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Probably the best known of these quickly became "The Creation" ("And God stepped out on space, / And he looked around and said: / I'm lonely"). With its intrinsic drama, its flashing changes of rhythm, its rousing images now awe-inspiring, now tender, "The Creation" soon became popular as a recitation piece, especially in the mouth of Johnson himself, who was a remarkable reader of verse. Building steadily to its climax, the poem finds God ("Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, / Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night, / Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand"), scooping up clay and kneeling down by the bank of a river:


Like a mammy bending over her baby,

Kneeled down in the dust

Toiling over a lump of clay

Till He shaped it in His own image;