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Love! lift me up upon thy golden wings
From this base world unto thy heaven's height, Where I may see those admirable things
Which there thou workest by thy sovereign might,
Far above feeble reach of earthly sight, That I thereof an heavenly hymn may sing Unto the God of Love, high heaven's King.
Before this world's great frame, in which all things
Are now contained, found any being place, Ere flitting Time could wag his eyas' wings
About that mighty bound which doth embrace
The rolling spheres, and parts their hours by space, That high Eternal power, which now doth move In all these things, moved in itself by love.
It loved itself because itself was fair,
(For fair is loved,) and of itself begot, Like to itself, his eldest son and heir,
Eternal, pure, and void of sinful blot,
The firstling of his joy, in whom no jot
With Him He reigned before all time prescribed,
In endless glory and immortal might, Together with that Third from them derived,
Most wise, most holy, most Almighty Sprite,
Whose kingdom's throne no thoughts of earthly wight Can comprehend, much less my trembling verse With equal words can hope it to rehearse.
Eyas, young, newly fledged; a young hawk not fit for fight.
Yet, 0 most blessed Spirit! pure lamp of light,
Eternal spring of grace and wisdom true, Vouchsafe to shed into my barren sprite
Some little drop of thy celestial dew,
That may my rhymes with sweet infuse imbrue,
Yet being pregnant still with powerful grace,
And full of fruitful love, that loves to get Things like 'Himself, and to enlarge his race,
His second brood, though not of power so great,
Yet full of beauty, next He did beget
To show the heaven's illimitable height,
(Not this round heaven which we from hence behold,) Adorned with thousand lamps of burning light,
And with ten thousand gems of shining gold,
He gave as their inheritance to hold, That they might serve him in eternal bliss, And be partakers of those joys of his.
There they in their trinal triplicities
About Him wait, and on his will depend, Either with nimble wings to cut the skies
When He them on his messages doth send,
Or on his own dread presence to attend, Where they behold the glory of his light, And carol hymns of love both day and night.
Both day and night is unto them all one,
For He his beams doth unto them extend, That darkness there appeareth never none;
Nor hath their day, nor hath their bliss, an end,
But there their timeless time in pleasure spend;
But pride, impatient of long-resting peace,
· Did puff them up with greedy bold ambition, That they 'gan cast their state how to increase
Above the fortune of their first condition,
And sit in God's own seat without commission :
The Almighty, seeing their so bold assay,
Kindled the flame of his consuming ire,
From heaven's height, to which they did aspire,
To deepest hell and lake of damned fire,
So that next offspring of the Maker's love,
Next to Himself in glorious degree,
Through pride, (for pride and love may ill agree,)
And now of sin to all ensample be.
Still flowing forth his goodness unto all,
In his wide palace, through these angels' fall,
Cast to supply the same, and to install
Therefore of clay, base, vile, and next to naught,
Yet formed by wondrous skill, and by his might,
Which He had fashioned in his wise foresight,
Into his face most beautiful and fair,
Such He him made, that he resemble might
Himself as mortal thing immortal could ; Him to be lord of every living wight
He made by love out of his own like mould,
In whom He might his mighty self behold;
But man, forgetful of his Maker's grace,
No less than angels whom he did ensue,' Fell from the hope of promised heavenly place
Into the mouth of death, to sinners due,
And all his offspring into thraldom threw,
Till that great Lord of Love, which him at first
Made of mere love and after liked well, Seeing him lie like creature long accursed
In that deep horror of despairing hell,
Him wretch in dole would let no longer dwell, But cast out of that bondage to redeem And pay the price, alls were his debt extreme.
Out of the bosom of eternal bliss
In which He reigned with his glorious sire, He down descended, like a most demiss
And abject thrall, in flesh's frail attire,
That He for him might pay sin's deadly bire, And him restore into that happy state In which he stood before his hapless fate.
In flesh at first the guilt committed was,
Therefore in flesh it must be satisfied ;
Could make amends to God for man's misguide,
But only man himself, whose self did slide :
And that most blessed body, which was born
Without all blemish or reproachful blame,
Of cruel hands, who, with despiteful shame
Reviling Him that them most vile became,
O blessed well of love ! O flower of grace !
O glorious morning star! O lamp of light !
Eternal King of Glory, Lord of Might,
Meek Lamb of God before all worlds belight,'
Yet naught thou ask'st in lieu of all this love
But love of us, for guerdon of thy pain.
Had He required life of us again,
Had it been wrong to ask his own again ?
But He our life hath left unto us free,
Free that was thrall, and blessed that was banned,
As He himself hath loved us aforehand,