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To pass for odoriferous,
But such alone whose sacred pedigree
Can prove itself some kin (sweet Name!) to Thee.
Sweet Name, in Thy each syllable
A thousand blest Arabias dwell;
A thousand hills of frankincense;
Mountains of myrrh, and beds of spices
And ten thousand Paradises,
The soul that tastes Thee takes from thence.
How many unknown worlds there are
Of comforts, which Thou hast in keeping!
How many thousand mercies there
In Pity's soft lap lie a-sleeping!
Happy he who has the art
To awake them,
Little, alas, thought they
Who tore the fair breasts of Thy friends,
Their fury but made way
For Thee, and served them in Thy glorious ends.
What did their weapons but with wider
Enlarge Thy flaming-breasted lovers,
More freely to transpire
That impatient fire,
The heart that hides Thee hardly covers?
And to take them
Home, and lodge them in his heart.
O, that it were as it was wont to be!
When Thy old friends of fire, all full of Thee,
Fought against frowns with smiles; gave glorious chase
To persecutions; and against the face
Of Death and fiercest dangers, durst with brave
And sober pace, march on to meet A GRAVE.
On their bold breasts, about the world they bore Thee,
And to the teeth of Hell stood up to teach Thee,
In centre of their inmost souls, they wore Thee;
Where racks and torments strived, in vain, to reach
What did their weapons but set wide the doors
For Thee? fair, purple doors, of Love's devising;
The ruby windows which enrich'd the East
Of Thy so oft-repeated rising!
Each wound of theirs was Thy new morning,
And re-enthroned Thee in Thy rosy nest,
With blush of Thine Own blood Thy day adorning :
It was the wit of Love o'erflow'd the bounds
Or, if there be such sons of shame,
Alas! what will they do
When stubborn rocks shall bow
Of Wrath, and made Thee way through all those wounds.
Welcome, dear, all-adorèd Name!
For sure thee is no knee
That knows not Thee:
And hills hang down their heaven-saluting heads
To seek for humble beds
Shall then, with just confusion bow
And break before Thee.
Of dust, where in the bashful shades of Night
Next to their own low Nothing, they may lie,
And couch before the dazzling light of Thy dread majesty.
They that by Love's mild dictate now
Will not adore Thee,
DIES IRE, DIES ILLA :
THE HYMN OF THE CHURCH, IN MEDITATION OF
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
HEAR'ST thou, my soul, what serious things
Both the Psalm and Sybil sings
Of a sure Judge, from Whose sharp ray
The World in flames shall fly away.
O that fire! before whose face
Heaven and Earth shall find no place.
O those eyes! Whose angry light
Must be the day of that dread night.
O that trump! whose blast shall run
An even round with the circling sun,
And urge the murmuring graves to bring
Pale mankind forth to meet his King.
Horror of Nature, Hell, and Death!
When a deep groan from beneath
Shall cry, "We come, we come," and all
The caves of Night answer one call.
O that Book! whose leaves so bright
Will set the World in severe light.
O that Judge! Whose hand, Whose eye
None can endure; yet none can fly..
Ah then, poor soul, what wilt thou say?
And to what patron choose to pray?
When stars themselves shall stagger; and
The most firm foot no more then stand.
But Thou giv'st leave (dread Lord!) that we
Take shelter from Thyself, in Thee;
And with the wings of Thine Own dove
Fly to Thy sceptre of soft love.
Dear, remember in that Day
Who was the cause Thou cam'st this way.
Thy sheep was stray'd; and Thou would'st be
Even lost Thyself in seeking me.
Shall all that labour, all that cost
Of love, and ev'n that loss, be lost?
And this lov'd soul, judg'd worth no less
Than all that way, and weariness?
Just mercy then, Thy reck'ning be
With my Price, and not with me;
'Twas paid at first with too much pain,
To be paid twice; or once, in vain.
Mercy (my Judge), mercy I cry
With blushing cheek and bleeding eye:
The conscious colours of my sin
Are red without and pale within.
O let Thine Own soft bowels pay
Thyself; and so discharge that day.
If Sin can sigh, Love can forgive:
O say the word, my soul shall live!
Those mercies which Thy Mary found,
Or who Thy cross confess'd and crown'd;
Hope tells my heart, the same loves be
Still alive, and still for me.
Though both my prayers and tears combine,
Both worthless are; for they are mine.
But Thou Thy bounteous Self still be;
And show Thou art, by saving me.
O when Thy last frown shall proclaim
The flocks of goats to folds of flame,
And all Thy lost sheep found shall be;
Let "Come, ye blessed," then call me.
When the dread "Ite" shall divide
Those limbs of death from Thy left side;
Let those life-speaking lips command
That I inherit Thy right hand.