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What pow'r, what force, what mighty spell, if not Your learned hands, can loofe this Gordian knot?" The next Quantity and Quality Spake in profe, then Relation was call'd by his name.
IVERS arife; whether thou be the fon
Of utmoft Tweed, or Oofe, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who like fome earth-born giant spreads
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
On the Morning of CHRIST's NATIVITY.
HIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King, Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born, Our great redemption from above did bring; For fo the holy fages once did fing,
That he our deadly forfeit fhould release, And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table To fit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid afide; and here with us to be,
Forfook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy facred vein
Haft thou no verse, no hymn, or folemn strain,
See how from far upon the eastern road
T was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him
Had dofft her gaudy trim,
With her great Mafter so to fympathize: It was no feason then for her
To wanton with the fun her lufty paramour.
Only with speeches fair
She woo's the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent fnow, And on her naked fhame,
Pollute with finful blame,
The faintly veil of maiden white to throw, Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
She crown'd with olive green, came foftly sliding Down through the turning sphere
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50 And waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes an universal peace through sea and land.
No war, or battle's found
Was heard the world around:
The idle fpear and shield were high up hung; 55
The hooked Chariot ftood,
Unftain'd with hoftile blood,
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng, And kings fat flill with awful eye,
As if they furely knew their sovran Lord was by. 60 V.
But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of light
His reign of peace upon the earth began: The winds with wonder whist
Smoothly the waters kist,
Whisp'ring new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
Until their Lord himself befpake, and bid them go.
And though the fhady gloom
Had given day her room,
The fun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for fhame,
As his inferior flame
The new enlighten'd world no more should need; He saw a greater fun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,
Sat fimply chatting in a ruftic row;
Full little thought they then,
That the mighty Pan
Was kindly come to live with them below; 90 Perhaps their lovers, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their filly thoughts fo bufy keep.