Glorious

Glorious the sun in mid career;
Glorious the assembled fires appear;
Glorious the comet’s train:
Glorious the trumpet and alarm;
Glorious the Almighty’s stretched-out arm;
Glorious the enraptured main:

Glorious the northern lights a-stream;
Glorious the song, when God’s the theme;
Glorious the thunder’s roar:
Glorious Hosannah from the den;
Glorious the catholic Amen;
Glorious the martyr’s gore:

Glorious,—more glorious,—is the crown
Of Him that brought salvation down,
By meekness called Thy Son;
Thou that stupendous truth believed;—
And now the matchless deed’s achieved,
Determined, Dared, and Done.

 

from:  A Song To David
by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)

 

Precious

Precious the bounteous widow’s mite;
And precious, for extreme delight,
The largess from the churl:
Precious the ruby’s blushing blaze,
And alba’s blest imperial rays,
And pure cerulean pearl.

Precious the penitential tear;
And precious is the sigh sincere;
Acceptable to God:
And precious are the winning flowers,
In gladsome Israel’s feast of bowers,
Bound on the hallowed sod.

More precious that diviner part
Of David, even the Lord’s own heart
Great, beautiful, and new;
In all things where it was intent,
In all extremes, in each event,
Proof—answering true to true.

 

extract: A Song To David
by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)

Walk, Water, Meditated Wild

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 assigned,
Where ask is have, where seek is find,
Where knock is open wide.

Beauteous the fleet before the gale;
Beauteous the multitudes in mail,
Ranked arms, and crested heads;
Beauteous the garden’s umbrage mild
Walk, water, meditated wild,
And all the bloomy beds.

Beauteous the moon full on the lawn;
And beauteous when the veil’s withdrawn,
The virgin to her spouse:
Beauteous the temple, decked and filled,
When to the heaven of heavens they build
Their heart-directed vows.

Beauteous, yea beauteous more than these,
The Shepherd King upon his knees,
For his momentous trust;
With wish of infinite conceit,
For man, beast, mute, the small and great,
And prostrate dust to dust.

 extract: A Song To David
by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)

Xiphias: Shot to His Aim

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Sweet is the dew that falls betimes,
And drops upon the leafy limes;
Sweet, Hermon’s fragrant air:
Sweet is the lily’s silver bell,
And sweet the wakeful tapers’ smell
That watch for early prayer.

Sweet the young nurse, with love intense,
Which smiles o’er sleeping innocence;
Sweet when the lost arrive:
Sweet the musician’s ardour beats,
While his vague mind’s in quest of sweets
The choicest flowers to hive.

Sweeter, in all the strains of love,
The language of thy turtle-dove,
Paired to thy swelling chord;
Sweeter, with every grace endued,
The glory of thy gratitude.
Respired unto the Lord.

Strong is the horse upon his speed;
Strong in pursuit the rapid glede,
Which makes at once his game:
Strong the tall ostrich on the ground;
Strong through the turbulent profound
Shoots Xiphias to his aim.

Strong is the lion—like a coal
His eyeball—like a bastion’s mole
His chest against the foes:
Strong the gier-eagle on his sail,
Strong against tide the enormous whale
Emerges as he goes.

 

 extract: A Song To David
by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)