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The Son Yet far the greater part have kept, I see, is bidden Their station; Heaven, yet populous, retains speak the Number sufficient to possess her realms, word Though wide, and this high temple to frequent With ministeries due and solemn rites.


But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven-
My damage fondly deemed-I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world; out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit raised,
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,



And Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven
to Earth,
One kingdom, joy and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye Powers of Heaven;
And thou, my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform; speak thou, and be it done!
My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee
I send along; ride forth, and bid the Deep
Within appointed bounds be heaven and earth.
Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude; nor vacuous the space,
Though I, uncircumscribed, 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 the Almighty; and to what he

His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect.
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift

The Son prepares for the

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 180 work
When such was heard declared the Almighty's


Glory they sung to the Most High, good-will
To future men, and in their dwellings peace-
Glory to Him whose just avenging ire
Had driven out the ungodly from his sight
And the habitations of the just; to Him
Glory and praise whose wisdom had ordained
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.


'So sang the Hierarchies. Meanwhile the Sou
On his great expedition now appeared,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crowned
Of majesty divine, sapience and love

Immense; and all his Father in him shone.
About his chariot numberless were poured
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots winged
From the armoury of God, where stand of old 200
Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged
Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand,
Celestial equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit lived,
Attendant on their Lord. Heaven opened 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.



world's bounds

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On Heavenly ground they stood, and from the



They viewed the vast immeasurable Abyss,
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains to assault
Heaven's highth, and with the centre mix the

"Silence, ye troubled waves, and, thou Deep,


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Said then the omnific Word: "


your discord

Nor stayed; 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
Followed in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stayed 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 turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, "Thus far extend, thus far thy



This be thy just circumference, O World!"
Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth,
Matter unformed and void. Darkness profound
Covered 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,

there be


Adverse to life; then founded, then conglobed, 'Let
Like things to like, the rest to several place 240
Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
And Earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung.
""Let there be Light!" said God; and
forthwith Light

Ethereal, 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

Sojourned the while. God saw the Light was

And light from darkness by the hemisphere 250
Divided Light the Day, and Darkness Night,
He named. Thus was the first Day even and


Nor passed 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


The hollow universal orb they filled,

And touched their golden harps, and hymning

God and his works; Creator him they sung,
Both when first evening was, and whe first



'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



The Of this great round-partition firm and sure, Earth The waters underneath from those above and the Waters 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.



And morning chorus sung the second Day.
'The Earth was formed, but, in the womb as


Of waters, embryon immature, involved,
Appeared not; over all the face of Earth
Main ocean flowed, not idle, but, with warm
Prolific humour softening all her globe,
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture; when God said,
"Be gathered 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 heaved the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters. Thither they
Hasted with glad precipitance, uprolled,
As drops on dust conglobing, from the dry:
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command im-

On the swift floods. As armies at the call
Of trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard)
Troop to the standard, so the watery throng,


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