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He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

XVI.

To Cyriack Skinner.
CYRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench

Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught, our laws,

Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench

In mirth that, after, no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French,
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Towards solid good what leads the nearest way;

For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,

That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains,

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XVII.

To the same.
CYRJACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear, ,

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,

Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heav'n's hand or will, nor bate a jot

Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?

The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side,
This thought might lead me through the world's

vain mask,
Content though blind, had I no better guide,

XVIII,

On his deceased Wife.
METHOUGHT I saw my late

oused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint,
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint

Purification in the old law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have

Full sight of her in heay'n without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind :

Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied Light

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin’d So clear, as in no face with more delight.

But, O! as to embrace me she inclin’d,
I wak’d; she fled; and day brought back my night.

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10

THIS is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's Eternal King,
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,

5
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at heav'n's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and here with us to be,

Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
| And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

Say, heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the heav'n, by the sun's team untrod,

Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?
See, how from far, upon the eastern road,
The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;

25 Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,

And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.

30

THE HYMN.
IT was the winter wild,
While the heav'n-born child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him
Had' doff'd her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize:
It wias no season then for her
To yranton with the sun, her lusty paramour.

35

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Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow;
And on her naked shame,

40 Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw ;
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
But he, her fears to cease,

45 Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace ;

She, crown’d with olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; 50
And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes an universal peace through sea and land.
No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up hung; 55 The hooked chariot stood Unstain’d with hostile blood;

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by. 60
But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist,

65
Whisp’ring new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds' of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,

70 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,

75 Until then 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,

80 As his inferior flame

The new-enlighten'd world no more should need; He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could boar. The shepherds on the lawn,

85 Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row; Full little thought they then,

That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below; 90
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 ;

95
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heav'nly close. 100
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,

105
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all heav'n and earth in happier union.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,

110
That with long beams the shamefac'd night' array'd ;
T'he helmed Cherubim,
And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
Jlarping in loud and solemn quire,

115
With unexpressive notes, to Heav'n's new-born Heir.
Juch music (as 'tis said)
13efore was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great

120 Elis constellations set,

And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung;
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,

125 Once bless our human ears,

If ye have pow'r to touch our senses 80;
And let your silver chime
Dlove in melodious time;

And let the base of heav'n's deep organ blow; 130
And, with your ninefold harmony,
Make up full concert to th' angelic symphony.
For, if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,'

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; 135
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, 140

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

Orb’d in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,

145
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering;
And heav'n, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so,

150 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,

155 The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep ; With such a horrid clang As on mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smouldring clouds out brake : The aged Earth aghast ·

160 With terrour of that blast,

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

165 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;

170
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly horrour of his folded tail.
The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. 175
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.

180 The lonely mountains o’er, And the resounding shore,

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

185
The parting genius is with sighing sent;
With flow'r-inwoven tresses torn
The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

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

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