England's Antiphon

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This is the month, and this the happy morn,

Wherein the son of heaven's eternal king,

Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,

Our great redemption from above did bring; For so the holy sages once did sing,

That he our deadly forfeit should release,

And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.

That glorious form, that light insufferable,

And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,

Wherewith he wont[109] at heaven's high council-table

To sit the midst of trinal unity, He laid aside, and here with us to be,

Forsook the courts of everlasting day,

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein

Afford a present to the infant God?

Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain

To welcome him to this his new abode, Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,

Hath took no print of the approaching light,

And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?

See how, from far upon the eastern road,

The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet!

run, prevent them with thy humble ode, And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet;

And join thy voice unto the angel choir,

From out his secret altar touched with hallowed fire.

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