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On the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.

PURE and spotless was the maid,
That to the temple came;

A pair of turtle doves she paid,

Although she brought the Lamb.
Pure and spotless though she were,
Her body chaste, and her soul fair,
She to the temple went

To be purify'd,

And try'd,

That she was spotless and obedient.

O make us follow so blest precedent,
And purify our souls, for we
Are cloth'd with sin and misery.
From our conception,

One imperfection

And a continued state of sin

Hath sullied all our faculties within.
We present our souls to thee
Full of need and misery:

And, for redemption, a Lamb

The purest, whitest, that e'er came
A sacrifice to thee,

Even Him that bled upon the tree.

On Good Friday.

THE Lamb is eaten, and is yet again

Preparing to be slain;

The cup is full and mix'd,

And must be drunk:

Wormwood and gall

To this, are draughts to beguile care withal,
Yet the decree is fix'd.

Doubled knees, and groans, and cries,
Prayers, and sighs, and flowing eyes,
Could not entreat.

His sad soul sunk

Under the heavy pressure of our sin :
The pains of death and hell
About him dwell.

His Father's burning wrath did make
His very heart, like melting wax, to sweat
Rivers of blood,

Through the pure strainer of his skin:
His boiling body stood

Bubbling all o'er,

As if the wretched whole were but one door
To let in pain and grief,

And turn out all relief.

O Thou, who for our sake

Didst drink up

This bitter cup,

Remember us, we pray,
In thy day,

When down

The struggling throats of wicked men
The dregs of thy just fury shall be thrown.
O then

Let thy unbounded mercy think

On us, for whom

Thou underwent'st this heavy doom,

And give us of the well of life to drink.


On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.

A WINGED harbinger, from bright heav'n flown, Bespeaks a lodging room

For the mighty King of love,

The spotless structure of a virgin womb, O'ershadow'd with the wings of the blest dove: For he was travelling to earth,

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How good a God have we, who, for our sake,
To save us from the burning lake,
Did change the order of creation;
At first he made

Man like himself in his own image; now
In the more blessed reparation
The heavens bow:

Eternity took the measure of a span,
And said,

"Let us like ourselves make man,

And not from man the woman take,
But from the woman, man."

Allelujah! We adore

His name, whose goodness hath no store.


Easter Day.

WHAT glorious light!

How bright a sun, after so sad a night,
Does now begin to dawn! Blessed were those eyes,
That did behold

This sun, when he did first unfold
His glorious beams, and now begin to rise:
It was the holy tender sex,

That saw the first ray :

Saint Peter and the other had the reflex,
The second glimpse o' th' day.

Innocence had the first, and he

That fled, and then did penance, next did see
The glorious Sun of righteousness,
In his new dress

Of triumph, immortality, and bliss.

O dearest God, preserve our souls

In holy innocence;

Or, if we do amiss,

Make us to rise again to th' life of grace,

That we may live with thee, and see thy glorious face,

The crown of holy penitence.


On the Day of Ascension.

He is risen higher, not set:
Indeed a cloud

Did, with his leave, make bold to shroud

The Sun of Glory from Mount Olivet.
At Pentecost, he'll show himself again;
When every ray shall be a tongue
To speak all comforts, and inspire
Our souls with their celestial fire;
That we, the saints among,
May sing, and love, and reign.


On the Feast of Pentecost, or Whitsunday.

TONGUES of fire from heaven descend
With a mighty rushing wind,

To blow it up and make

A living fire

Of heav'nly charity, and pure desire,
Where they their residence should take.
On the apostles' sacred heads they sit;
Who now, like beacons, do proclaim and tell
Th' invasion of the host of hell;

And give men warning to defend

Themselves from the enraged brunt of it.
Lord, let the flames of holy charity,

And all her gifts and graces, slide
Into our hearts, and there abide;

That thus refined, we may soar above
With it unto the element of love,

Even unto thee, dear Spirit,

And there eternal peace and rest inherit.


Penitential Hymns.


LORD, I have sinned: and the black number swells To such a dismal sum,

That, should my stony heart, and eyes,

And this whole sinful trunk, a flood become,
And run to tears, their drops could not suffice,

To count my score,

Much less to pay :

But thou, my God, hast blood in store,
And art the Patron of the poor.

Yet since the balsam of thy blood,

Although it can, will do no good,

Unless the wounds be cleans'd with tears before; Thou in whose sweet but pensive face

Laughter could never steal a place,

Teach but my heart and eyes

To melt away,

And then one drop of balsam will suffice.



GREAT God, and just! how canst thou see,
Dear God, our misery,

And not, in mercy, set us free!
Poor miserable man! how wert thou born
Weak as the dewy jewels of the morn,
Wrapt up in tender dust,

Guarded with sins and lust,

Who, like court-flatterers, wait

To serve themselves in thy unhappy fate.
Wealth is a snare; and poverty brings in
Inlets for theft, paving the way for sin :
Each perfum'd vanity doth gently breath
Sin in thy soul, and whispers it to death.
Our faults, like ulcerated sores, do go
O'er the sound flesh, and do corrupt that too.

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