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

By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

The Ministry of Angels

AND 1 is there care in heaven? And is there love
  In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move?
  There is: else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts. But oh, th’ exceeding grace        5
  Of highest God that loves His creatures so,
And all His works with mercy doth embrace,
  That blessed angels He sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked men, to serve His wicked foe.
How oft do they their silver bowers leave        10
  To come to succour us that succour want!
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
  The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant!
  They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,        15
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
  And all for love, and nothing for reward.
O why should heavenly God to men have such regard?
Note 1. “The Ministry of Angels” is from the “Faerie Queene,” II. viii. 1, 2; “The Love of Christ,” from “A Hymn of Heavenly Love.” [back]