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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.

3.

Say Heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode;
Now while the Heav'n by the sun's team untrod

Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20 And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?

4.
See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet :
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;

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.

THE HYMN.

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It was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child,

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies :
Nature in awe to him
Had doff't her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the sun her lusty paramour.

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Only with speeches fair
She woo's the gentle air

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.

3.
But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;

She crown'd 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.

4. No war, or battle's sound Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The hooked chariot stood
Unstain’d with hostile blood,

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
And kings sate still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by. 60

5. 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,

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Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

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The stars with deep amaze
Stand fixt in stedfast gaze,

Bending one way their pretious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

7. And though the shady gloom Had given day her room,

The sun himself with-held his wonted speed;
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new-enlightn'd world no more should need;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear.

8. The shepherds on the lawn, Or ere the point of dawn,

Sate simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

9.
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet
As never was by mortal finger strook ;

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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.

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10. Nature, that heard such sound Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling,
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 Heav'n and Earth in happier union.

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.

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13.

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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 Heav'ns deep organ blow:
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to th' angelic symphony.

130

14.

For if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; 135
And speckl'd 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.

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15. 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 Heav'n as at some festival
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

16.
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

[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.

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