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Find out his power which wildest powers doth tame,
His providence extending every where,
His justice, which proud rebels doth not spare,
In every page, no period of the same:
But silly we, like foolish children, rest
Well pleas'd with colour'd vellum, leaves of gold,
Fair dangling ribbands, leaving what is best,
On the great writer's sense ne'er taking hold;
Or if by chance we stay our minds on aught,
It is some picture on the margin wrought.
THE grief was common, common were the cries,
Tears, sobs, and groans of that afflicted train,
Which of God's chosen did the sum contain,
And Earth rebounded with them, pierc'd were skies;
All good had left the world, each vice did reign
In the most monstrous sorts Hell could devise,
And all degrees and each estate did stain,
Nor further had to go whom to surprise;
The world beneath, the prince of darkness lay,
And in each temple had himself install'd,
Was sacrific'd unto, by prayers call'd,
Responses gave, which, fools, they did obey;
When, pitying man, God of a virgin's womb
Was born, and those false deities struck dumb.
RUN shepherds, run, where Bethlem blest appears;
We bring the best of news, be not dismay'd,
A Saviour there is born, more old than years,
Amidst the rolling Heaven this Earth who stay'd;
In a poor cottage inn'd, a virgin maid,
A weakling did him bear who all upbears;
There he in clothes is wrapp'd, in manger laid,
To whom too narrow swadlings are our spheres.
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnize his birth;
This is that night, no day, grown great with bliss,
In which the power of Satan broken is;
In Heaven be glory; peace unto the Earth:"
Thus singing through the air the angels swam,
And all the stars re-echoed the same.
"O THAN the fairest day, thrice fairer night,
Night to best days, in which a sun doth rise,
Of which the golden eye which clears the skies
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow light;
And blessed ye, in silly pastors' sight,
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight,
'Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies:
Blest cottage, that hath flow'rs in winter spread;
Though wither'd, blessed grass, that hath the grace
To deck and be a carpet to that place."
Thus singing to the sounds of oaten reed,
Before the babe the shepherds bow'd their knees,
And springs ran nectar, honey dropp'd from trees.
"THE last and greatest herald of Heaven's king, Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild, Among that savage brood the woods forth bring, Which he more harmless found than man, and mild. His food was locusts, and what there doth spring, With honey that from virgin hives distill'd; Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing Made him appear, long since from Earth exil'd.
There burst he forth. All ye whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn,
Repent, repent, and from old errours turn."
Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their flinty caves, Repent, repent."
"THESE eyes, dear Lord, once tapers of desire,
Frail scouts betraying what they had to keep,
Which their own heart, then others set on fire,
Their trait'rous black before thee here out-weep;
These locks of blushing deeds, the gilt attire,
Waves curling, wreckful shelves to shadow deep,
Rings, wedding souls to sin's lethargic sleep,
To touch thy sacred feet do now aspire.
In seas of care behold a sinking bark,
By winds of sharp remorse unto thee driven:
O let me not be ruin's aim'd-at mark;
My faults confess'd, Lord, say they are forgiven."
Thus sigh'd to Jesus the Bethanian fair,
His tear-wet feet still drying with her hair.
"I CHANGED Countries new delights to find,
But, ah! for pleasure I did find new pain;
Enchanting pleasure so did reason blind,
That father's love and words I scorn'd as vain.
For tables rich, for bed, for following train
Of careful servants to observe my mind;
These herds I keep my fellows are assign'd,
My bed's a rock, and herbs my life sustain.
Now while I famine feel, fear worser harms,
Father and Lord, I turn, thy love, yet great,
My faults will pardon, pity mine estate."
This, where an aged oak had spread its arms,
Thought the lost child, while as the herds he led,
And pin'd with hunger, on wild acorns fed.
IF that the world doth in amaze remain,
To hear in what a sad, deploring mood,
The pelican pours from her breast her blood,
To bring to life her younglings back again;
How should we wonder at that sovereign good,
Who from that serpent's sting that had us slain,
To save our lives, shed his life's purple flood,
And turn'd to endless joy our endless pain!
Ungrateful soul, that charm'd with false delight,
Hast long, long wander'd in sin's flow'ry path,
And didst not think at all, or thought'st not right
On this thy pelican's great love and death.
Here pause, and let (though Earth it scorn) Heaven
Thee pour forth tears to him pour'd blood for thee.
If in the east when you do there behold
Forth from his crystal bed the Sun to rise, With rosy robes and crown of flaming gold; If gazing on that empress of the skies
That takes so many forms, and those fair brands Which blaze inHeaven's high vault, night's watchful eyes; If seeing how the sea's tumultuous bands
Of bellowing billows have their course confin'd; How unsustain'd the Earth still stedfast stands; Poor mortal wights, you e'er found in your mind
See this great king nail'd to an abject tree,
An object of reproach and sad disgrace.
O unheard pity! love in strange degree!
He his own life doth give, his blood doth shed, For wormlings base such worthiness to see. Poor wights! behold his visage pale as lead,
His head bow'd to his breast, locks sadly rent, Like a cropp'd rose, that languishing doth fade. Weak nature, weep! astonish'd world, lament! Lament, you winds! you Heaven, that all contains!
And thon, my soul, let nought thy griefs relent! Those hands, those sacred hands, which hold the reins Of this great all, and kept from mutual wars The elements, bare rent for thee their veins: Those feet, which once must tread on golden stars, For thee with nails would be pierc'd through and torn; [bars: For thee Heaven's king from Heaven himself deThis great heart-quaking dolour wail and mourn, Ye that long since him saw by might of faith, Ye now that are, and ye yet to be born. Not to behold his great Creator's death,
The Sun from sinful eyes hath veil'd his light, And faintly journies up Heaven's sapphire path; And cutting from her prows her tresses bright
The Moon doth keep her Lord's sad obsequies, Impearling with her tears her robe of night; All staggering and lazy lour the skies;
The earth and elemental stages quake; The long-since dead from bursted graves arise. And can things, wanting sense, yet sorrow take,
And bear a part with him who all them wrought, And man (though born with cries) shall pity lack? Think what had been your state, had he not brought To these sharp pangs himself, and priz'd so high Your souls, that with his life them life he bought! What woes do you attend, if still ye lie
Plung'd in your wonted ordures! Wretched brood! Shall for your sake again God ever die? O leave deluding shows, embrace true good,
He on you calls, forego sin's shameful trade; With prayers now seek Heaven, and not with blood.
When days are done, and life's small spark is speat,
So you accept what freely here is given, Like brood of angels deathless, all-content, Ye shall for ever live with him in Heaven.
COME forth, come forth, ye blest triumphing bands,
Fair citizens of that immortal town;
Come see that king which all this all commands,
Now, overcharg'd with love, die for his own:
Look on those nails, which pierce his feet and hands;
What a sharp diadem his brows doth crown!
Behold his pallid face, his heavy frown,
And what a throng of thieves him mocking stands'
Come forth, ye empyrean troops, come forth,
Preserve this sacred blood that Earth adorns,
Gather those liquid roses off his thorns;
O! to be lost they be of too much worth:
For streams, juice, balm, they are, which quench,
Of God, Death, Hell, the wrath, the life, the harms
RISE from those fragrant climes, thee now embrace;
Unto this world of ours, O baste thy race,
Fair Sun, and though contrary ways all year
Thou hold thy course, now with the highest share,
Join thy blue wheels to hasteu time that low`rs,
And lazy minutes turn to perfect hours;
The night and death too long a league have made,
To stow the world in horrour's ugly shade.
Shake from thy locks a day with saffron rays
So fair, that it outshine all other days;
And yet do not presume, great eye of light,
To be that which this day must make so bright.
See an eternal Sun hastes to arise;
Not from the eastern blushing seas or skies,
Or any stranger worlds Heaven's concaves have,
But from the darkness of an hollow grave.
And this is that all-powerful Sun above [move.
That crown'd thy brows with rays, first made thee
Light's trumpeters, ye need not from your bow'rs
Proclaim this day; this the angelic pow'rs
Have done for you: but now an opal hue
Bepaints Heaven's crystal to the longing view:
Earth's late-hid colours shine, light doth adorn
The world, and, weeping joy, forth comes the morn;
And with her, as from a lethargic trance
The breath return'd, that bodies doth advance,
Which two sad nights in rock lay coffin'd dead,
And with an iron guard environed:
Life out of death, light out of darkness springs,
From a base jail forth comes the King of kings;
What late was mortal, thrall'd to every woe
That lackeys life, or upon sense doth grow,
Immortal is, of an eternal stamp,
Far brighter beaming than the morning lamp.
So from a black eclipse out-peers the Sun:
Such (when her course of days have on her run,
In a far forest in the pearly east,
And she herself hath burnt, and spicy nest,)
The lovely bird with youthful pens and comb,
Doth soar from out her cradle and her tomb:
So a small seed that in the earth lies hid,
And dies, reviving bursts her cloddy side,
Adorn'd with yellow locks anew is born,
And doth become a mother great with corn;
Of grains brings hundreds with it, which when old
Enrich the furrows, which do float with gold.
Hail, holy victor! greatest victor, hail!
That Hell doth ransack, against Death prevail.
O! how thou long'd for com'st! With joyful cries,
The all-triumphing palatines of skies
Salute thy rising; Earth would joys no more
Bear, if thou rising didst them not restore.
A silly tomb should not his flesh enclose,
Who did Heaven's trembling terrasses dispose;
No monument should such a jewel hold,
No rock, though ruby, diamond, and gold.
Thou didst lament and pity human race,
Bestowing on us of thy free-given grace
More than we forfeited and losed first,
In Eden rebels when we were accurst.
Then Earth our portion was, Earth's joys but given,
Earth, and Earth's bliss, thou hast exchang'd with
Stern executioner of heavenly doom,
Made fruitful, now life's mother art become;
A sweet relief of cares the soul molest;
An harbinger to glory, peace and rest:
Put off thy mourning weeds, yield all thy gall
To daily sinning life, proud of thy fall;
Assemble all thy captives, haste to rise,
And every corse, in earthquakes where it lies,
Sound from each flowry grave and rocky jail:
Hail, holy victor! greatest victor, hail!
The world, that wanning late and faint did lie,
Applauding to our joys, thy victory,
To a young prime essays to turn again,
And as ere soil'd with sin yet to remain;
Her chilling agues she begins to miss ;
All bliss returning with the Lord of bliss.
With greater light, Heaven's temples opened shine;
Morns smiling rise, evens blushing do decline,
Clouds dappled glister, boist'rous winds are calm,
Soft zephyrs do the fields with sighs embalm,
In silent calms the sea hath hush'd his roars,
And with enamour'd curls doth kiss the shores;
All-bearing Earth, like a new-married queen,
Her beauties heightens, in a gown of green
Perfumes the air, her meads are wrought with flow'rs,
In colours various, figures, smelling, pow'rs;
Trees wanton in the groves with leavy locks,
Here hills enamell'd stand, the vales, the rocks,
Ring peals of joy, here floods and prattling brooks,
(Stars' liquid mirrors) with serpenting crooks,
And whispering murmurs, sound unto the main,
The golden age returned is again.
The honey people leave their golden bow'rs,
And innocently prey on budding flow'rs;
In gloomy shades, perch'd on the tender sprays,
The painted singers fill the air with lays:
Seas, floods, earth, air, all diversely do sound,
Yet all their diverse notes hath but one ground,
Re-echo'd here down from Heaven's azure vail;
Hail, holy victor! greatest victor, hail!
O day, on which Death's adamantine chain The Lord did break, did ransack Satan's reign, And in triumphing pomp his trophies rear'd, Be thou blest ever, henceforth still endear'd With name of his own day, the law to grace, Types to their substance yield, to thee give place The old new-moons, with all festival days; And, what above the rest deserveth praise, The reverend sabbath: what could else they be Thau golden heralds, telling what by thee We should enjoy? Shades past, now shine thou clear,
O! what a height of good upon us streams
From the great splendour of thy bounty's beams!
When we deserv'd shame, horrour, flames of wrath,
Thou bled'st our wounds, and suffer didst our death:
But Father's justice pleas'd, Hell, Death, o'ercome,
In triumph now thou riseth from thy tomb,
With glories, which past sorrows countervail;
Hail, holy victor! greatest victor, hail!
And henceforth be thou empress of the year,
This glory of thy sister's sex to win,
From work on thee, as other days from sin,
Hence, humble sense, and hence ye guides of That mankind shall forbear, in every place
The prince of planets warmeth in his race,
And far beyond his paths in frozen climes:
And may thou be so blest to out-date times,
That when Heaven's choir shall blaze in accents loud
The many mercies of their sovereign good,
How he on thee did Sin, Death, Hell destroy,
It may be still the burthen of their joy.
We now reach Heaven; your weak intelligence
And searching pow'rs were in a flash made dim,
To learn from all eternity, that him
The Father bred, then that he here did come
(His bearer's parent) in a virgin's womb: [thorn,
But then when sold, betray'd, crown'd, scourg'd with
Nail'd to a tree, all breathless, bloodless, torn,
Entomb'd, him risen from a grave to find,
Confounds your cunning, turns,like moles, you blind.
Death, thou that heretofore still barren wast,
Nay, didst each other birth eat up and waste,
Imperious, hateful, pitiless, unjust,
Unpartial equaller of all with dust,
BENEATH a sable veil, and shadows deep,
Of inaccessible and dimming light,
In silence ebon clouds more black than night,
The world's great Mind his secrets hid doth keep:
Through those thick mists when any mortal wight
Aspires, with halting pace, and eyes that weep
To pry, and in his mysteries to creep,
With thunders he and lightnings blasts their sight.
O Sun invisible, that dost abide
Within thy bright abysmes, most fair, most dark, Where with thy proper rays thou dost thee hide, O ever-shining, never full-seen mark,
To guide me in life's night, thy light me show; The more I search of thee the less I know.
Ir with such passing beauty, choice delights, The Architect of this great round did frame This palace visible, short lists of fame, And silly mansion but of dying wights; How many wonders, what amazing lights Must that triumphing seat of glory claim, That doth transcend all this all's vasty heights, Of whose bright Sun, ours here is but a beam! O blest abode! O happy dwelling-place! Where visibly th' Invisible doth reign; Blest people, which do see true Beauty's face, With whose far shadows scarce he Earth doth deign: All joy is but annoy, all concord strife, Match'd with your endless bliss and happy life.
THAT space, where curled waves do now divide From the great continent our happy isle, Was sometime land; and now where ships do glide, Once with laborious art the plough did toil: Once those fair bounds stretch'd out so far and wide, Where towns, no shires enwall'd, endear each mile, Were all ignoble sea and marish vile, Where Proteus' flocks danc'd measures to the tide: So age transforming all, still forward runs ; No wonder though the Earth doth change her face, New mammers, pleasures new, turn with new suns, Locks now like gold grow to an hoary grace; Nay, mind's rare shape doth change, that lies despis'd
Which was so dear of late, and highly priz’d.
THIS world a hunting is,
The prey, poor mau; the Nimrod fierce, is Death;
His speedy greyhounds are,
Lust, Sickness, Envy, Care;
Strife that ne'er falls amiss,
With all those ills which haunt us while we breathe.
Now, if by chance we fly
Of these the eager chace,
Old age with stealing pace
Casts on his nets, and there we panting die.
WHY, wordlings, do ye trust frail honour's dreams, And lean to gilded glories which decay? Why do ye toil to registrate your names On icy pillars, which soon melt away? True honour is not here, that place it claims Where black-brow'd night doth not exile the day, Nor no far-shining lamp dives in the sea, But an eternal Sun spreads lasting beams; There it attendeth you, where spotless bands Of sp'rits stand gazing on their sovereign bliss, Where years not hold it in their cank'ring hauds, But who once noble, ever noble is. Look home, lest he your weaken'd wit make thrall, Who Eden's foolish gard'ner erst made fall.
As are those apples, pleasant to the eye,
But full of smoke within, which use to grow
Near that strange lake where God pour'd from the
Huge show'rs of flames, worse flames to overthrow:
Such are their works that with a glaring show
Of humble holiness in virtue's dye
Would colour mischief, while within they glow
With coals of sin, though none the smoke descry.
Bad is that angel that erst fell from Heaven;
But not so bad as he, nor in worse case,
Who hides a trait'rous mind with smiling face,
And with a dove's white feathers clothes a raven.
Each sin some colour hath it to adorn,
Hypocrisy Almighty God doth scorn.
And there at that immortal Sun's bright rays,
Deck thee with flow'rs, which fear not rage of days
THRICE happy he who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live bis own,
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love.
O how more sweet is birds' harmonious moan,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widow'd dove,
Than those smooth whisp'rings near a prince's
Which good make doubtful, do the evil approve!
O! how more sweet is zephyrs' wholesome breath,
And sighs embalm'd, which new-born flow'rs up-
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison drank in gold !
The world is full of horrours, troubles, slights:
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights
SWEET bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Of winters past, or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are,.
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flow'rs:
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leavy bow'rs
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare,
A stain to human sense in sin that low'rs.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
Attir'd in sweetness) sweetly is not driven
Quite to forget Earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to Heaven?
Sweet, artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yes, and to angels' lays.
As when it happeneth that some lovely town Unto a barbarous besieger falls,
Who both by sword and flame himself instals,
And shameless it in tears and blood doth drown;
Her beauty spoil'd, her citizens made thralls,
His spite yet cannot so her all throw down,
But that some statue, pillar of renown,
Yet lurks unmaim'd within her weeping walls:
So after all the spoil, disgrace and wreck, [bin'd,
That time, the world, and death, could bring com-
Amidst that mass of ruins they did make,
Safe and all scarless yet remains my mind:
From this so high transcendent rapture springs,
That I, all else defac'd, not envy kings.
LET us each day inure ourselves to die,
If this, and not our fears, be truly death,
Above the circles both of hope and faith
With fair immortal pinions to fly;
If this be death, our best part to untie
(By ruining the jail) from lust and wrath,
And every drowsy languor here beneath,
To be made deniz'd citizen of sky;
To have more knowledge than all books contain,
All pleasures even surmounting wishing pow'r,
The fellowship of God's immortal train,
And these that time nor force shall e'er devour:
If this be death, what joy, what golden care
Of life, can with death's ugliness compare?
AMIDST the azure clear
Of Jordan's sacred streams,
Jordan, of Lebanon the offspring dear,
When zephyrs flow'rs unclose,
And Sun shines with new beams,
With grave and stately grace a nymph arose.
Upon her head she wear Of amaranths a crown;
Her left hand palms, her right a torch did bear;
Unveil'd skin's whiteness lay,
Gold hairs in curls hung down,
Eyes sparkled joy, more bright than star of day.
The flood a throne her rear'd Of waves, most like that Heaven Where beaming stars in glory turn enspher'd: The air stood calm and clear, No sigh by winds was given,
Birds left to sing, herds feed, her voice to hear.