“The Fifth Day” and “The Sixth Day” (from The Creation)
“The Fifth Day”
And God Said: Let the Waters Bring Forth Abundantly
And God said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly
the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth
in the open firmament of heaven.
On Mighty Pens Uplifted Soars the Eagle
On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle aloft,
and cleaves the sky in swiftest flight to the blazing sun.
The merry lark bids welcome to the morn,
and cooing calls the tender dove his mate.
From every bush and grove
resound the nightingale’s delightful, liquid notes.
No grief affected yet her breast,
nor to a mournful tale were tun’d
her soft, enchanting lays.
And God Created Great Whales
And God created great whales,
and every living creature that moveth,
and God blessed them, saying:
Be fruitful all!
Multiply ye wing’d and feather’d tribes,
and sing from every tree!
Multiply, ye finny tribes,
and fill each wat’ry deep!
Be fruitful, grow and multiply,
rejoice in him, your Lord and God!
And the Angels Struck Their Immortal Harps
And the angels struck their immortal harps,
and the wonders of the fifth day sang.
Most Beautiful Appear, With Verdure Young Adorn’d –The Lord is Great
Most beautiful appear, with verdure young adorn’d
the gently sloping hills.
Their narrow, sinuous veins distil in crystal drops
the fountain fresh and bright.
In lofty circles play,
and flutter through the sky
the cheerful flocks of birds.
And in the flying whirl their glittering plumes
are dyed like rainbows by the sun.
See flashing midst the waters bright
a thousand fry that dart through rolling waves.
Upheaved from the deep, see the immense Leviathan
sports on the foaming spray.
Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Chorus
How many are thy works, O God!
Who may their numbers tell?
The Lord is great and great his might;
his glory lasts for ever and for evermore.
“The Sixth Day”
And God Said: Let the Earth Bring Forth the Living Creature
And God said: Let the earth bring forth
the living creature after his kind;
cattle, and creeping thing,
and beast of the earth, after his kind.
Straight Opening Her Fertile Womb
Straight opening her fertile womb,
the earth obeys the word,
and teems with creatures numberless,
in perfect forms and fully grown.
Cheerfully roaring, stands the tawny lion.
With sudden leaps the flexible tiger appears.
The nimble stag rears up his branching head.
With flying mane, the noble steed
springs up and neighs, with spirit proud.
The cattle in herds peacefully graze
on fields and meadows green.
And o’er the leas are scattered flocks
of fleecy, meek and bleating sheep.
Unnumber’d as the sands,
in whirls arise great swarms of insects.
In long dimension creeps
with sinuous trace the worm.
Now Heaven in Fullest Glory Shines
Now heaven in fullest glory shines;
earth smiles in all her rich attire.
The air is fill’d with feather’d fowl;
the water swells with shoals of fish;
by heavy beasts the ground is trod.
But all the work was not complete,
there wanted yet that wondrous being
that God’s creation should admire
and praise his works with heart and voice.
And God Created Man
And God created man in his own image.
In the image of God created he him.
Male and female created he them.
He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and man became a living soul.
In Native Worth and Honour Clad
In native worth and honour clad,
with beauty, strength and courage bless’d,
to heav’n erect and tall he stands,
a man, the lord and king of nature all.
His noble, gen’rous brow sublime,
declares a wisdom deep within,
and in his eyes with brightness shines the soul,
the breath and image of his God.
With fondness leans upon his breast
the partner for him form’d,
a woman fair, a graceful spouse.
Her softly smiling virgin-looks,
of flow’ry spring a mirror,
speak love, delight and bliss.
And God Saw Ev’rything That He Had Made
And God saw everything that he had made;
and behold, it was very good;
and the heavenly choir
thus closed the sixth day, in song divine.
Achieved is the Glorious Work
Achieved is the glorious work;
the Lord delights in all he sees.
In lofty strains let us rejoice,
our song shall be the praise of God!
Gabriel and Uriel
On thee each living soul awaits;
from thee, O Lord, they beg their meat.
Thou openest thy hand, and sated are they all.
But when, O Lord, thy face is hid,
with sudden terror they are struck.
Thou tak’st their breath away; they vanish into dust.
Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael
Thou sendest forth thy breath again,
and life with vigour fresh returns.
Revived earth unfolds new force and new delights.
Achieved is the glorious work,
our song shall be the praise of God!
Glorious be his name for ever;
he sole on high, exalted, reigns.
Genesis, Gottfried van Swieten (1733-1803) & Paul McCreesh