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Neither ought other men's abuse of Lent
Spoil the good use; lest by that argument
We forfeit all our Creed.

'Tis true, we cannot reach Christ's fortieth day;
Yet to go part of that religious way
Is better than to rest:

We cannot reach our Saviour's purity;
Yet are we bid, Be holy even as he.
In both let's do our best.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
That travelleth by-ways.

Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn, and take me by the hand, and more,
May strengthen my decays.

Yet, Lord, instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin, and taking such repast
As may our faults control:

That every man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.


SWEET Day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky,

The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;

For thou must die.

Sweet Rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,

Thy root is ever in its grave,

And thou must die.

Sweet Spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,

My Music shows ye

have your closes,

And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,

Like season'd timber, never gives

But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.



I KNOW the ways of Learning; both the head
And Pipes that feed the press, and make it run;
What Reason hath from Nature borrowed,

Or of itself, like a good housewife, spun
In laws and policy; what the stars conspire,
What willing Nature speaks, what forced by fire;
Both th' old discoveries, and the new-found seas,
The stock and surplus, cause and history:
All these stand open, or I have the keys :

Yet I love thee.

I know the ways of Honour, what maintains
The quick returns of courtesy and wit:

In vies of favours whether party gains,
When glory swells the heart, and mouldeth it
To all expressions both of hand and eye,
Which on the world a true-love-knot may tie,
And bear the bundle, wheresoe'er it goes:
How many drams of spirit there must be
To sell my life unto my friends or foes:
Yet I love thee.

I know the ways of Pleasure, the sweet strains,
The lullings and the relishes of it;

The propositions of hot blood and brains ;

What mirth and music mean; what love and wit
Have done these twenty hundred years, and more:
I know the projects of unbridled store:

My stuff is flesh, not brass; my senses live,
And grumble oft, that they have more in me
Than he that curbs them, being but one to five:
Yet I love thee.

I know all these, and have them in my hand:
Therefore not sealed, but with open eyes
I fly to thee, and fully understand

Both the main sale, and the commodities;
And at what rate and price I have thy love;
With all the circumstances that may move :
Yet through the labyrinths, not my grovelling wit,
But thy silk-twist let down from heaven to me,
Did both conduct and teach me, how by it

To climb to thee.


BROKEN in pieces all asunder,
Lord, hunt me not,

A thing forgot,

Once a poor creature, now a wonder,
A wonder tortured in the space
Betwixt this world and that of grace.

My thoughts are all a case of knives,
Wounding my heart
With scatter'd smart;

As watering-pots give flowers their lives.
Nothing their fury can control,


While they do wound and prick my soul.

my attendants are at strife,

Quitting their place

Unto my face:

Nothing performs the task of life:

The elements are let loose to fight,
And while I live, try out their right.

Oh, help, my God! let not their plot
Kill them and me,

And also thee,

Who art my life: dissolve the knot,

As the sun scatters by his light
All the rebellions of the night.

Then shall those powers, which work for grief,

Enter thy pay,

And day by day

Labour thy praise and my relief;

With care and courage building me,

Till I reach heaven, and much more, thee.


My God, I heard this day,

That none doth build a stately habitation
But he that means to dwell therein.

What house more stately hath there been, Or can be, than is Man? to whose creation All things are in decay.

For Man is every thing,

And more He is a tree, yet bears no fruit ;
A beast, yet is, or should be more :
Reason and speech we only bring.

Parrots may thank us, if they are not mute,
They go upon the score.

Man is all symmetry,

Full of proportions, one limb to another,
And all to all the world besides :
Each part may call the farthest, brother :
For head with foot hath private amity,
And both with moons and tides.

Nothing hath got so far,

But Man hath caught and kept it, as his
His eyes dismount the highest star

He is in little all the sphere.


Herbs gladly cure our flesh, because that they Find their acquaintance there.

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