« PreviousContinue »
By that foul rheum thy false eye wears ?
THE RAINBOW, Still young and fine! but what is still in view We slight as old and soiled, though fresh and new. How bright wert thou, when Shem's admiring eye Thy burnished, flaming arch did first descry! When: Terah, Nahor, Haran, Abram, Lot, The youthful world's gray fathers in one knot, Did with intentive looks watch every hour For thy new light, and trembled at each shower! When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair, Forms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air: Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers. Bright pledge of peace and sunshine! the sure tie Of thy Lord's hand, the object of his eye! When I behold thee, though my light be dim, Distant, and low, I can in thine see him, Who looks upon thee from his glorious throne, And minds the covenant 'twixt all and one. O foul, deceitful men! my God doth keep His promise still, but we break ours and sleep. After the fall the first sin was in blood, And drunkenness quickly did succeed the flood; But since Christ died, as if we did devise To lose him too, as well as paradise,)
i Genesis ix. 16.
These two grand sins we join and act together,
, So those bad daughters, which God saved from fire, While Sodom yet did smoke, lay with their sire. Then, peaceful, signal bow, but in a cloud Still lodged, where all thy unseen arrows shroud; I will on thee as on a comet look, A comet, the sad world's ill-boding book; Thy light as luctual and stained with woes I'll judge, where penal flames sit mixed and close. For though some think thou shin'st but to restrain Bold storms, and simply dost attend on rain; Yet I know well, and so our sins require, Thou dost but court cold rain, till rain turns fire.
THE SEED GROWING SECRETLY.
MARK IV. 26.
1 If this world's friends might see but once
What some poor man may often feel,
They would soon quit, and learn to kneel. 2 My dew, my dew! my early love,
My soul's bright food, thy absence kills!
Life without thee is loose and spills. 3 Something I had, which long ago
Did learn to suck and sip and taste;
But now grown sickly, sad, and slow,
Doth fret and wrangle, pine and waste. 4 Oh, spread thy sacred wings, and shake
One living drop! one drop life keeps !
Oh, fill his bottle! thy child weeps! 5 Slowly and sadly doth he grow,
And soon as left shrinks back to ill;
And spread and open to thy will! 6 For thy eternal, living wells
None stained or withered shall come near:
And spotless white is all the wear. 7 Dear, secret greenness! nursed below
Tempests and winds and winter nights !
That One made all these lesser lights. 8 If those bright joys he singly sheds
On thee, were all met in one crown,
And moons, though full, would get them down. 9 Let glory be their bait whose minds
Are all too high for a low cell:
The poor bee in her hive must dwell. 10 Glory, the crowd's cheap tinsel, still
To what most takes them is a drudge;
11 What needs a conscience calm and bright
Within itself an outward test?
Makes way for storms into his rest.
12 Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch
At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb; Keep clean, bear fruit, earn life, and watch,
Till the white-winged reapers come!
Were now that chronicle alive,
Why should men love
Shall I from thence cast down myself,
Or by complying with the world,
And get the practice worldlings call
Dear, harmless age! the short, swift span
Of bloody Cain;