The stately heavens, which glory doth array,
by William Alexander
Are mirrours of God's admirable might ;
There, whence forth spreads the night, forth springs the day,
He fix'd the fountaines of this temporall light,
Where stately stars enstall'd, some stand, some stray,
All sparks of his great power (though small yet bright),
By what none utter can, no, not conceive,
All of his greatnesse, shadowes may perceive.
What glorious lights through christall lanternes glance,
(As alwaies burning with their Makers love)
Spheares keepe one musicke, they one measure dance,
Like influence below, like course above;
And all by order led, not drawne by chance,
With majestie (as still in triumph) move,
And (liberall of their store) seeme shouting thus:
' Look up, all soules, and gaze on God through us.'
This pond'rous masse (though oft deform'd) still faire,
Great in our sight, yet then a starre more small,
Is ballancd (as a mote) amid'st the ayre
None knowes what way, yet to no side doth fall.
And yearely springs, growes ripe, fades, falles, rich, bare
Men's mother first, still mistresse, yet their thrall,
It centers heavens, heavens compasse it ; both be
Bookes where God's power the ignorant may see.
What ebbes, flowes, swels, and sinks, who firme doth keep ?
Whilst flouds from the earth burst in abundance out,
As she her brood did wash, or for them weepe :
Who (having life) what dead things prove, dare doubt
Who first did found the dungeons of the deepe ?
But one in all, ore all, above, about;
The flouds, for our delight, first calme were set,
But storme and roare, since men did God forget.
Who parts the swelling spouts that sift the raine ?
Who reines the windes, the waters doth empale ?
Who frownes in stormes, then smiles in calmes againe,
And doth dispense the treasures of the haile ?
Whose bow doth bended in the clouds remaine ?
Whose darts (dread thunderbolts) make men looke pale ?
Even thus these things to show his power aspire,
As shadowes doe the sunne, as smoke doth fire.
God visibly invisible who raignes,
Soule of all soules, whose light each light directs,
All first did freely make, and still maintaines,
The greatest rules, the meanest not neglects ;
Fore-knowes the end of all that he ordaines,
His will each cause, each cause breeds fit effects;
Who did make all, all thus could onely leade,
None could make all, but who was never made.