Canticle 4

What charm — the Ruler of the World and me
Bears to her God the elevated soul?
Ill-fated mortal! — what is Man to thee?
A vain support — an impotent controul.

His glory's fled — his trophies are effac'd,
Marks of the bounding vessel o'er the main;
Or as the arrow's fleeting path is trac'd,
Ere yet the mark its pointed shafts attain.

Immortal Wisdom from its thunder speaks;
" Oh, child of Man! what bitter fruits are thine!
What fury pours that blood upon thy cheeks,
What hopes deferr'd their agonies refine!

The food that I present is Angels' fare,
Nor is it serv'd as diet of the earth.
Approach, if thou wouldst live — a feast is there,
Of precious flavour — and of matchless worth. "

Oh, Wisdom, it was thy creating word
That o'er the Universe its mantle spread;
Was in the midst of Ocean's billows heard,
And made the earth sustain her ample bed.

A word — and, as it spoke, the Heaven appear'd,
The Constellations beam'd at thy command;
Her spirit's birth Eternity rever'd,
And what am I, in such a Master's hand?

The Son , bright image of his Parent , came;
For Man he left his Everlasting Throne;
Came, as of human birth, in Mercy's name,
Affliction cheer'd, and made the Poor his own.

Man to a poison'd fountain bends the knee,
Till the unhallow'd stream his lips deplore;
But, when the Cup of Life is held by thee,
No drop 's unblest — and thirst is felt no more.
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