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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 Libyck Hammon shrinks his horn,
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

loud :
Nor can it be at rest
Within his sacred chest;

Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud ; In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipt ark.


He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the Gods beside
Longer dare abide,

Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine :
Our Babe, to shew his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands controul the damned



So, when the sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave,
And the yellow-skirted Fayes
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov’d



But see, the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest;

Time is, our tedious song shall here have ending: Heaven's youngest-teemed star Hath fix'd her polish'd car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending: And all about the courtly stable Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.




EREWHILE of musick, and ethereal mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of heavenly Infant's birth,
My Muse with Angels did divide to sing ;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,
In wintery solstice like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.


For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
And set my harp to notes of saddest woe,
Which on our dearest Lord did seise ere long,
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so,
Which he for us did freely undergo :

Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight
Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human



He, sovran priest, stooping his regal head,
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshy tabernacle entered,
His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies :
o, what a mask was there, what a disguise !

Yet more ; the stroke of death he must abide, Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethrens'



These latest scenes confine my roving verse ;
To this horizon is my Phæbus bound:
His god-like acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former sufferings, other where are found;
Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things.


Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw,
And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,
That Heaven and Earth are colour'd with my woe;
My sorrows are too dark for day to know :

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