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THE SYNAGOGUE.

337.

RADON

DE BETHEL

Sickness and weakness, loss, disgrace, and sorrow,
Lend most sometimes, when they seem most to

borrow.
Blest be that hand, that helps by hurting, gives
By taking, by forsaking me relieves.
If in my fall my rising be thy will,
Lord, I will say, The worse the better still.
I'll speak the Paradox, maintain thou it,
And let thy grace supply my want of wit.

Leave me no learning that a man may see,
So I may be a scholar unto thee.

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XLIII. INMATES.

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An house I had (an heart, I mean), so wide,
And full of spacious rooms on every side,

That viewing it I thought I might do well,
Rather than keep it void, and make no gain,
Of what I could not use, to entertain

Such guests as came : I did ; But what befell
Me quickly in that course, I sigh to tell.

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A guest I had (alas ! I have her still)
A great big bellied guest, enough to fill

The vast content of hell, Corruption.
By entertaining her, I lost my right
To more than all the world hath now in sight.

Each day, each hour, almost, she brought forth
Or other base begot Transgression. [one,

ay annor,

dit, and so

The charge grew great. I, that had lost before
All that I had, was forced now to score

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For all the charges of their maintenance In dooms-day book : Whoever knew't would say The least sum there was more than I could

pay, When first 'twas due, besides continuance, Which could not choose but much the debt en

hance.

To ease me first I wish'd her to remove :
But she would not. I sued her then above,

And begg’d the Court of heaven but in vain
To cast her out. No, I could not evade
The bargain, which she pleaded I had made,

That, whilst both lived, I should entertain,
At mine own charge, both her and all her train.

No help then, but or I must die or she ;
And yet my death of no avail would be :

For one death I had died already then,
When first she lived in me: and now to die
Another death again were but to tie,

And twist them both into a third, which when It once hath seized on, never looseth men.

Her death might be my life; but her to kill
I, of myself, had neither power nor will.
So desperate was my case.

Whilst I delay'd, My guest still teem'd, my debts still greater grew; The less I had to pay, the more was due.

The more I knew, the more I was afraid : The more I mused, the more I was dismay'd.

At last I learn’d, there was no way but one:
A friend must do it for me.

He alone,
That is the Lord of life, by dying can

Save men from death, and kill Corruption :
And many years ago the deed was done,

His heart was pierced ; out of his side there ran
Sins corrosives, restoratives for man.

This precious balm I begg'd, for pity's sake,
At mercy's gate : where Faith alone may take

What Grace and Truth do offer liberally.
Bounty said, Come. I heard it, and believed ;
None ever there complain'd but was relieved.

Hope waiting upon Faith said instantly,
That thenceforth I should live, Corruption die.

And so she died, I live. But yet, alas !
We are not parted : She is where she was,

Cleaves fast unto me still, looks thro' mine eyes, Speaks in my tongue, and museth in my mind, Works with mine hands: her body's left behind,

Although her soul be gone. My miseries
All flow from hence ; from hence my woes arise.

I loathe myself, because I leave her not;
Yet cannot leave her. No, she is my

lot,
Now being dead, that living was my choice ;
And still, though dead, she both conceives and bears,
Many faults daily,

fears : All which for vengeance call with a loud voice, And drown my comforts with their deadly noise.

and as many

Dead bodies kept unburied quickly stink
And putrefy. How can I then but think

Corruption noisome, even mortified ?
Though such she were before, yet such to me
She seemed not. Kind fools can never see,

Or will not credit, until they have tried,
That friendly looks oft false intents do hide.

But mortified Corruption lies unmask'd,
Blabs her own secret filthiness unask'd,

To all that understand her. That do none
In whom she lives embraced with delight:
She first of all deprives them of their sight;

Then dote they on her, as upon their own,
And she to them seems beautiful alone.

But woe is me! One part of me is dead ;
The other lives : Yet that which lives is led,

Or rather carried captive unto sin,
By the dead part. I am a living grave,
And a dead body I within me have.

The worse part of the better, oft doth win :
And, when I should have ended, I begin.

The scent would choke me, were it not that grace Sometimes vouchsafeth to perfume the place

With odours of the spirit, which do ease me, And counterpoise Corruption. Blessed spirit, Although eternal torments be my merit,

And of myself Transgressions only please me, Add grace enough being revived to raise me.

Challenge thine own. Let not intruders hold
Against thy right, what to my wrong I sold.

Having no state myself, but tenancy,
And tenancy at will, what could I grant
That is not voided, if thou say, avaunt !

O speak the word, and make these inmates flee: Or, which is one, take me to dwell with thee.

XLIV. THE CURB.

Peace, rebel thought: dost thou not know thy King,

My God, is here?
Cannot his presence, if no other thing,

Make thee forbear?
Or were he absent, all the standers by

Are but his spies :
And well he knows, if thou shouldst it deny,

Thy words were lies.
If others will not, yet I must, and will,

Myself complain.

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My God, e’en now a base rebellious thought

Began to move,
And subt’ly twining with me would have wrought

Me from thy love :
Fain he would have me to believe, that sin

And thou might both
Take up my heart together for your Inn,

And neither loathe
The other's company : a while sit still,

And part again.

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ntrudesi rong

naner, I grant

Tell me, my God, how this may be redrest :

The fault is great,
And I the guilty party have confest,

I must be beat.
And I refuse not punishment for this,

Though to my pain;

aunt!

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