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XXVI

SACRED MUSIC

—To our high-raised phantasy present

That undisturbed song of pure consent,

Aye sung before the sapphire-colourti throne

To Him that sits thereon,

With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;

Where the bright seraphim in burning row,

Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow;

And the cherubic host, in thousand choirs,

Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,

With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,

Hymns devout, and holy psalms,

Singing everlastingly:

That we on earth with undiscording voice,

May rightly answer that melodious noise;

As once we did, till disproportion'd sin

Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din

Broke the fair music that all creatures made

To their great Lord, whose love their motion

sway'd In perfect diapason whilst they stood, In first obedience and their state of good. O, may we soon again renew that song And keep in tune with heaven, till God ere long To His celestial concert us unite To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!

John Milton

XXVII

CHURCH MUSIC

But let my due feet never fail

To walk the studious cloisters pale,

And love the high embowed roof

With antique pillars massy proof,

And storied windows richly dight

Casting a dim religious light;

There let the pealing organ blow

To the full-voiced choir below

In service high, and anthem clear,

As may with sweetness, thro' mine ear,

Dissolve me into ecstasies

And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.

John Milton

XXVIII

EARTH AND HEAVEN

The roseate hues of early dawn,

The brightness of the day,
The crimson of the sunset sky,

How fast they fade away!
O for the pearly gates of heaven!

O for the golden floor!
O for the Sun of Righteousness

That setteth nevermore!

The highest hopes we cherish here,
How fast they tire and faint!

How many a spot defiles the robe
That wraps an earthly saint!

O for a heart that never sins!

O for a soul wash'd white!
O for a voice to praise our King,

Nor weary day or night!

Here faith is ours, and heavenly hope,

And grace to lead us higher:
But there are perfectness and peace

Beyond our best desire.
O, by Thy love and anguish, Lord!

O, by Thy life laid down!
O, that we fall not from Thy grace,

Nor cast away our crown!

C. F. Alexander

XXIX

EVENING HYMN

Glory to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own Almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done;
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed;
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the awful day.

O let my soul on Thee repose;
And may sweet sleep mine eyelids close:
Sleep, that shall me more vigVous make
To serve my God when I awake.

If in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
May no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, angelic host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Bishop Thomas Ken

II
THE INCARNATE WORD

XXX

THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST

For Thou wert born of woman! Thou didst come,
O Holiest, to this world of sin and gloom,
Not in Thy dread omnipotent array;

And not by thunders strewtt

Was Thy tempestuous road; Nor indignation burn'd before Thee on Thy way.

But Thee, a soft and naked child,

Thy mother undefiled

In the rude manger laid to rest

From off her virgin breast.

The Heavens were not commanded to prepare

A gorgeous canopy of golden air;

Nor stoop'd their lamps th' enthroned fires on high:

A single silent star

Came wand'ring from afar, Gliding uncheck'd and calm along the liquid sky,

The Eastern sages leading on

As at a kingly throne,

To lay their gold and odours sweet

Before Thy infant feet.
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