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Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh; As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet had'st no reason why. Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.
SONG ON MAY MORNING
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
(1633-34) Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race: Call on the lazy leaden-stepping Hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what false and vain, And merely mortal dross; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain! For, whenas each thing bad thou hast entombed, And, last of all, thy greedy Self consumed, Then long eternity shall greet our bliss With an individual kiss, And joy shall overtake us as a flood; When everything that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC
(1633-34) Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy, Sphere-born harmonious Sisters, Voice and Verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ, Dead things with imbreathed sense able to pierce; And to our high-raised phantasy present That undisturbed Song of pure consent, Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured Throne To Him that sits thereon, With saintly shout and solemn jubily; Where the bright Seraphim in burning row Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow, And the Cherubic host in thousand quires Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms, Hymns devout and holy psalms Singing everlastingly: That we on Earth, with undiscording voice, May rightly answer that melodious noise; As once we did, till disproportioned Sin Jarred against Nature's chime, and with harsh din Broke the fair music that all creatures made To their great Lord, whose love their motions swayed In perfect diapason, whilst they stood In first obedience, and their state of good. O, may we soon again renew that song, And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION
(1634) YE flaming Powers, and winged Warriors bright, That erst with music, and triumphant song, First heard by happy watchful Shepherds' ear, So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along, Through the soft silence of the listening night, Now mourn; and if sad share with us to bear Your fiery essence can distil no tear, Burn in your sighs, and borrow Seas wept from our deep sorrow, He who with all Heaven's heraldry whilere Entered the world, now bleeds to give us ease. Alas! how soon our sin Sore doth begin His infancy to seize ! O more exceeding Love, or Law more just? Just Law indeed, but more exceeding Love! For we, by rightful doom remediless, Were lost in death, till He, that dwelt above High-throned in secret bliss, for us frail dust Emptied his glory, even to nakedness; And that great Covenant which we still transgress Intirely satisfied, And the full wrath beside Of vengeful Justice bore for our excess, And seals obedience first with wounding smart This day; but oh! ere long, Huge pangs and strong Will pierce more near his heart.
(1633) Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of
Derby at Harefield by some Noble Persons of her Family; who appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song:
LOOK, Nymphs and Shepherds, look!
This, this is she
Less than half we find expressed;
Envy bid conceal the rest.
This, this is she alone,
Might she the wise Latona be,
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparalleled ?
turning toward them, speaks.
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;