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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667)

Hymn for Advent

        LORD, 1 come away;
        Why dost Thou stay?
Thy road is ready, and Thy paths made straight
With longing expectation wait
The consecration of Thy beauteous feet.        5
Ride on triumphantly: behold we lay
Our lusts and proud wills in Thy way.
Hosannah! welcome to our hearts: Lord, here
Thou hast a temple, too, and full as dear
As that of Sion; and as full of sin—        10
Nothing but thieves and robbers dwell therein;
Enter, and chase them forth, and cleanse the floor,
Crucify them that they may never more
    Profane that holy place
    Where Thou hast chose to set Thy face.        15
And then if our still tongues shall be
Mute in the praises of Thy deity,
    The stones out of the temple-wall
    Shall cry aloud and call
Hosannah! and Thy glorious footsteps greet.        20
Note 1. Jeremy Taylor, the most eloquent of English divines, told his friend John Evelyn that in writing verse he had only the use of his left hand, and it is astonishing to see how small skill he had in that art. His odes are but collections of lines of various lengths, with no unity and little mutual relation. [back]