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And God created the great whales, and each
And faw that it was good, and blefs'd them, faying, Be fruitful, multiply, and in the feas
And lakes and running ftreams the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multiply'd on th' earth. Forthwith the founds and feas, each creek and bay With fry innumerable swarm, and fhoals
400. With fry innumerable farm, &c.] One would wonder how the poet could be fo concife in his defcription of the fix days works, as to comprehend them within the bounds of an epifode, and at the fame time fo particular, as to give us a lively idea of them. This is ftill more remarkable in his account of the fifth and fixth days, in which he has drawn out to our view the whole animal creation from the reptil to the behemoth. As the lion and the leviathan are two of the noblest productions in the world of living creatures, the reader will find a molt exquifite spirit of poetry in the account which our author gives us of them. The fixth day concludes with the formation of Man, upon which the Angel takes occafion, as he did after the battel in Heaven, to remind Adam of his obedience, which was the principal defign of this his vifit. Addi fon.
in fculls that oft Bank the mid fea :] Shoals of fifh fo vaft, that they appear like mighty banks in the midft of the fea. Sculls and foals are vast multitudes of fish, of the Saxon Sceole, an assembly. Hume.
Shoals in fculls feems an odd expreffion; would not fhoals and fculls be better?
and through groves Of coral fray,] Coral is a production of the fea, and is commonly rank'd among the number of marine plants. The learned Kercher fupposes entire forests of it to grow at the bottom of the fea, which may juftify our author's expreffion of groves of Coral. The Ancients believ'd that it was foft under the water and harden'd in the air. Ovid has exprefs'd this notion very prettily in Met. IV. 750.
Of fish that with their fins and fhining scales
Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food
And fhrubs beneath the waves, grow ftones above. Eufden. But later discoveries have shown, that only the extremities of the branches are a little foft in the water, and foon petrify in the air.
409. In jointed armour] The reader cannot but be pleas'd with the beauty of this metaphor. The fhells of lobsters &c, and armour very
much refemble one another; and in
Delphinum fimiles; qui per maria
Wallowing unwieldy', enormous in their gate
Et acceptum patulis mare naribus
efflant. Ovid. Met. III. 686. 421. They fumm'd their pens,] Pens from penna a feather. Summ'd is a term in falconry; a hawk is faid to be full fumm'd, when his feathers Par. Reg. I. 14. are grown to their full strength. So
With profp'rous wing full fumm'd. Richardfon. 422. With clang defpis'd the ground,
under a cloud
fo many that the ground, from whence In profpe&;] That is, the birds were they rofe, would have appeared to be under a cloud, if one had feen it at a distance: in this fenfe we have ver. 555 bow it (the world) bow'd
Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd
423.—there the eagle and the fork On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build:] Thefe birds build their eyries, that is their nefts in fuch high places. In Job XXXIX. 27, 28. it is faid particularly of the eagle, Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her neft on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the frong place. And Pliny fays of them, Nidificant in petris et arboribus. L. 10. Sect. 4.
in profpect from his throne. Pearce. dentibus: feffos duces ad terga reciUnder a cloud, the ground being piunt. Nat. Hift. L. 10. Sect. 32. fhaded by the multitude of birds But as this migration of birds is one feem'd as when à cloud paffes over of the moft wonderful inftincts of it. Richardfon. nature, it may be proper to add fome better authorities to explain and juftify our author than PlinyJerem. VIII. 7. takes notice of this remarkable inftinct; Yea the ftork in the Heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle, and the crane, and the fwallow obferve the time of their coming, &c. So very intelligent are they of feafons. And as Milton inftances in the crane particularly, we will quote what the ingenious author of Spectacle de la Nature fays upon this occafion. Dial. XI. “ Ás "to wild ducks and cranes, both the " one and the other at the approach "of winter fly in queft of more "favorable climates. They all af"femble at a certain day like swal"lows and quails. They decamp "at the fame time, and 'tis very
-rang'd in figure wedge their way,] Pliny has defcribed certain birds of paffage, flying in the form of a wedge, and fpreading wider and wider. Thofe behind rest upon thofe before, till the leaders being tir'd are in their turn receiv'd into the rear. A tergo fenfim dilatante fe cuneo porrigitur agmen, largèque impellenti præbetar auræ. Colla imponunt præce
agreeable to obferve their flight. They generally range themselves " in a long column like an I, or "in two lines united in a point like
Intelligent of feasons, and fet forth
435.-nor then the folemn nightin gale &c.] Of all finging birds, we fee that he inftances in the nightingale particularly; and his fondness for this little bird is very remarkable, and he expreffes it upon every occafion. If the reader has not taken particular notice of it, he will be furpris'd as well as pleas'd to fee in how many paffages and with what admiration he speaks of this charming fongfter. He compares his own making verfes in his blindness to the nightingale's finging in the dark. III. 37.
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
In that tender fpeech of Eve's to
With thee converfing I forget all time, &'c
amongst other pleafing images he mentions twice
the filent night With this her folemn bird.
And Adam and Eve are made to fleep lall'd by nightingales, IV. 771. Thefe, lull'd by nightingales, embracing flept, And