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XII.

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

But when of old the sons of morning sung,

While the Creator great

His constellation set,

And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung;

XIII.

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

And cast the dark foundations deep,

And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.

(If ye have pow'r to touch our senses so ;)

And let your silver chime

Move in melodious time;

XIV.

!

120

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.

125

For, if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; 135 And speckled vanity

Will sicken soon and die,

XV.

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,

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And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;

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And hell itself will pass away.
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day,

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With radiant feet the tissu'd clouds down steering;

And Heav'n, as at some festival,

Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

XVI.

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,

155

The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through

the deep;

XVII.

With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smouldering clouds out
brake:

The aged earth aghast,

With terror of that blast,

XVIII.

150

Shall from the surface to the centre shake;

When, at the world's last session,

The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his

throne.

And then at last our bliss

Full and perfect is,

But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Th'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.

XIX.

160

165

170

The oracles are dumb,

No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. Apollo from his shrine

176

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.

XX.

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,

XXI.

181

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

The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets

mourn.

185

Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd God of Palestine;

In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth,

190

The Lars, and Lemures, moan with midnight plaint;

In urns, and altars round,

A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat,

195

While each peculiar Pow'r forgoes his wonted seat.

XXII.

And mooned Ashtaroth,

Heav'n's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;

The Libye Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

mourn.

200

199. "That twice-battered God of Palestine;"....Dagon, first battered by Samson, then by the ark of God.

XXIII.

And sullen Moloch, fled,
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.

XXIV.

905

Nor is Osiris seen

In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling, the unshow'r'd grass with lowings

215

He feels from Juda's land

The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; Nor all the Gods beside

210

loud:

Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest ;

Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud; In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark

The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark, 220

XXV.

So, when the sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,

Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: Our babe, to show his Godhead true,

Can in his swaddling bands controul the damned crew.

XXVI.

225

230

The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th' infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;

233

And the yellow-skirted fayes,
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov`a

maze.

XXVII.

But see, the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest;

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

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Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending: And all about the courtly stable Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.

IV.

THE PASSION.

I.

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

In wintry solstice like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.

II.

For now to sorrow must I tune iny 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:

10

Most perfect Hero, try'd in heaviest plight Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight!

III.

He, sov'reign Priest, stooping his regal head,
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshy tabernacle entered,

15

His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies:
O what a mask was there, what a disguise!

Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, 20 Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side.

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