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On the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.
Pure and spotless was the maid,
That to the temple came;
Although she brought the Lamb.
To be purify'd,
And purify our souls, for we
From our conception,
We present our souls to thee
Full of need and misery:
A sacrifice to thee,
On Good Friday.
The Lamb is eaten, and is yet again
Preparing to be slain;
And must be drunk :
Wormwood and gall
Yet the decree is fix’d.
Could not entreat.
His sad soul sunk Under the heavy pressure of our sin :
The pains of death and hell
About him dwell.
Rivers of blood,
His boiling body stood
Bubbling all o'er
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,
for whom Thou underwent'st this heavy doom, And give us of the well of life to drink.
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,
How good a God have we, who, for our sake,
To save us from the burning lake,
At first he made
The heavens bow :
And said, 6. Let us like ourselves make man,
And not from man the woman take,
What glorious light!
How bright a sun, after so sad a night,
That did behold
That saw the first ray:
The second glimpse o'th' day.
In his new dress
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.
On the Day of Ascension.
He is risen higher, not set:
Indeed a cloud
The Sun of Glory from Mount Olivet.
When every ray shall be a tongue
That we, the saints among,
On the Feast of Pentecost, or Whitsunday.
TONGUES of fire from heaven descend
A living fire
And give men warning to defend
And all her gifts and graces, slide
Into our hearts, and there abide;
Even unto thee, dear Spirit,-
To such a dismal sum,
To count my score,
Much less to pay:
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,
To serve themselves in thy unhappy fate.