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On the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.
PURE and spotless was the maid,
A pair of turtle doves she paid,
Although she brought the Lamb.
To be purify'd,
That she was spotless and obedient.
O make us follow so blest precedent,
And a continued state of sin
Hath sullied all our faculties within.
And, for redemption, a Lamb
The purest, whitest, that e'er came
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,
Doubled knees, and groans, and cries,
His sad soul sunk
Under the heavy pressure of our sin :
His Father's burning wrath did make
Through the pure strainer of his skin:
Bubbling all o'er,
As if the wretched whole were but one door
And turn out all relief.
O Thou, who for our sake
Didst drink up
This bitter cup,
Remember us, we pray,
The struggling throats of wicked men
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,
How good a God have we, who, for our sake,
Man like himself in his own image; now
Eternity took the measure of a span,
"Let us like ourselves make man,
And not from man the woman take,
Allelujah! We adore
His name, whose goodness hath no store.
WHAT glorious light!
How bright a sun, after so sad a night,
This sun, when he did first unfold
That saw the first ray :
Saint Peter and the other had the reflex,
Innocence had the first, and he
That fled, and then did penance, next did see
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:
Did, with his leave, make bold to shroud
The Sun of Glory from Mount Olivet.
On the Feast of Pentecost, or Whitsunday.
TONGUES of fire from heaven descend
To blow it up and make
A living fire
Of heav'nly charity, and pure desire,
And give men warning to defend
Themselves from the enraged brunt of it.
And all her gifts and graces, slide
That thus refined, we may soar above
Even unto thee, dear Spirit,
And there eternal peace and rest inherit.
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,
To count my score,
Much less to pay :
But thou, my God, hast blood in store,
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,
And not, in mercy, set us free!
Guarded with sins and lust,
Who, like court-flatterers, wait
To serve themselves in thy unhappy fate.