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To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.
ANNO ÆTATIS 19.
At a VACATION EXERCISE in the COLLEGE, part Latin, part Eng-
The daintiest dishes shall be served up last,
For this same small neglect that I have made:
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
But fie, my wandering muse, how thou dost stray!
Then quick about thy purposed business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
Then ENS is represented as father of the Predicaments, his ten sons; whereof the eldest stood for Substance, with his canons, which ENS, thus speaking, explains:
Good luck befriend thee, son; for at thy birth
The fairy ladies danced upon the hearth;
Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy
Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie,
She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still
Yet there is something that doth force my fear;
A sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age,
Yet, being above them, he shall be below them;
And peace shall lull him in her flowery lap;
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
The next, QUANTITY and QUALITY, spake in prose; then RELATION was called by his name.
Rivers, arise; whether thou be the son
of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who, like some earth-born giant, spreads
His thirty arms along the indented meads,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
THIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
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, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,
See, how from far upon the eastern road
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
While the heaven-born Child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger
Nature in awe to him
Had doff'd her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathise :
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.
Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow, And on her naked shame,
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,
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;
She, crown'd with olives green, came softly sliding Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing;
And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.
Nor war, or battle's sound
The idle spear and shield were high up hung, 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 sovereign Lord was by.
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 kiss'd,
Whispering 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,
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,
Until their 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,
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 bear.
The shepherds on the lawn,
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;
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,