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The oracles are dumb,
po horor i No voice or hideous hum
ཆཔ ༦ ཁང ་ , , , , ༡
Runs thro’ the archèd roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathèd 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 flower-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tanlged thickets mourn.
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,
The Lars,” and Lemures 3 moan with midnight plaint;
In urns, and altars round,
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; si fr
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 moonèd Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine ;
The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz' mourn.
And sullen Moloch fled, 3
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 4 seen
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshower'd 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 timbrell’d anthems dark
The sable-stolèd sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.
He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand,
of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the Gods beside,
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show His Godhead true,
Can in His swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.
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-loved maze.
But see the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest,
Time is our tedious song should here have ending;
Heaven's youngest teemèd 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.
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
YE flaming Powers, and winged Warriors bright,
That erst with music, and triumphant song,
First heard by happy watchful shepherds' ear,
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along
Through the soft silence of the listening night;
Now mourn, and if sad share with us to bear
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow:
He who with all heaven's heraldry whilere
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how soon our sin
Sore doth begin
His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding love, or law more just ?
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love!
For we by rightful doom remediless
Were lost in death, till He that dwelt above
High throned in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied His glory, ev'n to nakedness;
And that great covenant which we still transgress
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day, but o ere long,
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart.
EREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring,
And joyous news of heav'nly Infant's birth,
My Muse with Angels did divide to sing;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing,
In wintry 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 seize 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 wight!
He Sov’reign Priest stooping his regal head,
That dropp'd with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshly tabernacle enterèd,
His starry front low-roof'd beneath the skies :
O what a mask was there, what a disguise !
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,
To this horizon is my Phoebus bound;
His god-like acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former sufferings other where are found;
Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trumpdoth 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:
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,
That whirld the Prophet up at Chebar flood;2
My spirit some transporting Cherub feels,
To bear me where the tow’rs of Salem stood,
Once glorious tow’rs, now sunk in guiltless blood:
There doth my soul in holy vision sit
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.