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Trampling the unfhowr'd grass with lowings loud: Nor can he be at reft

Within his facred cheft,

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

The fable-stoled forcerers bear his worshipt ark.

He feels from Juda's land

The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; Nor all the God s befide

Longer dare abide,

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



Can in his fwadling bands controll the damned crew.

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Fly after the night-fteeds, leaving their moon-lov'd maze.

But fee, the Virgin bleft


Hath laid her Babe to rest,

Time is our tedious fong fhould here have ending:

Heav'n's youngest teemed ftar

Hath fix'd her polish'd car,


Her fleeping Lord with handmaid-lamp attending:

And all about the courtly stable

Bright-harneft Angels fit in order ferviceable.





Rewhile of mufic, and ethereal mirth,

Wherewith the ftage of air and earth did ring,

And joyous news of heav'nly Infant's birth,
My Mufe with Angels did divide to fing;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,

In wintry folftice like the fhorten'd light
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.


For now to forrow muft I tune my song,

And fet my harp to notes of faddeft woe,

Which on our dearest Lord did feife ere long,

Dangers, and fnares, and wrongs, and worse than so, Which he for us did freely undergo:

Most perfect Hero, try'd in heaviest plight



Of labors huge and hard, too hard for human wight!


He fov'ran Prieft ftooping his regal head,

That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshly tabernacle entered,

His ftarry 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 faft by his brethren's fide.


Thefe lateft fcenes confine my roving verse,

To this horizon is


Phœbus bound;



*This poem appears to have been compofed foon after the

de on the nativity.

His Godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former fufferings other where are found;
Loud o'er the reft Cremona's trump doth found;
Me fofter airs befit, and softer strings

Of lute, or viol ftill, more apt for mournful things.


Befriend me Night, beft patronefs of grief,

Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw,

And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,

That Heav'n and Earth are color'd with my woe;
My forrows are too dark for day to know:



The leaves fhould all be black,whereon I write, 35 And letters,where my tears have wash'da wannish white.


See, fee the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar flood,
My fpirit fome transporting Cherub feels,
To bear me,where the tow rs of Salem ftood,
Once glorious tow'rs, now sunk in guiltless blood; 40
There doth my foul in holy vision fit

In penfive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.


Mine eye hath found that fad fepulchral rock,
That was the casket of Heav'n's richest store,

And here,though grief my feeble hands up lock,
Yet on the foften'd quarry would I score


My plaining verfe as lively as before;
For fure fo well instructed are my tears,

That they would fitly fall in order'd characters.


Or fhould I thence hurry'd on viewless wing, Take up a weeping on the mountains wild, The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring

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Would foon unbofom all their echoes mild,
And I (for grief is eafily beguil'd)


Might think th' infection of my forrows loud Had got a race of mourners on fome pregnant cloud.

This fubject the Author finding to be above the years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing fatisfied with what was begun, left it unfinish'd.



LY envious Time, till thou run out thy race, Call on the lazy leaden-ftepping hours, Whofe fpeed is but the heavy plummet's pace ;. And glut thyfelf with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is falfe and vain, · And merely mortal drofs;

So little is our lofs,

So little is thy gain.

For, when as each thing bad thou haft intomb'd,
And last of all thy greedy felf confum'd,

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Then long Eternity fhall greet our bliss

With an individual kifs;

And Joy fhall overtake us as a flood,

When every thing,that is fincerely good

And perfectly divine,.


With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine

* In these poems where no date is prefixed, and no circum. Atances direct to afcertain the time when they were compofed, the order of Milton's own editions is followed. Before this copy of verfes, it appears from the author's manufcript, that he had written, To be jet on a clock-cafe,

About the fupreme throne

Of him, t'whose happy-making fight alone

When once our heav'nly-guided foul shall clime,
Then all this earthy grofnefs quit,

Attir'd with ftars, we fhall for ever fit,



Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O



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E flaming Pow'rs, and winged Warriors bright,
That erft with mufic, and triumphant fong,
First heard by happy watchful fhepherds ear,
So fweetly fung your joy the clouds along
Through the foft filence of the lift'ning night;
Now mourn, and,if fad share with us to bear
Your fiery effence can distil no tear,
Burn in your fighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep forrow:

He,who with all Heav'n's heraldry whilere
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how foon our fin

Sore doth begin

His infancy to feife!

O more exceeding love or law more jutt
Juft law indeed, but more exceeding love!
For we by rightful doom remediless
Were loft in death, till he,that dwelt above
High thron'd in fecret blifs, for us frail duft
Emptied his glory ev'n to nakedness;

And that great covenant,which we ftill tranfgrefs,
Entirely fatisfied,




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