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Display'd on the open firmament of heaven.
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 bless'd them, saying,
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas,
And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill;
And let the fowl be multiply'd on th' earth.
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay,
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals
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 thro'groves
Of coral stray, or sporting with quick glance,
Shew to the sun their wav'd 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
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean; there leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretch'd like a promontory, sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land, and at his gills
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea.

Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, Their brood as num'rous hateh, from th’

egg

that

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Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclos'd
Their callow young, but feather'd soon and fledge,
They summ’d their pens, and soaring th'air sublime,
With clang despis'd 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
In common, rang'd in figure wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aëry caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands with mutual wing
Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane
Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air
Floats as theypass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes:
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even, nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays:
Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd
Their downy breasts; the swán, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and rising en stiff pennons, tow'r.
The mid aërial sky: others on ground

Walk'd firm; the crested cock,whose clarion sounds
The silent hours; and th' other, whose gay train
Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hues
Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
Ev'ning and morn solemnized the fifth day.

The sixth, and of Creation last, arose
With evening harps and matin, when God said,
Let th' earth bring forth fowl living in her kind,
Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of th’ earth,
Each in their kind. The earth obey'd, and strait
Op’ning her fertile womb, teem'd at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms
Limb’d and fully grown: out of the ground uprose,
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 walk'd :
The cattle in the fields and meadows green:
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks
Past'ring at once, and in broad herds up-sprung.
The grassy clods now calv'd, now half appear'd
The tawny lion, powing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds.
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 under ground

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Bore up his branching head: scarce from his mould
Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheav'd
His vastness: fleec'd 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,
Insect or worm: those wav'd their limnber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liv’ries deck'd of summer's pride,
With spots of gold and purple, blue and green:
These as a line their long dimension drew,
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace: not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involv’d
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart enclos’d,
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter, join'd in her popular tribes
Of commonalty: swarming next appear's
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stor’d; the rest are numberless:
But thou their natures know'st, and gav’st them

names

Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,

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 shone, and rolld
Her motions, as the First Great Mover's hand
First wheeld their course: earth in her rich attire
Consummate, lovely smild; air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swum, was

walk'd
Frequent: but of the sixth day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the master-work, the end
Of all yet done; a creature who not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endu'd
With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence
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
Of all his works: therefore th' 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 similitude, and let them rule
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air,
Beast of the field, and over all the earth.

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