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Then turn thy thirsty blade
Into my sides; let there the wound be made:
Cheer up, dear soul; redeem thy life with mine;
My soul shall smart, my heart shall bleed for thine.
Sinner. O groundless deeps! O love beyond degree ! The offended dies to set the offender free!
“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts !”—Ps. Lxxxiv. 1.
“ ANCIENT of Days!" to whom all times are now,
Before whose glory seraphims do bow
Their blushing cheeks, and veil their blemished faces;
That, uncontained, at once does fill all places;
How glorious, O how far beyond the height
Of puzzled quills, or the obtuse conceit
Of flesh and blood, or the too flat reports
Of mortal tongues, are thy expressless courts !
Whose glory to paint forth with greater art,
Ravish my fancy and inspire my heart;
Excuse my bold attempt, and pardon me
For showing Sense what Faith alone should see.
Ten thousand millions and ten thousand more,
Of angel-measured leagues from the eastern shore,
Of dungeon-earth this glorious palace stands,
Before whose pearly gates ten thousand bands
Of armed angels wait, to entertain
Those purged souls for whom the Lamb was slain; ;
Whose guiltless death, and voluntary yielding
Of whose given life, gave this brave court her building:
The precious blood of this dear Lamb being spilt,
To rubies turned, whereof her posts were built;
And what dropped down in cold and gelid gore,
Did turn rich sapphires, and impaved her floor :
The brighter flames, which from His eye-balls rayed,
Grew chrysolites, whereof her walls were made:
The milder glances sparkled on the ground,
And groundselled every door with diamond;
But dying, darted upwards, and did fix
A battlement of purest sardonyx.
Her streets with burnished gold are paved round;
Stars lie like pebbles scattered on the ground:
Pearl, mixed with onyx, and the jasper stone,
Made gravelled causeways to be trampled on.
There shines no sun by day, no moon by night;
The palace glory is the palace light!
There is no time to measure motion by,
There time is swallowed with eternity,
And simple love, and sempiternal joys,
Whose sweetness never gluts, nor fulness cloys;
Where, face to face, our ravished eye shall see
Great Elohim, that glorious One in Three,
And Three in One, and, seeing Him, shall bless Him,
And, blessing, love Him; and in love possess Him.
Here, stay, my soul, and ravish in relation;
Thy words being spent, spend now in contemplation.
“ As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul
after thee, O God.”—Ps. xlii. 1. How shall my tongue express that hallowed fire Which Heaven hath kindled in my ravished heart? What muse shall I invoke that will inspire My lowly quill to act a lofty part? What art shall I devise to express desire Too intricate to be expressed by art? Let all the Nine be silent; I refuse Their aid in this high task, for they abuse The flames of love too much; assist me David's Muse. Not as the thirsty soil desires soft showers To quicken and refresh her embryo grain, Nor as the drooping crests of fading flowers Request the bounty of a morning rain, Do I desire my God: these in few hours Re-wish what late their wishes did obtain; But as the swift-foot hart doth, wounded, fly To the much-desired streams, even so do I Pant after thee, my God! whom I must find, or die.
WITH aspect mild and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares and tumults of this life
(Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,)
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
Earth's genuine sons, the sceptered, and the slave,
A mingled mob! a wandering herd ! he sees,
Bewildered in the vale; in all unlike !
His full reverse in all! What higher praise?
What stronger demonstration of the right?
The present all their care; the future, his.
He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity:
What makes them only smile, makes him adore.
When they see mountains, he but atoms sees;
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain.
They things terrestrial worship, as divine:
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust,
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in Infinite, to lose all bound.
Their no-joys end, where his full feast begins;
His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss.
To triumph in existence, his alone;
And his alone, triumphantly to think
His true existence is not yet begun.
His glorious course was, yesterday, complete:
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet.
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,
The twilight of our day, the vestibule.
Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death,
Strong death, alone can heave the massy bar,
This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free.
Yet man, fool man, here buries all his thoughts;
Inters celestial hopes without one sigh:
Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon,
Here pinions all his wishes; winged by Heaven
To fly at Infinite; and reach it there,
Where seraphs gather immortality,
On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow
In his full beam, and ripen for the Just,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where time, and pain, and change, and death expire.
And is it in the flight of threescore years,
To push eternity from human thought,
And smother souls immortal in the dust?
A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness,
Thrown into tumult, raptured, or alarmed,
At aught this scene can threaten or indulge,
Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelms myself.
How was my heart encrusted by the world!
O, how self-fettered was my grovelling soul!
How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round
In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun,
Till darkened reason lay quite clouded o'er
With soft conceit of endless comfort here,
Nor could put forth her wings to reach the skies!
Our waking dreams are fatal: how I dreamt
Of things impossible i (could sleep do more?)
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!