And is there care in heaven, and is there love
In heavenly spirits to us creatures base,
That may compassion of our evils move?
There is : else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts: but oh! the exceeding grace
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 even wicked men, to serve his wicked foe.
How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
And 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,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love, and nothing for reward:
Oh! why should heavenly God to men have such regard!
Faery* Queene, Book II, Canto VIII.
*Spelling as per that used in the nineteenth century, e.g. by Anna Jameson.