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For if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold;

And speckled Vanity
5 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.

Yea, Truth and Justice then 10 Will down return to men,

Orb’d in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between
Throned in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering; 15 And Heaven, as at some festival,

Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.
But wisest Fate says No;
This must not yet be so;

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy 20 That on the bitter cross

Must redeem our loss;
So both Himself and us to glorify:
Yet first, to those ychain’d in sleep
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the

25 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
30 Shall from the surface to the centre shake,

When, at the world's last sessión,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread His

And then at last our bliss

Full and perfect is,
35 But now begins; for from this happy day

The old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurpéd sway;

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And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
The Oracles are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum 5 Runs through the archéd roof in words deceiving.

Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving:

No nightly trance or breathéd spell 10 Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er
And the resounding shore
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;

From haunted spring and dale 15 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
20 And on the holy hearth

The Lars and Lemurés moan with midnight plaint;
In urns, and altars round
A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; 25 And the chill marble seems to sweat,

While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat.
Peor and Baalim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine; 30 And moonéd Ashtaroth

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


35 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,
In dismal dance about the furnace blue;

The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
5 Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove, or green,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud:

Nor can he be at rest
10 Within his sacred chest;

Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrell’d anthems dark
The sable-stoléd sorcerers bear his worshipt ark.

He feels from Juda's land 15 The dreaded Infant's hand;

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: 20 Our Babe, to show His Godhead true,

Can in His swaddling bands control the damnéd crew.
So, when the sun in bed
Curtain’d with cloudy red

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, 25 The flocking shadows pale

Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted fays
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved

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30 But see! the Virgin blest

Hath laid her Babe to rest;
Time is, our tedious song should here have ending:
Heaven's youngest-teeméd star

Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
35 Her sleeping Lord with hand-maid lamp attending:

And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.

J. Milton.




From Harmony, from Heavenly Harmony

This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap

Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,

Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold and hot and moist and dry
In order to their stations leap,

And Music's power obey,
From harmony, from heavenly harmony

This universal frame began:

From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
15 The diapason closing full in Man.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

When Jubal struck the chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell

To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell

Within the hollow of that shell

That spoke so sweetly and so well,
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
The trumpet's loud clangor

Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger

And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat

Of the thundering drum

Cries ‘Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!'




The soft complaining flute

In dying notes discovers




The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion

For the fair disdainful dame.
But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach

The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways

To mend the choirs above.
Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place

Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appear'd-
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

Grand Chorus
As from the power of sacred lays

The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.

J. Dryden






Avenge, O Lord! Thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
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,

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