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As his inferior flame
The new enlighten'd world no more should need; He saw a greater sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they then
That the mighty Pan
Was kindly come to live with them below; yo Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook, Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,
As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The air such pleasure loath to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round
* Pan] Spenser's July. The flockes of mightie Pan.'
Of Cynthia's seat, the airy 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 union.
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born
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-balanc'd world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
[keep. And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel
116 unexpressive] This word was, perhaps, coined by Shakespeare. As you like it, act iii. sc. 2,
The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she!' Warton.
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 base 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
Inwrap 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
125 crystal] 'Heaven's hard crystal.' Marlowe's Hero and Leander, p.
128 silver] Machin's Dumbe Knight, 1608.
'It was as silver as the chime of spheres.'
See listening Time run back to fetch the age
of gold.' Benlowes's Theophila, st. xcv. p. 248.
140 leave] Virg. Æn. viii. 245.
Pallida, dîs invisa; superque immane barathrum
Yea Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steer
And heav'n, as at some festival,
[ing: Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says No,
This must not yet be so,
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 ychain'd in sleep,
113 Orb'd] In ed. 1645.
Th' enamell'd arras of the rainbow wearing;
Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
When at the world's last session,
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 The old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway,
And wroth to see his kingdom fail,
The oracles are dumb,
No voice or hideous hum
Runs thro' 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-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
172 Swinges] See Cowley's Davideis, p. 313
'Pectora tum longe percellit verbere caudæ.'