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Follow'd in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid 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 Heaven created, thus the Earth,
Matter unform'd and void : darkness profound
Cover'd the abyss: but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purg'a
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-balane'd on her centre hung. [use
And God made two great lights, great for their
To man, the greater to have rule by day,
The less by night, altern; and made the stars,
And set them in the firmament of Heaven,
T'illuminate the Earth, and rule the day
In their vicissitude, and rule the night,
And light from darkness to divide.
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,
Regent of day, and all the horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through Heaven's high road; the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd
Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon
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 Heaven's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spangling the hemisphere.-
Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and roll'd
Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand
First wheel'd their course: Earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovely smil'd; air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was
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 eyes
Directed in devotion, to adore
And worship God Supreme, who made him chief
Of all his works: therefore th' Omnipotent
Eternal Father (for where is not he
Present?) thus to his Son audibly spake :
'Let us make now Man in our image, Man
In our similitude, and let them rule
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air,
Beast of the field, and over all the Earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.'
This said, he form'd thee, Adam; thee, O Man,
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
The breath of life; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express; and thou becam❜st a living soul.
ADDRESS OF OUR FIRST PARENTS TO THE
THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sit'st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven.
On earth join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fall'st.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient Sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wandering fires that move
In mystic dance, not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or streaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise;
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls; ye birds,
That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep ;
Witness, if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark!
PERFECTIONS OF THE DEITY.
Unde nil majus generatur ipso,
Nec viget quidquam simile aut secundum. Hor.
FROM Earth's low prospects and deceitful aims,
From wealth's allurements, and ambition's dreams,
The lover's raptures, and the hero's views,
All the false joys mistaken man pursues;
The schemes of science, the delights of wine,
Or the more pleasing follies of the Nine!
Recal, fond bard, thy long enchanted sight,
Deluded with the visionary light!
A nobler theme demands thy sacred song,
A theme beyond or man's or angel's tongue!
But oh, alas! unhallow'd and profane,
How shalt thou dare to raise the heav'nly strain?
Do thou, who from the altar's living fire
Isaiah's tuneful lips didst once inspire,
Come to my aid, celestial Wisdom, come;
From my dark mind dispel the doubtful gloom :
My passions still, my purer breast inflame,
To sing that God from whom existence came;
Till Heav'n and Nature in the concert join,
And own the Author of their birth divine.