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All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ;
Nature, in awe to him,
Had doffed her gaudy trim,
Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,
But he, her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace : She, crowned with olive green, came softly 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 a universal peace through sea and land.
No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around ;
The hooked chariot stood,
But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed, Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean, Who now hath quite forgot to rave, While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light, Or Lucifer that often warned them thence ; But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.
Had given day her room,
And hid his head for shame,
Or ere the point of dawn,
Full little thought they than
That the mighty Pan Was kindly come to live with them below : 90 Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.
Their hearts and ears did greet
Answering the stringed noise, As all their souls in blissful rapture took : The air, such pleasure loth to lose, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly
Nature, that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round
Now was almost won
To think her part was done, And that her reign had here its last fulfilling : She knew such harmony alone Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.
110 That with long beams the shamefaced Night arrayed;
The helmed cherubim
And sworded seraphim Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed, Harping in loud and solemn quire, With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born Heir.
Before was never made,
While the Creator great
His constellations set, And the well-balanced World on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres !
Once bless our human ears,
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time; And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow ; 130 And with your ninefold harmony Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.
Enwrap our fancy long,
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die ;
139 And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
Will down return to men,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering; And Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.
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 ychained in sleep, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through
With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang, While the red fire and smouldering clouds outbrake: 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 airshall spread his throne.
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
The Old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,