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O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet:
Have thou the Honour first, thy Lord to greet,

And join thy voice unto the Angel Choir,
From out his secret Altar toucht with hallow'd fire,

The HYMN.

IT

I.
T 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'd her gawdy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no seafon then for her
To wanton with the Sun, her lusty Paramour.

II.
Only with speeches fair
She woos 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.

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

She, crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning Sphear
His ready Harbinger,

With 'Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; And waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes a universal Peace through Sea and Land.

IV.
No War, or Battle's found,
Was heard the World around,

The idle spear and fhield were high up hung,
The hooked Chariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood,

The Trumpet fpake not to the armed throng;
And Kings fat ftill with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by:

V.
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,

Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmed Wave,

VI.
The Stars with deep amaze
Stand fixt in sted fast gaze,

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

Of Lucifer, that often warm'd them thence ;
But in their glimmering Orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself befpake, and bid them go,

VII.
And though the shady gloom
Had giv'n day her room,

The Sun himself with-held his wonted fpeed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new-enlighten'd World no more should need ;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright Throne, or burning Axletree could bear.

VIII.
The Shepherds on the Lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
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Sat

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

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

IX.
When such musick sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook,
Divinely warbled voice,
Answ'ring 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.

X.
Nature that heard fuch found
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.

XI.
At last surrounds their fight
A Globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shame-fac'd night array'd;
The helmed Cherubim,
And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
Harping in loud and folemn Choir,
With inexpressive notes, to Heav'n's new-born Heir.

XII.
Such Mufick (as 'tis faid)
Before was never made,
But when of old the fons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His Constellations fet,

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And the well ballanc'd world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII.
Ring out, ye Crytal Sphears,
Once bless our human ears,

(If ye have pow'r to touch our senses fo)
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time,

And let the Bass of Heav'n's deep Organ blow;
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full confort to th’Angelic Symphony.

XIV.
For if such holy Song
Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold,
And speckled vanity
Will ficken 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:

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

Orb'd in a Rainbow, and like glories wearing :
Mercy will fit 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.

XVI.
But wiseft Fate says no,
This must not yet be so ;

The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Most redeem our lofs ;

So both himself and us to glorifie:
Vet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom mult thunder thro' the dear,
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XVII.
With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake:
The aged Earth, aghaft
With terrour of that blast,

Shall from the surface to the centre fhake ;
When at the world's last session,
The dreadful Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne,

XVIII.
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 cafts his usurped sway,
And wroth to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly Horrour of his folded tail.

XIX.
The Oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving :
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.

XX.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,

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

The parting Genius is with fighing fent:
With flow'r-inwov'n tresses torn,
The Nymphs in twilight thade of tangled thickets

mourn.

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