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CXXVIII. JOSEPH'S COAT.
WOUNDED I sing, tormented I endite,
Thrown down I fall into a bed, and rest : Sorrow hath changed its note : such is his will Who changeth all things, as him pleaseth best.
For well he knows, if but one grief and smart Among my many had his full career, Sure it would carry with it e'en my heart, And both would run until they found a bier
To fetch the body; both being due to grief.
I live to show his power, who once did bring
CXXIX. THE PULLEY.
WHEN God at first made man, Having a glass of blessing standing by ; Let us (said he) pour on him all we can: Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made a way; Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure : When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that alone, of all his treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said he)
So both should losers be.
Yet let him keep the rest,
May toss him to my breast.
CXXX. THE PRIESTHOOD.
Blest order, which in power dost so excel,
For that of the holy word.
But thou art fire, sacred and hallow'd fire;
To deal in holy Writ.
Yet have I often seen, by cunning hand
That earth is fitted by the fire and trade
Who make the bravest shows.
But since those great ones, be they ne'er so great,
If earth in earth delight.
But the holy men of God such vessels are,
Who bring my God to me!
Wherefore I dare not, I, put forth my
hand To hold the Ark, although it seem to shake Through the old sins and new doctrines of our land. Only, since God doth often vessels make Of lowly matter for high uses meet,
I throw me at his feet.
There will I lie,
Lest good come short of ill In praising might, the poor do by submission
What pride by opposition.
CXXXI. THE SEARCH.
WHITHER, 0, whither art thou fled,
My Lord, my Love? My searches are my daily bread;
Yet never prove.
My knees pierce the earth, mine eyes the sky:
And yet the sphere And centre both to me deny
That thou art there.
Yet can I mark how herbs below
gay; As if to meet thee they did know,
While I decay.
Yet can I mark how stars above
Simper and shine, As having keys unto thy love,
While poor I pine.
I sent a sigh to seek thee out,
Deep drawn in pain, Wing'd like an arrow: but my scout
Returns in vain.
I turn's another (having store)
Into a groan, Because the search was dumb before :
But all was one.
Lord, dost thou some new fabric mould
Which favour wins, And keeps thee present, leaving the old
Unto their sins ?
Where is my God? what hidden place
Conceals thee still ? What covert dare eclipse thy face?
Is it thy will ?
O let not that of
Let rather brass, Or steel, or mountains be thy ring,
And I will pass.
Thy will such an intrenching is,
As passeth thought: To it all strength, all subtilties
Are things of nought.
Thy will such a strange distance is,
As that to it
And parallels meet.
Since then my grief must be as large
As is thy space, Thy distance from me; see my charge,
Lord, see my case.
O take these bars, these lengths, away:
Turn, and restore me : Be not Almighty, let me say,
Against, but for me.