Page images
PDF
EPUB

With your bright head whole groves of sceptres

bend

Their wealthy tops, and for these feet contend.
So swore the Lamb's dread Sire, and so we see't;
Crowns, and the heads they kiss, must court these
feet.

Fix here, fair Majesty! may your heart ne'er miss
To reap new crowns and kingdoms from that kiss;
Nor may we miss the joy to meet in you
The aged honours of this day still new.
May the great time, in you, still greater be,
While all the year is your epiphany;
While your each day's devotion duly brings
Three kingdoms to supply this day's three kings.

IN THE GLORIOUS EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD

A HYMN SUNG AS BY THE THREE KINGS

1 King-BRIGHT Babe, Whose awful beauties

make

The morn incur a sweet mistake;

2 King-For Whom the officious 1 Heavens devise To disinherit the sun's rise:

3 King-Delicately to displace

The day, and plant it fairer in Thy face.

1 King-O Thou born King of loves, 2 King Of lights,

3 King-Of joys,

1 Eager heavens devise ways, etc.

Chorus-Look up, sweet Babe, look up, and see
For love of Thee
Thus far from home
The East is come

To seek herself in Thy sweet eyes.

1 King-We, who strangely went astray, Lost in a bright Meridian 1 night,

2 King-A darkness made of too much day. 3 King-Beckon'd from far

By Thy fair star,

Lo, at last have found our way.

Chorus-To Thee, thou Day of Night, thou East of West,

Lo, we at last have found the way
To Thee the World's great universal East,
The general and indifferent 2 Day.

1

King-All-circling point, all-centring sphere, The World's one, round, eternal year. 2 King-Whose full and all-unwrinkled face Nor sinks nor swells with time or place; 3 King-But every where, and every while Is one consistent, solid smile.

I King-Not vex'd and tost

2 King Twixt Spring and frost,

3 King-Nor by alternate shreds of light,

Sordidly shifting hands with shades and
Night.

1 Midnight. The highest point of the night. 2 Impartial. Cf. the Prayer for the Church Militant in the Holy Communion Service in English Book of Common Prayer. "That they may truly and indifferently minister justice."

Chorus- O little All, in Thy embrace

The World lies warm, and likes his place;
Nor does his full globe fail to be
Kiss'd on both his cheeks by Thee.
Time is too narrow for Thy year,
Nor makes the whole World Thy half-
sphere.

1 King-To Thee, to Thee

2 King-From him,1 whom by a more illustrious lie, The blindness of the World did call the eye.

3 King-To Him, Who by these mortal clouds hast made

From him we flee.

Thyself our sun, though Thine Own shade. 1 King-Farewell, the World's false light, Farewell, the white

Egypt, a long farewell to thee,
Bright idol, black idolatry:

2 King

3 King

Chorus

The dire face of inferior darkness, kist
And courted in the pompous mask of a
more specious mist.
Farewell, farewell

The proud and misplaced gates of
Hell,

Perch'd in the Morning's way,

And double-gilded as the doors of Day:
The deep hypocrisy of Death and Night
More desperately dark, because more
bright.

Welcome, the World's sure way,
Heaven's wholesome ray.

Welcome to us; and we
(Sweet,) to ourselves, in Thee.

1 The sun.

The deathless Heir of all Thy Father's day;

1 King

2 King

3 King

Decently 1 born,

Morn:

Embosom'd in a much more rosy
The blushes of Thy all-unblemish'd Mother,
No more that other
Aurora 2 shall set ope

Her ruby casements, or hereafter hope
From mortal eyes

To meet religious welcomes at her rise.3

Chorus-We (precious ones,) in you have won
A gentler Morn, a juster Sun.

1 King His superficial beams sun-burnt our skin; 2 KingBut left within

3 King-The Night and Winter still of Death and Sin.

Chorus-Thy softer yet more certain darts
Spare our eyes, but pierce our hearts :

1 King Therefore with his proud Persian spoils 2 King-We court Thy more concerning smiles. 3 KingTherefore with his disgrace

We gild the humble cheek of this chaste place;

Chorus -And at Thy feet pour forth his face.

I King-The doating Nations now no more
Shall any day but Thine adore.

2 King-Nor (much less) shall they leave these eyes For cheap Egyptian deities.

2 The dawn.

1 Without ostentation.

3 Refers to their worship of the sun.

3 King-In whatsoe'er more sacred shape
Of ram, he-goat, or rev'rend ape;
Those beauteous ravishers oppress'd so sore
The too-hard tempted nations:
Never more

I King

By wanton heifer shall be worn 2 King-A garland, or a gilded horn:

The altar-stall'd ox, fat Osiris 1 now
With his fair sister cow,

3 King-Shall kick the clouds no more; 2 but lean and tame,

Chorus- See His horn'd face, and die for shame : And Mithra 3 now shall be no name.

I King-No longer shall the immodest lust
Of adulterous godless dust

2 King-Fly in the face of Heaven; as if it were
The poor
World's fault that He is fair.

3 King-Nor with perverse loves and religious rapes 4 Revenge Thy bounties in their beauteous

shapes ;

And punish best things worst, because they stood

Guilty of being much for them too good. I King-Proud sons of Death, that durst compel Heaven itself to find them Hell:

2 King-And by strange wit of madness wrest From this World's ast the other's West.

1 An Egyptian deity, husband of Isis, goddess of the

moon.

2 No more shall oxen be sacrificed to the gods.

3 Mithras, god of the sun among the Persians. He is represented kneeling on a bull and cutting its throat.

The actions of the pagan gods.

« PreviousContinue »