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SELECT POEMS.

MESSIAH.

A SACRED ECLOGUE.

BY POPE.

Ye Nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more. O thou my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire !

Rapt into future times, the Bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies :
The æthereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.

B В

All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail ;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
O spring to light, auspicious Babe! be born.
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring :
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears !
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down, ye mountains ! and, ye valleys, rise!
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold ;
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day :
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.

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