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And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ; She knew such harmony alone Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.

XI. At last surrounds their sight A globe of circular light, That with long beams the shame-fac'd night ar

ray'd ; The helmed Cherubim, And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, Harping in loud and solemn choir, With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born Heir.

Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellation set,

And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII. Ring out, ye crystal Spheres, Once bless our human ears,

(If ye have power to touch our senses so,)
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;

And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow;
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full concert to th' angelic symphony.

For if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold;
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day

Yea. Truth and Justice then,
Will down return to men,

Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd 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.

But wisest fate says no,
This must not yet be so,

The Babe lies yet in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;

So both himself and us to glorify:
Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through
the deep,

With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smouldering clouds out brake;
The aged earth aghast,
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 air shall spread his


And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,

But now begins ; for from this happy day
Th' old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,

Not half so far cast his usurped sway,
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.

The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words decciring.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er
And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale,
Edg'd with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent:
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The Nymphs, in twilight shade of tangled thickers

In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

The Lares and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;
In urns and altars round,
A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;

And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat.

* Peor and Baalim
Forsake their temples dim

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine ;
And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers holy shine ;
The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn, .
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue ;
In vain with cymbals ring,
They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue :
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud :
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest,

Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud ; In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.

XXV. He feels from Judah's land The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyne;

Nor all the gods besides,
Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine :
Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.


So when the sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th' infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted fays
Fly after the night steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd


But see, the Virgin-bless'd
Hath laid her Babe to rest.

Time is, our tedious song should here have ending:
Heaven's youngest-teemed star,
Hath fix'd her polish'd car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending : And all about the courtly stable Bright-harness'd angels sit in order serviceable.

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EREWHILE of music, and etherial mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of Heavenly Infant's birth,

* This poem appears to have been composed soon after the Ode on tho Nativity.

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