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John Milton. (1608–1674).  Complete Poems.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Paradise Lost: The Seventh Book
 
 
  THE ARGUMENT.—Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this World was first created:—that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create another World, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of Angels, to perform the work of creation in six days: the Angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into Heaven.
 
 
DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
The meaning, not the name, I call; for thou        5
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell’st; but, heavenly—born,
Before the hills appeared or fountain flowed,
Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play        10
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee,
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering. With like safety guided down,        15
Return me to my native element;
Lest, from this flying steed unreined (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander and forlorn.        20
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible Diurnal Sphere.
Standing on Earth, not rapt above the pole,
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,        25
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues,
In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
Visit’st my slumbers nightly, or when Morn
Purples the East. Still govern thou my song,        30
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian Bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears        35
To rapture, till the savage clamour drowned
Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend
Her son. So fail not thou who thee implores;
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.
  Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphael,        40
The affable Archangel, had forewarned
Adam, by dire example, to beware
Apostasy, by what befell in Heaven
To those apostates, lest the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,        45
Charged not to touch the interdicted Tree,
If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obeyed amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve,        50
The story heard attentive, and was filled
With admiration and deep muse, to hear
Of things so high and strange—things to their thought
So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,
And was so near the peace of God in bliss,        55
With such confusion; but the evil, soon
Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repealed
The doubts that in his heart arose; and, now        60
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him—how this World
Of heaven and earth conspicuous first began;
When, and whereof, created; for what cause;
What within Eden, or without, was done        65
Before his memory—as one whose drouth,
Yet scarce allayed, still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his Heavenly Guest:—
  “Great things, and full of wonder in our ears,        70
Far differing from this World, thou hast revealed,
Divine Interpreter! by favour sent
Down from the Empyrean to forewarn
Us timely of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach;        75
For which to the infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end
Of what we are. But, since thou hast voutsafed        80
Gently, for our instruction, to impart
Things above Earthly thought, which yet concerned
Our knowing, as to highest Wisdom seemed,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps avail us known—        85
How first began this Heaven which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorned
Innumerable; and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient Air, wide interfused,
Imbracing round this florid Earth; what cause        90
Moved the Creator, in his holy rest
Through all eternity, so late to build
In Chaos; and, the work begun, how soon
Absolved: if unforbid thou may’st unfold
What we not to explore the secrets ask        95
Of his eternal empire, but the more
To magnify his works the more we know.
And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
Much of his race, though steep. Suspense in heaven
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he hears        100
And longer will delay, to hear thee tell
His generation, and the rising birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
Or, if the Star of Evening and the Moon
Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring        105
Silence, and Sleep listening to thee will watch;
Or we can bid his absence till thy song
End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine.”
  Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought;
And thus the godlike Angel answered mild:—        110
  “This also thy request, with caution asked,
Obtain; though to recount Almighty works
What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve        115
To glorify the Maker, and infer
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing. Such commission from above
I have received, to answer thy desire
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain        120
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not revealed, which the invisible King,
Only Omniscient, hath suppressed in night,
To none communicable in Earth or Heaven,
Enough is left besides to search and know;        125
But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temperance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain;
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.        130
  “Know then that, after Lucifer from Heaven
(So call him, brighter once amidst the host
Of Angels then that star the stars among)
Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep
Into his place, and the great Son returned        135
Victorious with his Saints, the Omnipotent
Eternal Father from his Throne beheld
Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake:—
  “‘At least our envious foe hath failed, who thought
All like himself rebellious; by whose aid        140
This inaccessible high strength, the seat
Of Deity supreme, us dispossessed,
He trusted to have seized, and into fraud
Drew many whom their place knows here no more.
Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,        145
Their station; Heaven, yet populous, retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms,
Though wide, and this high temple to frequent
With ministeries due and solemn rites.
But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm        150
Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven—
My damage fondly deemed—I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world; out of one man a race        155
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till, by degrees of merit raised,
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,
And Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to Earth,        160
One kingdom, joy and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye Powers 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 heaven and earth.
Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude; nor vacuous the space,
Though I, uncircumscribed, 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 the 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 declared the Almighty’s will.
Glory they sung to the Most High, goodwill
To future men, and in their dwellings peace—
Glory to Him whose just avenging ire
Had driven out the ungodly from his sight        185
And the habitations of the just; to Him
Glory and praise whose wisdom had ordained
Good out of evil to create—instead
Of Spirits 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. Meanwhile the Son
On his great expedition now appeared,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crowned
Of majesty divine, sapience and love        195
Immense; and all his Father in him shon.
About his chariot numberless were poured
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots winged
From the armoury of God, where stand of old        200
Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged
Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand,
Celestial equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit lived,
Attendant on their Lord. Heaven opened wide        205
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        210
They viewed the vast immeasurable Abyss,
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains to assault
Heaven’s highth, and with the centre mix the pole.        215
  “‘Silence, ye troubled waves, and, thou Deep, peace!’
Said then the omnific Word: ‘your discord end!’
Nor stayed; 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
Followed in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stayed the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepared        225
In God’s eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things.
One foot he centred, and the other turned
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 Heaven created, thus the Earth,
Matter unformed and void. Darkness profound
Covered the Abyss; but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,        235
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth,
Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purged
The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs,
Adverse to life; then founded, then conglobed,
Like things to like, the rest to several place        240
Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
And Earth, self-balanced, on her centre 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
To journey through the aery gloom began,
Sphered in a radiant cloud—for yet the Sun
Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle
Sojourned the while. God saw the Light was good;
And light from darkness by the hemisphere        250
Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night,
He named. Thus was the first Day even and morn;
Nor passed uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the celestial quires, when orient light
Exhaling first from darkness they beheld,        255
Birth-day of Heaven and Earth. With joy and shout
The hollow universal orb they filled,
And touched their golden harps, and hymning praised
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, diffused        265
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 removed, lest fierce extremes
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
And Heaven he named the Firmament. So even
And morning chorus sung the second Day.        275
  “The Earth was formed, but, in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature, involved,
Appeared not; over all the face of Earth
Main ocean flowed, not idle, but, with warm
Prolific humour softening all her globe,        280
Fermented the great Mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture; when God said,
‘Be gathered 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 heaved the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters. Thither they        290
Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowled,
As drops on dust conglobing, from the dry:
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command impressed
On the swift floods. As armies at the call        295
Of trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard)
Troop to their standard, so the watery throng,
Wave rowling 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 underground, or circuit wide
With serpent error wandering, found their way,
And on the washy ooze deep channels wore:
Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry,
All but within those banks where rivers now        305
Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train.
The dry land Earth, and the great receptacle
Of congregated waters he called Seas;
And saw that it was good, and said, ‘Let the Earth
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed,        310
And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind,
Whose seed is in herself upon the Earth!’
He scarce had said when the bare Earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorned,
Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad        315
Her universal face with pleasant green;
Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flowered,
Opening their various colours, and made gay
Her bosom, smelling sweet; and, these scarce blown,
Forth flourished thick the clustering vine, forth crept        320
The smelling gourd, up stood the corny reed
Imbattled in her field: add the humble shrub,
And bush with frizzled hair implicit: last
Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread
Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemmed        325
Their blossoms. With high woods the hills were crowned,
With tufts the valleys and each fountain-side,
With borders long the rivers, that Earth now
Seemed like to Heaven, a seat where gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt        330
Her sacred shades; though God had yet not rained
Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
None was, but from the Earth a dewy mist
Went up and watered all the ground, and each
Plant of the field, which ere it was in the Earth        335
God made, and every herb before it grew
On the green stem. God saw that it was good;
So even and morn recorded the third Day.
  “Again the Almighty spake, ‘Let there be Lights
High in the expanse of Heaven, to divide        340
The Day from Night; and let them be for signs,
For seasons, and for days, and circling years;
And let them be for lights, as I ordain
Their office in the firmament of heaven,
To give light on the Earth!’ and it was so.        345
And God made two great Lights, great for their use
To Man, the greater to have rule by day,
The less by night, alternor; and made the Stars,
And set them in the firmament of heaven
To illuminate the Earth, and rule the day        350
In their vicissitude, and rule the night,
And light from darkness to divide. God saw,
Surveying his great work, that it was good:
For, of celestial bodies, first the Sun
A mighty sphere he framed, unlightsome first,        355
Though of ethereal mould; then formed the Moon
Globose, and every magnitude of Stars,
And sowed with stars the heaven thick as a field.
Of light by far the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placed        360
In the Sun’s orb, made porous to receive
And drink the liquid light, firm to retain
Her gathered beams, great palace now of Light.
Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
Repairing, in their golden urns draw light,        365
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns;
By tincture or reflection they augment
Their small peculiar, though, from human sight
So far remote, with diminution seen.
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,        370
Regent of day, and all the horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocond to run
His longitude through heaven’s high-road; the grey
Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danced,
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the Moon,        375
But opposite in levelled 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,        380
Revolved on heaven’s great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appeared
Spangling the hemisphere. Then first adorned
With her bright luminaries, that set and rose,        385
Glad evening and glad morn crowned the fourth Day.
  “And God said, ‘Let the waters generate
Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul;
And let Fowl fly above the earth, with wings
Displayed on the open firmament of Heaven!’        390
And God created the great Whales, and each
Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
The waters generated by their kinds,
And every bird of wing after his kind,
And saw that it was good, and blessed them, saying,        395
‘Be fruitful, multiply, and, in the seas,
And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multiplied on the earth!’
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay,
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals        400
Of fish that, with their fins and shining scales,
Glide under the green wave in sculls that oft
Bank the mid-sea. Part, single or with mate,
Graze the sea-weed, their pasture, and through groves
Of coral stray, or, sporting with quick glance,        405
Shew to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold,
Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment, or under rocks their food
In jointed armour watch; on smooth the seal
And bended dolphins play; part, huge of bulk,        410
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean. There Leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretched like a promontory, sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land, and at his gills        415
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea.
Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
Their brood as numerous hatch from the egg, that soon,
Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed
Their callow young; but feathered soon and fledge        420
They summed their pens, and, soaring the air sublime,
With clang despised 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,        425
In common, ranged in figure, wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aerie caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
Easing their flight: so steers the prudent crane        430
Her annual voyage, borne on winds: the air
Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered plumes.
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings,
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale        435
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays.
Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed
Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit        440
The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aerial sky. Others on ground
Walked firm—the crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and the other, whose gay train
Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue        445
Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus
With Fish replenished, and the air with Fowl,
Evening and morn solemnized the fifth Day.
  “The sixth, and of Creation last, arose
With evening harps and matin; when God said,        450
‘Let the Earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth,
Each in their kind!’ The Earth obeyed, and, straight
Opening her fertile womb, teemed at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,        455
Limbed and full-grown. Out of the ground up rose,
As from his lair, the wild beast, where he wons
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den—
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walked;
The cattle in the fields and meadows green:        460
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks
Pasturing at once and in broad herds, upsprung.
The grassy clods now calved; now half appeared
The tawny Lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts—then springs, as broke from bonds,        465
And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the Ounce,
The Libbard, and the Tiger, as the Mole
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw
In hillocks; the swift Stag from underground
Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould        470
Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved
His vastness; fleeced the flocks and bleating rose,
As plants; ambiguous between sea and land,
The River-horse and scaly Crocodile.
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,        475
Insect or worm. Those waved their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries decked of summer’s pride,
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green;
These as a line their long dimension drew,        480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace: not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious Emmet, provident        485
Of future, in small room large heart enclosed—
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter—joined in her popular tribes
Of commonalty. Swarming next appeared
The female Bee, that feeds her husband drone        490
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stored. The rest are numberless,
And thou their natures know’st, and gav’st them names
Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The Serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,        495
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes
And hairy mane terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.
  “Now Heaven in all her glory shon, and rowled
Her motions, as the great First Mover’s hand        500
First wheeled their course; Earth, in her rich attire
Consummate, lovely smiled; Air, Water, Earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was walked
Frequent; and of the sixth Day yet remained.
There wanted yet the master-work, the end        505
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        510
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        515
Of all his works. Therefore the 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 Timilitude, and let them rule        520
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 formed thee, Adam, thee, O Man,
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed        525
The breath of life; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express, and thou becam’st a living Soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort’
Female, for race; then blessed mankind, and said,        530
‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth;
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold
Over fish of the sea and fowl of the air,
And every living thing that moves on the Earth!
Wherever thus created—for no place        535
Is yet distinct by name—thence, as thou know’st,
He brought thee into this delicious grove,
This Garden, planted with the tress of God,
Delectable both to behold and taste,
And freely all their pleasant fruit for food        540
Gave thee. All sorts are here that all the earth yields,
Variety without end; but of the tree
Which tasted works knowledge of good and evil
Thou may’st not; in the day thou eat’st, thou diest.
Death is the penalty imposed; beware,        545
And govern well thy appetite, least Sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant, Death.
  “Here finished He, and all that he had made
Viewed, and behold! all was entirely good.
So even and morn accomplished the sixth Day;        550
Yet not till the Creator, from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up returned,
Up to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new-created World,
The addition of his empire, how it shewed        555
In prospect from his Throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great Idea. Up he rode,
Followed with acclamation, and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies. The Earth, the Air        560
Resounded (thou remember’st, for thou heard’st),
The heavens and all the constellations rung,
The planets in their stations listening stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
‘Open, ye everlasting gates!’ they sung;        565
‘Open, ye Heavens, your living doors! let in
The great Creator, from his work returned
Magnificent, his six days’ work, a World!
Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign
To visit oft the dwellings of just men        570
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
Thither will send his winged messengers
On errands of supernal grace.’ So sung
The glorious train ascending. He through Heaven,
That opened wide her blazing portals, led        575
To God’s eternal house direct the way—
A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear
Seen in the Galaxy, that milky way
Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest        580
Powdered with stars. And now on Earth the seventh
Evening arose in Eden—for the sun
Was set, and twilight from the east came on,
Forerunning night—when at the holy mount
Of Heaven’s high-seated top, the imperial throne        585
Of Godhead, fixed for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down
With his great Father; for He also went
Invisible, yet stayed (such privilege
Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordained,        590
Author and end of all things, and from work
Now resting. Blessed and hallowed the seventh Day,
As resting on that day from all his work;
But not in silence holy kept: the harp
Had work, and rested not; the solemn pipe        595
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Tempered soft tunings, intermixed with voice
Choral or unison; of incense clouds,
Fuming from golden censers, hid the Mount.        600
Creation and the Six Days’ acts they sung:—
‘Great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite
Thy power! what thought can measure thee, or tongue
Relate thee—greater now in thy return
Than from the Giant-angels? Thee that day        605
Thy thunders magnified; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire? Easily the proud attempt
Of Spirits apostate, and their counsels vain,        610
Thou hast repelled, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshipers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose, serves
To manifest the more thy might; his evil        615
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 hyalin, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars        620
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destined habitation—but thou know’st
Their seasons; among these the seat of men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfused,
Their pleasant dwelling—place. Thrice happy men,        625
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced,
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 worshipers        630
Holy and just! thrice happy, if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright!’
  “So sung they, and the Empyrean rung
With halleluiahs. Thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfilled that asked        635
How first this World and face of things began,
And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning, that posterity,
Informed by thee, might know. If else thou seek’st
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.”        640
 

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