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Welcome, all wonders in one sight, Eternity shut in a span,
Summer in Winter, Day in Night, Heaven in Earth, and God in man,
Great, little One, whose all-embracing birth Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth. Welcome, though not to gold nor silk, To more than Cæsar's birthright is, Two sister-seas of virgin-milk, With many a rarely-tempered kiss,
That breathes at once both maid and mother, Warms in the one, cools in the other.
She sings Thy tears asleep, and dips Her kisses in Thy weeping eye;
She spreads the red leaves of Thy lips, That in their buds yet blushing
She 'gainst those mother-diamonds, tries The points of Her young eagle's eyes.
Welcome, though not to those gay flies,1 Gilded i' th' beams of earthly kings,
Slippery souls in smiling eyes; But to poor shepherds' home-spun things; Whose wealth's their flock; whose wit, to be Well-read in their simplicity.
Yet when young April's husband-showers Shall bless the fruitful Maia's bed,
We'll bring the first-born of her flowers To kiss Thy feet, and crown Thy head.
To Thee, dread Lamb, Whose love must
The shepherds, more than they the sheep. 1 Butterflies, courtiers.
To Thee, meek Majesty, soft King
Till burnt at last in fire of Thy fair
A HYMN FOR THE CIRCUMCISION DAY OF OUR LORD
RISE, thou best and brightest morning!
With thine own blush thy cheeks adorning,
All the purple pride, that laces
The crimson curtains of thy bed, Gilds thee not with so sweet graces, Nor sets thee in so rich a red.
Of all the fair-cheek'd flowers that fill thee,
Our sins have shamed into a rose.
Bid thy golden god, the sun,
Burnish'd in his best beams rise,
Let him make poor the purple East,
Search what the world's close cabinets keep,
Rob the rich births of each bright nest
Let him embrave 1 his own bright tresses
When he hath done all he may,
That breaks from one of these bright eyes.
And soon this sweet truth shall appear,
Dear Babe, ere many days be done: The Morn shall come to meet Thee here, And leave her own neglected sun.
Here are beauties shall bereave him 2
OUR BLESSED LORD IN HIS CIRCUMCISION TO HIS FATHER
'O Thee these first-fruits of My growing death, (For what else is My life?) lo, I bequeath.
Taste this, and as Thou lik'st this lesser flood
2 The sun.
3 The sun worshippers.
Thy wrath that wades here now, ere long shall swim,
The flood-gate shall be set wide ope for Him.
Then let Him drink, and drink, and do His worst, To drown the wantonness of His wild thirst.
Now's but the nonage1 of My pains, My fears
The day of My dark woes is yet but morn,
Yet may these unfledged griefs give fate some
These cradle-torments have their towardness.
These purple buds of blooming death may be
And till My riper woes to age are come,
1 Not come to maturity.
2 Prelude, type.
IN THE GLORIOUS EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
A HYMN SUNG AS BY THE THREE KINGS
TO THE QUEEN'S MAJESTY
'Mongst those long rows of crowns that gild your race,2
These royal sages 3 sue for decent place:
And rosy dawn of the right royal Blood,
A golden harvest of crown'd heads, that meet
1 Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1.
2 She was the daughter of Henry iv. of France.
3 The wise men who came from the East to Christ's cradle.
4 Come to the full flower.