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VII

80

And, though the shady gloom

Had given day her room,
The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed,

And hid his head for shame,

As his inferior flame The new-enlightened world no more should need: He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright Throne or burning axletree could

bear.

VIII

The Shepherds on the lawn,

Or ere the point of dawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;

Full little thought they than

That the mighty Pan
Was kindly come to live with them below:
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

90

IX

When such music sweet

Their hearts and ears did greet
As never was by mortal finger strook,

Divinely-warbled voice

Answering the stringèd noise, As all their souls in blissful rapture took: The air, such pleasure loth to lose, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.

100

X
Nature, that heard such sounds
Beneath the hollow round

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 Heaven and Earth in happier union.

XI

At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,

110 That with long beams the shamefaced Night

arrayed;
The helmed Cherubim

And sworded Seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed,
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born Heir,

XII

120

Such music (as 't is said)

Before was never made,
But when of old the Sons of Morning sung,

While the Creator great

His constellations set, And the well-balanced World on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII

ye

have power

Ring out, ye crystal spheres!

Once bless our human ears, If

to touch our senses so; And let your silver chime

Move in melodious time; And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow; 130

And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.

XIV
For, if such holy song

Enwrap 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 day.

139

XV
Yea, Truth and Justice then

Will down return to men,
The enamelled arras of the rainbow wearing;

And Mercy set between,

Throned in celestial sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering; And Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.

XVI
But wisest Fate says No,
This must not yet be so;

150 The Babe lies yet in smiling infancy

That on the bitter cross

Must redeem our loss, So both himself and us to glorify: Yet first, to those ychained in sleep, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the

deep,

XVII

160

With such a horrid clang

As on Mount Sinai rang, While the red fire and smouldering clouds outbrake:

The aged Earth, aghast

With terror of that blast, Shall from the surface to the centre shake, When, at the world's last session, The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his

throne.

XVIII

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 usurpèd sway,
And, wroth to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly horror of his folded tail.

170

xix The Oracles are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum Runs through 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 breathèd spell, Inspires the pale-eyed Priest from the prophetic

cell.

180

XX
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;

From haunted spring, and dale

Edged with poplar pale, The parting Genius is with sighing sent; With flower-inwoven tresses torn The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets

mourn.

XXI

190

In consecrated earth,

And on the holy hearth, The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;

In urns, and altars round,

A drear and dying sound Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat.

200

XXII
Peor and Baälim

Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-battered god of Palestine;

And moonèd Asktaroth,

Heaven's Queen and Mother both, Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine: The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn; In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

mourn.,

XXIII
And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread
His burning idol all of blackest hue;

In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,

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