Verse > Anthologies > Henry Charles Beeching, ed. > Lyra Sacra
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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919).  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse.  1903.
 
To the Name above every Name, the Name of Jesus: A Hymn
By Richard Crashaw (1613?–1640)
 
I SING the Name which none can say,
But touch’d with an interior ray;
The Name of our new peace, our good,
Our bliss, and supernatural blood.
The Name of all our lives and loves.        5
Hearken and help, ye holy doves,
The high-born brood of day, the bright
Candidates of blissful light,
The heirs-elect of love, whose names belong
Unto the everlasting life of song;        10
All ye wise souls, who in the wealthy breast
Of this unbounded Name build your warm nest;
Awake my glory, soul (if such thou be
And that fair word at all refer to thee),
            Awake and sing        15
            And be all wing,
Bring hither thy whole self, and let me see
What of thy parent Heaven yet speaks in thee;
            O thou art poor
            Of noble powers, I see,        20
And full of nothing else but empty me,
Narrow, and low, and infinitely less
Than this great morning’s mighty business.
            One little word or two
            (Alas) will never do;        25
            We must have store,
Go, soul, out of thyself, and seek for more;
            Go and request
Great Nature for the key of her huge chest
Of heav’ns, the self-involving set of spheres,        30
Which dull mortality more feels than hears;
            Then rouse the nest
Of nimble art, and traverse round
The airy shop of soul-appeasing sound,
    And beat a summons in the same        35
            All Sovereign Name,
        To warn each several kind
    And shape of sweetness, be they such
        As sigh with supple wind,
        Or answer artful touch,        40
    That they convene and come away,
To wait at the love-crowned doors of this illustrious day.
Shall we dare this, my soul? we’ll do’t and bring
No other note for’t but the Name we sing.
            Wake, lute and harp,        45
            And every sweet-lipt thing
            That talks with tuneful string
Start into life: and leap with me
Into a habit fit of self-tuned harmony;
            Nor must you think it much        50
            T’ obey my bolder touch.
I have authority in Love’s name to take you,
And to the work of Love this morning wake you;
            Wake in the Name
Of Him who never sleeps, all things that are,        55
            Or, what’s the same,
              Are musical,
            Answer my call
            And come along,
Help me to meditate mine immortal song.        60
Come, ye soft ministers of sweet sad mirth,
Bring all your household stuff of heav’n on earth;
    O you my soul’s most certain wings,
    Complaining pipes, and prattling strings,
            Bring all the store        65
Of sweets you have, and murmur that you have no more.
Come, lovely Name, appear forth from the bright
    Regions of peaceful light,
    Look from Thine own illustrious home,
    Fair King of Names, and come,        70
Leave all Thy native glories in their gorgeous nest,
And give Thyself awhile the gracious guest
    Of humble souls, that seek to find
            The hidden sweets
            Which man’s heart meets,        75
    When Thou art master of the mind.
    Come, lovely Name, life of our hope!
    Lo, we hold our hearts wide ope!
    Unlock Thy cabinet of day,
    Dearest sweet, and come away.        80
        Lo, how the thirsty lands
Gasp for thy golden showers, with long-stretched hands!
 
        Lo, how the labouring earth,
            That hopes to be
            All heavens by Thee,        85
            Leaps at Thy birth.
Come, royal Name, and pay th’ expense
Of all Thy precious patience.
            O! come away,
        And kill the death of this delay.        90
O! see so many worlds of barren years
Melted, and measured out in seas of tears;
O! see the weary lids of wakeful hope
(Love’s eastern windows) all wide ope
            With curtains drawn,        95
To catch the daybreak of Thy dawn;
O! dawn at last, long-look’d-for day,
Take thine own wings and come away.
    Sweet Name, in Thy each syllable
  A thousand blest Arabias dwell,        100
  A thousand hills of frankincense;
  Mountains of myrrh, and beds of spices,
  And ten thousand paradises
    The soul that tastes Thee takes from thence.
  How many unknown worlds there are        105
    Of comforts which Thou hast in keeping!
  How many thousand mercies there,
    In Pity’s lost lap, lie a-sleeping!
  Happy he who has the art
            To awake them,        110
            And to take them
Home and lodge them in his heart.
O that it were as it was wont to be!
When Thy old friends of fire, all full of Thee,
Fought against frowns with smiles, gave glorious chase        115
To persecutions, and against the face
Of death and fiercest dangers durst with brave
And sober pace march on to meet a grave.
On their bold breasts about the world they bore Thee,
And to the teeth of hell stood up to teach Thee:        120
In centre of their inmost souls they wore Thee,
Where racks and torments strived in vain to reach Thee.
        Little, alas! thought they
    Who tore the fair breasts of thy friends,
        Their fury but made way        125
For Thee; and served therein Thy glorious ends.
What did their weapons but set wide the doors
  For Thee? Fair purple doors of Love’s devising;
The ruby windows which enriched the east
        Of Thy so oft-repeated rising.        130
Each wound of theirs was Thy new morning;
And re-enthroned Thee in Thy rosy nest,
  With blush of Thine own blood Thy day adorning.
It was the wit of love o’erflowed the bounds
Of wrath, and made Thee way through all those wounds.        135
 
 
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