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

IX

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

close.

X

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.

XI

At last surrounds their sight

A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shamefaced night

arrayed;

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.

XII

Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,

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.

XIII

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.

XIV

For, if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the Age of Gold;
And speckled Vanity

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.

XV

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

steering;

And Heav'n, as at some festival,

Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

XVI

No,

But wisest Fate says,
This must not yet be so."

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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

the Deep,

XVII

With such a horrid clang

As on Mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smould’ring clouds out

brake:

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

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 casts his usurpèd sway;

And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,

Swinges 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 1 leaving. No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

XX

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

mourn.

XXI

In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

2

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.

XXII

Peor and Baälim1
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-battered god of Palestine;
And mooned Ashtaroth,3

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

mourn.

XXIII

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.

XXIV

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.

* Dagon.

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

a ram.

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.

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