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41*

Christmas Antiphon
Thou whose birth on earth

Angels sang to men,
While thy stars made mirth,
Saviour, at thy birth,

This day born again;
As this night was bright

With thy cradle-ray,
Very light of light,
Turn the wild world's night

To thy perfect day. . .
Thou the Word and Lord

In all time and space
Heard, beheld, adored,
With all ages pour'd

Forth before thy face.

Lord, what worth in earth

Drew thee down to die ?
What therein was worth,
Lord, thy death and birth ?

What beneath thy sky ? ...
From the height of night,

Was not thine the star
That led forth with might
By no worldly light

Wise men from afar ?

Bid our peace increase,

Thou that madest morn ;
Bid oppressions cease ;
Bid the night be peace ;

Bid the day be born.

Swinburne.

42 The New Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills ?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills ?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold !
Bring me my Arrows of desire !
Bring me my Spear! O clouds, unfold !
Bring me my Chariot of fire !

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant Land.

Blake.

43

ENGLAND ! awake! awake! awake!
Jerusalem thy Sister calls !
Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death,
And close her from thy ancient walls ?

Thy hills and valleys felt her feet
Gently upon their bosoms move :
Thy Gates beheld sweet Zion's ways;
Then was a time of joy and love.

And now the time returns again :
Our souls exult, and London's towers
Receive the Lamb of God to dwell
In England's green and pleasant bowers.

Blake.

44*

Tiger
TIGER! tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry ?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes ?
On what wings dare he aspire ?
What the hand dare seize the fire ?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart ?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand, and what dread feet ?

What the hammer ? what the chain ?
In what furnace was thy brain ?
What the anvil ? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp ?

When the stars threw down their

spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see ?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee ?

Tiger ! tiger ! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry ?

Blake. 45

The Eagle
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls ;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Tennyson.

46 Alexander Selkirk during his Solitary

Abode in the Island of Juan Fernandex

I am monarch of all I survey ;

My right there is none to dispute ;
From the centre all round to the sea

I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude ! where are the charms

That sages have seen in thy face ?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms

Than reign in this horrible place.

I am out of humanity's reach,

I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech ;

I start at the sound of my own.
The beasts that roam over the plain

My form with indifference see;
They are so unacquainted with man,

Their tameness is shocking to me.

Society, Friendship, and Love,

Divinely bestow'd upon man, O had I the wings of a dove,

How soon would I taste you again! My sorrows I then might assuage

In the ways of religion and truth, Might learn from the wisdom of age,

And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth

Ye winds that have made me your sport,

Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial endearing report

Of a land I shall visit no more !
My friends, do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me?
O tell me I yet have a friend,

Though a friend I am never to see.

How fleet is a glance of the mind !

Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,

And the swift winged arrows of light. When I think of my own native land,

In a moment I seem to be there ; But alas ! recollection at hand

Soon hurries me back to despair.

But the sea-fowl has gone to her nest,

The beast is laid down in his lair ; Even here is a season of rest,

And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place ;

And mercy, encouraging thought!
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.

Cowper.

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