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He finds it dead, and in a grave.
But as this restless, vocal spring
All day and night doth run and sing,
And though here born, yet is acquainted
Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted;
So let me all my busy age
In thy free services engage;
And though, while here, of force I must
Have commerce sometimes with poor dust,
And in my flesh, though vile and low,
As this doth in her channel flow,
Yet let my course, my aim, my love,
And chief acquaintance be above;
So when that day and hour shall come
In which thyself will be the Sun,
Thou'lt find me dressed and on my way,
Watching the break of thy great day.


1 How is man parcelled out! how every hour

Shows him himself, or something he should see!
This late, long heat may his instruction be;
And tempests have more in them than a shower.

When nature on her bosom saw

Her infants die,
And all her flowers withered to straw,

Her breasts grown dry;
She made the earth, their nurse and tomb,

Sigh to the sky,
Till to those sighs, fetched from her womb,

Rain did reply;
So in the midst of all her fears
And faint requests,

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
Quit their first beds and mount; trees, herbs, flowers,

Strive upwards still, and point him the way


5 How do they cast off grossness? only earth

And man, like Issachar, in loads delight,

Water's refined to motion, air to light,
Fire to all three, but man hath no such mirth.

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
Thy gift once more, and grind this flint to dust!


1 I saw eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,

All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, time, in hours, days, years,

Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world

And all her train were hurled.
The doting lover in his quaintest strain
Did there complain;

Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,

Wit's sour delights;
With gloves, and knots, the silly snares of pleasure,

Yet his dear treasure,
All scattered lay, while he his eyes


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;
Condemning thoughts, like sad eclipses, scowl

Upon his soul,
And clouds of crying witnesses without

Pursued him with one shout.
Yet digged the mole, and, lest his ways be found,

Worked under ground,
Where he did clutch his prey. But one did see

That policy.
Churches and altars fed him; perjuries

Were gnats and flies;
It rained about him blood and tears; but he

Drank them as free.

3 The fearful miser on a heap of rust
Sat pining all his life there, did scarce trust

His own hands with the dust,
Yet would not place one piece above, but lives

In fear of thieves.
Thousands there were as frantic as himself,

And hugged each one his pelf;
The downright epicure placed heaven in sense,

And scorned pretence;
While others, slipped into a wide excess,

Said little less;

The weaker sort slight, trivial wares enslave,

Who think them brave,
And poor, despised truth sat counting by

Their victory

4 Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
And sing and weep, soared up

into the ring;
But most would use no wing.
O fools,' said I, 'thus to prefer dark night

Before true light!
To live in grots and caves, and hate the day

Because it shows the way,
The way, which from this dead and dark abode

Leads up to God,

where you might tread the sun, and be

More bright than he!'
But, as I did their madness so discuss,

One whispered thus,
• This ring the bridegroom did for none provide,

But for his bride.'

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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,
Whose spring is on that hill where


And we here taste sometimes below.
2 With what exact obedience do you move,

Now beneath, and now above!
And in your vast progressions overlook
The darkest night and closest nook!

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