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The mystery, ere the birth of time fore. The graves are opened, and the dead come doom'd,

forth. The Promise, hail'd afar, from age to age, The veil is rent in twain. Salvation beams By seer and prophet, beckoning into birth Upon the heathen world. Thou, in the grave The empires. · Hark! their voice which Who slept'st without corruption, thou art darkly spake

ris'n Of trouble and vicissitudes on earth,

Victor of death, Heaven opens—Thou art With change of kingdoms, clearly heralds thron'd forth

Creatur; Judge! Redeemer ! Thou art One realm, one nation, one Eternal King, thron'd Christ! Heard ye not the voice of joy, the On the right hand of God th' Eternal King! voice

He spake, and the prophetic vision clos'd, As of a host, a multitude in heaven? Glory to God on high! Peace, peace on earth!

INCARNATION, &c. OF CHRIST. Rejoice ye shepherds ! ye, who nightly keep Your flock by Bethlehem! Lo, yon star!

SPENSER. Come forth!

BEGIN from first, where he encradled was Hail the desire of nations! From the east In simple cratch, wrapt in a wad of hay, Come forth, ye Sages! for the expected birth Between the toylful oxe and humble ass, Prepare rich offerings! Worship, earth, thy | And in what rags, and in how base array, Lord,

The glory of our heavenly riches lay, A babe within the manger. Give the King When him the simple shepherds came to see, Of Glory entrance. Who goes forth in power? Whom greatest princes sought on lowest All nature hears the Omnipotent. Ye winds ! knee. Be still! Thou troubled ocean, sink to rest ! Thou sick, be heal'd! Thou lame, stand up! From thence read on the story of his life, Thou blind,

His humble carriage, his unfaulty ways, Receive thy sight! Thon, in the grave, arise! His cancred foes, his fights, his toyl, his Ye demons from the dispossest, confess

strife, God in the veil of flesh! Oh! Son of Man, His pains, his poverty, his sbarp assays, Thy word is life eternal : Thou art life. Through which he past his miserable dayes, Spare me afflicting visions! spare my sight! Offending none, and doing good to all,

burden'd with the sins of hum kind, Yet being malic'd both of great and small. What agony like thine ? Big drops of sweat Fall from thy brow, like blood. LU! angels And look at last, bow of most wretched come

wights Administ'ring! Oh, thou art mock'd, yet He taken was, betray'd, and false accused, dumb;

How with most scornful taunts, and fell Scourged, but without complaint. Ye know despights bim not.

He was revil'd, disgrac'd, and foul abused; Abraham, your father knew, and joy'd to How scourg'd, how crown'd, how buffeted, see

how brused; His day. Lo this, the only Son of God: And, lastly, how 'twixt robbers crucifide, An offering, a free ransom for mankind. With bitter wounds through hands, through I see the spotless Lamb whom God provides feet, and side! An everlasting sacrifice. 'Tis done,Justice and Mercy meet upon that cross. Then let thy flinty heart, that feels no pain, He bows his head in death. Oh heav'n, Empierced be with pitiful remorse, and earth!

And let thy bowels bleed in every vein Angel and man, bear witness of the God! At sight of his most sacred heavenly corse, Darkness above: Earth to its centre shakes. So torn and mangled with malicious force; And let thy soul, whose sins his sorrows

MILMAN. wrought, Meltinto tears, and grone in grieved thought. For thou wast born of woman! thou didst

come, With sense whereof, whilst so thy soft'ned Oh Holiest! to this world of sin and gloom, spirit

Not in thy dread omnipotent array ; Is inly toucht, and humbled with meek zeal

And not by thunders strew'd Through meditation of his endless merit,

Was thy tempestuous road; Lift up thy mind to th' Author of thy weal, Nor indignation burnt before thee on thy And to his soveraign mercy do appeal;

way. Learn him to love that loved thee so dear, But thee, a soft and naked child, And in thy breast his blessed image bear. Thy mother undefiled,

In the rade manger laid to rest With all thy heart, with all thy soul and From off her virgin breast.


Thou must him love, and bis beheasts embrace;

The heavens were not commanded to preAll other loves, with which the world doth

pare blind

A gorgeous canopy of golden air; Weak fancies, and stir up affections base, Nor stoop'd their lamps th' enthroned fires Thou must renownce and utterly displace,

on high : And give thyself unto him full and free,

A single, silent star
That full and freely gave himself for thee. Came wandering from afar,

Gliding uncheck'd and calm along the liquid Then shalt thou feel thy spirit so possest,

sky; And ravisht with devouring great desire

The Eastern Sages leading on
Of his dear self, that shall thy feeble breast As at a kingly throne,
Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire To lay their gold and odours sweet
With burning zeal, through every part en-

Before thy infant feet.
That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight, The earth and ocean were not husb'd to hear
But in his sweet and amiable sight.

Bright harmony from every starry sphere;

Nor at thy presence brake the voice of song Thenceforth all world's desire will in thee

From all the cherub quires, die,

And seraphs' burning lyres And all earth's glory, on which men do gaze,

Pour'd thro' the host of heaven the charmed Seem dirt and dross in thy pare-sighted eye,

clouds along. Compar'd to that celestial beauty's blaze,

One angel troop the strain began, Whose glorious beams all fleshly sense doth

Of all the race of man daze

By simple shepherds heard alone, With admiration of their passing light,

That soft hosanna's tone. Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright.

Then shall thy ravisht soul inspired be And when thou didst depart, no car of flame With heavenly thoughts, far above human To bear thee bence in lambent radiance skill,

came; And thy bright radient eyes shall plainly see Nor visible angels mourn’d with drooping Th’ idee of his pure glory present still

plumes. Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill Nor didst thou mount on high With sweet enragement of celestial love,

From fatal Calvary Kindled through sight of those fair things with all thine own redeem'd out-bursting above.

from their tombs.

For thou didst bear away from earth The winds, with wonder whist,
But one of human birth,

Smoothly the waters kist,
The dying felon by thy side, to be Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
In Paradise with thee.

Who now hath quite furgot to rave,

While birds of calm sit brooding on the Nor o'er thy cross the clouds of vengeance

charmed wave. brake; A little while the conscious earth did shake The stars with deep amaze, At that foul deed by her fierce children done; Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze, A few dim honrs of day

Bending one way their precious influence ; The world in darkness lay ;

And will not take their flight, Then bask'd in bright repose beneath the For all the morning light, cloudless sun :

Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence; While thou didst sleep beneath the tomb, But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Consenting to thy doom ;

Until the Lord himself bespake, and bid Ere yet the white-rob'd angel shone

them go. Upon the sealed stone.

And, though the shady gloom And when thou didst arise, thou didst not

Had given day her room, stand

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, With devastation in thy red right hand,

And hid his head for shame,
Plagning the guilty city's murtherous crew;

As his inferior flame
But thou didst haste to meet

The new-enlighten'd world no more should Thy mother's coming feet,

need : And bear the words of peace unto the faith

He saw a greater sun appear ful few.

Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, Then calmly, slowly, didst ibon rise

could bear.
Into thy native skies,
Thy human form dissolved on high
In its own radiancy.

The shepherds on the lawn,
Or ere 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;

Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, MILTON.

Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy No war, or battle's sound,

keep. Was heard the world around: The idle spear and shield were bigh up

hung; The hooked chariot stood Unstain'd with hostile blood;

CARRINGTON. The trumpet spake not to the armed throng:

"Twas not the moon in glory streaming, And kings sat still with awful eye,

As she swam forth from cloud concealing; As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord It was not meteor glance, nor lightning, was by.

The gorgeous concave instant bright’ning,

That rushing on the shepherd's eye, But peaceful was the night,

Illumin'd heaven's vast canopy ! Wherein the Prince of Light

But, sailing down the radiant sky, His reign of peace upon the earth began : From bowers of bliss, from worlds on high

Appear'd, upborne on wings of fire, A seraph host-an angel quire !

The shepherds, on his natal morn,
Had known not that the God was born.
There were no terrors, for the song
Of peace rose from the seraph throng;
On wings of love he came,--to save,
To pluck pale terror from the grave,
And, on the blood-stain's Calvary,
He won for Man the victory!

It came—that glorious embassy, To hail the Incarnate Mystery! For this awoke the extatic hymn, From glowing lips of seraphim ! Ne'er flow'd such strains on earthly gale, O'er breezy hill, or list’ning vale, Before ; nor shall such sounds again Break on the raptur'd ear of man, Till, rising to his native sky, He put on Immortality.


For this, too, flam'd o'er Bethlehem, The brightest in night's diadem, That herald star whose pilot ray Illum'd the magi's doubtful way; Bright wanderer through the fields of air, Which led the enquiring sages where, Cradled within a worthless manger, Slept on that morn the immortal stranger.

Yet once more, and once more, awake, my

harp, From silence and neglect-one lofty strain ; Lofty, yet wilder than the winds of Heaven, And speaking mysteries, more than words

can tell, I ask of thee; for I, with hymnings high, Would join the dirge of the departing year. Yet with no wintry garland from the woods, Wrought of the leafless branch, or ivy sear, Wreathe I thy tresses, dark December! now; Me higher quarrel calls, with loudest song, And tearful joy, to celebrate the day Of the Redeemer.--Near two thousand suns Have set their seals upon the rolling lapse Of generations, since the day-spring first Beamed from on high !-Now to the mighty

He might have come in regal pomp, With pealing of archangel trump,An angel blast as loud and dread; As that which shall awake the dead ! His lightning might have scar'd the night, Streaming insufferable light; His thunder, deep'ning, peal on peal, Have made earth to her centre reel, Deep voices such as shook with fear, At Sinai's base, the favour'd seer; The wing of whirlwind might have borne



The trampling earthquake gone before him :
He might have come, that Holy One,
With millions round his awful throne,
Countless as are the sands that lie
On burning plains of Araby,
And arm'd for vengeance, who could stand
Before each conq'ring red right hand ?

Of that increasing aggregate, we add
One unit more. Space, in comparison,
How small, yet mark'd with how much

Wars, famines, and the fory, Pestilence,
Over the nations hanging her dread scourge;
The oppressed, tov, in silent bitterness,
Weeping their sufferance; and the arm of

wrong Forcing the scanty portion from the weak, And steeping the lone widow's couch with

tears. So has the year been character'd with wo In Christian land, and mark'd with wrongs

and crimes; Yet 'twas not thus He taught-not thus He

liv'd, Whose birth we this day celebrate with prayer,

He came not thus, no earthquake shock Shiver'd the everlasting rock ; No trumpet blast, nor thunder peal, Made earth through all her regions reel; And but for the mysterious voicing Of that unearthly quire rejoicing: And but for that strange herald gem, The star which burn'd o'er Bethlehem,

To pour

And much thanksgiving.--He, a man of His persecutors—"Father, pardon them, woes,

They know not what they do.” Went on the way appointed,--path, though rude,

Angels of Heaven Yet borne with patience still:-He came Ye who beheld him fainting on the cross to cheer

And did him homage, say, may mortal join The broken-hearted, to raise up the sick, The hallelujahs of the risen God? And on the wandering and benighted mind

Will the faint voice and grovelling song be light of truth.-0 task divine ! heard () more than angel teacher! He had words Amid the seraphim in light divine ? To soothe the barking waves, and hush the Yes, he will deign, the Prince of Peace will winds;

deign, And when the soul was toss'd in troubled For mercy, to accept the hymn of faith, seas,

Low though it be and humble.—Lord of Wrapt in thick darkness and the howling life, storm,

The Christ, the Comforter, thine advent He, pointing to the star of peace on high, now, Arm'd it with holy fortitude, and bade it Fills my uprising soul.-I mount, I fly smile

Far o'er the skies, beyond the rolling orbs; At the surrounding wreck.

The bonds of flesh dissolve, and earth reWhen with deep agony his heart was rack’d, cedes, Not for himself the tear-drop dew'd his And care, and pain, and sorrow are no cheek,

more. For them He wept, for them to Heaven He




Deep in Sabea’s fragrant groves retired,
Loog had the Eastern Sages studious dwelt,
By love sublime of sacred science fired :

Long had they trained the enquiring youth,
With liberal hand the bread of wisdom dealt,
And sung in solemn verse mysterious truth.
The sacred characters they knew to trace

Derived from Egypt's elder race!
And all that Greece, with copious learning fraught,
Thro' different schools, by various masters taught;

And all Arabia's glowing store
Of fabled truths and rich poetic lore ;

Stars, plants and gems, and talismans they knew,
And far was spread their fame, and wide their praises grew.

The admiring East their praises spread :
But with uncheated eyes themselves they viewed;

Mourning they sat with dust upon their head,
And oft in melancholy strain

The fond complaint renewed,

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