Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/239

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233
BOOK VII.

Main ocean flowed, not idle, but, with warm
Prolific humor softening all her globe,280
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture; when God said:
'Be gathered now, ye waters, under heaven
Into one place, and yet dry land appear!'
Immediately the mountains huge appear,
Emergent, and their broad bare backs up-heave
Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky.
So high as heaved the tumid hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and deep,
Capacious bed of waters. Thither they290
Hasted with glad precipitance, up-rolled,
As drops on dust conglobing, from the dry;
Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct,
For haste: such flight the great command impressed
On the swift floods. As armies at the call
Of trumpet—for of armies thou hast heard—
Troop to their standard, so the watery throng,
Wave rolling after wave, where way they found;
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain,
Soft-ebbing: nor withstood them rock or hill;300
But they, or underground, or circuit wide
With serpent error wandering, found their way,
And on the washy ooz deep channels wore;
Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry,
All but within those banks, where rivers now