페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

That with long beams the shamefaced Night

arrayed;
The helmed Cherubim

And sworded Seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed,
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's newborn Heir.

XII

Such music (as 't is 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 weltering waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII

Ring out, ye crystal spheres !

Once bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so;

And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow;
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to the 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 dolorous mansions to the peering day.

XV

Yea, Truth and Justice then

Will down return to men,
The enamelled arras of the rainbow wearing;

And Mercy set between,

Throned in celestial sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering; And Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.

XVI

But wisest Fate says No,

This must not yet be so;
The Babe lies yet 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 smouldering clouds outbrake:

The aged Earth, aghast
With terror 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

The Old Dragon under ground,

In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway,

And, wroth to see his Kingdom fail,

Swindges the scaly horror 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 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
Edgèd with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets
mourn.

XXI
In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth,
The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;

In urns, and altars round,

A drear and dying sound Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat.

XXII
Peor and Baälim

Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-battered god of Palestine,

And moonèd Ashtaroth,
Heaven's Queen and Mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine:
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz
mourn.

XXIII
And sullen Moloch, Aed,

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.

XXIV

Nor is Osiris seen

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 timbreled anthems dark,
The sable-stolèd Sorcerers bear his worshiped ark.

XXV

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,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.

XXVI

So, when the Sun in bed,

Curtained with cloudy red,
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,

The flocking shadows pale

Troop to the infernal jail, Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave, And the yellow-skirted Fays Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved

maze.

XXVII
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 fixed her polished car, Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending; And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnessed Angels sit in order serviceable.

A PARAPHRASE ON PSALM CXIV

(1624) WHEN the blest seed of Terah's faithful Son After long toil their liberty had won, And passed from Pharian fields to Canaanland, Led by the strength of the Almighty's hand, Jehovah's wonders were in Israel shown, His praise and glory was in Israel known. That saw the troubled sea, and shivering fled, And sought to hide his froth-becurled head Low in the earth; Jordan's clear streams recoil, As a faint host that hath received the foil. The high huge-bellied mountains skip like rams Amongst their ewes, the little hills like lambs. Why fled the ocean? and why skipped the mountains ? Why turned Jordan toward his crystal fountains ? Shake, Earth, and at the presence be aghast Of Him that ever was and aye shall last, That glassy floods from rugged rocks can crush, And make soft rills from fiery flint-stones gush.

« 이전계속 »