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And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
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
The Shepherds on the lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
Full little thought they than
That the mighty Pan
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet
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.
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.
At last surrounds their sight
110 That with long beams the shamefaced Night
And sworded Seraphim
Such music (as 't is said)
Before was never made,
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.
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
Enwrap our fancy long,
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.
Will down return to men,
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.
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
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
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
The Old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
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
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
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.
Forsake their temples dim,
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
In vain with cymbals' ring