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The great Jeremy Taylor, though little known as a poet, wrote hymns and other lyrical pieces, well deserving notice. It is true that they are not so remarkable as his prose, for felicity of diction, but they are full of rich and noble thoughts, fitted to improve the heart. He was born in 1613, and died, bishop of Down and Connor, in 1667.
THE WISE MEN COMING TO WORSHIP JESUS.
A comer dangling in the air,
Presaged the ruin both of death and sin;
And told the wise men of a King,
The King of glory, and the Sun
Of righteousness, who then begun
To draw towards that blessed hemisphere.
They from the furthest east, this new
And unknown light pursue,
Till they appear
In this blest infant King's propitious eye,
And pay their homage to his royalty.
Persia might then the rising sun adore ;
It was idolatry no more.
Great God! they gave to Thee
Myrrh, frankincense, and gold ;
But, Lord, with what shall we
Present ourselves before thy Majesty,
Whom Thou redeemest when we were sold ?
We've nothing but ourselves, and scarce that neither;
Vile dirt and clay ;
Yet it is soft, and may
Accept it, Lord, and say, this Thou hadst rather ;
Stamp it, and on this sordid metal make
Thy holy image, and it shall outshine
The beauty of the golden mine. Amen.
How good a God have we! who for our sake,
To save us from the burning lake,
Did change the order of creation :
At first He made
Man like Himself in his own image ; now
In the more blessed reparation,
The heavens bow,
Eternity took the measure of a span;
· Let us make ourselves like man;
And not from man the woman take,
But from the woman,
Hallelujah, we adore
His name, whose goodness hath no store.
HE A V EN. O BEAUTEOUS God, uncircumscribed treasure Of an eternal pleasure, Thy throne is seated far Above the highest star, Where Thou preparest a glorious place Within the brightness of thy face, For every spirit To inherit, That build his hopes upon thy merit, And loves Thee with a holy charity. What ravished heart, seraphic tongue or eyes, Clear as the morning rise, Can speak, or think, or see That bright eternity ? Where the great King's transparent throne Is of an entire jasper-stone ; There the eye O'th' chrysolite, And a sky Of diamonds, rubies, chrysoprase,
And above all, thy holy face,
Makes an eternal charity.
When Thou thy jewels up dost bind—that day
Remember us we pray,
That where the beryl lies,
And the crystal 'bove the skies,
There Thou mayest appoint us place
Within the brightness of thy face,
And our soul,
In the scroll
Of life and blissfulness enrol,
That we may praise Thee to eternity. Allelujah.
Sir Edward SHERBURNE was born in Lancashire, in 1618. He was a Roman Catholic, but zealously served the king during the whole of the civil war, much to the injury of his fortune. Besides several poetical translations from Seneca and others, he was the author of a volume of “Miscellanies,” which contain passages of considerable beauty. He died almost in poverty, in 1702.
INFERNAL Cerberus! whose griping fangs,
That gnaw the soul, are the mind's secret pangs;
Thou greedy vulture ! that dost gorging tire
On hearts corrupted by impure desire;
Subtle and buzzing hornet ! that dost ring
peal of horror ere thou givest the sting ;
The soul's rough file, that smoothness does impart ;
The hammer that does break the stony heart !
The worm that never dies ! the “thorn within,"
That pricks and pains! the whip and scourge of sin!
The voice of God in man! which without rest
Dost softly cry within a troubled breast-
“ To all temptations is that soul set free
That makes not to itself a curb of me."
Henry More was born at Grantham, in Lincolnshire, in 1614. He was educated at Eton, and afterwards removed to Cambridge, where he studied philosophy. He obtained a fellowship, and was presented to a prebend in the church of Gloucester. He died in 1687. His principal works are, “ The Mystery of Godliness,” “ Mystery of Iniquity,” “ Philosophical Collections." These in his day were eminently popular. They are little suited to the taste of the modern reader, though enlivened with gleams of fancy, and bursts of poetic feeling.
Sing aloud, his praise rehearse
Who hath made the universe ;
He the boundless heavens has spread,
All the vital orbs has kned :
He that on Olympus high
Tends his flock with watchful eye ;
And this eye has multiplied,
Midst each flock for to reside.
Thus as round about they stray,
Toucheth each with outstretched ray ;
Nimbly they hold on their way,
Shaping out their night and day.
Never slack they ; none respires,
Dancing round their central fires.
In due order as they move,
Echoes sweet be gently drove
Thorough heaven's vast hollowness
Which unto all corners, press,
Music that the heart of Jove
Moves to joy and sportful love,
Fills the listening sailors' ears,
Riding on the wandering spheres ;
Neither speech nor language is
Where their voice is not transmiss.
God is good, is wise, is strong,
Witness all the creature throng ;
Is confessed by every tongue-
All things, back from whence they sprung:
As the thankful rivers pay
What they borrowed of the sea.
Now myself I do resign;
Take me whole, I all am thine.
Save me, God, from self-desire,
Death's pit, dark hell's raging fire,
Envy, hatred, vengeance, ire;
Let not lust
Quit from these, thy praise I'll sing,
Loudly sweep the trembling string ;
Bear a part, O wisdom's sons !
Freed from vain religions.
Lo! from far I you salute,
Sweetly warbling on my lute.
India, Egypt, Araby,
Asia, Greece, and Tartary;
Carmel-tracts, and Lebanon,
With the Mountains of the Moon,
From whence muddy Nile doth run;
Or, wherever else you won,
Breathing in one vital air :-
One we are, though distant far.
Rise at once e-let's sacrifice
Odors sweet, perfume the skies.
See how heavenly lightning fires
Hearts inflamed with high aspires :
All the substance of our souls
Up in clouds of incense rolls !
Leave we nothing to ourselves,
Save a voice-what need we else?