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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

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Of utmoft Tweed, or Oofe, or gulphy Dun,

95.

Or Trent, who like fome earth-born giant spreads
His thirty arms along th' indented meads,
Or fullen Mole that runneth underneath,
Or Severn swift, guilty of maidens' death,
Or rocky Avon, or of fedgy Lee,

Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway fmooth, or royal towred Thame. 100
(The reft was profe.)

III.

On the Morning of CHRIST's NATIVITY.

Compos'd 1629

1.

HIS is the month, and this the happy morn,

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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.

II.

That glorious form, that light unsufferable,

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And

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,

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And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

III.

Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy facred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?

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Haft thou no verse, no hymn, or folemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heav'n by the fun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20
And all the fpangled host keep watch in squadrons

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See how from far upon the eastern road
The ftar-led wisards hafte with odors sweet :
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his bleffed feet;
Have thou the honor firft, thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,
From out his fecret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.

I

The

HYMN.

I.

T was the winter wild,

While the Heav'n-born child

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Nature

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

II.

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.

III.

But he her fears to cease,

Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;

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45.

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.

IV.

No war, or battle's found

Was heard the world around:

The idle fpear and shield were high up hung; 55

The

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,

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Until their Lord himself befpake, and bid them go.

VII.

And though the fhady gloom

Had given day her room,

The fun himself withheld his wonted speed,

And

And hid his head for fhame,

As his inferior flame

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The new enlighten'd world no more should need; He saw a greater fun appear

Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could

VIII.

The shepherds on the lawn,

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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.

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