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2. That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable, And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty, Wherewith he wont at Heav'ns high council-table 10 To sit the midst of Trinal Unity, He laid aside ; and here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say Heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15
Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20 And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?
25 Have thou the honour first, thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire, From out his secret altar toucht with hallow'd fire.
It was the winter wild,
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies :
With her great Master so to sympathize:
Only with speeches fair
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
She crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50
4. No war, or battle's sound Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
5. But peaceful was the night Wherein the Prince of light
His reign of peace upon the earth began :
The stars with deep amaze
Bending one way their pretious influence;
Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence;
7. And though the shady gloom Had given day her room,
The sun himself with-held his wonted speed;
The new-enlightn'd world no more should need;
8. The shepherds on the lawn, Or ere the point of dawn,
Sate simply chatting in a rustic row;
Was kindly come to live with them below;
95 Divinely-warbled voice Answering the stringed noise
As all their souls in blissful rapture took : The air such pleasure loth to lose, With thousand echo's still prolongs each heav'nly close.
10. Nature, that heard such sound Beneath the hollow round
Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling,
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling;
11. At last surrounds their sight A globe of circular light
That with long beams the shame-fac't night array'd; The helmed cherubim And sworded seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display’d; Harping in loud and solemn quire,
115 With unexpressive notes to Heav'ns new-born Heir.
12. Such music (as 'tis said) Before was never made,
But when of old the sons of morning sung; While the Creator great
120 His constellations set,
And the well-balanc't world on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
(If ye have power to touch our senses so,)
And let the base of Heav'ns deep organ blow:
For if such holy song
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; 135
And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould;
15. Yea Truth, and Justice then Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and like glories wearing
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering;
The Babe lies yet in smiling infancy,
So both himself and us to glorify:
[deep, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the
17. With such a horrid clang As on mount Sinai rang
While the red fire and smouldring clouds out brake: The aged Earth agast
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 air shall spread his throne.