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CHRISTOPHER SMART

1722-1770

479                                             Song to David

SUBLIMEinvention ever young,
Of vast conception, towring tongue
     To God th eternal theme;
Notes from yon exaltations caught,
Unrivalld royalty of thought
     Oer meaner strains supreme!
His muse, bright angel of his verse,
Gives balm for all the thorns that pierce,
     For all the pangs that rage;
Blest light still gaining on the gloom,
The more than Michal of his bloom,
     Th Abishag of his age.
He sang of Godthe mighty source
Of all thingsthe stupendous force
     On which all strength depends;
From whose right arm, beneath whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise
     Commences, reigns, and ends.
Tell them, I am, Jehovah said
To Moses; while earth heard in dread,
     And, smitten to the heart,
At once above, beneath, around,
All Nature, without voice or sound,
     Replied, O Lord, Thou art.
The world, the clustering spheres, He made;
The glorious light, the soothing shade,
     Dale, champaign, grove, and hill;
The multitudinous abyss,
Where Secrecy remains in bliss,
     And Wisdom hides her skill.
The pillars of the Lord are seven,
Which stand from earth to topmost heaven;
     His Wisdom drew the plan;
His Word accomplishd the design,
From brightest gem to deepest mine;
     From Christ enthroned, to Man.
For Adoration all the ranks
Of Angels yield eternal thanks,
     And David in the midst;
With Gods good poor, which, last and least
In mans esteem, Thou to Thy feast,
     O blessàd Bridegroom, biddst!
For Adoration, Davids Psalms
Lift up the heart to deeds of alms;
     And he, who kneels and chants,
Prevails his passions to control,
Finds meat and medicine to the soul,
     Which for translation pants.
For Adoration, in the dome
Of Christ, the sparrows find a home,
     And on His olives perch:
The swallow also dwells with thee,
O man of Gods humility,
     Within his Saviours church.
Sweet is the dew that falls betimes,
And drops upon the leafy limes;
     Sweet, Hermons fragrant air:
Sweet is the lilys silver bell,
And sweet the wakeful tapers smell
     That watch for early prayer.
Sweet the young nurse, with love intense,
Which smiles oer sleeping innocence;
     Sweet, when the lost arrive:
Sweet the musicians ardour beats,
While his vague minds in quest of sweets,
     The choicest flowers to hive.
Strong is the horse upon his speed;
Strong in pursuit the rapid glede,1
     Which makes at once his game:
Strong the tall ostrich on the ground;
Strong through the turbulent profound
     Shoots Xiphias2 to his aim.
Strong is the lionlike a coal
His eyeball,like a bastions mole
     His chest against the foes:
Strong the gier-eagle on his sail;
Strong against tide th enormous whale
     Emerges as he goes.
But stronger still, in earth and air,
And in the sea, the man of prayer,
      And far beneath the tide:
And in the seat to faith assignd,
Where ask is have, where seek is find,
     Where knock is open wide.
Precious the penitential tear;
And precious is the sigh sincere,
     Acceptable to God:
And precious are the winning flowers,
In gladsome Israels feast of bowers
     Bound on the hallowd sod.
Glorious the sun in mid career;
Glorious th assembled fires appear;
     Glorious the comets train:
Glorious the trumpet and alarm;
Glorious the Almightys stretchd-out arm;
     Glorious th enraptured main:
Glorious the northern lights astream;
Glorious the song, when Gods the theme;
     Glorious the thunders roar:
Glorious Hosanna from the den;
Glorious the catholic Amen;
     Glorious the martyrs gore:
Gloriousmore gloriousis the crown
Of Him that brought salvation down,
     By meekness calld thy Son:
Thou that stupendous truth believed;
And now the matchless deeds achieved,
     Determined, dared, and done!

1glede: kite.

2Xiphias: sword-fish.

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