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The sea to drink him quick ? that casts his dead :
Angels to spare ? they punish: night to hide ? The world shall burn in light: the heavens to spread
Their wings to save him ? heaven itself shall slide
And roll away, like melting stars that glide
As when the cheerful sun enlamping' wide,
Glads all the world with his uprising ray, And woos the widowed earth afresh to pride,
And paints her bosom with the flowery May,
His silent sister steals him quite away;
But soon as he again disshadowed is,
Restoring the blind world his blemished sight, As though another day were newly his,
The cozened birds busily take their flight,
And wonder at the shortness of the night: So Mercy once again herself displays Out from her sister's cloud, and open lays Those sunshine looks, whose beams would dim a thousand
Such when as Mercy her beheld from high,
In a dark valley, drowned with her own tears,
'Spreading his rays like a lamp.
9 The Moon.
One of her Graces she sent hastily,
Smiling Irene,' that a garland wears
Of gilded olive on her fairer hairs,
But Mercy felt a kind remorse to run
Through her soft veins, and therefore hying fast To give an end to silence, thus begun :
· Ay, honored Father, if no joy thou hast
But to reward desert, reward at last The devil's voice spoke with a serpent's tongue, Fit to hiss out the words so deadly stung, And let him die, death's bitter charms so sweetly sung.
He was the father of that hopeless season,
That to serve other gods forgot their own: The reason was, Thou wast above their reason:
They would have any gods rather than none,
A beastly serpent or a senseless stone;
He was but dust: why feared he not to fall ?
And being fallen, why should he fear to die? Cannot the hand that made him first restore him ?
Depraved of sin, should he deprived lie
Of grace? Can He not hide infirmity
Who shall thy temple incense any more,
Or at thy altar crown the sacrifice,
Or strew with idle flowers the hallowed floor,
Or what should prayer deck with herbs and spice,
Her vials breathing orisons of price? If all must pay that which all cannot pay, Oh! first begin with me, and Mercy slay, And thy thrice-honored Son that now beneath doth stray !
But if or He or I may live and speak,
And heaven can joy to see a sinner weep, —
A heart already broke, that low doth creep,
What man hath done that man shall not undo,
Since God to him is grown so near akin? Did his foes slay him ? He shall slay his foe:
Hath he lost all ? He all again shall win :
Is sin his master? He shall master sin. Too hardy soul, with sin the field to try: The only way to conquer was to fly; But thus long death hath lived, and now death's self
He is a path, if any be misled ;
any be a bondman, He is free;
If any be but weak, how strong is He !
Who can forget-never to be forgot
The time that all the world in slumber lies,
When like the stars the singing angels shot
To earth, and heaven awaked all his eyes
To see another sun at midnight rise
A child He was, and had not learned to speak,
That with his word the world before did make; His mother's arms Him bore, He was so weak,
That with one hand the vaults of heaven could shake.
See how small room my infant Lord doth take,
And yet but newly He was infanted,
And yet already He was sought to die; Yet scarcely born, already banished;
Not able yet to go, and forced to fly;
But scarcely fled away, when, by and by,
Egypt his nurse became, where Nilus springs,
Who straight to entertain the rising sun, The hasty harvest in his bosom brings ;
But now for drought the fields were all undone,
And now with waters all is overrun :
The cursed oracles were stricken dumb;
To see their King the kingly sophics come;
A star comes dancing up the orient,
Leaped in the womb, his joy to prophesy;
And Simeon fast his dying notes doth ply.
From God's unwary arm, now milder grown,
For pardon and for pity, it had known
That should have been for sacred vengeance thrown; There, too, the armies angelic devowed Their former rage, and all to Mercy bowed; Their broken weapons at her feet they gladly strowed. Bring, bring, ye Graces, all your silver flaskets,
Painted with every choicest flower that grows, That I may soon unflower your fragrant baskets,
To strow the fields with odors where He goes ;
Let whatsoe'er He treads on be a rose. So down she lets her eyelids fall to shine Upon the rivers of bright Palestine, Whose woods drop honey, and her rivers skip with wine.