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YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more— -O thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son!1

1 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 6.


Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
Jam nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto.

Te duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri,
Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras....
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.

'Now the virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is sent down from high heaven. By means of thee, whatever relics of our crimes remain, shall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his father.' Isaiah, ch. vii. ver. 14. 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' Chap. ix. ver. 6, 7. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... the Prince of Peace: of the increase of his government, and of his peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever.'

From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies:
Th' ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud, shall fail;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;

Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob'd Innocence from Heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn!
O spring to light, auspicious babe! be born.
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,

2 Isaiah, ch. xi. ver. 1.

4 Ch. xxv. ver. 4.

6 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 18.


8 Ch. xlv. ver. 8.
6 Ch. ix. ver. 7.

At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu,
Errantes hederas passim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho-

Ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores.

'For thee, O child, shall the earth, without being tilled, produce her early offerings; winding ivy, mixed with baccar, and colocasia with smiling acanthus. Thy cradle shall pour forth pleasing flowers about thee.'

Isaiah, ch. xxxv. ver. 1. 'The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad.. and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.' Ch. Ix. ver. 13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary.'

With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon' his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;8
Prepare the way!9 a God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.


7 Isaiah, ch. xxxv. ver. 2.

8 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 48, Ecl. v. ver. 62.

Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deûm soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum!.

Ipsi lætitia voces ad sidera jactant

Intonsi montes, ipsæ jam carmina rupes,
Ipsa sonant arbusta, Deus, deus ille, Menalca!

'O come and receive the mighty honours: the time draws nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great increase of Jove!...The uncultivated mountains send shouts of joy to the stars, the very rocks sing in verse, the very shrubs cry out, A God, a God.'

Isaiah, chap. xl. ver. 3, 4. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a high way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.' Chap. xliv. ver. 23. 'Break forth into singing, ye mountains! O forest, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob.'

9 Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.


Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold!
Hear him,1 ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall
the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day:
'Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear,
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In2 adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And Hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,

Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promis'd father of the future age.


1 Isaiah, ch. xlii. ver. 18. Ch. xxxv. ver. 5, 6.

2 Ch. xxv. ver. 8.

8 Ch. xl. ver. 11.

4 Ch. ix. ver. 6.

No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field:
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
See lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;3
And start, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.

5 Isaiah, ch. ii. ver. 4.

6 Ch. lxv. ver. 21, 22.

7 Ch. xxxv. ver. 1, 7.


8 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 28.

Molli paulatim flavescet campus arista,
Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva,
Et duræ quercus sudabunt roscida mella.

'The fields shall grow yellow with ripened ears, and the red grape shall hang upon the wild brambles, and the hard oaks shall distil honey like dew.'

Isaiah, chap. xxxv. ver. 7. "The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.'-Chap. lv. ver. 13. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.'

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