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Was kindly come to live with them below;
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet
As never was by mortal finger struck; Divinely-warbled voice
Answ'ring the stringèd noise,
As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each Heav'nly
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round
Of Cynthia's 1 seat, the aery 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 uniön.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,
That with long beams the shamefaced night
The helmed Cherubim,
And sworded Seraphim,
Are seen in glitt'ring ranks with wings displayed, Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born Heir.
1 Twin-sister of Apollo, and connected with the moon as Apollo was with the sun.
Such music (as 'tis said)
But when of old the Sons of Morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellations set,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye Crystal Spheres,
Once bless our human ears,
If ye have pow'r to touch our senses so ;
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 consort to th' angelic symphony.
For, if such holy song
Time will run back, and fetch the Age of Gold;
Will sicken soon and die,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dol'rous mansions to the peering Day.
Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to Men,
Orbed in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down
And Heav'n, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says,
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 ychained in sleep,
The wakeful trump of Doom must thunder through
With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang,
While the red fire and smould’ring clouds out
The agèd Earth aghast,
With terrour of that blast,
Shall from the surface to the centre shake; When, at the World's last sessiön,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread His
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 casts his usurpèd sway;
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swinges the scaly horrour 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 1 leaving. No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; From haunted spring and dale,
Edged with poplar pale,
The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
With flow'r-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets
In consecrated earth,
The Lars and Lemures 2 moan with midnight plaint; In urns and altars round
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the Flamens 3 at their service quaint ; And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Pow'r forgoes his wonted seat.
1 Otherwise Delphi; the principal seat of the worship of Apollo, whose great oracle was here.
"Lares were Roman tutelary deities of the household; "Lemures" spectres, or spirits (especially wicked spirits) of the dead. • Priests.
Peor and Baälim1
With that twice-battered god of Palestine;
Heav'n's Queen and Mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; The Lybic Hammon 4 shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz 5
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,9 haste.
Nor is Osiris seen 10
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud; Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest ;
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud; In vain with timbrelled anthems dark
The sable-stolèd sorc'rers bear his worshipped ark.
1 Peor was one of the Baalim, or Phoenician deities. Hebrew for Astarte, the Syrian Aphrodite.
Amun, an Egyptian god of flocks, represented with the horns of
The Syrian Adonis; according to the legend, he was slain by a boar, but was revived for six months of every year.
A Canaanitish sun-god whose worship was accompanied by human sacrifices. "Goddess of the earth, and wife of Osiris. A dog-god of the Egyptians.
The Egyptian sun-god. 10 The Nile-god.