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Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans
On the late Massacre in Piemont.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. The moanŚ The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
On his Blindness.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
To Mr. Lawrence.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
To Cyriack Skinner.
CYRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
And what the Swede intends, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Towards solid good what leads the nearest way; For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day, And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
To the same.
CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of which all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask,
Content though blind, had I no better guide.
On his deceased Wife.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint Purification in the old law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind: Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear, as in no face with more delight. But, O! as to embrace me she inclined, I waked; she fled; and day brought back my night.
O DE S.
ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
THIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
He laid aside; and here with us to be,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,
See, how from far, upon the eastern road,
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel-quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
IT was the winter wild,
While the heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; Nature in awe to him
Had doff'd her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize: It was no season then for her
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.
Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow; And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw; Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
But he, her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;
She, crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes an universal peace through sea and land.
No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung;