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The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer, that often warn’d them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new-enlighten'd world no more should need; He saw a greater sun appear

[bear. Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could

The shepherds, on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting, in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook ;
Divinely warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The air, such pleasure loth to lose, [close.
With thousand echoes, still prolongs each heavenly

Nature, that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling,
Now was almost won,
To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ;
She knew such harmony, alone,
Could hold all Heaven & earth in happier union.

At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular. light,

That with long beams the shamefac'd night
The helmed cherubim,

[array'd ; And sworded seraphim,

[play'd, Are seen in glittering ranks, with wings disHarping, in loud and solemn quire,

[Heir. With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born

Such music, as 'tis said,
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung;
While the Creator great
His constellations set,

And the well-balanced world on hinges hung ;
And cast the dark foundations deep, [keep.
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel

Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears,

have power to touch our senses so ;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time,

And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow; And, with your ninefold harmony, Make up full consort to the angelic symphony. For if such holy song Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; And speckled Vanity Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould, And Hell itself will pass away, And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,

Orb’d in a rainbow; &, like glories wearing,
Mercy, will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down
And Heaven, as at some festival, (steering:
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so,

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That, on the bitter cross,
Must redeem our loss;

So both himself and us to glorify;
Yet first to those 'ychain'd in sleep [the deep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through
With such a horrid clang,
As on mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smouldring clouds out The aged Earth aghast,

[brake: With terror of that blast,

Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
When, at the world's last session, [throne.
The dreadful Judge, in middle air, shall spread his
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,

But now begins ; for, from this happy day,
The old dragon, under ground,
In straiter limits bound,

Not half so far casts his usurped sway;
And wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Apollo, from his shrine,
Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspires the pale-ey'd priest, from the prophetic cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
From haunted spring, and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale,

The parting genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,

(mourn. The nymphs, in twilight shade of tangled thickets In consecrated earth, And on the holy hearth,

The Lars, and Lemures moan, with midnight In urns, and altars round,

[plaint; A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens, at their service quaint: And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat

Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine;
And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn, [mourn.
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

And sullen Moloch, filed
Hath left, in shadows dread

His burning idol, all of blackest hue ;
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue :
The brutish Gods of Nile as fast,
Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings
Nor can he be at rest

[loud; Within his sacred chest,

Nought but profoundest He!) can be his shroud ; In vain with timbrell’d anthems dark, The sable-stolid sorcerers bear his worshipt ark.

He feels, from Juda's land,
The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside,
Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge, ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show his godhead true, screw.
Can in his swaddling bands control the damned
So when the sun in bed,
Curtain’d with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave,
And the yellow-skirted Fayes

[maze. Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved But see, the virgin bless'd Hath laid her Babe to rest,

Time is our tedious song should here have ending: Heaven's youngest-teemed star Hath fix'd her polish'd car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending • And all about

the courtly stable Bright-harness'd angels sit, in order serviceable.

EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of heavenly infant's birth,
My muse with angels did divide to sing;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,

In wintery solstice, like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark, and long outliving night.
For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
And set my harp to notes of saddest woe,
Which on our dearest Lord did seize, ere long,
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so,
Which he, for us, did freely undergo :

Most perfect hero, tried in heaviest plight Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight! He, sovereign priest, stooping his regal head, That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes, Poor fleshy tabernacle entered, His starry front low-roof'd, beneath the skies; O what a mask was there, what a disguise !

Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, Then lies him meekly down, fast by his brethren's side. These latest scenes confine my roving verse; To this horizon is my Phæbus bound: His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce, And former sufferings, other where are found; Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things. Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief, Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw, And work my flatter'd fancy to belief, That Heaven and earth are colour'd with my woe; My sorrows are too dark for day to know :

The leaves should all be black whereon I write, (white; And letters, where my tears have wash'd, a wannish

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