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Why do I languish thus, drooping and dull,
As if I were all earth?
O give me quickness, that I may with mirth
Praise thee brimful !
The wanton lover in a curious strain
Can praise his fairest fair;
And with quaint metaphors her curled hair
Curl o'er again :
Thou art my loveliness, my life, my light,
Beauty alone to me:
Thy bloody death and undeserved, makes thee
Pure red and white.
When all perfections as but one appear,
That those thy form doth show, The very dust, where thou dost tread and go
Makes beauties here;
Where are my lines then? my approaches ? views ?
Where are my window-songs? Lovers are still pretending, and e’en wrongs
Sharpen their Muse.
But I am lost in flesh, whose sugar'd lies
Still mock me,
bold : Sure thou didst put a mind there, if I could
Find where it lies.
Lord, clear thy gift, that with a constant wit
but look towards thee: Look only; for to love thee, who can be,
What angel, fit?
As on a window late I cast mine eye,
I saw a vine drop grapes with J and C
Anneal'd on every bunch. One standing by
Ask'd what it meant. I (who am never loth
To spend my judgment) said, it seem'd to me
To be the body and the letters both
Of Joy and Charity; Sir, you have not miss'd,
The man replied; It figures Jesus CHRIST.
O SACRED Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest! shall I write,
And not of thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill ? shall they not do thee right?
Of all the creatures both in sea and land,
Only to Man thou hast made known thy ways,
alone into his hand, And made him Secretary of thy praise.
Beasts fain would sing; birds ditty to their notes;
Trees would be tuning on their native lute
To thy renown: but all their hands and throats
Are brought to Man, while they are lame and mute.
Man is the world's high Priest: he doth present
The sacrifice for all; while they below
Unto the service mutter an assent,
Such as springs use that fall, and winds that blow.
He that to praise and laud thee doth refrain,
Doth not refrain unto himself alone,
But robs a thousand who would praise thee fain ;
And doth commit a world of sin in one.
The beasts say, Eat me; but, if beasts must teach,
The tongue is yours to eat, but mine to praise.
The trees say, Pull me : but the hand you
stretch Is mine to write, as it is yours to raise.
Wherefore, most sacred Spirit, I here present
For me and all my fellows praise to thee :
And just it is that I should pay
the rent, Because the benefit accrues. to me.
We all acknowledge both thy power and love
To be exact, transcendent, and divine;
Who dost so strongly and so sweetly move,
While all things have their will, yet none but thine.
For either thy command, or thy permission
Lay hands on all: they are thy right and left:
The first puts on with speed and expedition ;
The other curbs sin's stealing pace and theft;
Nothing escapes them both : all must appear,
And be disposed, and dress’d, and tuned by thee,
Who sweetly temper’st all. If we could hear
Thy skill and art, what music would it be !
Thou art in small things great, not small in any :
Thy even praise can neither rise, nor fall.
Thou art in all things one, in each thing many :
For thou art infinite in one, and all.
Tempests are calm to thee, they know thy hand,
And hold it fast, as children do their fathers,
and follow. Thou hast made
poor Check the proud sea, e'en when it swells and gathers.
Thy cupboard serves the world: the meat is set Where all may reach: no beast but knows his feed. Birds teach us hawking : fishes have their net: The great prey on the less, they on some weed.
Nothing engender'd doth prevent his meat;
Flies have their table spread, ere they appear;
Some creatures have in winter what to eat ;
Others do sleep, and envy not their cheer.
How finely dost thou times and seasons spin, And make a twist checker'd with night and day ! Which as it lengthens, winds, and winds us in, As bowls go on, but turning all the way.
Each creature hath a wisdom for his good.
The pigeons feed their tender offspring, crying,
When they are callow; but withdraw their food,
When they are fledge, that need may teach them fly-
Bees work for man; and yet they never bruise
Their master's flower, but leave it, having done,
As fair as ever, and as fit to use :
So both the flower doth stay, and honey run.
Sheep eat the grass, and dung the ground for more: Trees after bearing drop their leaves for soil : Springs vent theirstreams, and by expense get store: Clouds cool by heat, and baths by cooling boil.
Who hath the virtue to express the rare
And curious virtues both of herbs and stones?
Is there an herb for that? O that thy care
Would show a root, that gives expressions !
And if an herb hath power, what have the stars?
A rose, besides his beauty, is a cure.
Doubtless our plagues and plenty, peace and wars,
Are there much surer than our art is sure.
Thou hast hid metals : man may take them thence;
But at his peril: when he digs the place,
He makes a grave; as if the thing had sense,
And threaten’d man, that he should fill the space.
E'en poisons praise thee. Should a thing be lost?
Should creatures want, for want of heed, their due?
Since where are poisons, antidotes are most;
The help stands close, and keeps the fear in view.
The sea, which seems to stop the traveller,
Is by a ship the speedier passage made.
The winds, who think they rule the mariner,
Are ruled by him, and taught to serve his trade.
And as thy house is full, so I adore
Thy curious art in marshalling thy goods.
The hills with health abound, the vales with store ;
The South with marble; North with furs and woods.