Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

CHARLES BEST

17TH CENTURY

A SONNET OF THE MOON

Look how the pale Queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
And he, as long as she is in his sight,

With his full tide is ready her to honour:

But when the silver waggon of the Moon

Is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
The sea calls home his crystal waves to moan,
And with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.

So you that are the sovereign of my heart,
Have all my joys attending on your will,
My joys low ebbing when you do depart,

When you return, their tide my heart doth fill.

So as you come, and as you do depart,
Joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.

JOHN MILTON

1608-1674

HYMN ON CHRIST'S NATIVITY

IT was the winter wild

While the heaven-born Child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;

Nature in awe to Him

Had doffed her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathise:

It was no season then for her

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.

Only with speeches fair

She woos the gentle air

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow:
And on her naked shame,

Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw; Confounded, that her Maker's eyes

Should look so near upon her foul deformities.

But He, her fears to cease,

Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;

She, crowned with olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere,

His ready harbinger,

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing;

And waving wide her myrtle wand,

She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.

No war, or battle's sound

Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high uphung;
The hooked chariot stood

Unstained with hostile blood;

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;

And kings sat still with awful eye,

As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,

Smoothly the waters kist,

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,

Who now hath quite forgot to rave,

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious 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.

And though the shady gloom

Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld 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

Than his bright throne or burning axletree could bear.

The shepherds on the lawn,

Or ere the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;

Full little thought they than

That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;

Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,

Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

When such music sweet

Their hearts and ears did greet
As never was by mortal fingers strook-
Divinely-warbled voice

Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took;

The air, such pleasure loth to lose,

With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.

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 done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ;

She knew such harmony alone

Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.

At last surrounds their sight

A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shamefaced night arrayed;

The helmed Cherubim

And sworded Seraphim

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed, Harping in loud and solemn quire,

With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born Heir.

Such music (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-balanced world on hinges hung;

And cast the dark foundations deep,

And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.

Ring out, ye crystal spheres!

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 bass of heaven's deep organ blow

And with your ninefold harmony

Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.

For if such holy song

Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back and fetch the age of gold;
And speckled Vanity

Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;

And Hell itself will pass away,

And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

Yea, Truth and Justice then

Will down return to men,

Orbed in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between

Throned in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering

And Heaven, as at some festival,

Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.

But wisest Fate says No;

This must not yet be so;

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »