« PreviousContinue »
Relate Thee? greater now in Thy return
Than from the giant angels; Thee that day
Thy thunders magnify'd; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.
Who can impair Thee, Mighty King, or bound
Thy empire? easily the proud attempts
Of spirits apostate, and their counsels vain,
Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from Thee withdraw
The number of Thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen Thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more Thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another heaven
From heaven-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea,
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Num'rous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destin❜d habitation; but Thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfus'd,
Their pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom GOD hath thus advanc'd,
Created in His image, there to dwell
And worship Him, and in reward to rule
Over His works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
Holy and just: thrice happy if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright.
So sung they, and the empyréan rung
With hallelujahs: thus was sabbath kept.
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..
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, Hin 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
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 wand'ring 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 steaming lake, dusky or grey,
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 pines,
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 ought of evil or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
ADAM's RELATION TO RAPHAEL
FIRST SURVEY HE TOOK OF HIMSELF.
man to tell how human life began
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
Desire with thee still longer to converse
Induc'd me. 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 heaven 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 smil'd
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,
that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
if ye saw, how came I thus, how here?
Not of myself; by some Great Maker then,
In goodness and in power pre-eminent;