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At last surrounds their sight
That with long beams the shamefaced night array'd,
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, Harping in loud and solemn quire With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born Heir.
Such Music (as 'tis said)
But when of old the sons of morning sung,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;
Ring out ye Crystal spheres !
(If ye have power to touch our senses so)
And let the Bass of Heav'n's deep Organ blow,
For if such holy Song
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold ;
xi. unexpressive] inexpressible. XIII. crystal spheres] *.
consort] orchestra, concert.
And speckled vanity
And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould ;
Yea, Truth and Justice then
Orb'd in a Rain-bow; and like glories wearing
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering,
open wide the Gates of her high Palace Hall.
But wisest Fate
says This must not yet be so ;
The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy,
So both himself and us to glorify :
With such a horrid clang
Shall from the surface to the centre shake, When at the world's last sessidn, The dreadful Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne. xiv. speckled) plague-spotted. XVII. session) sitting in judgment.
And then at last our bliss
But now begins ; for from this happy day
Not half so far casts his usurped sway;
The Oracles are dumb ;
Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving : No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Inspires the pale-eyed Priest from the prophetic cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
In consecrated Earth
The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint,
xix. divine) give oracles.
xx. genius) spirit of the place.
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 Baalim
With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine ;
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;
And sullen Moloch fled,
His burning Idol all of blackest hue;
In dismal dance about the furnace blue;
Nor is Osiris seen
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud:
Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
XXIV. stoled] cloaked.
He feels from Juda's Land
of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine : Our Babe, to shew his Godhead true, Can in his swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.
So when the Sun in bed,
Pillows his chin upon an Orient wave,
Each fetter'd Ghost slips to his several grave;
But see, the Virgin blest
Time is our tedious Song should here have ending ;
Her sleeping Lord with Handmaid Lamp attending : And all about the courtly Stable, Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.
XXVII. youngest-teemed] latest born, that is the star of Bethlehem. fixed] stood still over the stable.