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Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air

“ Resounded—(thou rememberst, for thou heardst, —
"The heavens and all the constellations rung—
"The planets in their station listening stood—
"While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.1

Open, ye everlasting gates they sung:
"Open, ye heavens! your living doors; let in
"The great Creator, from his work returned
"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 opened wide her blazing portais, 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,





“ Wnich nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest "Powdered 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 moum "Of Heaven's high-seated top-the imperial throne 585 "Of Godhead, fixed for ever firm and sure,— "The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down * With his great Father; for he also went

1 The frequent repetition of the word as, in the preceding limes, in conjunction with jugi., prospec: from ins throne, and the origit pong (proces sion ascending, serve to give an exaltet ides of the surpassing exaltation of the Heaver of Heavens the imbitation of the Aimiguty's turone.

2 Open, pe everlasting gates-borrowed from the twenty-fourti. Psaim which was sung when the ark of God was carried my im the sanctusty on Mount Zion

3 Galazy, the Greek term for the milky way, si “alked

"Invisible, yet staid,1 (such privilege

"Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordained,
"Author and End of all things; and, from work
"Now resting, blessed and hallowed the seventh day,
"As resting on that day from all his work:2
"But not in silence holy kept: the harp
"Had work, and rested not; the solemn pipe,
"And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,3
"All sounds on fret, by string or golden wire,
Tempered soft tuning, intermixed 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


"Thy power! What thought can measure thee, or tongue

"Relate thee? Greater now in thy return

"Than from the giant Angels ;6 thee that day


"Thy thunders magnified; but to create

"Is greater, than created to destroy.?

"Who can impair thee, Mighty King! or bound "Thy empire? easily the proud attempt


"Of Spirits apostate, and their counsels vain,
"Thou hast repelled; while impiously they thought
"Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
"The number of thy worshippers.

Who seeks

"To lessen thee, against his purpose serves

1 Went... yet staid.—Being omnipresent, he was in Heaven and at the creation of the world at the same time.

2 See Gen. ii. 2, 3.

3 Stop,-that part of the mechanism of an organ by means of which the admission of air to the various pipes is regulated, or cut off when not required.

4 Fret, a slight ridge across the finger-board of stringed instruments to regulate the length of string required for the various notes.

5 Choral, singing in concert, the various parts being in harmony: Unison, the same notes sounded by all.

6 Giant angels;-probably in allusion to the heathen fables of the wars of the giants against the gods: as if it were insinuated that these fables derived their origin from the rebellion of the angels.

7 Created to destroy.-the expression inverted as in Latin; i. e. to destroy (what has been) created.

"To manifest the more thy might:1 his evil
"Thou usest, and from thence createst more good.
"Witness this new-made world, another Heaven!
"From Heaven-gate not far, founded in view
"On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
"Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
"Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
"Of destined habitation; but thou knowst
"Their seasons: among these, the seat of Men,
"Earth with her nether ocean3 circumfused,



"Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy Men, 625 "And sons of Men, whom God has thus advanced!

"Created in his image, there to dwell

"And worship him; and, in reward, to rule1

"Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
"And multiply a race of worshippers
"Holy and just: thrice happy, if they know
"Their happiness, and persevere upright!'
"So sung they, and the empyréan3 rung
"With halleluiahs: thus was Sabbath kept.


"And thy request think now fulfilled, that asked


"How first this world and face of things began,

"And what, before thy memory, was done

"From the beginning; that posterity,

"Informed by thee, might know: if else thou seekst "Aught, not surpassing human measure, say."


1 Against his purpose serves to manifest the more thy might,-Ps. xxxiii. 10. 2 Hyaline.--the Greek word for glassy; the clear expanse, called in the end of the line the glassy sea: the crystalline ocean,-above the firmament, 1. 271. See Rev. iv. 6.

3 Nether ocean, to distinguish it from the crystalline ocean, or the waters above the firmament.

4 See Psalm viii. 6, 7, 8.

5 Empyrean, the highest Heaven; so called from the Greek word for fire, which was supposed to subsist there as a pure element.




ADAM inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge; Adam assents; and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation; his placing in Paradise; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society; his first meeting and nuptials with Eve; his discourse with the angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

THE angel ended, and in Adam's ear

So charming left his voice, that he awhile

Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed1 to hear;
Then, as new-waked, thus gratefully replied :
"What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
"Equal, have I to render thee, divine
"Historian! who thus largely hast allayed
"The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed

"This friendly condescension to relate

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"With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,

"With glory attributed to the high

"Creator? Something yet of doubt remains, "Which only thy solution can resolve.

“When I behold this goodly frame, this world, "Of Heaven and Earth consisting, and compute "Their magnitudes; this Earth, a spot, a grain, "An atom, with the firmament compared "And all her numbered 2 stars, that seem to roll


1 Stood fixed,-continued immoveable; the phrase denotes his riveted attention, not his attitude.

2 Numbered, though by the Creator only, Ps. cxlvii. 4; though in vast multitudes they are numbered, taken account of, and carefully arranged.

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'Spaces incomprehensible,1 (for such

"Their distance argues, and their swift return
"Diurnal,) merely to officiate light

"Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,2
"One day and night;3 in all their vast survey
"Useless besides : reasoning I oft admire,
"How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit
"Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
"So many nobler bodies to create,
"Greater so manifold, to this one use,
"For aught appears, and on their orbs impose
"Such restless revolution day by day

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Repeated; while the sedentary earth,

"That better might with far less compass move,
"Served by more noble than herself, attains
"Her end without least motion, and receives,
"As tribute,--such a sumless journey brought
"Of incorporeal speed-her warmth and light;
"Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails."

So spake our sire, and by his countenance seemed
Entering on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight;
With lowliness majestic from her seat,


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And grace, that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,
To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom,
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.
Yet went she not as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear


Of what was high: such pleasure she reserved,


1 Spaces incomprehensible,— i. e. to roll through spaces incomprehensible.

2 Punctual spot,-a spot no bigger than a point (punctum), compared with the firmament and fixed stars.

3 One day and night,-in the compass of one day and night.

4 Incorporeal speed,-speed so great as spirits might be supposed to use; speed almost spiritual, as in line 110.

3 Won who saw,-won those who saw.

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