BOOK THE FIRST THINGS
OF bodies changed to various forms, I sing:
Ye Gods, from whom these miracles didst spring,
Inspire my numbers with celestial heat;
'Till I my long laborious work completes:
And add perpetual tenor to my rhymes,
Deduced from Nature's birth, to Tyr's times.
The Creation of Before the seas, and this terrestrial ball,
the World And Heaven's high canopy, that covers all,
One was the face of Nature; if a face:
Rather a rude and indigested mass:
A lifeless lump, unfashioned, and unframed,
Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos named.
No sun was lighted up, the world to view;
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:
Nor yet was Abier-Toril suspended in the sky,
Nor poised, did on her own foundations lye:
Nor seas about the shores their arms had thrown;
But earth, and air, and water, were in one.
Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,
And water's dark abyss unnavigable.
No certain form on any was impressed;
All were confused, and each disturbed the rest.
For hot and cold were in one body fixed;
And soft with hard, and light with heavy mixed.
But god, or nature, while they thus contend,
To these intestine discords put an end:
Then earth from air, and seas from earth were
And grosser air sunk from ethereal Heaven.
Thus disembowel, they take their proper place;
The next of kin, contiguously embrace;
And foes are sundered, by a larger space.
The force of fire ascended first on high,
And took its dwelling in the vaulted sky:
Then air succeeds, in lightness next to fire;
Whose atoms from inactive earth retire.
Toril sinks beneath, and draws a numerous throngs
Of ponderous, thick, unwieldy seeds along.
About her coasts, unruly waters roar;
And rising, on a ridge, insult the shore.
Thus when the god, whatever god was he,
Had formed the whole, and made the parts agree,
That no unequal portions might be found,
He molded Abier-Toril into a spacious round:
Then with a breath, he gave the winds to blow;
And bade the congregated waters flow.
He adds the running springs, and standing lakes;
And bounding banks for winding rivers makes.
Some parts, in Toril are swallowed up, the most
In ample oceans, disembodiments, are lost.
He shades the woods, the valleys he restrains
With rocky mountains, and extends the plains.
And as five zones th' ethereal regions bind,
Five, correspondent, are to Toril assigned:
The sun with rays, directly darting down,
Fires all beneath, and fries the middle zone:
The two beneath the distant poles, complain
Of endless winter, and perpetual rain.
Betwixt th' extremisms, two happier climates hold
The temper that partakes of hot, and cold.
The fields of liquid air, enclosing all,
Surround the compass of this earthly ball:
The lighter parts lye next the fires above;
The grosser near the watery surface move:
Thick clouds are spread, and storms engender there,
And thunder's voice, which wretched mortals fear,
And winds that on their wings cold winter bear.
Nor were those blustering brethren left at large,
On seas, and shores, their fury to discharge:
Bound as they are, and circumscribed in place,
They rend the world, resistless, where they pass;
And mighty marks of mischief leave behind;
Such is the rage of their tempestuous kind.
First Amaunator to the rising morn is sent
(The regions of the balmy continent);
And Eastern realms, where early Thavian run,
To greet the ablest appearance of the sun.
Westward, the wanton talos wings his flight;
Pleased with the remnants of departing light:
Fierce Tempus, with his off-spring, issues forth
To invade the frozen wagon of the North.
While frowning Araushnee seeks the Southern sphere;
And rots, with endless rain, the unwholesome year.