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

By Henry More (1614–1687)

The Philosopher’s Devotion

SING aloud! His praise rehearse
Who hath made the universe.
He the boundless heavens has spread,
All the vital orbs has kned, 1
He that on Olympus high        5
Tends his flocks with watchful eye,
And this eye 2 hath multiplied
’Midst each flock 3 for to reside.
Thus, as round about they stray,
Toucheth 4 each with outstretched ray;        10
Nimble they hold on their way,
Shaping out their night and day.
Summer, winter, autumn, spring,
Their inclinèd axes bring.
Never slack they; none respires,        15
Dancing round their central fires.
In due order as they move,
Echoes sweet be gently drove
Thorough heaven’s vast hollowness,
Which unto all corners press:        20
Fills the listening sailers’ ears
Riding on the wandering spheres:
Neither speech nor language is
Where their voice is not transmiss.
God is good, is wise, is strong,        25
Witness all the creature throng,
Is confessed by every tongue;
All things back 5 from whence they sprung,
As the thankful rivers pay
What they borrowed of the sea.        30
Now myself I do resign:
Take me whole: I all am Thine.
Save me, God, from self-desire,—
Death’s pit, dark hell’s raging fire—
Envy, hatred, vengeance, ire:        35
Let not lust my soul bemire.
Quit from these, Thy praise I’ll sing,
Loudly sweep the trembling string.
Bear a part, O Wisdom’s sons,
Freed from vain religions!        40
Lo, from far, I you salute,
Sweetly warbling on my lute—
India, Egypt, Araby,
Asia, Greece, and Tartary,
Carmel-tracts, and Lebanon,        45
With the Mountains of the Moon,
From whence muddy Nile doth run,
Or wherever else you won: 6
Breathing in one vital air,
One we are, though distant far.        50
Rise at once, let’s sacrifice;
Odours sweet perfume the skies;
See how heavenly lightning fires
Hearts inflamed with high aspires!
All the substance of our souls        55
Up in clouds of incense rolls.
Leave we nothing to ourselves
Save a voice—what need we else!—
Or an hand to wear and tire
On the thankful lute or lyre!        60
Sing aloud—His praise rehearse
Who hath made the universe.
Note 1. Kneaded. [back]
Note 2. Sun. [back]
Note 3. System. [back]
Note 4. They touch each other. [back]
Note 5. Go back. [back]
Note 6. Dwell. [back]