Imágenes de páginas



When men seem crows far off upon a tow'r,
Sense saith, they 're crows: what makes us think

them men ?
When we in agues think all sweet things sour,
What makes us know our tongue's false judg-
ment then?

If she doth then the subtle sense excel,

How gross are they that drown her in the blood ? What pow'r was that, whereby Medea saw,

Or in the body's humours temper'd well;
And well approv'd, and prais'd the better course;

As if in them such high perfection stood ?
When her rebellious sense did so withdraw
Her feeble pow'rs, that she pursu'd the worse ? As if most skill in that musician were,

Which had the best, and best tun'd instrument? Did sense persuade Ulysses not to hear

As if the pencil neat, and colours clear,
The mermaid's songs which so his men did please,

Had pow'r to make the painter excellent ?
That they were all persuaded, through the ear,
To quit the ship and leap into the seas?

Why doth not beauty then refine the wit,

And good complexion rectify the will ? Could any pow'r of sense the Roman move,

Why doth not health bring wisdom still with it? To burn his own right hand with courage stont?

Why doth not sickness make men brutish still. Could sense make Marius sit unbound, and prove The cruel lancing of the knotty gout?

Who can in memory, or wit, or will,

Or air, or fire, or earth, or water find? Doubtless, in man there is a nature found,

What alchymist can draw, with all his skill, • Beside the senses, and above them far; i Though most men being in sensual pleasures

The quintessence of these out of the mind ? drown'd,

If th' elements which have nor life, nor sevse, It seems their souls but in their senses are."

Can breed in us so great a pow'r as this, If we had nought but sense, then only they

Why give they not themselves like excellence,

Or other things wherein their mixture is ? Should have sound minds, which have their senses sound:

If she were but the body's quality, But wisdom grows, when senses do decay;

Then she would be with it sick, maim'd, and blind: And folly most in quickest sense is found.

But we perceive where these privations be,

Au healthy, perfect, and sharp-sighted mind. If we had nougbt but sense, each living wights Wbieh we call brute, would be more sharp than If she the body's nature did partake, [cay: we;

Her strength would with the body's strength deAs having sense's apprehensive might

But when the body's strongest sinews slake, In a more clear and excellent degree.

Then is the soul most active, quick, and gay. But they do want that quick discoursing pow'r,

If she were but the body's accident, Which doth ip us the erring sense correct;

And her sole being did in it subsist, Therefore the bee did suck the painted flow'r,

As white in snow, she might herself absent, And birds, of grapes, the cunning shadow peck'd.

And in the body's substance not be miss'd. Sense outsides knows, the soul through all things But it on her, not she on it depends;

For she the body doth sustain and cherish : Sense, circumstance; she doth the substance view: Such secret pow'rs of life to it she leuds, Sense sees the bark; but she the life of trees : Sense hears the sounds; but she the concords true.

That when they fail, then doth the body perish.

Since then the soul works by herself alone,
But why do I the soul and sense divide,
When sense is but a pow'r, which she extends;

Springs not from sense, nor humours well agreeing, Which being in divers parts diversify'd,

Her nature is peculiar, and her own;
The divers forms of objects apprehends?

She is a substance, and a perfect being.
This power spreads outward, but the root doth grow
In th' inward soul, which only doth perceive;

For th' eyes and ears no more their objects know,

Than glasses know what faces they receive.
For if we chance to fix our thoughts elsewhere, But though this substance be the root of sense,
Though our eyes open be, we cannot see:

Sense knows her not, which doth but bodies know: And if one pow'r did not both see and bear, She is a spirit, and heav'nly influence,

Our sights and sounds would always double be. Which from th' fountain of God's spirit doth flow. Then is the soul a nature, which contains She is a spirit, yet not like air or wind; The pow'r of sense, within a greater pow'r;

Nor like the spirits about the heart or brain; Which doth employ and use the sense's paius, Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find, · But sits and rules within her private bow'r. When they in ev'ry thing seek gold in vain,



For she all natures under Hear'n doth pass, (see, Nor could we by our eyes all colours learn,

Being like those spirits, which God's bright face do Except our eyes were of all colours void; O like himself, whose image once she was, Nor sundry tastes can any tongue discern,

Though now, alas! she scarce his shadow be. Which is with gross and bitter humours cloy'd. For of all forms, she holds the first degree, Nor can a man of passions judge aright, That are to gross material bodies knit;

Except his mind be from all passions free: Yet she herself is bodyless and free;

Nor can a judge his office well acquit, and, though confin'd, is almost infinite.

If he possess'd of either party be. Were she a body?, how could she remain

If, lastly, this quick pow'r a body were,
Within this body, which is less than she?

Were it as swift as is the wind or fire,
Or how could she the world's great shape contaio, (Whose atoms do the ope down side-ways bear,
And in our narrow breasts contained be?

And th' other make in pyramids aspire.)
All bodies are confin'd within some place,

Her nimble body yet in time must move, But she all place within herself coplines:

And not in instants through all places slide: All bodies have their measure and their space;

But she is nigh and far, beneath, above, But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines? In point of time, which thought cannot divide :


No body can at once two forms admit,

She 's sent as soon to China as to Spain ; Except the one the other do deface;

And thence returns, as soon as she is sent : But in the soul ten thousand forms do sit,

She measures with one time, and with one pain, And none intrudes into her neighbour's place. An ell of silk, and Heav'n's wide spreading tent. All bodies are with other bodies fill'd,

As tben the soul a substance hath alone,
But she receives both Heav'n and Earth together: Besides the body in which she 's confin'd;
Nor are their forms by rash encounter spill’d, So hath she not a body of her own,

For there they stand, and neither toucheth either. But is a spirit, and immaterial mind.
Nor can her wide embracements filled be; Since body and soul have such diversities,

For they that most and greatest things embrace, Well might wemuse, how first their match began; Enlarge thereby their mind's capacity,

But that we learn, that he that spread the skies, As streains enlarg d, enlarge the channel's space. And fix'd the Earth, first form’d the soul ip man. All things receiv'd do such proportion take,

This true, Prometheus first made man of earth, As those things have wherein they are receiv'd;

And shed in him a beam of heav'nly fire ; So little glasses little faces make,

Now in their mother's wombs, before their birth, And narrow webs on narrow frames are weav'd.

Doth in all sons of men their souls inspire.
Then what vast body must we make the mind,
And yet each thing a proper place doth find, [lands; So our true love, without a inother's aid,
Wherein are men, beasts, trees, towns, seas, and And as Minerva is in fables said,

From Jove, without a mother, to proceed;
And each thing in the true proportion stands ?

Doth daily millious of Minervas breed. Doubtless, this could not be, but that she turns

Bodies to spirits, by sublimation strange; As fire converts to fire the things it burus; As we our meats into our nature change.

Froin their gross matter she abstracts the forms,

And draws a kind of quintessence from things;
Which to her proper nature she transforms, They neither from eternity before,
To bear them light on her celestial wings.

Nor from the time, when time's first point begun,

Made he all souls, which now he keeps in store ; This doth she, when, from things particular,

Some in the Moon, and others in the Sun :
She doth abstract the universal kinds,
Which bodyless and immaterial are,

Nor in a secret cloister doth he keep
And can be only lodg’d within our minds.

These virgin-spirits, till their marriage day; And thus, from divers accidents and acts

Nor locks them up in chambers, where they sleep, Which do within her observation fail,

Till they awake within these beds of clay.
She goddesses and pow'rs divine abstracts;
As Nature, Fortune, and the Virtues all.

Nor did he first a certain number make,

Infusing part in beast and part in inen; Again; how can she sev'ral bodies know,

And, as anwilling further pains to take, If in herself a body's form she bear?

Would make no more than those he framed then. How can a mirror sundry faces show, If from all shapes and forms it be not clear? So that the widow soul, her body dying,

Unto the next born body married was;

And so by often changing, and supplying,
That it cannot be a body.

Men's souls to beasts, and beasts to men did pass.

(These thoughts are fond; for since the bodies born | But many subtle wits have justify'd,

Be more ja namber far, than those that die, That souls from souls spiritually may spring; Thousands must be abortive, and forlorn

Which (if the nature of the soul be try'd) Ere others' deaths to them their souls supply:) Will e'en in nature prove as gross a thing But as God's handmaid, Nature, doth ereate

Bodies in time distinct, and order due ;
So God gives souls the like successive date,

Which himself makes, in bodies formed new :
Which himself makes of no material thing;
For unto angels be no pow'r hath giv'n

For all things made, are either made of nought, Either to form the shape, or stuff to bring

Or made of stuff that ready made doth stanu : From air or fire, or substance of the Heav'n. Of nought no creature ever formed ought,

For that is proper to th' Almighty's hand.
Nor herein doth he Nature's service use ;
For though from bodies she can bodies bring,

If then the soul another soul do make,
Yet could sbe never souls from souls traduce, Because her pow'r is kept within a bound,
As fire from fire, or light from light doth spring. She must some former stuff or matter take;

But in the soul there is no matter founda




Then if her heav'nly form do not agree

With any matter which the world contains,
Then she of nothing must created be;

And to create, to God alone pertains.
Again, if souls do other souls beget,

'T is by themselves, or by the body's pow'r: If by themselves, what doth their working let,

But they might souls engender ev'ry hour?

ALAS! that some who were great lights of old,

And in their hands the lamp of God did bear! Soine rev'rend fathers did this errour hold,

Having their eyes dimm’d with religious fear.

If by the body, how can fit and will

Join with the body only in this act,
Since when they do their other works fulfil,

They from the body do themselves abstract.

For when, say they, by rule of faith we find,

That ev'ry soul unto her body knit,
Brings from the mother's womb the sin of kind,

The root of all the ill she doth commit.
How can we say that God the soul doth make,

But we must make him author of her sin ?
Then from man's soul she doth beginning take,

Since in man's soul corruption did begin.
For if God make ber first be makes her ill, [unto ;)

(Which God forbid our thoughts should yield Or makes the body her fair form to spill,

Which, of itself, it had not pow'r to do. Not Adam's body, but his soul did sin,

And so herself unto corruption brought ; But our poor soul corrupted is within,

Ere she had sinn’d, either in act or thought : And yet we see in her such pow'rs divine,

As we could gladly think, from God she came : Pain would we make him author of the wine,

If for the dregs we could some other blame.

Again, if souls of souls begotten were,

Into each other they should change and move : And change and motion still corruption bear ;

How shall we then the soul immortal prove ? If, lastly, souls do generation use,

Then should they spread incorruptible seed: What then becomes of that which they do lose,

When th' act of generation do not speed ?. And though the soul could cast spiritual seed,

Yet would she not, because she never dies;
For mortal things desire their like to breed,

That so they may their kind immortalize.
Therefore the angels sons of God are nam'd,

And marry not, nor are in marriage giv'n:
Their spirits and ours are of one substance fram'd,

And have one father, e'en the Lord of Heaven;
Who would at first, that in each other thing

The earth and water living souls should breed, But that man's sou), whom he would make their king,

Should from himself immediately proceed.

Thus these good men with holy zeal were blind,

When on the other part the truth did shine;
Whereof we do clear demonstrations find,

By light of nature, and by light divine. None are so gross as to contend for this,

That souls from bodies may traduced be; Between whose natures no proportion is,

When root and branch in nature still agree.

And when he took the woman from man's side,

Doubtless himself inspir'd her soul alone:
For 't is not said, he did man's soul divide,

But took flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone.
Lastly, God being made man for man's own sake,

And being like man in all, except in sin,
His body from the virgin's womb did take;

But all agree, God form'd his soul within,

Then is the soul from God; so Pagans say, He looks on Adam as a root or well;

Which saw by Nature's light her heav'nly kind; And on his heirs as branches, and as streams: Naming her kin to God, and God's bright ray, He sees all men as one man, though they dwell A citizen of Heav'n, to Earth confin'd.

In sundry cities, and in sundry realms. But now I feel, they pluck me by the ear,

And as the root and branch are but one tree, Whom my young Muse so boldly termed blind ! And well and stream do but one river make; And crave more heav'nly light, that cloud to clear; So, if the root and well corrupted be, Which makes them think, God doth not make The stream and branch the same corruption take. the mind.

So, when the root and fountain of mankind

Did draw corruption, and God's curse, by sin;

This was a charge, that all bis heirs did bind,

And all his offspring grew corrupt therein.

And as when th' hand doth strike, the man offends, Gop doubtless makes her and doth make her good, (For part from whole, law severs not in this)

And grafts her in the body, there to spring; So Adam's sin to the whole kind extends; Which, though it be corrupted flesh and blood, For all their patures are but part of bis. Can no way to the soul corruption bring :

Therefore this sin of kind, not personal, Yet is not God the author of her ill,

But real and hereditary was; Though author of her being, and being there :

The guilt thereof, and punishment to all,
And if we dare to judge our Maker's will,

By course of nature and of law doth pass.
He can condemn us, and himself can clear.
First, God from infinite eternity

For as that easy law was giv'n to all,
Decreed, what hath been, is, or shall be done ;

To ancestor and heir, to first and last; And was resolv'd that ev'ry man should be,

So was the first transgression general; And in his turn his race of life should run :

And all did pluck the fruit, and all did taste. And so did purpose all the souls to make,

Of this we find some footsteps in our law, That ever have been made, or ever shall;

Which doth her root from God and Nature take; And that their being they should only take

Ten thousand men she doth together draw, In human bodies, or pot be at all.

And of them all one corporation make:

Was it then fit that such a weak event

(Weakness itself, the sin and fall of man) His counsel's execution should prevent,

Decreed and fix'd before the world began?

Yet these, and their successors, are but one ;

And if they gain or lose their liberties,
They harm or profit not themselves alone,

But such as in succeeding times shall rise.

Or that one penal law by Adam broke,

Should make God break his own eternal law; The settled order of the world revoke,

And change all forms of things which he foresaw ?

And so the ancestor, and all his heirs,

Though they in number pass the stars of Heav's, Are still but one; his forfeitures are theirs,

And unto them are his advancements giv’n:

Could Eve's weak hand, extended to the tree, His civil acts do bind and bar them all;
In sunder rent that adamantine chain,

And as from Adam all corruption take,
Whose golden links, effects and causes be;

So, if the father's crime be capital, And which to God's own chair doth fix'd remain?

In all the blood, law doth corruption make. O could we see how cause from cause doth spring! Is it then just with us, to disinherit How mutually they link'd and folded are!

Th’ unborn nephews, for the father's fault; And hear how oft one disagreeing string

And to advance again, for one man's merit, The harmony doth rather make than mar! A thousand beirs that have deserved nought ?

And view at once, how death by sin is brought;

'And how from death, a better life doth rise ! How this God's justice, and his mercy taught!

We this decree would praise, as right and wise.

And is not God's decree as just as ours,

If he, for Adam's sin, his sons deprive
Of all those native virtues, and those pow'rs,

Which he to him and to his race did give?

But we that measure times by first and last,

The sight of things successively do take, When God on all at once his view doth cast,

And of all times doth but one instant make.

For what is this contagious sin of kind,

But a privation of that grace within,
And of that great rich dowry of the mind,

Which all bad had, but for the first man's sin ?

All in himself, as in a glass, he sees;

For from him, by him, through him, all things be; His sight is not discoursive, by degrees;

Biit seeing th' whole, each single part doth see.

If then a man on light conditions gain

A great estate, to him and bis, for ever ;
If wilfully he forfeit it again,

Who doth bemoan his heir or blame the giver i

So, though God make the soul good, rich, and fair,
Yet wben her farm is to the body knit,

Which makes the man, which man is Adam's heir,
Justly forthwith he takes his grace from it:

And then the soul, being first from nothing brought, This substance, and this spirit of God's own making,

Is in the body plac'd, and planted here, When God's grace fails her, doth to nothing fall;

“ That both of God, and of the world partaking, And this declining proneness unto nought,

Of all that is, man might the image bear." Is e'en that sin that we are born withal.

God first made angels bodiless, pure minds; Yet not alone the first good qualities,

Then other things, which mindless bodies be; Which in the first soul were, deprived are ;

Last, he made man, th’horizon 'twixt both kinds, Bat in their place the contrary do rise,

In whom we do the world's abridgment see. And real spots of sin her beauty mar.

Besides, this world below did need one wight, Nor is it strange, that Adam's ill desert

Which might thereof distingnish ev'ry part; Should be transferr'd unto his guilty race,

Make use thereof, and take therein delight; When Christ his grace and justice doth impart

And order things with industry and art : To men unjust, and such as have no grace.

Which also God might in his works admire, Lastly, the soul were better so to be

And here beneath yield him both pray'r and praise; Born slave to sin, than not to be at all;

As there, above, the holy angels choir Since (if she do believe) one sets her free,

Doth spread his glory forth with spiritual lays. That makes her mount the higher for her fall.

Lastly, the brute, unreasonable wights, Yet this the curious wits will not content ;

Did want a visible king, o'er them to reign : They yet will know (since God foresaw this ill)

And God himself thus to the world unites, Why his high providence did not prevent

That so the world might endless bliss obtain. The declination of the first man's will. If by his word he had the current stay'd Of Adam's will, which was by nature free,

SECTION X. It had been one, as if his word had said,

I will henceforth that man no man shall be. IN WHAT MANNER THE SOUL is UNITED TO THE BODY.

But how shall we this union well express ?

Naught ties the soul, her subtlety is sach; She moves the body, which she doth possess;

Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch.

Then dwells she not therein, as in a tent;

Nor as a pilot in his ship doth sit;
Nor as the spider in his web is pent;

Nor as the wax retains the print in it;

Nor as a vessel water doth contain;

Nor as one liquor in another shed;
Nor as the heat doth in the fire rernain ;

Nor as a voice throughout the air is spread :

For what is man without a moving mind,

Which hath a jadging wit, and choosiug will? Now, if God's pow'r should her election bind,

Her motions then would cease and stand all still. And why did God in man this soul infuse,

But that he should bis Maker know and love? Now, if love be compelld, and cannot choose,

How can it grateful or thank-worthy prove ? Love must free-hearted be, and voluntary;

And not enchanted, or by fate constrain'd: Nor like that love, which did Ulysses carry

To Circe's isle, with mighty charms enchain'd. Besides, were we unchangeable in will,

And of a wit that nothing could misdeem; Equal to God, whose wisdom shineth still,

And never errs we might ourselves esteem. So that if man would be unvariable,

He mast be God, or like a rock or tree;
For e'en the perfect angels were not stable,

But bad a fall more desperate than we.
Then let us praise that pow'r, which makes us be

Men as we are, and rest contented so;
And, knowing man's fall was curiosity,

Admire God's counsels, which we cannot know. And let us know that God the maker is

Of all the souls, in all the men that be; Yet their corruption is no fault of his,

But the first man's that broke God's first decree.

But as the fair and cheerful morning light

Doth here and there her silver-beams impart, And in an instant doth herself unite

To the transparent air, in all and ev'ry part:

Still resting whole, when blows the air divide;

Abiding pure, when th' air is most corrupted; Throughout the air, her beams dispersing wide;

And when the air is toss'd, not interrupted:
So doth the piercing soul the body fill,

Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd;
Indivisible, incorruptible still ;

Nor forc’d, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd.

And as the Sun above the light doth bring,

Though we behold it in the air below;
So from the eternal light the soul doth spring,

Though in the body she her pow'rs do show.

« AnteriorContinuar »