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Mean while inhabit lax, ye Pow'rs of Heaven,
And thou, my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform; speak thou, and be it done:
My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee 165
I send along; ride forth, and bid the deep
Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth;
Boundless the deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude; nor vacuous'the space.
Though I uncircumscrib'd myself retire, 170
And put not forth my goodness, which is free
To act or not; necessity and chance
Approach not me; and what I will,is fate.

So spake th’Almighty; and to what he spake
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.

175 Immediate are the acts of God, more swift Than time or motion, but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receive. Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven, 180 When such was heard declar'd th' Almighty's will; Glory they sung to the most High, good will To future men, and in their dwellings peace: Glory to him, whose just avenging ire Had driven out th’ungodly from his fight, 185 And th'habitations of the just; to him Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd Good out of evil to create; instead Of Spi rits malign a better race to bring



Into their vacant room; and thence diffuse 190
His good to worlds and ages infinite.

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; fapience 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 Spi rits, and chariots wing’d
From th’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,
Attendent on their Lord: Heav'n open'd wide 205
Her ever during gates, harmonious sound
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory in his pow'rful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore 210
They view'd the vast, immeasurable abyss,
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 highth, and with the center mix the pole. 215

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; 220
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, prepard 225
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, 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 watry calm
His brooding wings the Spi rit 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 240
Disparted, and between spun out the air;
And Earth, self-balanc'd ,on her center hung.

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


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To journey through the aery gloom began,
Spher'd in a radiant cloud; for yet the sun
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the light was good;
And light from darkness by the hemisphere 250
Divided: light the day, and darkness night
He nam'd. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn:
Nor paft uncelebrated, 'nor unsung
By the celestial quires, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld; 255
Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they fillid,
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. 260

Again, God said, Let there be firmament
Amid the waters, and let it divide
The waters from the waters: and God made
The firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Transparent, elemental air, diffus'd

In circuit to the uttermost convex
Of this great round: partition firm and sure,
The waters underneath from those above
Dividing: for as earth, so he the world
Built on circumfluous waters calm, in wide 270
Crystallin ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos far remov’d; left fierce extremes,
Contiguous, might distemper the whole frame:


And Heav'n he nam’d the firmament: So even
And morning chorus sung the second day. 275

The earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet.
Of waters, embryon, immature involv’d,
Appear’d not: over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow’d; not idle, but with warm
Prolific humor soft'ning all her globe,

Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture; when God said
Be gather'd now ye waters under Heaven
Into one place, and let dry land appear.
Immediately the mountains huge appear 285
Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave ..
Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky:
So high as heav'd the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters: thither they

Hafted, with glad precipitance, uprollid
As drops on dust conglobing from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command impress’d
On the swift floods: as armies at the call 295
Of trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard)
Troop to their standard; so the watry throng,
Wave rolling after wave, where way they found,
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain,
Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them rock or hill, 300
But they, or under ground, or circuit wide

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