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And first I found the corner where was J,
After, where ES, and next where U was graved.
When I had got these parcels, instantly
I sat me down to spell them, and perceived
That to my broken heart he was I ease you,
And to my whole is JESU.
CANST be idle ? canst thou play,
Foolish soul who sinn'd to-day?
Rivers run, and springs each one
Know their home, and get them gone :
Hast thou tears, or hast thou none ?
If, poor soul, thou hast no tears,
Would thou hadst no faults or fears!
Who hath these, those ills forbears.
Winds still work : it is their plot,
Be the season cold or hot:
Hast thou sighs, or hast thou not?
If thou hast no sighs or groans,
Would thou hadst no flesh and bones!
Lesser pains 'scape greater ones.
But if yet thou idle be,
Foolish soul, who died for thee?
Who did leave his Father's throne,
To assume thy flesh and bone ?
Had he life, or had he none ?
If he had not lived for thee,
Thou hadst died most wretchedly;
And two deaths had been thy fee.
He so far thy good did plot,
That his own self he forgot.
Did he die, or did he not?
If he had not died for thee,
Thou hadst lived in misery.
Two lives worse than ten deaths be.
And hath any space of breath
Twixt his sins and Saviour's death?
He that loseth gold, though dross,
Tells to all he meets, his cross :
He that sins, hath he no loss?
He that finds a silver vein,
a Thinks on it, and thinks again : Brings thy Saviour's death no gain ?
Who in heart not ever kneels,
Neither sin nor Saviour feels.
SWEETEST Saviour, if
soul Were but worth the having, Quickly should I then control
Any thought of waving.
But when all my care and pains
Cannot give the name of gains
To thy wretch so full of stains ;
What delight or hope remains ?
What (Child), is the balance thine ?
Thine the poise and measure?
If I say, Thou shalt be mine,
Finger not my treasure.
What the gains in having thee
Do amount to, only he,
Who for man was sold, can see,
That transferr'd the accounts to me.
But as I can see no merit,
Leading to this favour :
So the way to fit me for it,
Is beyond my savour.
As the reason then is thine ;
So the way is none of mine :
I disclaim the whole design :
Sin disclaims and I resign.
That is all, if that I could
Get without repining;
And my clay my creature would
Follow my resigning :
That as I did freely part
With my giory and desert,
Left all joys to feel all smart-
Ah! no more : thou break'st
Why do I languish thus, drooping and dull,
As if I were all earth?
O give me quickness, that I may with mirth
Praise thee brimful !
The wanton lover in a curious strain
Can praise his fairest fair;
And with quaint metaphors her curled hair
Curl o'er again :
Thou art my loveliness, my life, my light,
Beauty alone to me:
Thy bloody death and undeserved, makes thee
Pure red and white.
When all perfections as but one appear,
That those thy form doth show, The very dust, where thou dost tread and go,
Makes beauties bere;
Where are my lines then? my approaches ? views ?
Where are my window-songs ? Lovers are still pretending, and even wrongs
Sharpen their Muse.
But I am lost in flesh, whose sugar'd lies
Still mock me, and grow bold : Sure thou didst put a mind there, if I could
Find where it lies.
Lord, clear thy gift, that with a constant wit
I may but look towards thee :
Look only ; for to love thee, who can be,
What angel, fit ?
As on a window late I cast mine eye,
I saw a vine drop grapes with J and C
Anneald on every bunch. One standing by
Ask'd what it meant. 1 (who am never loth
To spend my judgment) said, it seem'd to me
To be the body and the letters both
Of Joy and Charity. Sir, you have not miss'd,
The man replied ; It figures JESUS CHRIST.
O SACRED Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest ! shall I write,
And not of thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill ? shall they not do thee right?
Of all the creatures both in sea and land,
Only to Man thou hast made known thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him Secretary of thy praise.
Beasts fain would sing; birds ditty to their notes;
Trees would be tuning on their native lute
To thy renown : but all their hands and throats
Are brought to Man, while they are lame and mute.