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On the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.
PURE and spotless was the maid,
That to the temple came;
A pair of turtle doves she paid,
Although she brought the Lamb.
Pure and spotless though she were,
Her body chaste, and her soul fair,
She to the temple went
To be purify'd,
That she was spotless and obedient.
O make us follow so bless'd precedent,
And purify our souls, for we
Are cloth'd with sin and misery.
From our conception,
And a continued state of sin
Hath sullied all our faculties within.
We present our souls to thee
Full of need and misery:
And, for redemption, a Lamb
The purest, whitest, that e'er came
A sacrifice to thee,
Even him that bled upon the tree.
THE Lamb is eaten, and is yet again
Preparing to be slain;
The cup is full and mix’d,
And must be drunk:
Wormwood and gall
To this, are draughts to beguile care withal,
Yet the decree is fix’d.
Doubled knees, and groans, and cries,
Prayers, and sighs, and flowing eyes,
Could not entreat.
His sad soul sunk Under the heavy pressure of our sin: The pains of death and hell About him dwell. His Father's burning wrath did make His very heart, like melting wax, to sweat Rivers of blood, Through the pure strainer of his skin: His boiling body stood Bubbling all o'er, As if the wretched whole were but one door To let in pain and grief, - And turn out all relief. O Thou, who for our sake Didst drink up This bitter cup, Remember us, we pray. In thy day, When down The struggling throats of wicked men The dregs of thy just fury shall be thrown. O then Let thy unbounded mercy think On us, for whom Thou underwent'st this heavy doom, And give us of the well of life to drink. Amen.
On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.
A wingED harbinger, from bright heav'n flown,
Bespeaks a lodging room
For the mighty King of love,
The spotless structure of a virgin womb,
O'ershadow’d with the wings of the blest dove:
For he was travelling to earth,
But did desire to lay
By the way,
That he might shift his clothes, and be
A perfect man as well as we.
How good a God have we, who, for our sake,
To save us from the burning lake,
Did change the order of creation;
At first he made
Man like himself in his own image; now
In the more blessed reparation
The heavens bow:
Eternity took the measure of a span,
“Let us like ourselves make man,
And not from man the woman take,
But from the woman, man.”
Allelujah! We adore
His name, whose goodness hath no store.
WHAT glorious light ! How bright a sun, after so sad a night, Does now begin to dawn | Blessed were those eyes, That did behold This sun, when he did first unfold His glorious beams, and now begin to rise: It was the holy tender sex, That saw the first ray: Saint Peter and the other had the reflex, The second glimpse o' th' day. Innocence had the first, and he That fled, and then did penance, next did see The glorious Sun of righteousness, In his new dress Of triumph, immortality, and bliss. O dearest God, preserve our souls In holy innocence; Or, if we do amiss, Make us to rise again to th’ life of grace, That we may live with thee, and see thy glorious face,
The crown of holy penitence.
He is risen higher, not set:
Indeed a cloud
Did, with his leave, make bold to shroud
The Sun of Glory from Mount Olivet.
At Pentecost, he’ll show himself again;
When every ray shall be a tongue
To speak all comforts, and inspire
Our souls with their celestial fire;
That we, the saints among,
May sing, and love, and reign.
On the Feast of Pentecost, or Whitsunday.
To NGUEs of fire from heaven descend
With a mighty rushing wind,
To blow it up and make
A living fire
Of heav'nly charity, and pure desire,
Where they their residence should take.
On the apostles’ sacred heads they sit;
Who now, like beacons, do proclaim and tell
Th’ invasion of the host of hell;
And give men warning to defend
Themselves from the enraged brunt of it.
Lord, let the flames of holy charity,
And all her gifts and graces, slide
Into our hearts, and there abide;
That thus refined, we may soar above
With it unto the element of love,
Even unto thee, dear Spirit,
And there eternal peace and rest inherit.
LoRD, I have sinned : and the black number swells
To such a dismal sum,
That, should my stony heart, and eyes,
And this whole sinful trunk, a flood become,
And run to tears, their drops could not suffice
To count my score,
Much less to pay:
But thou, my God, hast blood in store,
And art the Patron of the poor.
Yet since the balsam of thy blood,
Although it can, will do no good,
Unless the wounds be cleans'd with tears before;
Thou in whose sweet but pensive face
Laughter could never steal a place,
Teach but my heart and eyes
To melt away,
And then one drop of balsam will suffice.
GREAT God, and just how canst thou see,
Dear God, our misery,
And not, in mercy, set us free
Poor miserable man how wert thou born
Weak as the dewy jewels of the morn,
Wrapt up in tender dust,
Guarded with sins and lust,
Who, like court-flatterers, wait
To serve themselves in thy unhappy fate.
Wealth is a snare; and poverty brings in
Inlets for theft, paving the way for sin:
Each perfum’d vanity doth gently breath
Sin in thy soul, and whispers it to death.
Our faults, like ulcerated sores, do go
O'er the sound flesh, and do corrupt that too.