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There be Four 1 standing by the throne,

Nearest of living things;

Within the rim of the 2 rainbow zone,

2

They catch its emerald tints upon

The snow of their folded wings;
And bowed was every glorious head,
As silently they worshipped ;
But, oh! that silent worship said

Unutterable things.3
For from the wall of dazzling light,
Impervious e'en to angel-sight,
That oircles round the place of doom,

Jehovah's secret council-room,

Where sit the co-eternal THREE

In conclave upon things to be, -
A whisper of some mighty plan
Passed outward, "-" Let us fashion man
In our own image: let him bear
Our likeness, and its glory share;

And wield o'er earth, his fair abode,

The delegated power of God."
Then followed intimations dim,

Whereof the four-fold Cherubim

Divined but little, save a strange

Accent of melancholy change,

Words that for angel's tongue unmeet

They might not venture to repeat :

But far away through ether ran
The rumour, “Let us fashion man."

In widening circles of sweet sound,
It swept heaven's infinite profound :
Like a summer wave, whose motion

Heaves, but doth not break, the ocean ;

Whispering, with the gentlest kiss,
As it passed each isle of bliss,
To the happy shores of these
Heaven-engirdled Cyclades.

II.

A 5 veil of silver vapour lies

Upon the new-created earth,

As if to hide from curious eyes

The secrets of some mystic birth :
Upon the pale and tranquil sky
The hills stand gazing stedfastly ;
While, buried in the filmy wreath,
The silent woodland glooms beneath.

It is the hush of expectation

That stops the pulses of creation ;
Not a breath, not a motion in earth or air;

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For the Spirit of God is brooding there.

But lo! the mountain-peaks give warning

They have seen the face of morning ;
Tinting first the cones of ice,
Then, by crag and precipice,
Downward streams the flood of splendour,

With its hues so warm and tender :

Now, like smoke, the mists arise,

Breathed from some great sacrifice,
Wafting up from Eden's bowers
The thanksgivings of her flowers :
From the depths of quiet valleys,
Gardened plains and leafy alleys,
With its quire of happy voices,
Nature wakens, and rejoices :
Earth aside her mantle throws,
And in primal beauty glows.
With toilsome steps, through paths of danger,

I have wooed the rover's wild delight; Hunting for scenes of beauty and grandeur,

And spell-bound, as they rose to sight: But never,--not e'en in childhood's time,

When the common face of earth and sky Caught from the spirit's glowing prime

A charm beyond reality, — Never did sinful man behold

Such scene as blest angelic eyes,

When morn the mists asunder roll’d,

And light broke in on Paradise.

III.

Yet from the soulless face of nature

Those heavenly watchers turned, to scan,

In one supremely beauteous creature,

God's last-created marvel, Man.

As just awakened from a trance,

He stood amid earth's tribes alone,

And on his brow's serene expanse

The seal of sovereign Godhead shone : Amazement, chastened by control

Of conscious power, his features flushed, As, through the eye, upon the soul

At once the world of vision rushed.

The genial landscape basked before him ;

The glorious sunshine blazed above; It seemed the firmament bent o'er him,

To clasp him and his realm in love.

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