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CXLIX. THE FORERUNNERS.

The harbingers are come. See, see their mark ;
White is their colour, and behold my head.
But must they have my brain ? must they dispark
Those sparkling notions, which therein were bred ?

Must dulness turn me to a clod ?
Yet have they left me, Thou art still my God.

Good men ye be, to leave me my best room,
E'en all my heart, and what is lodged there :
I pass not, I, what of the rest become,
So, Thou art still my God, be out of fear.

He will be pleased with that ditty ;
And if I please him, I write fine and witty.

Farewell sweet phrases, lovely metaphors :
But will ye leave me thus ? when ye

before Of stews and brothels only knew the doors, Then did I wash you with my tears, and more,

Brought you to Church well drest and clad : My God must have my best, e'en all I had.

Lovely enchanting language, sugarcane,
Honey of roses, whither wilt thou fly?
Hath some fond lover 'ticed thee to thy bane?
And wilt thou leave the Church, and love a sty?

Fy, thou wilt soil thy broider'd coat,
And hurt thyself, and him that sings the note.

Let foolish lovers, if they will love dung,
With canvass, not with arras clothe their shame :

Let folly speak in her own native tongue.
True beauty dwells on high : ours is a flame

But borrow'd thence to light us thither. Beauty and beauteous words should go together.

Yet if
you go,

I pass not; take your way:
For, Thou art still my God, is all that ye
Perhaps with more embellishment can say.
Go, birds of spring: let winter have his fee;

Let a bleak paleness chalk the door, So all within be livelier than before.

CL, THE ROSE,

Press me not to take more pleasure

In this world of sugar'd lies,
And to use a larger measure
Than

my strict, yet welcome size.

First, there is no pleasure here :

Colour'd griefs indeed there are,
Blushing woes, that look as clear,

As if they could beauty spare.

Or if such deceits there be,

Such delights I meant to say ;
There are no such things to me,

Who have pass'd my right away.

But I will not much oppose

Unto what you now advise :
Only take this gentle rose,

And therein my answer lies.

What is fairer than a rose ?

What is sweeter ? yet it purgeth. Purgings enmity disclose,

Enmity forbearance urgeth.

If then all that worldlings prize

Be contracted to a rose; Sweetly there indeed it lies,

But it biteth in the close.

So this flower doth judge and sentence

Worldly joys to be a scourge: For they all produce repentance,

And repentance is a purge.

But I health, not physic choose :

Only though I you oppose, Say that fairly I refuse,

For my answer is a rose.

CLI. DISCIPLINE.

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath :

}
O my God,
Take the gentle path.

For
my

heart's desire
Unto thine is bent :

I aspire
To a full consent.

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CLII. THE INVITATION.

COME

ye
hither all, whose taste

Is your waste; Save your cost, and mend your fare. God is here prepared and dress'd,

And the feast, God, in whom all dainties are.

Come

ye
hither all, whom wine

Doth define,
Naming you not to your good :
Weep what

ye
have drunk amiss,

And drink this,
Which before ye drink is blood.

Come ye hither all whom pain

Doth arraign, Bringing all your sins to sight: Taste and fear not: God is here

In this cheer, And on sin doth cast the fright.

Come ye hither all, whom joy

Doth destroy, While ye graze without your

bounds : Here is joy that drowneth quite

Your delight, As a flood the lower grounds.

Come

ye
hither all, whose love

Is your dove,

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