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Oh, what a cunning guest
Is this same grief! within my heart I made

Closets; and in them many a chest;

And like a master in
In those chests, boxes ; in each box, a till:
Yet grief knows all, and enters when he will.

my trade,

No screw, no piercer can Into a piece of timber work and wind,

As God's afflictions into man,

When he a torture hath design’d.
They are too subtle for the subtlest hearts ;
And fall, like rheums, upon the tenderest parts.

We are the earth ; and they,

2 Like moles within us, heave, and cast about :

And till they foot and clutch their prey,

They never cool, much less give out. No Smith can make such locks, but they have keys; Closets are Halls to them; and hearts, highways.

Only an open breast
Doth shut them out, so that they cannot enter;

Or, if they enter, cannot rest,

But quickly seek some new adventure. Smooth open hearts no fastening have ; but fiction Doth give a hold and handle to affliction.

Wherefore my faults and sins, Lord, I acknowledge ; take thy plagues away :

For since confession pardon wins,

I challenge here the brightest day,
The clearest diamond : let them do their best,
They shall be thick and cloudy to my breast.


Oh, what a thing is Man! how far from power,

From settled peace and rest ! He is some twenty several men at least

Each several hour.

One while he counts of heaven, as of his treasure :

But then a thought creeps in, And calls him coward, who for fear of sin

Will lose a pleasure.

Now he will fight it out, and to the wars ;

Now eat his bread in peace, And snudge in quiet : now he scorns increase;

Now all day spares.

He builds a house, which quickly down must go,

As if a whirlwind blew And crush'd the building: and 'tis partly true,

His mind is so.

Oh, what a sight were Man, if his attires

Did alter with his mind; And, like a Dolphin's skin, his clothes combined

With his desires !

Surely if each one saw another's heart,

There would be no commerce,
No Sale or Bargain pass : all would disperse,

And live apart.

Lord, mend or rather make us : one creation

Will not suffice our turn :
Except thou make us daily, we shall spurn

Our own salvation.


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Joy, I did lock thee up: but some bad man

Hath let thee out again : And now, methinks, I am where I began

Seven years ago : one vogue and vein,

One air of thoughts usurps my brain.
I did toward Canaan draw ; but now I am
Brought back to the Red Sea, the sea of shame.

For as the Jews of old by God's command

Traveli'd, and saw no town;
So now each Christian hath his journeys spann'd:

Their story pens and sets us down.

A single deed is small renown.
God's works are wide, and let in future times ;
His ancient justice overflows our crimes.

Then have we too our guardian fires and clouds ;

Our Scripture-dew drops fast :
We have our sands and serpents, tents and shrouds ;-

Alas! our murmurings come not last.
But where's the cluster? Where's the taste

Of mine inheritance ? Lord, if I must borrow,
Let me as well take up their joy, as sorrow.

But can he want the grape, who hath the wine ?

I have their fruit, and more. Blessed be God, who prosper'd Noah's vine,

And made it bring forth grapes good store.

But much more Him I must adore,
Who of the law's sour juice sweet wine did make,
Even God himself, being pressed for my sake.


DEAR friend, sit down, the tale is long and sad :
And in my faintings I presume your love
Will more comply, than help. A Lord I had,
And have, of whom some grounds, which may improve,
I hold for two lives, and both lives in me.
To him I brought a dish of fruit one day,
And in the middle placed my heart. But he

(I sigh to say)
Look'd on a servant, who did know his eye
Better than you know me, or (which is one)
Than I myself. The servant instantly
Quitting the fruit, seized on my heart alone
And threw it in a font, wherein did fall
A stream of blood, which issued from the side
Of a great rock : I well remember all,
And have good cause : there it was dipt and dyed,
And wash'd, and wrung : the very wringing yet
Enforceth tears. Your heart was foul, I fear.
Indeed 'tis true. I did and do commit
Many a fault more than my lease will bear;

Yet still ask'd pardon, and was not denied.

you shall hear. After my heart was well, And clean and fair, as I one even-tide

(I sigh to tell) Walk'd by myself abroad, I saw a large

I And spacious furnace flaming, and thereon A boiling caldron, round about whose verge Was in great letters set AFFLICTION. The greatness show'd the owner. So I went To fetch a sacrifice out of my fold, Thinking with that, which I did thus present, To warm his love, which I did fear grew cold. But as my heart did tender it, the man Who was to take it from me, slipt his hand, And threw my heart into the scalding pan; My heart, that brought it (do you understand ?), The offerer's heart. Your heart was hard, I fear. Indeed 'tis true. I found a callous matter Began to spread and to expatiate there : But with a richer drug, than scalding water, I bathed it often, even with holy blood, Which at a board, while many drank bare wine, A friend did steal into my cup for good, Even taken inwardly, and most divine To supple hardnesses. But at the length Out of the caldron getting, soon I fled Unto my house, where to repair the strength Which I had lost, I hasted to my bed : But when I thought to sleep out all these faults,

(I sigh to speak) I found that some had stuff'd the bed with thoughts, I would say thorns. Dear, could my heart not break, When with my pleasures even my rest was gone? Full well I understood, who had been there :



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