Page images


Stretched like a promontory, sleeps or swims, All
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 the egg,
that soon,

their kind

Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed Their callow young; but feathered soon and fledge


They summed their pens, and, soaring the air

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 430
Her annual voyage, borne on winds: the air
Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered


From branch to branch the smaller birds with


Solaced the woods, and spread their painted

Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft


Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed
Their downy breast; the swan, with arched

Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows

The Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit 440 grassy The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower clods now The mid aerial 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



"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,



Opening her fertile womb, teemed at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,
Limbed and full-grown. Out of the ground up


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 : 460
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

And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce,
The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole

Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw Insects In hillocks; the swift stag from underground swarm Bore up his branching head; scarce from his



Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved
His vastness; fleeced the flocks and bleating

Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

47° creep


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, 480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous 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 490
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stored. The rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know'st, and gav'st them



Man is 'Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled


a living Her motions, as the great First Mover's hand 500 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, 511
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends; thither with heart, and voice, and

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 becam❜st a living soul.



Male he created thee, but thy consort Female, for race; then blessed mankind, and it was all good 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 know'st,
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


Variety without end; but of the tree
Which tasted works knowledge of good and evil
Thou may'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou

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

« PreviousContinue »