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Of spirits malign a better race to bring
So sang the Hierarchies. Mean while the Son On his great expedition now appear'd, Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd Of Majesty divine, sapience and love Immense, and all his Father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And Virtues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd, From the armoury of GOD, where stand of old 200 Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodg'd Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand, Celestial equipage; and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd, Attendant on their Lord: heav'n open'd 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.
On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore
214 And] Newton would read 'In surging waves; it seems better, says Todd, as the Doctor observes, to say of the sea, in surging waves,' than 'by.'
Silence, ye troubled waves, and, thou deep, peace, Said then th' omnific Word, your discord end. Nor staid; 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
And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds, 230 This be thy just circumference, O world.
Thus GOD the heav'n created, thus the earth, Matter unform'd and void. Darkness profound Cover'd th' Abyss; but on the wat'ry calm His brooding wings the Spirit of GOD outspread, 235 And vital virtue infus'd and vital warmth Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purg'd The black, tartareous, cold, infernal, dregs, Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd Like things to like; the rest to several place
Disparted, and between spun out the air,
Let there be light, said GOD, and forthwith light Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep, and from her native east 245 To journey through the aery gloom began,
Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good;
He nam'd. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn:
By the celestial choirs, when orient light
Birth-day of heav'n and earth; with joy and shout
And touch'd their golden harps, and hymning prais'd GOD and his works, creator him they sung,
Both when first evening was, and when first morn. Again GoD said, Let there be firmament
Amid the waters, and let it divide
The waters from the waters: and GOD made
In circuit to the uttermost convex
Of this great round; partition firm and sure,
Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide
Crystallin ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov'd, lest fierce extremes
The earth was form'd, but, in the womb as yet
With serpent error wand'ring, found their way,
And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' earth
He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then
Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad
Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown, Forth flourish'd thick the clust'ring vine, forth crept The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
302 serpent] See Strabo, ix. 424. Ap. Rhod. iv. 1541. Davies ad Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 42. Solin. Polyhist. cxxiv. 4. x. Virg. Georg. i. 244. Senecæ Thyestes, 869. Peele's Works by Dyce, ii. 11, ed. 1829 and Sandys' Psalms, p. 170.
'With snake-like glide between the bordering hills.'
302 wand'ring] Winding. ii. 56. Bentl. MS.
321 swelling] See Le Api de Ruscellai, v. 460.
E dir ci come col gonfiato ventre
L'idropica cucurbita s'ingrossi.'
and Milton's Prose Works, vi. p. 388. The tumid pumpkin.'
321 corny] Virg. Æn. iii. 22.
'Quo cornea summo
Virgulta, et densis hastilibus horrida myrtus. Hume.