Let there be light

Let there be light

(The Saviour of the World, Vol V Book IV Poem XXXV)

Let there be light! came forth the Almighty Word:
And, lo, the sun a flood of radiance poured
On that vast chaos, dim, unlovely, dank:
As when a Queen goes forth, each in his rank,
Her subjects place them, waiting on her smile,—
So Order rose from Chaos that, erewhile,
Occupied the waste places: Life came out
To choose her habitation, upon the rout

Of those disordered forces cast pell-mell about.

Light waved his potent wand and all the fields
Are, sudden, green and lovely: horror yields
His place to Beauty—who the Light can split
Into rays of colour such as shall befit
For painting flowers, of birds, the plumage gay,
The heavens themselves, adorned for break of day.
The world made fair, lo, Joy and Hope come forth
To bask them in the Beauty gave them birth;

And every little bird shouteth aloud for mirth.

Warmth followed in the Light, and soft caressed
The new-born things Life cherished at her breast:
Like maiden blushing ’neath her lover’s eye,
The new Earth glowed before the majesty
Of the Sun in the sky emitting Warmth and Light—
Dispelling fearful terrors of old Night,
So long had reigned and held the earth in thrall;—
The flowers put on their beauty; young lambs call;

Lo, Hope and Love and Gladness dominate them all.

“We have the Sun for ever!” was the song
Created things uplifted: but, ere long,
The Light, the glorious Light, began to fade;
The lovely valleys sank in ominous shade;
Anon, the hill-tops lost their roseate glow;
Violets and roses red quick ceased to shew
Their tinting exquisite; the lilies white—
Pure chalices to hold distilled light—

With all the beauteous flowers, turn black in awful night.

And all Light’s train of presences divine,
Extinguished by fell darkness, cease to shine;
Beauty goes hide herself; Order retires;
Hope, Love and Joy let out their genial fires:
Foul vapours of the night enwrap the scene
But yesterday had all so radiant been:
And all the creatures know that all their bliss
Proceedeth from the Sun’s transcendant kiss;

The Sun removed, ah me, their state is all amiss!

Genesis i. 3, 4, 5.

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