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Love (II)

Immortal Heat, O let Thy greater flame

Attract the lesser to it; let those fires

Which shall consume the world first make it tame,

And kindle in our hearts such true desires.

As may consume our lusts, and make Thee way:

Then shall our hearts pant Thee, then shall our brain

All her invention on Thine altar lay,

And there in hymns send back Thy fire again.

Our eyes shall see Thee, which before saw dust,

Dust blown by wit, till that they both were blind:

Thou shalt recover all Thy goods in kind,

Who wert disseized by usurping lust:

All knees shall bow to Thee; all wits shall rise,

And praise Him Who did make and mend our eyes.

The Flower

How fresh, oh Lord, how sweet and clean

Are thy returns! even as the flowers in spring;

To which, besides their own demean,

The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.

Grief melts away

Like snow in May,

As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shriveled heart

Could have recovered greenness? It was gone

Quite underground; as flowers depart

To see their mother-root, when they have blown,

Where they together

All the hard weather,

Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

These are thy wonders, Lord of power,

Killing and quickening, bringing down to hell

And up to heaven in an hour;

Making a chiming of a passing-bell.

We say amiss

This or that is:

Thy word is all, if we could spell.

Oh that I once past changing were,

Fast in thy Paradise, where no flower can wither!

Many a spring I shoot up fair,

Offering at heaven, growing and groaning thither;

Nor doth my flower

Want a spring shower,

My sins and I joining together.

But while I grow in a straight line,

Still upwards bent, as if heaven were mine own,

Thy anger comes, and I decline:

What frost to that? what pole is not the zone

Where all things burn,

When thou dost turn,

And the least frown of thine is shown?

And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing. Oh, my only light,

It cannot be

That I am he

On whom thy tempests fell all night.

These are thy wonders, Lord of love,

To make us see we are but flowers that glide;

Which when we once can find and prove,

Thou hast a garden for us where to bide;

Who would be more,

Swelling through store,

Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.


Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,

Nothing but bones,

The sad effect of sadder groans:

Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.

But since our Savior's death did put some blood

Into thy face,

Thou art grown fair and full of grace,

Much in request, much sought for as a good.

Therefore we can die as sleep, and trust

Half that we have

Unto an honest faithful grave;

Making our pillows either down, or dust.

Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, 

      Though foolishly he lost the same, 

            Decaying more and more, 

                  Till he became 

                        Most poore: 

                        With thee 

                  O let me rise 

            As larks, harmoniously, 

      And sing this day thy victories: 

Then shall the fall further the flight in me. 

My tender age in sorrow did beginne 

      And still with sicknesses and shame. 

            Thou didst so punish sinne, 

                  That I became 

                        Most thinne. 

                        With thee 

                  Let me combine, 

            And feel thy victorie: 

         For, if I imp my wing on thine, 

Affliction shall advance the flight in me.