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[Upon the book and picture of the Seraphica! Saint Theresa, as she is usually expressed with a Seraphim beside her.]

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O thou undaunted daughter of desires!
By all thy dower of lights and fires;

By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;

By all thy lives and deaths of love;


By thy large draughts of intellectual day,

And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;
By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire,

By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire ;

By the full kingdom of that final kiss

That seiz'd thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His;
By all the Heav'n thou hast in Him

(Fair sister of the seraphim!)
By all of Him we have in thee;
Leave nothing of myself in me.
Let me so read thy life, that I
Unto all life of mine may die.


No roofs of gold o'er riotous tables shining
Whole days and suns, devour'd with endless dining;
No sails of Tyrian silk, proud pavements sweeping,
Nor ivory couches costlier slumber keeping;
False lights of flaring gems; tumultuous joys;
Halls full of flattering men and frisking boys;
Whate'er false shows of short and slippery good
Mix the mad sons of men in mutual blood.
But walks, and unshorn woods; and souls, just so
Unforc'd and genuine; but not shady though.
Our lodgings hard and homely as our fare,

That chaste and cheap, as the few clothes we wear.

Those, coarse and negligent, as the natural locks
Of these loose groves; rough as th' unpolish't rocks.
A hasty portion of prescribed sleep;

Obedient slumbers, that can wake and weep,

And sing, and sigh, and work, and sleep again;
Still rolling a round sphere of still-returning pain.
Hands full of hasty labours; pains that pay

And prize themselves; do much, that more they may,
And work for work, not wages; let to-morrow's
New drops wash off the sweat of this day's sorrows.
A long and daily-dying life, which breathes

A respiration of reviving deaths.

But neither are there those ignoble stings

That nip the blossom of the world's best things,
And lash Earth-labouring souls

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No cruel guard of diligent cares, that keep

Crown'd woes awake, as things too wise for sleep:
But reverent discipline, and religious fear,
And soft obedience, find sweet biding here;
Silence, and sacred rest; peace, and pure joys;
Kind loves keep house, lie close, and make no noise;
And room enough for monarchs, while none swells
Beyond the kingdoms of contentful cells.

The self-remembring soul sweetly recovers

Her kindred with the stars; not basely hovers

Below but meditates her immortal way

Home to the original source of Light and intellectual day.




Happy those early days, when I
Shin'd in my angel-infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy ought
But a white, celestial thought;
When yet I had not walk'd above
A mile or two, from my first love,
And looking back-at that short space-
Could see a glimpse of His bright face;
When on some gilded cloud or flower
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity;

Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense,
A sev'ral sin to ev'ry sense,

But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
O how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track!
That I might once more reach that plain,
Where first I left my glorious train;
From whence th' enlightened spirit sees
That shady city of palm trees.

But ah! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way!
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps will move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.


Blest infant bud, whose blossom-life
Did only look about, and fall
Wearied out in a harmless strife
Of tears, and milk, the food of all;

Sweetly didst thou expire: thy soul
Flew home unstain'd by his new kin;
For ere thou knew'st how to be foul,
Death wean'd thee from the world, and sin.

Softly rest all thy virgin-crumbs

Lapt in the sweets of thy young breath,
Expecting till thy Saviour comes

To dress them, and unswaddle death!


I saw Eternity the other night,

Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;

And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
Driv'n by the spheres

Like a vast shadow mov'd; in which the world
And all her train were hurl'd.

The doting lover in his quaintest strain

Did there complain;

Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his slights,
Wit's sour delights,

With gloves, and knots, the silly snares of pleasure,
Yet his dear treasure,

All scatter'd lay, while he his eyes did pour

Upon a flower.

The darksome statesman, hung with weights and woe,
Like a thick midnight-fog, mov'd there so slow,
He did not stay, nor go;

Condemning thoughts-like sad eclipses-scowl
Upon his soul,

And clouds of crying witnesses without

Pursued him with one shout.

Yet digg'd the mole, and lest his ways be found,
Worked under ground,

Where he did clutch his prey; but one did see
That policy;

Churches and altars fed him; perjuries
Were gnats and flies ;

It rain'd about him blood and tears, but he
Drank them as free.

The fearful miser on a heap of rust

Sate pining all his life there, did scarce trust
His own hands with the dust,

Yet would not place one piece alone, but lives
In fear of thieves.

Thousands there were as frantic as himself,
And hugg'd each one his pelf;

The downright epicure plac'd heav'n in sense,
And scorn'd pretence ;

While others, slipt into a wide excess,
Said little less;

The weaker sort, slight, trivial wares enslave,
Who think them brave;

And poor despised Truth sate counting by
Their victory.

Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
And sing, and weep, soar'd up into the ring ;
But most would use no wing.

O fools-said I-thus to prefer dark night
Before true light!

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