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But see the Virgin blest
Time is our tedious song should here have endHeav'n's youngest teemed star Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attendAnd all about the courtly stable [ing; Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.
EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
244 harness'd] Exodus, xiii. 18. The children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.' Newton.
+ divide] Spens. F. Queen. iii. i. 40.
'And all the while sweet music did divide Her looser notes with Lydian harmony.' Hor. Od. i. xv. 15.
'Imbelli cithara carmina divides.' Warton.
For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight!
He sovereign priest stooping his regal head,
His starry front low-roof'd beneath the skies:
Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side.
These latest scenes confine my roving verse,
26 Cremona's trump] Vida's Christiad.
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief,
The leaves should all be black whereon I write, And letters where my tears have wash'd a wannish white.
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.
Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
30 Over] So P. L. iv. 609.
'And o'er the dark her silver mantle throw.' Steevens.
For sure so well instructed are my tears, That they would fitly fall in order'd characters.
Or should I thence hurried on viewless wing,
Might think th' infection of my sorrows loud Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud.
This subject the Author finding to be above the years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
a weeping] Jeremiah, ix. 10. For the mountains will I take up a weeping,' &c. Warton.
* In Milton's MS. written with his own hand,' On Time. To be set on a clock-case.' Warton.
2 leaden-stepping hours] Carew's Poems, p. 78, ed. 1642. They [the hours] move with leaden feet. A. Dyce.
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast intomb'd,
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine About the supreme throne
Of him, t' whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime, Then all this earthly grossness quit,
Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee,
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
YE flaming Pow'rs, and winged Warriors bright,
12 individual] Inseparable. P. L. iv. 485.
1 flaming] So P. Lost, ix. 156. xi. 101.
v. 610. Warton.