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On His great expedition now appear'd,
Celestial equipage: and now came forth
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,
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