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Prolific humour softning all her globe,
God said, mountains, they go down by the Be gather'd now ye waters un- valleys unto the place which thou der heaven
hast founded for them, &c. We Into one place, and let dry suppose that we need not desire land appear.]
the reader to remark the beautiThis is again exactly copied ful numbers in the following from Moses; And God said, verses of the poem, how they Let the waters under the heaven seem to rise with the rising be gathered together into one place, mountains, and to sink again and let the dry land appear : and with the falling waters. it was so. Gen. i. 9. And it was 285. Immediately the mounso is very short in Moses ; Mil- tains &c.] We have the same ton enlarges upon it, as the sub- elevation of thought in the third ject will admit some fine strokes day, when the mountains were of poetry, and seems to bave had brought forth, and the deep was his eye upon the 104th Psalm, made. We have also the rising which is likewise a divine hymn of the whole vegetable world in praise of the creation, sixth described in this day's work, and following verses. Thou which is filled with all the graces coveredst the earth with the deep; that other poets have lavished the waters stood above the moun on their description of the spring, lains. At thy rebuke they fled, and leads the reader's imaginaal the voice of thy thunder they tion into a theatre equally surhasted away. They go up by the prising and beautiful." Addison.
On the swift floods : as armies at the call
299. If sleep, with torrent rap- You cannot read it otherwise ture,] I have seen a marginal than slowly, and so as to give reading with torrent rupture, as your mind a picture of the thing in ver. 419. we have bursting described. Many examples of with kindly rupture. But we the like kind are to be found in may understand torrent rapture our author and all good poets. in the same manner as glad pre · Richardson. cipitance, ver. 291.
307. The dry land, earth, &c.] 303. And on the washy ooze These are again the words of deep channels wore;
Genesis formed into verse, Gen. Easy, ere God had bid the ground i. 10, 11. And God called the dry be dry, &c.]
land Earth, and the gathering The earth was just now emerged together of the waters called he from the waters in which it had Seas: and God saw that it was been wrapt; it was therefore good. And God said, Let the all one great washy ooze, slime earth bring forth grass, the herb and mud. In this soft earth yielding seed, and the fruil-tree deep channels were easily worn yielding fruit after his kind, whose by the streaming water, till it seed is in itself upon the earth. was dry every where but within But when he comes to the dethe banks,
scriptive part, le then opens a -where rivers now
finer vein of poetry. , Stream, and perpetual draw their
Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, 310
321. The swelling gourd,] I branches, and implicit signifies give "swelling" instead of the entangled. The subject is low, old reading smelling upon the and therefore he is forced to united authorities of Bentley, raise the expression. Pearce, and Newton himself, 325. -or gemni'd (although he declined altering Their blossoms : ] the received text,) supported by Put forth their blossoms, of gemarguments quite convincing, but mare [Latin) to bud forth Hume. too long for the occasion. E. Dr. Bentley thinks it plain
321. ---the corny reed] The that Milton gave it or gemmed horny reed stood upright among with blossoms; taking gemmed for the undergrowth of nature, like a participle as hung is. But a grove of spears or a battalion gemmed may be a verb, as spread with its spikes alost. Corneus is. And to gem their blossoms is (Latin) of or like horn. Hume. an expression of the same poet
323. -—with frizzled hair im- ical cast with that in iv. 219, plicit :) Hair, coma in Latin, blooming ambrosial fruit. Pearce. is used for leaves, twigs and
With borders long the rivers : that earth now
Again th' Almighty spake, Let there be lights
381. —though God had yet 275.) with evening harps and not rain'd &c.] This is taken from matin, (ver. 450.) What is done the second chapter of Genesis ; by the voices and instruments the poet was studious to weave is poetically ascribed to the time in all that Moses had written of in which they were employed. the creation. Gen. ii. 4, 5, 6. Richardson. In the day that the Lord God 339. Again th' Almighty spake, made the earth and the hearens, Let there be lights &c.] Gen. i. und every plant of the field before 14, 15. And God said, Let there it was in the earth, and every be lights in the firmament of the herb of the field before it grew : heaven to divide the day from the for the Lord God had not caused night; and let them be for signs, it to rain upon the earth, and and for seasons, and for days, and there was not u man to till the years : And let their be for lights ground: but there went up a mist in the firmament of the heaven, to from the earth, and watered the give light upon the earth: and it whole face of the ground.
was so. We see, when he makes 338. So ev'n and morn recorded the divine Person speak, he still the third day.] Recorded, cele- keeps close to Scripture; but afbrated, caused to be remem- terwards he indulges a greater bered. This was done by the latitude of thought, and gives even and morning chorus, (ver. freer scope to his imagination.
Their office in the firmament of heaven
345 And God made two great lights, great for their use Το
man, the greater to have rule by day,
346. And God made two great
that of celestial bodies the sun lights,] The several glories of was first framed, and then the the heavens make their appear- moon and stars, observing this ance on the fourth day. Addison. order of creation, we suppose, The very words of Moses, And according to the degrees of useGud made two great lights ; not
fulness to men. The sun, he that they were greater than all says, was unlightsome first ; and other stars and planets, but are it is most probable, that the only greater lights with refer- bodies of the sun and moon fc. ence to man, and therefore Milwere formed at the same time ton judiciously adds,
as the body of the earth on the
first day, but they were not great for their use
made those complete luminous the
greater to have rule by day,
bodies, they did not shine out in
their lustre and glory till the The less by night altern ;
fourth day, the air perhaps or that is, alternate, a word added atmosphere not being sufficito Moses's account, as in their ently cleared before to transmit vicissitude is afterwards; the their rays to the earth. Milgreater light to rule the day, and ton's hypothesis is different. The lesser light to rule the night: He says that the light was transhe made the stars also. And God planted from her cloudy shrine or set them in the firmament of the tabernacle, wherein she had soheaven, to give light upon the journed the three first days, and earth, and to rule over the day, on the fourth day was placed in and over the night, and to divide the sun's orb, which was become the light from the darkness : and now the great palace of light. God saw that it wus good. Gen. i. But let it be remembered that . 16, 17, 18. So far, we see, he this is all hypothesis, and that keeps close to Scripture, but the Scripture determines nothing then he launches out, and says,
one way or other.