : amaze, Stood waving tipt with fire; while we, suspense, Be sure, and terror, seiz'd the rebel host, Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd, When coming towards them so dread they saw Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd, Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied

Till on those cursed engines' triple row

They saw them whelm'd, and all their confidence “ He said, and on his son with rays direct
Under the weight of mountains buried deep; Shone full; he all his Father full express'd
Themselves invaded next, and on their heads Ineffably into his face receiv’d;
Main promontories flung, which in the air

And thus the filial godhead answering spake. Came shadowing, and oppress'd whole legions O Father, 0 Supreme of heavenly thrones, armd ;

First, Highest, Holiest, Best; thou always seek'st Their

armor help'd their harm, crush'd in and bruis’d To glorify thy Son; I always thee, Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain As is most just: this I my glory account, Implacable, and many a dolorous groan;

My exaltation, and my whole delight,
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind That thou, in me well pleas'd, declar'st thy will
Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light, Fulfill’d, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume,
The rest, in imitation, to like arms

And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
Betook them, and the neighboring hills uptore : Thou shalt be all in all, and I in thee
So hills amid the air encounter'd hills,

For ever; and in me all whom thou lov'st:
Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire;

But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on
That under ground they fought in dismal shade ; Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,
Infernal noise! war seem'd a civil game

Image of thee in all things; and shall soon,
To this uproar; horrid confusion heap'd

Arm'd with thy might, rid Heaven of these rebellid; Upon confusion rose : and now all Heaven To their prepar'd ill mansion driven down, Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread; To chains of darkness, and the undying worm ; Had not the Almighty Father, where he sits That from thy just obedience could revolt, Shrin'd in his sanctuary of Heaven secure, Whom to obey is happiness entire. Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen

Then shall thy saints unmix'd, and from the impure This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd :

Far separate, circling thy holy mount, That his great purpose he might so fulfil,

Unseigned halleluiahs to thee sing, To honor his anointed Son aveng'd

Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief.' Upon his enemies, and to declare

“ So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son, From the right hand of glory where he sat; The assessor of his throne, he thus began.

And the third sacred morn began to shine, “Effulgence of my glory, Son belov'd, Dawning through Heaven. Forth rush'd with whirl. Son, in whose face invisible is beheld

wind sound Visibly, what by Deity I am ;

The chariot of Paternal Deity, And in whose hand what by decree I do,

Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn Second Omnipotence! two days are past,

Itself instinct with spirit, but convoy'd Two days, as we compute the days of Heaven, By four cherubic shapes ; four faces each Since Michael and his powers went forth to tame Had wondrous; as with stars, their bodies all These disobedient: sore hath been their fight, And wings were set with eyes; with eyes the wheels As likeliest was, when two such foes met arm'd; Of beryl, and careering fires between; For to themselves I left them; and thou know'st, Over their heads a crystal firmament, Equal in their creation they were formid,

Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure Save what sin hath impair’d; which yet hath wrought Amber, and colors of the showery arch. Insensibly, for I suspend their doom;

He, in celestial panoply all arm’d
Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought,
Endless, and no solution will be found :

Ascended ; at his right hand Victory
War wearied hath perform'd what war can do, Sat eagle-wing’d; beside him hung his bow
And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins, And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor'd;
With mountains, as with weapons, arm'd; which And from about him fierce effusion rollid

Of smoke, and bickering flame, and sparkles dire :
Wild work in Heaven, and dangerous to the main. Attended with ten thousand thousand saints,
Two days are therefore past, the third is thine ; He onward came; far off his coming shone;
For thee I have ordain'd it; and thus far

And twenty thousand (I their number heard) Have suffer'd, that the glory may be thine

Chariots of God, half on each hand, were seen: Of ending this great war, since none but thou He on the wings of cherub rode sublime Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace On the crystalline sky, in sapphire thron’d, Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know Illustrious far and wide ; but by his own In Heaven and Hell thy power above compare ; First seen: them unexpected joy surprisid, And, this perverse commotion govern'd thus, When the great ensign of Messiah blaz'd To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir

Aloft by angels borne, his sign in Heaven; Of all things; to be Heir, and to be King

Under whose conduct Michael soon reduc'd sacred unction, thy deserved right.

His army, circumfus'd on either wing,
Go then, thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might; Under their head embodied all in one.
Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels Before him Power Divine his way prepar'd.
That shake Heaven's basis, bring forth all my war, At his command the uprooted hills retir'd
My bow and thunder, my almighty arms

Each to his place; they heard his voice, and wen
Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh; Obsequious; Heaven his wonted face renew'd,
Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out And with fresh flowerets hill and valley smild
From all Heaven's bounds into the utter deep: This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd.
There let them learn, as likes them, to despise And to rebellious fight rallied their powers,
God, and Messiah, his anointed king.'

Insensate, hope conceiving from despair.



In heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell ? Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued
But to convince the proud what signs avail, With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds
Or wonders move the obdurate to relent?

And crystal wall of Heaven ; which, opening wide, They, harden'd more by what might most reclaim, Rolld inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd Grieving to see his glory, at the sight

Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight Took envy; and, aspiring to his height,

Struck them with horror backward, but far worse Swod re-embattled fierce, by force or fraud Urg'd them behind: headlong themselves they Weening to prosper, and at length prevail

threw Against God and Messiah, or to fall

Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath In universal ruin last; and now

Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. To final battle drew, disdaining flight,

Hell heard the unsufferable noise, Hell saw Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God Heaven ruining from Heaven, and would have fled To all his host on either hand thus spake.

Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep “ Stand still in bright array, ye saints ; here stand, Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. Ye angels arm'd ; this day from battle rest : Nine days they fell: confounded Chaos roar'd, Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God And felt tenfold confusion in their fall Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause; Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done, Encumber'd him with ruin : Hell at last Invincibly : but of this cursed crew

Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd ; The punishment to other hand belongs;

Hell their fit habitation, fraught with fire Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints : Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Disburden'd Heaven rejoic'd, and soon repair'd Nor multitude; stand only, and behold

Her mural breach, returning whence it rollid.
God's indignation on these godless pour'd

Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,
By me; not you, but me, they have despis’d, Messiah his triumphal chariot turn'd:
Yet envied; against me is all their rage, To meet him all his saints, who silent stood
Because the Father, to whom in Heaven supreme Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,
Kingdom, and power, and glory appertains, With jubilee advanc'd ; and, as they went,
Hath honord me, according to his will,

Shaded with branching palm, each order brighi,
Therefore to me their doom he hath assignd; Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
That they may have their wish to try with me Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given,
In battle which the stronger proves: they all, Worthiest to reign : He, celebrated, rode
Or I alone against them; since by strength Triumphant through mid Heaven, into the courts
They measure all, of other excellence

And temple of his mighty Father thron'd Not emulous, nor care who them excels;

On high; who into glory him received, Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.' Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.

“ So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd “ Thus measuring things in Heaven by things on His countenance too severe to be beheld,

Earth, And full of wrath bent on his enemies.

At thy request, and that thou may'st beware At once the Four spread out their starry wings By what is past, to thee I have revealed With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs What might have else to human race been hid; Of his fierce chariot rolld, as with the sound The discord which befell, and war in Heaven Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host.

Among the angelic powers, and the deep fall He on his impious foes right onward drove, of those too high aspiring, who rebellid Gloomy as night: under his burning wheels With Satan; he who envies now thy state, The stedfast empyrean shook throughout, Who now is plotting how he may seduce All but the throne itself of God. Full soon Thee also from obedience, that with him Among them he arriv'd ; in his right hand Bereav'd of happiness, thou may'st partake Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent His punishment, eternal misery; Before him, such as in their souls infix'd

Which would be all his solace and revenge,
Plagues : they, astonish’d, all resistance lost, As a despite done against the Most High,
All courage ; down their idle weapons dropt : Thee once to gain companion of his woe.
O’er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode But listen not to his temptations, warn
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostráte, Thy weaker; let it profit thee to have heard.
That wish'd the mountains now might be again By terrible example, the reward
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire. Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell

Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress."
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

The Argument.
Among the accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigor left them drain'd, Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall’n.

wherefore this world was first created ; that God, Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd after the expelling of Satan and his angels out His thunder in mid volley; for he meant

of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create an Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven: other world, and other creatures to dwell therein; The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd

sends his Son with glory, and attendance of Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd

angels, to perform the work of creation in six days: the angels celebrate with hymns the per- Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream, formance thereof, and his reascension into Heaven. Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites

Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest. DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name “Great things, and full of wonder in our ear If rightly thou art call'd, whose voice divine Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal' Following, above the Olympian hill 1 soar, Divine interpreter! by favor sent Above the flight of Pegaséan wing.

Down from the empyréan, to forewarn The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou Us timely of what might else have been our lo Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top

Unknown, which human knowledge could not re Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly-bom, For which to the infinitely Good we owe Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd, Immortal thanks, and his admonishinent Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse. Receive' with solemn purpose to observe Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play Immutably his sovran will, the end In presence of the Almighty Father, pleas'd Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsa With thy celestial song. Up led by thee, Genily, for our instruction, to impart Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presum'd, Things above earthly thought, which yet conce An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air, Our knowing, as to highest Wisdom seemid, Thy tempering: with like safety guided down, Deign to descend now lower, and relate Return me to my native element:

What may no less perhaps avail us known, Lest from this flying sleed unrein'd, (as once How first began this Heaven which we behold Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)

Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,

Innumerable; and this which yields or fills Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.

All space, the ambient air wide interfus d Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound Embracing round this florid Earth? what cause Within the visible diurnal sphere;

Mov'd the Creator in his holy rest
Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole, Through all eternity so late to build
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchang'd In Chaos; and the work begun, how soon
To hoarse or mute, though fall’n on evil days,

Absolvid; if unforbid thou may's: unfold
On evil days though fall'n, and evil tongues ; What we, not to explore the secrets, ask
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round, Of his eternal empire, but the more
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou

To magnify his works, the more we know. Visit'st my slumbers nightly, or when morn And the great light of day yet wants to run Purples the east: still govern thou my song, Much of his race though steep; suspense in llea Urania, and fit audience find, though few.

Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears, But drive far off the barbarous dissonance And longer will delay to hear thee tell Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race

His generation, and ihe rising birth Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard of Nature from the unapparent deep: In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears Or if the star of evening and the Moon To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd Haste to thy audience, Night with her will brin Both harp and voice: nor could the Mase defend Silence; and Sleep, listening to thee, will watch Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores : Or we can bid his absence, till thy song For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream. End, and dismiss thee ere ihe morning shine.” Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,

Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought: The affable archangel, had forewarn'd

And thus the godlike angel answer'd mild. Adam, by dire example, to beware

“ This also thy request, with caution askd, A postacy, by what befell in Heaven

Ohtain; though to recount almighty works To those a postates ; lest the like befall

What words or tongue of seraph can suffice, In Paradise to Adam or his race,

Or heart of man suffice to comprehend ? Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree, Yet what thou cansi attain, which best may sery If they transgress, and slight that sole command, To glorify the Maker, and infer So easily obey'd amid the choice

Thee also happier, shall not be withheld Of all tastes else to please their appetite, Thy hearing; such commission from above Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve, I have receiv'd, to answer thy desire The story heard attentive, and was fillid of knowledge within bounds ; leyond, abstain With admiration and deep muse, to hear

To ask; nor let thine own inventions hope of things so high and strange; things, to their thought Things not reveald, which the invisible King, So unimaginable, as hate in Heaven,

Only Omniscient, hath suppress'd in night; And war so near the peace of God in bliss, To none communicable in Earth or Heaven: With such confusion: but the evil, soon

Enough is left besides to search and know. Driven back, redounded as a flood on those But knowledge is as food, and needs no less From whom it sprung; impossible to mix Her temperance over appetite, to know With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeald In measure what the mind may well contain; The doubts that in his heart arose : and now Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know

Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wmd. What nearer might concern him, how this world " Know then, that, afier Lucifer from Heaven Of Heaven and Earth conspicuous first began; (So call him, brighter once amidst the host When, and whereof created : for what cause, Of angels, than that star the stars among) What within Eden, or without, was done Fell with his flaming legions through the deep Before his memory: as one whose drought Into his place, and the great Son return'd

[ocr errors]

Victorious with his saints, the Omnipotent Attendant on their Lord! Heaven open'd wide Eternal Father from his throne beheld

Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake : On golden hinges moving, to let forth

« At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought The King of Glory, in his powerful Word All like himself rebellious, by whose aid And Spirit, coming to create new worlds. This inaccessible high strength, the seat

On heavenly ground they stood · and from the shore Of Deity supreme, us dispossess'd,

They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud

Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild, Drew many, whom their place knows here no more: Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds Yet far the greater part have kept, I see, And surging waves, as mountains, to assault Their station ; Heaven, yet populous, retains Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole Number sufficient to possess her realms

• •Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, Though wide, and this high temple to frequent

peace,' With ministeries due, and solemn rites : Said then the omnific Word ; “your discord end” But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm

Nor staid; but, on the wings of cherubim
Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven, Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
My damage fondly deem'd, I can repair

Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
That detriment, if such it be to lose

For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train Self-lost; and in a moment will create

Follow'd in bright procession, to behold Another world, out of one man a race

Creation, and the wonders of his might. Of men innumerable, there to dwell,

Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand Not here; till, by degrees of merit rais'd, He took the golden compasses, prepard They open to themselves at length the way In God's eternal store, to circumscribe Up hither, under long obedience tried ; [Earth, This universe, and all created things : And Earth be chang’d to Heaven, and Heaven to One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd One kingdom, joy and union without end.

Round through the vast profundity obscure ; Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye powers of Heaven; And said, “Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds, And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee This be thy just circumference, 0 World ! This I perform; speak thou, and be it done! Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth, My overshadowing spirit and might with thee Matter unform'd and void : darkness profound I send along; ride forth, and bid the deep Cover'd the abyss ; but on the watery calm Within appointed bounds be Heaven and Earth; His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread, Boundless the deep, because I am who fill And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.

Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purgd Though I, uncircumscrib'd myself, retire, The black tartareous cold infernal dregs, And put not forth my goodness, which is free Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd To act or not, necessity and chance

Like things to like; the rest to several place Approach not me, and what I will is fate.' Disparted, and between spun out the dir;

"So spake the Almighty, and to what he spake And Earth, self-balanc'd, on her centre hung. His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.

“ • Let there be light,' said God; and forth with Immediate are the acts of God, more swift

Light Than time or motion, but to human ears

Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Cannot without procéss of speech be told, Sprung from the deep; and from her native east So told as earthly notion can receive.

To journey through the aery gloom began, Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven, Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the Sun When such was heard declared the Almighty's will; Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle Glory they sung to the Most High, good will Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good ; To future men, and in their dwellings peace : And light from darkness by the hemisphere Glory to him, whose just avenging ire

Divided : light the Day, and darkness Night,
Had driven out the ungodly from his sight He nam'd. Thus was the first day even and morn:
And the habitations of the just; to him

Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd By the celestial quires, when orient light
Good out of evil to create ; instead

Exhaling first from darkness they beheld ;
Of spirits malign, a better race to bring

Birth-day of Heaven and Earth, with joy and shout Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse The hollow universal orb they fillid, His good to worlds and ages infinite.

And touch'd their golden harps, and hymning prais'd “ So sang the hierarchies : meanwhile the Son God and his works ; Creator him they sung, On his great expedition now appear'd,

Both when first evening was, and when first morn.
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd “ Again, God said, Let there be firmament
Of majesty divine ; sapience and love

Amid the waters, and let it divide
Immense, and all his Father in him shone. The waters from the waters ;' and God made
About his chariot numberless were pour'd The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Cherub, and seraph, potentates, and thrones, Transparent, elemental air, diffus'd
And virtues, winged spirits, and chariots wing'd In circuit to the uttermost convex
From the armory of God; where stand of old Of this great round; partition firm and sure,
Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodg’d The waters underneath from those above
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand,

Dividing: for as Earth, so he the world
Celestial equipage ; and now came forth

Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd, Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule

« PreviousContinue »