On Christmas-Day

Shall Dumpish Melancholy spoil my Joys
While Angels sing
And Mortals ring
My Lord and Savior's Praise!
Awake from Sloth, for that alone destroys,
'Tis Sin defiles, 'tis Sloth puts out thy Joys.
See how they run from place to place,
And seek for Ornaments of Grace;
Their Houses deckt with sprightly Green,
In Winter makes a Summer seen;
They Bays and Holly bring
As if 'twere Spring!

Shake off thy Sloth, my drouzy Soul, awake;
With Angels sing
Unto thy King,
And pleasant Musick make;
Thy Lute, thy Harp, or else thy Heart-strings take,
And with thy Musick let thy Sense awake.
See how each one the other calls
To fix his Ivy on the walls,
Transplanted there it seems to grow
As if it rooted were below:
Thus He, who is thy King,
Makes Winter, Spring.

Shall Houses clad in Summer-Liveries
His Praises sing
And laud thy King,
And wilt not thou arise?
Forsake thy Bed, and grow (my Soul) more wise,
Attire thy self in cheerful Liveries:
Let pleasant Branches still be seen
Adorning thee, both quick and green;
And, which with Glory better suits,
Be laden all the Year with Fruits;
Inserted into Him,
For ever spring.

'Tis He that Life and Spirit doth infuse:
Let ev'ry thing
The Praises sing
Of Christ the King of Jews;
Who makes things green, and with a Spring infuse
A Season which to see it doth not use:
Old Winter's Frost and hoary hair,
With Garland's crowned, Bays doth wear;
The nipping Frost of Wrath b'ing gone,
To Him the Manger made a Throne,
Due Praises let us sing,
Winter and Spring.

See how, their Bodies clad with finer Cloaths,
They now begin
His Praise to sing
Who purchas'd their Repose:
Wherby their inward Joy they do disclose;
Their Dress alludes to better Works than those:
His gayer Weeds and finer Band,
New Suit and Hat, into his hand
The Plow-man takes; his neatest Shoes,
And warmer Gloves, he means to use:
And shall not I, my King,
Thy Praises sing?

See how their Breath doth smoke, and how they haste
His Praise to sing
With Cherubim;
They scarce a Break-fast taste;
But through the Streets, lest precious Time should waste,
When Service doth begin, to Church they haste.
And shall not I, Lord, come to Thee,
The Beauty of thy Temple see?
Thy Name with Joy I will confess,
Clad in my Saviour's Righteousness;
'Mong all thy Servants sing
To Thee my King.

'Twas thou that gav'st us Cause for fine Attires;
Ev'n thou, O King,
As in the Spring,
Dost warm us with thy fires
Of Love: Thy Blood hath bought us new Desires;
Thy Righteousness doth cloath with new Attires.
Both fresh and fine let me appear
This Day divine, to close the Year;
Among the rest let me be seen
A living Branch and always green,
Think it a pleasant thing
Thy Praise to sing.

At break of Day, O how the Bells did ring!
To thee, my King,
The Bells did ring;
To thee the Angels sing:
Thy Goodness did produce this other Spring,
For this it is they make the Bells to ring:
The sounding Bells do through the Air
Proclaim thy Welcome far and near;
While I alone with Thee inherit
All these Joys, beyond my Merit.
Who would not always sing
To such a King?

I all these Joys, above my Merit, see
By Thee, my King,
To whom I sing,
Entire convey'd to me.
My Treasure, Lord, thou mak'st the People be
That I with pleasure might thy Servants see.
Ev'n in their rude external ways
They do set forth my Savior's Praise,
And minister a Light to me;
While I by them do hear to Thee
Praises, my Lord and King,
Whole Churches ring.

Hark how remoter Parishes do sound!
Far off they ring
For thee, my King,
Ev'n round about the Town:
The Churches scatter'd over all the Ground
Serve for thy Praise, who art with Glory crown'd.
This City is an Engine great
That makes my Pleasure more compleat;
The Sword, the Mace, the Magistrate,
To honor Thee attend in State;
The whole Assembly sings;
The Minster rings.
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