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1 A ward, and still in bonds, one day

I stole abroad;
It was high spring, and all the way

Primrosed, and hung with shade;
Yet was it frost within,

And surly wind
Blasted my infant buds, and sin,

Like clouds, eclipsed my mind.

2 Stormed thus, I straight perceived my spring

Mere stage and show,
My walk a monstrous, mountained thing,

Rough-cast with rocks and snow;
And as a pilgrim's eye,

Far from relief,
Measures the melancholy sky,

Then drops, and rains for grief,

3 So sighed I upwards still; at last,

'Twixt steps and falls, I reached the pinnacle, where placed

I found a pair of scales;
I took them up, and laid

In the one late pains,
The other smoke and pleasures weighed,

But proved the heavier grains.

4 With that some cried, Away; straight I

Obeyed, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy-

Some called it Jacob's Bed

A virgin soil, which no

Rude feet e'er trod,
Where, since he stept there, only go

Prophets and friends of God.
5 Here I reposed, but scarce well set,

A grove descried
Of stately height, whose branches met

And mixed on every side;
I entered, and, once in,

(Amazed to see it,)
Found all was changed, and a new spring

Did all my senses greet.

6 The unthrift sun shot vital gold

A thousand pieces,
And heaven its azure did unfold,

Chequered with snowy fleeces.
The air was all in spice,

And every bush
A garland wore; thus fed my eyes,

But all the ear lay hush.

7 Only a little fountain lent

Some use for ears,
And on the dumb shades language spent,

The music of her tears;
I drew her near, and found

The cistern full
Of divers stones, some bright and round,

Others ill-shaped and dull.

8 The first, (pray mark,) as quick as light

Danced through the flood;
But the last, more heavy than the night,

Nailed to the centre stood;


I wondered much, but tired

At last with thought,
My restless eye, that still desired,

As strange an object brought.

9 It was a bank of flowers, where I descried

(Though 'twas mid-day)
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed

And taking in the ray;
Here musing long I heard

A rushing wind,
Which still increased, but whence it stirred,

Nowhere I could not find.

10 I turned me round, and to each shade

Despatched an eye,
To see if any leaf had made

Least motion or reply;
But while I, listening, sought

My mind to ease
By knowing where 'twas, or where not,

It whispered, “Where I please.'
•Lord,' then said I, ‘on me one breath,
And let me die before my death!'

Arise, 0 north, and come, thou south wind; and blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.'—Cant. iv. 16.


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"By that new and living way, which he hath prepared for us, through the veil, which is his flesh.'—HEB. X. 20.


1 Oft have I seen, when that renewing breath

That binds and loosens death

Inspired a quickening power through the dead

Creatures abed,
Some drowsy silk-worm creep

From that long sleep,
And in weak, infant hummings chime and knell

About her silent cell,
Until at last, full with the vital ray,

She winged away,
And, proud with life and sense,

Heaven's rich expense, Esteemed (vain things!) of two whole elements

As mean, and span-extents.
Shall I then think such providence will be

Less friend to me,
Or that he can endure to be unjust
Who keeps his covenant even with our dust?


2 Poor querulous handful! was't for this

I taught thee all that is? Unbowelled nature, showed thee her recruits,

And change of suits,
And how of death we make

A mere mistake;
For no thing can to nothing fall, but still

Incorporates by skill,
And then returns, and from the womb of things

Such treasure brings,
As phenix-like renew'th

Both life and youth;
For a preserving spirit doth still pass

Untainted through this mass, Which doth resolve, produce, and ripen all That to it fall;

Nor are those births, which we

Thus suffering see,
Destroyed at all; but when time’s restless wave

Their substance doth deprave,
And the more noble essence finds his house

Sickly and loose,
He, ever young, doth wing

Unto that spring
And source of spirits, where he takes his lot,

Till time no more shall rot
His passive cottage; which, (though laid aside,)

Like some spruce bride,
Shall one day rise, and, clothed with shining light,

All pure and bright,
Remarry to the soul, for 'tis most plain
Thou only fall'st to be refined again.

3 Then I that here saw darkly in a glass

But mists and shadows pass,
And, by their own weak shine, did search the springs

And course of things,
Shall with enlightened rays

Pierce all their ways;
And as thou saw'st, I in a thought could go

To heaven or earth below,
To read some star, or mineral, and in state

There often sate;
So shalt thou then with me,

Both winged and free,
Rove in that mighty and eternal light,

Where no rude shade or night
Shall dare approach us; we shall there no more

Watch stars, or pore

Through melancholy clouds, and say, ,

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