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On His great expedition now appear'd,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd
Of majesty divine; sapience and love
Immense, and all The 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 th' armoury of God, where stood of old
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg'd
Against a solemn day, harnass'd at hand,


Celestial equipage: and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord: Heaven 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
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
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole.

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
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 centred, and the other turn'd
Round thro' 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 th' abyss; but on the wat’ry calm, His brooding wings the Spirit 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 her centre hung.

Let there be light, said God, and forthwith light Æthereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep, and from her native east To journey through the aëry 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 Divided: light the Day, and darkness Night He nam’d. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn: Nor pass'd uncelebrated, nor unsung By the celestial quoirs, when orient light, Exhaling first from darkness, they beheld; Birth-day of heaven and earth: with joy and shout



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