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Poor world, said I, what wilt thou do

To entertain this starry stranger ? Is this the best thou canst bestow

A cold and not too cleanly manger ? Contend, the powers of heaven and earth, To fit a bed for this huge birth.

Proud world, said I, cease your control,

And let the mighty babe alone,
The phoenix builds the phenix's nest,

Love's architecture is his own.
The babe, whose birth embraves this morn,
Made his own bed ere he was born.

Welcome all wonders in one fight!

Eternity shut in a span ! Summer in winter, day in night!

Heaven in earth, and God in man! Great little one, whose all-embracing birth Lifts earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to earth!

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Welcome tho' not to those

gay Aies, Gilded ith' beams of earthly kings, Slippery souls in smiling eyes —

But to poor shepherds, homespun things, Whose wealth 's their Aocks, whose wit’s to be Well read in their fimplicity.

To Thee, meek Majesty, soft King,

Of simple graces and sweet loves !

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Each of us his lamb will bring,

Each his pair of silver doves!
At last, in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Ourselves become our own best sacrifice!

Crashaw. 1637–1650.


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UR Lord and brother who put on

Such Aesh as this we wear, Before us up to heaven is gone,

Our places to prepare :
Captivity was captive then,

And He doth from above
Send ghostly presents down to men,

For tokens of His love.

Each door and everlasting gate

To Him hath lifted been, And in a glorious wise thereat

Our King is enter'd in:
Whom if to follow we regard,

With love and leave we may,
For He hath all the means prepared,

And made an open way.

Then follow ; follow on apace

Our Captain to attend,

In that supreme and blessed place

Whereto He did ascend;
And for His honor let our voice

A thout so hearty make,
That heaven may at our joy rejoice,
And hell's foundation shake.

George Wither.



HE Son of God goes forth to war,

A kingly crown to gain ;
His blood-red banner streams afar,

Who follows in His train ?

Who best can drink his cup of woe,

Triumphant over pain,
Who patient bears his cross below,

He follows in His train !

That martyr first, whose eagle eye

Could look beyond the grave, Who saw his Master in the sky,

And called on him to save ;

Like Him, with pardon on his tongue,

In midst of mortal pain,

He prayed for those that did the wrong:

Who follows in his train ?

A noble band, the chosen few,

On whom the Spirit came, Twelve valiant souls, their hope they knew,

And mocked the torch of flame ;

They met the tyrant's brandished steel,

The lion's gory mane, They bowed their necks the stroke to feel,

Who follows in their train ?

A noble army, men and boys,

The matron and the maid, Around the throne of God rejoice,

In robes of light arrayed.

They climbed the steep ascents of heaven,

Thro' peril, toil, and pain;
O God! to us may grace be given,
To follow in their train !



HILST Andrew, as a fisher, sought

From pinching want his life to free, Christ call’d him, that he might be taught A fisherman of men to be.

And no delay therein he made, Nor questioned his Lord's intent; But quite forsaking all he had, With Him that called gladly went.

Would God we were prepared so
To follow Christ when He doth call,
And could as readily forego
Those nets which we are snared withal !

Yea, would this fisherman of men,
Might us by his example move
To leave the world, as he did then,
And by our works our faith approve.

But precepts and examples fail,
Till thou, O Lord, thy grace inspirest;
Vouchsafe it, and we shall prevail
In whatsoever thou requirest :

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