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Then, as my soul, to heaven her first seat, takes flight,
And earth born body, in the earth shall dwell,
So, fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they are bred, and would press me to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purged of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.
Ar the round earth's imagined corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, your numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o’erthrow,
All whom war, death, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance, hath slain, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never taste deaths woe :
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,
For, if above all these, my sins abound,
It is late to ask abundance of thy grace,
When we are there ; here on this lowly ground,
Teach me how to repent; for that's as good
As if thou hadst seal’d my pardon, with thy blood.
If poisonous minerals, and if that tree,
Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot he damn'd; Alas; why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, born in me,
Make sins, else equal, in me, more heinous ?
And mercy being easy, and glorious
To God, in his stern wrath, why threatens he?
But who am I, that dare dispute with thee?
O God, Oh ! of thine only worthy blood,
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drown it in my sins black memory,
That thou remember them, some claim as debt;
I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.
XIII. Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so, For those, whom you think'st thou dost overthrow, Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me ; From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure, than from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and souls delivery ; Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell. And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well, And better, than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more, death thou shalt die.
Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
For I have sinn'd, and sinn'd, and only he,
Who could do no iniquity, hatli died:
But by my death cannot be satisfied
My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety:
They kill'd once an inglorious man, but I
Crucify him daily, being now glorified;
Oh let me then his strange love still admire :
Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment.
And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire
But to supplant, and with gainful intent,
God clothed himself in vile man's flesh, that so
He might be weak enough to suffer woe.
Why are we by all creatures waited on?
Why do the prodigal elements supply
Life and food to me, being more pure than I,
Simple, and further from corruption?
Why brook'st thou, ignorant horse, subjection?
Why dost thou, bull, and boar so seelily
Dissemble weakness, and by one man's stroke die,
Whose whole kind you might swallow and feed upon?
Weaker I am, woe is me, and worse than you,
You have not sinn'd, nor need be timorous,
But wonder at a greater wonder, for to us
Created nature doth these things subdue,
But their Creator, whom sin, nor nature tied,
For us, his creatures, and his foes, hath died.
What if this present were the world's last night?
Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell
Whether his countenance can thee affright;
Tears in his eyes quench the amazing light,
Blood fills his frowns, which from his pierc'd head fell;
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,
Which pray'd forgiveness for his foe's fierce spight?
No, no; but as in my idolatry
I said to all my profane mistresses,
Beauty, of pity, foulness only is
A sign of rigour: so I say to thee,
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign’d,
This beauteous form assumes a piteous mind.
BATTER my heart, three person’d God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, overthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurpt town, to another due,
Labour to admit you; but O, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue,
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betrothed unto your enemy,
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthral me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Wilt thou love God, as he thee? then digest,
My soul, this wholesome meditation,
How God the spirit, by angels waited on
In heaven, doth make his temple in thy breast,
The Father having begot a Son most blest,
And still begetting, (for he ne'er begun)
Hath deigned to choose thee by adoption,
Co-heir to his glory, and Sabbath's endless rest;
And as a robbed man, which by search doth find
His stolen stuff sold, must lose or buy it again :
The Son of glory came down, and was slain,
Us whom he had made, and Satan stolen, to unbind.
'Twas much, that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.
XIX. FATHER, part of his double interest Unto thy kingdom, thy Son gives to me, His jointure in the knotty Trinity, He keeps and gives to me his death's conquest. This Lamb, whose death with life the world hath blest, Was from the world's beginning slain, and he Hath made two wills, which with the legacy Of his and thy kingdom, do thy sons invest; Yet such are these laws, that men argue yet Whether a man those statutes can fulfil; None doth, but thy all-healing grace and spirit, Revive again what law and letter kill; Thy law's abridgement, and thy last command Is all but love; O let this last will stand!
To Mr. Christopher Brooke*.
Thou which art I ('tis nothing to be so),
Thou which art still thyself, by these shalt know
Part of our passage: and, a hand, or eye
By Hilliardt drawn, is worth an history,
By a worse painter made; and (without pride)
When by thy judgment they are dignifi’d,
My lines are such. 'Tis the pre-eminence
Of friendship only to impute excellence.
England, to whom we owe, what we be, and have,
Sad that her sons did seek a foreign grave
(For fate's, or fortune's drifts none can soothsay,
Honour and misery have one face and way.)
From out her pregnant entrails sigh'd a wind
Which at th' air's middle marble room did find
Such strong resistance, that itself it threw
Downward again; and so when it did view
How in the port our fleet dear time did leese,
Withering like prisoners, which lie but for fees,
Mildly it kist our sails, and fresh, and sweet,
As to a stomach starv’d, whose insides meet,
Meat comes, it came ; and swole our sails, when we
So joy'd, as Sarah her swelling joy'd to see.
But 'twas but so kind, as our countrymen,
Which bring friends one day's way, and leave them then.
Then like two mighty kings, which dwelling far
Asunder, meet against a third to war,
The south and west winds joined, and, as they blew,
Waves like a rowling trench before them threw.
* Brother to Dr. Brooke, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, (who married Donne), and the friend of Jonson, Drayton, and Browne. He was himself no contemptible poet.-ED.
+ Nicholas Hilliard, born 1547, at Exeter, best known by his portraits of Elizabeth, and Mary Queen of Scots; he was an imitator of Holbein.—ED.