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Poor Soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
The World's a bubble, and the Life of Man
Less than a span :
So to the tomb;
With cares and fears.
What life is best?
To dandle fools :
Of savage men :
And where's a city from foul vice so free,
Or pains his head :
Or do things worse :
Or wish them gone :
Is a disease :
Peril and toil :
We are worse in peace ;-
THE LESSONS OF NATURE Of this fair volume which we World do name If we the sheets and leaves could turn with care, Of him who it corrects, and did it frame, We clear might read the art and wisdom rare : Find out his power which wildest powers doth tame, His providence extending everywhere, His justice which proud rebels doth not spare, In every page, no period of the same. But silly we, like foolish children, rest Well pleased with colour'd vellum, leaves of gold, Fair dangling ribbands, leaving what is best, On the great writer's sense ne'er taking hold; Or if by chance we stay our minds on aught, It is some picture on the margin wrought.
Doth then the world go thus, doth all thus move? .
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry-
SAINT JOHN BAPTIST The last and greatest Herald of Heaven's King Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild, Among that savage brood the woods forth bring, Which he more harmless found than man, and mild. His food was locusts, and what there doth spring, With honey that from virgin hives distillid; Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing Made him appear, long since from earth exiled. There burst he forth : All ye whose hopes rely On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn, Repent, repent, and from old errors turn ! -Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry? Only the echoes, which he made relent, Rung from their flinty caves, Repent ! Repent !
This is the month, and this the happy morn Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King Of wedded maid and virgin mother born, Our great redemption from above did bring ; For so the holy sages once did sing That he our deadly forfeit should release, And with his Father work us a perpetual peace. That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable, And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table To sit the midst of Trinal Unity, He laid aside ; and, here with us to be Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay. Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein Afford a present to the Infant God ? Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain To welcome him to this his new abode, Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod, Hath took no print of the approaching light, And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons