« AnteriorContinua »
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn d by furious winds,
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heav'n's height, and with the center mix the pole.
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,,
Said then th' omnific Word, your discord.end ::
Nor stay'd ; 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
Follow'd in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stay'd the fervid .wheels, and in his hand?
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd!
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things :
One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
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 Sp'rit of God outspread,
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,
And Earth self-balanc'd on center hung.
The first APPEARANCE of the Sun and Moon.
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,,
Regent of day, and all th' horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run :
His longitude through Heav'n's high road; the gray;
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd,
Shedding sweet influence : less bright the Moony,
But opposite in levell’d west was set,
His mirror, with full face borrowing her light.
From him; for other light she needed none.
In that aspect; and still that distance keeps
Till night, then in the east her turn she shines,
Revolv'd on Heav'n's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds.
The CREATION of Birds described.
(MILTON.) MEANWHILE the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, Their brood as numerous hatch, from th' egg that soon Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd 'I heir callow young, but feather'd soon and fledge They summ'd their pens, and soaring th' air sublime With clang despis'd 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 comnion, rang’d in figure wedge their way, Intelligent of seasons, and set forth Their airy caravan high over seas Flying, and over lands with mutual wing Easing their flight: so steers the prudent crane Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes. From branch to branch the smaller birds with song Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings Till ev'n; nor then the solemn nightingale Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays. Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit The bank, and rising on stiff pennons, tower The mid aërial sky: Others on ground Walk'd firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds, The silent hours; and th' other, whose gay train Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue Of rainbows and starry eyes.
The Deity resolves to CREATE Man.
(MILTON.) Now Heav'n in all her glory shone, and rollid. Her motions, as the great first Moyer's hand
First wheeld their course ; earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovely smil’d; air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swym, was walk'd
Frequent; and of the sixth day yet remain'd.
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,
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.
Adam gives an Account of his CONDITION and SENTIMENTS, immediately after his CREATION,
As new wak'd from soundest sleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun
Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed.
Strait toward Heav'n my wond'ring eyes I turn'd,
And gaz'd awhile the ample sky. till rais'd
By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
Stood on my feet; about me round I saw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains,
And liquid lapse of murm'ring streams; by these,
Creatures that liv'd and mov'd, and walk’d, or flew,
Birds on the branches warbling; all things smild,
With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflow'd.
Myself I then perus'd, and limb by limb
Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, as lively vigour led :
But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
Knew not; to speak I try'd, and forthwith spake;
My tongue obey'd, and readily could name
Whate'er I saw. Thou Sun, said I, fair light,
And thou enlighten'd Earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye Hills, and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains, And
ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell, Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here? Not of myself; by some great Maker then, In goodness and in pow'r pre-eminent; Tell me, how may I know him, how adore, From whom I have that thus I move and live, And feel that I am happier than I know.. While thus I callid, and stray'd I knew not whither, From where I first drew air, and first beheld This happy light; when answer none return'd, On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers, Pensive I sat me down : ihere gentle sleep First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought. I then was passing to my former state Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve: When suddenly stood at my head a dream, Whose inward apparition gently mov'd My fancy to believe I yet had being, And liv’d. One came, methought, of shape divinegin And said, Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise, First Man, of men innumerable ordain'd First Father; call'd by thee, I come thy guide. To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepar'd. So saying by the hand he took ine rais'd, And over fields and waters, as in air Smooth-sliding without step, last led me up A woody mountain; whose high top was plain, A circuit wide, inclos'd with goodliest trees Planted, with walks, and bow'rs, that what I saw Of earth before scarce pleasant seem'd. Each tree Loader with fairest fruit, that hung to th' eye Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite To pluck and eat; whereat I wak’d, and found Before mine eyes all real, as the dream Had lively shadow'd.
Adam's DESCRIPTION of Eve.,
Yet when I approach Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuouisest, discreetest best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows:
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind, and nobleness, their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.
The Serpent finds her ; And is so strongly affected with her Beauty and Innocence, that he
almost lays aside his hellish Design.
Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand
Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light,
Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's train,
Betook her to the groves; but Delia's self
In gait surpass’d, and Goddess-like deport;
Though not, as she, with bow and quiver armid,
But with such gard’ning tools as art yet rude,
Guiltless of fire, had form'd, or Angels brought.
To Pales or Pomona, thus adorn'd,
Likest she seem'd, Pomona when she fled
Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime,
Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove.
Her long with ardent look his eye pursu'd
Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated; she to him as oft engag'd
To be return’d by noon amid the bower,
And all things in best order to invite
Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose.
O much deceiv'd, much failing, hapless Eve,
Of thy presum'd return! event perverse !
Thou never from that hour in Paradise
Found'st either sweet repast, or sound repose;