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For if such holy song
Time will run back, and fetch the
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,
Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
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 steerAnd Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so;
The Babe yet lies 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, [the deep, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through
With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang,
While the red fire and smouldring clouds out
The aged earth aghast,
With terror of that blast,
Shall from the surface to the centre shake:
When, at the world's last session,
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
But now begins: for, from this happy day,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway; And, wroth to see his kingdom fail, Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
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:
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament; From haunted spring and dale,
Edg'd with poplar pale,
The parting genius is with sighing sent; With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,
The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint; In urns and altars round,
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat.
Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine; And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn, [mourn. In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz
And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread
His burning idol all of blackest hue; In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,
In dismal dance, about the furnace blue: The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste,
Nor is Osiris seen,
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest;
Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud; In vain, with timbrel'd anthems dark,
The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worship'd ark.
He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand,
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyne;
Not Typhon huge, ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.
So, when the sun in bed,
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
Troop to the' infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted fayes
But see, the Virgin bless'd
Hath laid her Babe to rest;
Time is, our tedious song should here have endHeaven's youngest-teemed star Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attendAnd all about the courtly stable Bright-harness'd angels sit in order serviceable.
EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight!
He, sovereign Priest, stooping his regal head,
His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies:
Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side.
These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
The leaves should all be black whereon I write, And letters, where my tears have wash'd, a wannish white.
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.