« PreviousContinue »
O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king,
To harbour those that are at enmity.
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot? 90
The next Quantity and Quality fpake in profe, then Relation was call'd by his name.
RIVERS arife; whether thou be the fon
Of utmost Tweed, or Oofe, or gulphy Dun,
Or rocky Avon, or of fedgy Lee,
[The reft was profe.]
On the MORNING of CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
HIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
Of wedded Maid and Virgin Mother born,
That he our deadly forfeit fhould release,
That glorious form, that light unfufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table ro To fit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid afide; and here with us to be,
Forfook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say heav'nly Mufe, fhall not thy facred vein
Afford a prefent to the Infant God?
Haft thou no verse, no hymn, or folemn strain,
Now while the Heav'n by the fun's team untrod,
See how from far upon the eastern road
IT was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger
Nature in awe to him
Had dofft her gawdy trim,
With her great Mafter fo to fympathize:
It was no feafon then for her
To wanton with the fun her lufty paramour.
Only with speeches fair
She woo's the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
And on her naked fhame,
Pollute with finful blame,
The faintly veil of maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look fo near upon her foul deformities.
But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
She, crown'd with olive green, came foftly 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 an universal peace through sea and land.
No war, or battel's found
Was heard the world around:
The idle fpear and shield were high up hung, The hooked chariot stood,
Unftain'd with hoftile blood,
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And kings fat ftill with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by. 60
But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of light
His reign of peace upon the earth began : The winds with wonder whift
Smoothly the waters kist,
Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm fit brooding on the charmed wave.
The stars with deep amaze
Stand fix'd in ftedfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious 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 befpake and bid them go.
And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The fun himself withheld his wonted speed, And hid his head for fhame,
As his inferior flame
The new inlighten'd world no more should need He saw a greater sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,
Sat fimply chatting in a ruftic 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 fo bufy keep.