Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/247

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241
BOOK VII.

Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould
Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved471
His vastness; fleeced 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 waved their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries decked of summer's pride,
With spots of gold and purple, azure and green;
These, as a line, their long dimensions drew,480
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace: not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,
Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved
Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept
The parsimonious emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart enclosed;
Pattern of just equality perhaps
Hereafter, joined in her popular tribes
Of commonalty. Swarming next appeared
The female bee, that feeds her husband drone490
Deliciously, and builds her waxen cells
With honey stored. The rest are numberless
And thou their nature knowest, and gavest them names,
Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes