صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

XII.

Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great

120 His constellation set,

And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung; And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII.

Ring out, ye crystal Spheres,
Once bless our human ears,

(If ye have pow'r to touch our senses so ;)
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;

And let the base of Heav'n's deep organ blow; 130 And, with your ninefold harmony, Make up full concert to th' angelic symphony.

XIV.

For, if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold ; 135
And speckled vanity
Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould; And hell itself will pass away.

139 And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

xv.

Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,

Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,

145
With radiant feet the tissu'd clouds down steering;
And Heav'n, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

XVI.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so,

150
The babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss ;

So both himself and us to glorify: Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,

155 The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep ;

XVII. With such a horrid clang As on mount Sinai rang, While the red fire and smouldering clouds out

brake : The aged earth aghast,

160 With terror of that blast,

Shall from the surface to the centre shake; When, at the world's last session, The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his

throne.

XVIII. And then at last our bliss

165 Full and perfect is,

But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Th'old Dragon, under ground
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway ;

170 And, wroth to see his kingdom fail, Swindges the scaly horror of his folded tail.

XIX.
The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. Apollo from bis shrine

176 Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.

No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.

XX.

The lonely mountains o'er,

181 And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale,
Edg'd with poplar pale,

185
The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets

mourn.

XXI.
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

190 The Lars, and Lemures, moan with midnight

plaint; In urns, and altars round, A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat,

195 While each peculiar Pow'r forgoes his wonted seat.

XXII.
Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd God of Palestine;
And mooned Ashtaroth,

200 Heav'n's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; The Libye Hammon shrinks his horn, In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

mourn.

199." That twice-battered God of Palestine;"....Dagon, first battered by Samson, then by the ark of God.

XXIII.
And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue;
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue : 21€
The brutish Gods of Nile as fast,
Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.

XXIV. Nor is Osiris seen In Memphian grove or green, Trampling the unshow'r'd grass with lowings loud:

215 Nor can he be at rest Within his sacred chest;

Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark
The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark, 120

XXV.
He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the Gods beside
Longer dare abide,

225
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands controul the damned crew.

XXVI. So, when the sun in bed, Curtain'd with cloudy red,

230 Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, The flocking shadows pale Troop to th' infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave; And the yellow-skirted fayes,

233 Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loyd

maze

But see,

XXVII. the Virgin blest Hath laid her Babe to rest;

Time is our tedious song should here have ending; Heav'n's youngest-teemed star

240 Hath fix'd her polish'd car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending:
And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.

IV.

THE PASSION.

I.
EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of heav'nly Infant's birth,
My muse with Angels did divide to sing ;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,

5
In wintry solstice like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.

II.
For now to sorrow must I tune iny song,
And set my harp to notes of saddest woe,
Which on our dearest Lord did seize ere long, 10
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so,
Which he for us did freely undergo :

Most perfect Hero, try'd in heaviest plight
Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight!

III.
He, sov'reign Priest, stooping his regal head, 15
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshy 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, 20
Then lies him meekly down fast by his bretbren's side.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« السابقةمتابعة »