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PSALM CXXXVI
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for he is kind;

For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

Let us blaze his Name abroad,
For of gods he is the God;

For his, &c.

O let us his praises tell,
That doth the wrathful tyrants quell;

For his, &c.

That with his miracles doth make
Amazed Heaven and Earth to shake;

For his, &c.

That by his wisdoin did create
The painted heavens so full of state;

For his, &c.

That did the solid Earth ordain
To rise above the watery plain;

For his, &c.

That by his all-commanding might,
Did fill the new-made world with light;

For his, &c.

And caused the golden-tressèd Sun
All the day long his course to run;

For his, &c.
The hornèd Moon to shine by night
Amongst her spangled sisters bright;

For his, &c.
He, with his thunder-clasping hand,
Smote the first-born of Egypt land;

For his, &c.

And, in despite of Pharao fell,
He brought from thence his Israel;

For his, &c.

The ruddy waves he cleft in twain
Of the Erythræan main;

For his, &c.

The floods stood still, like walls of glass, While the Hebrew bands did pass;

For his, &c.

But full soon they did devour
The tawny King with all his power;

For his, &c.

His chosen people he did bless
In the wasteful Wilderness;

For his, &c.

In bloody battail he brought down
Kings of prowess and renown;

For his, &c.

He foiled bold Seon and his host,
That ruled the Amorrean coast;

For his, &c.

And large-limbed Og he did subdue,
With all his over-hardy crew;

For his, &c.

And to his servant Israel
He gave their land, therein to dwell;

For his, &c.

He hath, with a piteous eye,
Beheld us in our misery;

For his, &c.

And freed us from the slavery
Of the invading enemy;

For his, &c.

All living creatures he doth feed,
And with full hand supplies their need;

For his, &c.

Let us, therefore, warble forth
His mighty majesty and worth;

For his, &c.

That his mansion hath on high,
Above the reach of mortal eye;

For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT
DYING OF A COUGH

(1625-26)

O Fairest Flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken Primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst outlasted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he, being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss
But killed, alas! and then bewailed his fatal bliss.

For since grim Aquilo, his charioter,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touched his deity full near,
If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot

Of long uncoupled bed and childless eld, Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach

was held.

III

So, mounting up in icy-pearlèd car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wandered long, till thee he spied from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceased his care:
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,

But, all un'wares, with his cold-kind embrace, Unhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding-place.

IV
Yet thou art not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth, born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land;

But then transformed him to a purple flower: Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power!

Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed
Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb;
Could Heaven, for pity, thee so strictly doom?

Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that showed thou wast divine.

VI
Resolve me, then, O Soul most surely blest
(If so be it that thou these plaints dost hear)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in the Elysian fields (if such there were),

Oh, say me true if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

VII

Wert thou some Star, which from the ruined roof Of shaked Olympus by mischance didst fall;

Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall?
Or did of late Earth's sons besiege the wall

Of sheeny Heaven, and thou some Goddess fled
Amongst us here below to hide thy nectared head?

VIII
Or wert thou that just Maid who once before
Forsook the hated earth, oh! tell me sooth,
And camest again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou [Mercy], that sweet smiling Youth?
Or that crowned Matron, sage white-robèd Truth?

Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good ?

hot of tithyself in seat didst speed,

IX
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who, having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to shew what creatures Heaven doth breed;

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heaven aspire?

x

But oh! why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,

To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.

XI
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
Her false-imagined loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;
Think what a present thou to God hast sent

And render him with patience what he lent: нс IV

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