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Scarce dawns. O, pardon, if I dare to say
Thine own dear books are guilty: for from thence
I learnt to know that love is eloquence,
That heavenly maxim gave me heart to try
If, what to other tongues is tuned so high,
Thy praise might not speak English, too; forbid,
By all thy mysteries that here lie hid,
Forbid it, mighty love! let no fond hate
Of names and words so far prejudicate;
Souls are not Spaniards, too, one friendly flood
Of baptism blends them all into one blood.
Christ's faith makes but one body of all souls,
And love's that body's soul; no law controls
Our free traffic for heaven; we may maintain
Peace, sure, with piety, though it come from Spain.
What soul soe'er in any language can
Speak heaven like hers is my soul's countryman.
\O, 'tis not Spanish, but 'tis heaven she speaks,
'Tis heaven that lies in ambush there, and breaks
From thence into the wond'ring reader's breast,
Who finds his warm heart hatch into a nest
Of little eagles and young loves, whose high
Flights scorn the lazy dust, and things that die.
There are enow, whose draughts, as deep as hell,
Drink up all Spain in sack. Let my soul swell
With thee, strong wine of love! let others swim
In puddles; we will pledge this Seraphim
Bowls full of richer blood than blush of grape
Was ever guilty of; change we, too, our shape,
My soul! Some drink from men to beasts; O, then,
Drink we till we prove more, not less, than men:
And turn not beasts, but angels. Let the king
Me ever into these His cellars bring,
Where flows such wine as we can have of none
But Him who trod the winepress all alone :
Wine of youth's life, and the sweet deaths of love ;
Wine of immortal mixture, which can prove
Its tincture from the rosy nectar; wine
That can exalt weak earth; and so refine
Our dust, that at one draught mortality
May drink itself up, and forget to die.
ON A TREATISE OF CHARITY.
ISE, then, immortal maid! religion rise!
Put on thyself in thine own looks : tour eyes
Be what thy beauties, not our blots, have
Such ere our dark sins to dust betray'd thee,
Heav'n set thee down new-dress'd; when thy bright birth
Shot thee like lightning to th' astonish'd earth.
From th' dawn of thy fair eyelids wipe away
Dull mists and melancholy clouds : take day
And thine own beams about thee: bring the best
Of whatsoe'er perfumed thy eastern nest.
Gird all thy glories to thee: then sit down,
Open this book, fair queen, and take thy crown.
These learned leaves shall vindicate to thee
Thy holiest, humblest, handmaid, Charity;
She'll dress thee like thyself, set thee on high
Where thou shalt reach all hearts, command each eye.
Lo! where I see thy off'rings wake, and rise
From the pale dust of that strange sacrifice
Which they themselves were; each one putting on
A majesty that may beseem thy throne.
The holy youth of heav'n, whose golden rings
Girt round thy awful altars, with bright wings
Fanning thy fair locks, which the world believes
As much as sees, shall with these sacred leaves
Trick their tall plumes, and in that garb shall go
If not more glorious, more conspicuous though.
-Be it enacted, then,
By the fair laws of thy firm-pointed pen,
God's services no longer shall put on
A sluttishness for pure religion :
No longer shall our churches' frighted stones
Lie scatter'd like the burnt and martyr'd bones
Of dead devotion ; nor faint marbles weep
In their sad ruins; nor religion keep
A melancholy mansion in those cold
like God's sanctuaries they look'd of old ;
Now seem they temples consecrate to none,
Or to a new god, Desolation.
No more th' hypocrite shall th' upright be
Because he's stiff, and will confess no knee:
While others bend their knee, no more shalt thou,
Disdainful dust and ashes, bend thy brow,
Nor on God's altar cast two scorching eyes,
Baked in hot scorn, for a burnt sacrifice;
But, for a lamb, thy tame and tender heart,
New struck by love, still trembling on his dart ;
Or, for two turtle-doves, it shall suffice
To bring a pair of meek and humble eyes ;
This shall from henceforth be the masculine theme
pens shall sweat in; to redeem
Virtue to action ; that life-feeding flame
That keeps religion warm: not swell a name
Of faith, a mountain-word, made up of air,
With those dear spoils that want to dress the fair
And fruitful charity's full breasts, of old,
Turning her out to tremble in the cold.
What can the poor hope from us? when we be
Uncharitable even to Charity.
ON THE GLORIOUS ASSUMPTION OF THE
ARK! she is call’d, the parting hour is come; Take thy farewell, poor world, Heaven must go
home. A piece of heavenly light, purer and brighter Than the chaste stars, whose choice lamps come to light her, While through the crystal orbs, clearer than they, She climbs, and makes a far more milky way. She's call’d again ; hark ! how th’immortal dove Sighs to his silver mate: rise up, my love, Rise up, my fair, my spotless one ! The winter's past, the rain is gone : The spring is come, the flowers appear, No sweets, since thou are wanting here.
She's call'd again, and will she go
When heav'n bids come, who can say no?
Heav'n calls her, and she must away;
Heav'n will not, and she cannot stay.
Go then, go, glorious, on the golden wings
Of the bright youth of heaven, that sings
Under so sweet a burden: go,
Since thy great Son will have it so :
And while thou go'st, our song and we
Will, as we may, reach after thee.
Hail! holy queen of humble hearts,
We in thy praise will have our parts;
And though thy dearest looks must now be light
To none but the blest heavens, whose bright
Beholders, lost in sweet delight,
Feed for ever their fair sight
With those divinest
And our dark world no more shall see.
Though our poor joys are parted so,
Yet shall our lips never let go
Thy gracious name, but to the last
Our loving song shall hold it fast.
Thy sacred name shall be
Thyself to us, and we