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Sometimes Death, puffing at the door,
Blows all the dust about the floor : But while he thinks to spoil the room, he sweeps.
Blest be the Architect, whose art
LORD, how can man preach thy eternal word ?
He is a brittle crazy glass :
This glorious and transcendent place,
But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story,
Making thy life to shine within
More reverend grows, and more doth win ;
Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one
When they combine and mingle, bring
Doth vanish like a flaring thing,
LORD, who hast form'd me out of mud,
And hast redeem'd me through thy blood,
Purge all my sins done heretofore ;
For I confess my heavy score,
Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me,
With faith, with hope, with charity;
PEACE, muttering thoughts, and do not grudge to keep
Within the walls of your own breast. Who cannot on his own bed sweetly sleep,
Can on another's hardly rest.
Gad not abroad at every quest and call
Of an untrained hope or passion.
Is wantonness in contemplation.
Mark how the fire in flints doth quiet lie,
Content and warm to itself alone : But when it would appear to other's eye,
Without a knock it never shone.
Give me the pliant mind, whose gentle measure
Complies and suits with all estates ; Which can let loose to a crown, and yet with pleasure
Take up within a cloister's gates.
This soul doth span the world, and hang content
From either pole unto the centre :
The brags of life are but a nine days' wonder :
And after death the fumes that spring From private bodies, make as big a thunder
As those which rise from a huge King.
Only thy Chronicle is lost : and yet
Better by worms be all once spent,
Thy name in books, which may not vent.
When all thy deeds, whose brunt thou feel’st alone,
Are chaw'd by others' pens and tongue, And as their wit is, their digestion,
Thy nourish'd fame is weak or strong.
Then cease discoursing, soul, till thine own ground;
Do not thyself or friends importune. He that by seeking hath himself once found,
Hath ever found a happy fortune.
My God, a verse is not a crown ;
It cannot vault, or dance, or play ;
It is no office, art, or news ;
I saw the Virtues sitting hand in hand
To execute their call,
Gave them about to all.
The angry Lion did
Lion did present his paw,
That went to Temperance.
Kill'd in the way by chance.
At length the Crow, bringing the Peacock's plume
They leapt upon the throne ; And if the Fox had lived to rule their side,
They had deposed each one.
Humility, who held the plume, at this
They drive them soon away ;
At the next Session-day.
LORD, in my silence how do I despise
What upon trust
But is—fair dust!
Dear earth, fine grass, or hay;
Upon their head.
But when I view abroad both Regiments,
The world's, and thine ;
The other fine,
Brave language, braver deeds :
And prick mine eyes.
O brook not this, lest if what even now
My foot did tread,