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Ne dare looke up with corruptible eye
On the dred face of that Great Deity,
For feare, lest if he chaunce to looke on thee,
Thou turne to nought, and quite confounded be.
But lowly fall before his mercie seate,
Close covered with the Lambes integrity
From the iust wrath of his avengeful threate
That sits upon the righteous throne on hy;
His throne is built upon eternity,
More firme and durable then steele or brasse,
Or the hard diamond, which them both doth passe.
His scepter is the rod of Righteousnesse,
With which he bruseth all his foes to dust,
And the great dragon strongly doth represse,
Under the rigour of his iudgment iust;
His seate is Truth, to which the faithfull trust,
From whence proceed her beames so pure and
That all about him sheddeth glorious light:
Light, farre exceeding that bright blazing sparke
Which darted is from Titans flaming head,
That with his beames enlumineth the darke
And dampish air, whereby al things are red;
Whose nature yet so much is marvelled
Of mortall wits, that it doth much amaze
The greatest wizards which thereon do gaze.
But that immortall light which there doth shine,
Is many thousand times more bright, more cleare,
More excellent, more glorious, more divine,
Through which to God all mortall actions here, And even the thoughts of men, do plaine appeare; For from th’Eternall Truth it doth proceed, Through heavenly vertue which her beames doe
With the great glorie of that wondrous light
His throne is all encompassed around,
And hid in his owne brightnesse from the sight
Of all that looke thereon with eyes unsound;
And underneath his feet are to be found
Thunder, and lightning, and tempestuous fyre,
The instruments of his avenging yre.
There in his bosome Sapience doth sit,
The soveraine dearling of the Deity,
Clad like a queene in royall robes, most fit
For so great powre and peerelesse majesty,
And all with gemmes and iewels gorgeously
Adornd, that brighter then the starres appeare,
And make her native brightnes seem more cleare,
And on her head a crown of purest gold
Is set, in signe of highest soverainty;
And in her hand a scepter she doth hold,
With which she rules the house of God on hy,
And menageth the ever-moving sky,
And in the same these lower creatures all
Subiected to her powre imperiall.
Both Heaven and Earth obey unto her will,
And all the creatures which they both containe;
For of her fulnesse which the world doth fill
They all partake, and do in state remaine
As their great Maker did at first ordaine,
Through observation of her high beheast,
By which they first were made, and still increast.
The fairnesse of her face no tongue can tell;
For she the daughters of all wemens race,
And angels eke, in beautie doth excell,
Sparkled on her from Gods owne glorious face,
And more increast by her owne goodly grace,
That it doth farre exceed all humane thought,
Ne can on E::rth compared be to ought.
Ne could that painter (had he lived yet)
Which pictured Venus with so curious quill,
Thal all posteritie admyred it,
Have purtray'd this, for all his maistring skill ;
Ne she her selfe had she remained still,
And were as faire as fabling wits do fayne,
Could once come neare this beauty soverayne.
But had those wits, the wonders of their dayes,
Or that sweete Teian poet, which did spend
His plenteous vaine in setting forth her praise,
Seen but a glims of this which I pretend,
How wondrously would he her face commend,
Above that idole of his fayning thought,
That all the world should with his rimes be fraught!
How then dare I, the novice of his art,
Presume to picture so divine a wight,
Or hope t'expresse her least perfections part,
Whose beautie filles the Heavens with her light,
And darkes the Earth with shadow of her sight?
Ah, gentle Muse! thou art too weake and faint
The pourtraict of so heavenly hew to paint.
Let angels, which her goodly face behold
And see at will, her soveraigne praises sing,
And those most sacred mysteries unfold
Of that faire love of mightie Heavens King;
Enough is me t admyre so heavenly thing,
And, being thus with her huge love possest,
In th' only wonder of her selfe to rest.
But whoso may, thrise happie man him hold,
Of all on Earth whom God so much doth grace,
And lets his owne beloved to behold;
For in the view of her celestiall face
All ioy, all blisse, all happinesse, have place;
Ne ought on Earth can want unto the wight
Who of her selfe can win the wishfull sight.
For she, out of her secret threasury,
Plentie of riches forth on him will powre,
Even heavenly riches, which there hidden ly
Within the closet of her chastest bowre,
Th’ eternal portion of her precious dowre,
Which mighty God hath given to her free,
And to all those which thereof worthy bee.
None thereof worthy be, but those whom shee
Vouchsafeth to her presence to receave,
And letteth them her lovely face to see,
Whereof such wondrous pleasures they conceave,
And sweete contentment, that it doth bereave
Their soul of sense, through infinite delight,
And them transport from flesh into the spright.
In which they see such admirable things,
As carries them into an extasy,
And heare such heavenly notes and carolings
Of Gods high praise, that filles the brasen sky;
And feele such ioy and pleasure inwardly,
That maketh them all worldly cares forget,
And onely thinke on that before them set.
Ne from thenceforth doth and fleshly sense,
Or idle thought of earthly things remaine;
But all that earst seemd sweet seemes now offense,
And all that pleased earst now seemes to paine:
Their ioy, their comfort, their desire, their gaine,
Is fixed all on that which now they see ;
All other sights but fayned shadows bee.
And that faire lampe which useth to enflame
The hearts of men with selfe-consuming fyre,
Thenceforth seemes fowle, and full of sinfull blame;
And that all pompe to which proud minds aspyre
By names of honour, and so much desyre,
Seemes to them baseness, and all riches drosse,
And all mirth sadnesse, and all lucre losse.
So full their eyes are of that glorious sight,
And senses fraught with such satietie,
That in nought else on Earth they can delight,
But in th' aspect of that felicitie,
Which they have written in theyr inward ey;
On which they feed, and in theyr fastened mynd
All happie ioy and full contentment fynd.
Ah, then, my hungry soule! which long hast fed
On idle fancies of thy foolish thought,
And, with false beauties flattring bait misled,