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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

Of the Epiphany

Sir John Beaumont (1583–1627)

FAIRE Easterne starre, that art ordain’d to runne

Before the sages, to the rising Sunne,

Here cease thy course, and wonder that the cloud

Of this poore stable can thy Maker shroud:

Ye heauenly bodies, glory to be bright,

And are esteem’d, as ye are rich in light:

But here on earth is taught a diff’rent way,

Since vnder this low roofe the Highest lay;

Ierusalem erects her stately towres,

Displayes her windowes, and adornes her bowres;

Yet there thou must not cast a trembling sparke:

Let Herod’s palace still continue darke;

Each schoole and synagogue thy force repels,

There Pride enthron’d in misty errours, dwels,

The temple, where the priests maintaine their quire,

Shall taste no beame of thy celestiall fire;

While this weake cottage all thy splendor takes,

A joyfull gate of eu’ry chinke it makes.

Here shines no golden roofe, no iu’ry staire,

No king exalted in a stately chaire,

Girt with attendants, or by heralds styl’d,

But straw and hay inwrap a speechlesse child;

Yet Sabae’s lords before this Babe vnfold

Their treasures, off’ring incense, myrrh and gold.

The cribbe becomes an altar; therefore dies

No oxe nor sheepe; for in their fodder lies

The Prince of Peace, who thankfull for His bed,

Destroyes those rites, in which their blood was shed:

The quintessence of earth, He takes and fees,

And precious gummes distill’d from weeping trees;

Rich metals and sweet odours now declare

The glorious blessings, which His lawes prepare

To cleare vs from the base and lothsome flood

Of sense, and make vs fit for angels’ food,

Who lift to God for vs the holy smoke

Of feruent prayers, with which we Him inuoke,

And trie our actions in that searching fire,

By which the seraphims our lips inspire:

No muddy drosse pure min’ralls shall infect,

We shall exhale our vapours vp direct:

No stormes shall crosse, nor glitt’ring lights deface

Perpetuall sighes, which seeke a happy place.