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Such where the deep transported mind may soar
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!
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy Predicament.
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
Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou should'st still
From eyes of mortals walk invisible.
Yet there is something that doth force my fear;
For once it was my dismal hap to hear
A sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age,
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 Ouse, or gulfy Dun,
Or Trent, who, like some earth-born giant, spreads
His thirty arms along the indented meads,
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lea,
Or coaly Tyne, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name,
The rest was prose.
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,
Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table
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
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heaven, by the sun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?
See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led Wisards haste with odours sweet!
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; Nature, in awe to him,
Had doff'd her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
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 olive 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.
No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around;
The idle spear and shield were high uphung; 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 sovran 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 ere the point of dawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than
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.