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All living creatures he doth feed,
And with full hand supplies their need.
Let us therfore warble forth
His mighty Majesty and worth.
That his mansion hath on high
Above the reach of mortall ey.
For his mercies ay endure,
Ever faithfull, ever sure.
ERE-while of Musick, and Ethereal mirth,
Wherwith the stage of Ayr and Earth did ring,
And joyous news of heav'nly Infants birth,
My muse with Angels did divide to sing ;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,
In Wintry solstice like the shortn'd light
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.
For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
And set my Harpe to notes of saddest wo,
Which on our dearest Lord did sease er'e long,
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse then so,
Which he for us did freely undergo.
Most perfect Heroe, try'd in heaviest plight
Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight.
He sov'ran Priest stooping his regall head
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshly Tabernacle entered,
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,
Then lies him meekly down fast by his Brethrens side.
These latter scenes confine my roving vers,
To this Horizon is my Phoebus bound,
His Godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former sufferings other where are found;
Loud o're the rest Cremona's Trump doth sound;
Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Of Lute, or Viol still, more apt for mournful things.
Befriend me night best Patroness of grief,
Over the Pole thy thickest mantle throw,
And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,
That Heav'n and Earth are colour'd with my wo;
My sorrows are too dark for day to know :
The leaves should all be black wheron I write, And letters where my tears have washt a wannish white.
See see the Chariot, and those rushing wheels,
That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar flood,
My spirit som transporting Cherub feels,
To bear me where the Towers of Salem stood,
Once glorious Towers, now sunk in guiltles blood;
There doth my soul in holy vision sit
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatick fit.
Mine eye hath found that sad Sepulchral rock
That was the Casket of Heav'ns richest store,
And here though grief my feeble hands up-lock,
Yet on the softned Quarry would I score
My plaining vers as lively as before ;
For sure so well instructed are my tears,
That they would fitly fall in order'd Characters.
Or should I thence hurried on viewles wing,
50 Take up a weeping on the Mountains wilde, The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring Would soon unboosom all their Echoes milde, And I (for grief is easily beguild)
Might think th'infection of my orrows loud,
Had got a race of mourners on som pregnant cloud.
This Subject the Author finding to be above the yeers he had,
when he wrote it, and nothing satisfi'd with what was
begun, left it unfinisht,
Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t'whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee () Time.
Upon the Circumcision.
YE flaming Powers, and winged Warriours bright,
That erst with Musick, and triumphant song
First heard by happy watchful Shepherds ear,
So sweetly sung your Joy the Clouds along
Through the soft silence of the list'ning night;
Now mourn, and if sad share with us to bear
Your fiery essence can distill no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow,
He who with all Heav'ns heraldry whileare
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how soon our sin
Sore doth begin
His Infancy to sease !
O more exceeding love or law more just ?
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love!
For we by rightfull doom remediles
Were lost in death, till he that dwelt above
High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, ev'n to nakednes;
And that great Cov'nant which we still transgress
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful Justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first with wounding smart
This day, but o ere long
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more neer his heart.
At a Solemn Musick. BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'ns joy, Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers, Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce, And to our high-rais'd phantasie present, That undisturbed Song of pure content, Ay sung before the saphire-colour’d throne To him that sits theron With Saintly shout, and solemn Jubily, Where the bright Seraphim in burning row Their loud .up-lifted Angel trumpets blow, And the Cherubick host in thousand quires Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires, With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms, Hymns devout and holy Psalms Singing everlastingly; That we on Earth with undiscording voice May rightly answer that melodious noise; As once we did, till disproportion'd sin Jarr'd against natures chime, and with harsh din Broke the fair musick that all creatures made To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd