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He finds it dead, and in a grave.
1 How is man parcelled out! how every hour
Shows him himself, or something he should see!
When nature on her bosom saw
Her infants die,
Her breasts grown dry;
Sigh to the sky,
Rain did reply;
Her earnest sighs procured her tears
And filled her breasts.
2 Oh that man could do so! that he would hear
The world read to him ! all the vast expense
In the creation shed and slaved to sense, Makes up but lectures for his eye and ear.
3 Sure mighty Love, foreseeing the descent
Of this poor creature, by a gracious art
Hid in these low things snares to gain his heart, And laid surprises in each element.
4 All things here show him heaven; waters that fall
Chide and fly up; mists of corruptest foam
5 How do they cast off grossness? only earth
And man, like Issachar, in loads delight,
Water's refined to motion, air to light,
6 Plants in the root with earth do most comply,
Their leaves with water and humidity,
The flowers to air draw near and subtilty, And seeds a kindred fire have with the sky.
7 All have their keys and set ascents; but man
Though he knows these, and hath more of his
own, Sleeps at the ladder's foot; alas! what can
These new discoveries do, except they drown?
1. All three:' light, motion, heat.
8 Thus, grovelling in the shade and darkness, he
Sinks to a dead oblivion; and though all
He sees, like pyramids, shoot from this ball, And lessening still, grow up invisibly, 9 Yet hugs he still his dirt; the stuff he wears,
And painted trimming, takes down both his eyes;
Heaven hath less beauty than the dust he spies, And money better music than the spheres. 10 Life’s but a blast; he knows it; what? shall straw
And bulrush-fetters temper his short hour?
Must he nor sip nor sing? grows ne'er a flower To crown his temples? shall dreams be his law? 11 O foolish man! how hast thou lost thy sight?
How is it that the sun to thee alone
grown thick darkness, and thy bread a stone? Hath flesh no softness now? mid-day no light?
12 Lord! thou didst put a soul here. If I must
Be broke again, for flints will give no fire
Without a steel, oh, let thy power clear
1 I saw eternity the other night,
All calm, as it was bright;
Driven by the spheres,
And all her train were hurled.
Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,
Wit's sour delights;
Yet his dear treasure,
pour Upon a flower.
2 The darksome statesman, hung with weights and woe, Like a thick midnight fog, moved there so slow,
He did nor stay, nor go;
Upon his soul,
Pursued him with one shout.
Worked under ground,
Were gnats and flies;
Drank them as free.
3 The fearful miser on a heap of rust
His own hands with the dust,
In fear of thieves.
And hugged each one his pelf;
And scorned pretence;
Said little less;
The weaker sort slight, trivial wares enslave,
Who think them brave,
4 Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
into the ring;
Before true light!
Because it shows the way,
Leads up to God,
where you might tread the sun, and be
More bright than he!'
One whispered thus,
But for his bride.'
All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.'—1 JOHN ii. 16, 17.
1 Fair, ordered lights, whose motion without noise
Resembles those true joys,
Now beneath, and now above!