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The Hymn

Written by: John Milton | Biography
 | Quotes (101) |
 I

It was the Winter wilde,
While the Heav'n-born-childe, 
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in aw to him
Had doff't her gawdy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.
II Only with speeches fair She woo'd the gentle Air To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow, And on her naked shame, Pollute with sinfull blame, The Saintly Vail of Maiden white to throw, Confounded, that her Makers eyes Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
III But he her fears to cease, Sent down the meek-eyd Peace, She crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding Down through the turning sphear His ready Harbinger, With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, And waving wide her mirtle wand, She strikes a universall Peace through Sea and Land.
IV No War, or Battails sound Was heard the World around, The idle spear and shield were high up hung; The hooked Chariot stood Unstain'd with hostile blood, The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng, And Kings sate still with awfull eye, As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.
V But peacefull was the night Wherin the Prince of light His raign of peace upon the earth began: The Windes with wonder whist, Smoothly the waters kist, Whispering new joyes to the milde Ocean, Who now hath quite forgot to rave, While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.
VI The Stars with deep amaze Stand fit in steadfast gaze, Bending one way their pretious influence, And will not take their flight, For all the morning light, Or Lucifer that often warned them thence; But in their glimmering Orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.
VII And though the shady gloom Had given day her room, The Sun himself with-held his wonted speed, And hid his head for shame, As his inferior flame, The new enlightened world no more should need; He saw a greater Sun appear Then his bright Throne, or burning Axletree could bear.
VIII The Shepherds on the Lawn, Or ere the point of dawn, Sate simply chatting in a rustic row; Full little thought they than, That the mighty Pan Was kindly com to live with them below; Perhaps their loves, or els their sheep, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busie keep.
IX When such Musick sweet Their hearts and ears did greet, As never was by mortal finger strook, Divinely-warbled voice Answering the stringed noise, As all their souls in blisfull rapture took: The Air such pleasure loth to lose, With thousand echo's still prolongs each heav'nly close.
X Nature that heard such sound Beneath the hollow round of Cynthia's seat the Airy region thrilling, Now was almost won To think her part was don And that her raign had here its last fulfilling; She knew such harmony alone Could hold all Heav'n and Earth in happier union.
XI At last surrounds their sight A globe of circular light, That with long beams the shame faced night arrayed The helmed Cherubim And sworded Seraphim, Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displaid, Harping in loud and solemn quire, With unexpressive notes to Heav'ns new-born Heir.
XII Such Musick (as 'tis said) Before was never made, But when of old the sons of morning sung, While the Creator Great His constellations set, And the well-ballanc't world on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.
XIII Ring out ye Crystall sphears, Once bless our human ears, (If ye have power to touch our senses so) And let your silver chime Move in melodious time; And let the Base of Heav'ns deep Organ blow, And with your ninefold harmony Make up full consort to th'Angelike symphony.
XIV For if such holy Song Enwrap our fancy long, Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold, And speckl'd vanity Will sicken soon and die, And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould, And Hell it self will pass away And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
XV Yea Truth, and Justice then Will down return to men, Th'enameld Arras of the Rain-bow wearing, And Mercy set between Thron'd in Celestiall sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down stearing, And Heav'n as at som festivall, Will open wide the gates of her high Palace Hall.
XVI But wisest Fate sayes no, This must not yet be so, The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy, That on the bitter cross Must redeem our loss; So both himself and us to glorifie: Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep, The Wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep, XVII With such a horrid clang As on Mount Sinai rang While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake: The aged Earth agast With terrour of that blast, Shall from the surface to the center shake; When at the worlds last session, The dreadfull Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne.
XVIII And then at last our bliss Full and perfect is, But now begins; for from this happy day Th'old Dragon under ground In straiter limits bound, Not half so far casts his usurped sway, And wrath to see his Kingdom fail, Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail.
XIX The Oracles are dumm, No voice or hideous humm Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine Can no more divine, With hollow shreik the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Inspire's the pale-ey'd Priest from the prophetic cell.
XX The lonely mountains o're, And the resounding shore, A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament; From haunted spring, and dale Edg'd with poplar pale The parting Genius is with sighing sent, With flowre-inwov'n tresses torn The Nimphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.
XXI In consecrated Earth, And on the holy Hearth, The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight plaint, In Urns, and Altars round, A drear, and dying sound Affrights the Flamins at their service quaint; And the chill Marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat.
XXII Peor, and Baalim, Forsake their Temples dim, With that twise-batter'd god of Palestine, And mooned Ashtaroth, Heav'ns Queen and Mother both, Now sits not girt with Tapers holy shine, The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn, In vain the Tyrian Maids their wounded Thamuz mourn.
XXIII And sullen Moloch fled, Hath left in shadows dred, His burning Idol all of blackest hue, In vain with Cymbals ring, They call the grisly king, In dismall dance about the furnace Blue; And Brutish gods of Nile as fast, lsis and Orus, and the Dog Anubis hast.



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