« PreviousContinue »
Ye flaming Powers, and winged Warriours bright,
That erst with musick, 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
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 seise !
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 thron’d in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory even 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.
O FAIREst flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
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 kill'd, alas ! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.
For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd 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
So mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care:
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,
But, all unwares, with his cold kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.
Yet art thou 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 transform’d 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 show'd thou wast divine.
Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be 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
Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof
Of shak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall;
Which careful Jove in Nature's true behoof
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 nectar'd head ?
Or wert thou that just Maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
And cam’st again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou Mercy, that sweet-smiling youth?