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How my head in ointment swims!
Fresh from th' pure glance of Thine eye,
There I'll dwell for ever, there
Will I find a purer air,
To feed my life with; there I'll sup
Balm and nectar in my cup;
And thence my ripe soul will I breathe
Warm into the arms of Death.
On the proud banks of great Euphrates' flood, There we sate, and there we wept :
Our harps, that now no music understood,
Nodding, on the willows slept :
While unhappy captived we,
Lovely Sion, thought on thee.
They, they that snatch'd us from our country's breast Would have a song carved to their ears
In Hebrew numbers, then (O cruel jest!)
When harps and hearts were drown'd in tears:
One of Sion's songs to-day.
Sing? play? to whom (ah !) shall we sing or play,
Ah! thee Jerusalem! ah! sooner may
This hand forget the mastery
Of Music's dainty touch, than I
The music of thy memory.
Which, when I lose, O may at once my tongue
A withered leaf, an idle guest.
But Edom, cruel thou! thou criedst down, down
Her falling thou didst urge and thrust,
And haste to dash her into dust:
Dost laugh, proud Babel's daughter? do, laugh on,
Till thy ruin teach thee tears,
Even such as these; laugh, till a 'venging throng
Laugh till thy children's bleeding bones
Weep precious tears upon the stones.
On a Treatise* of Charity.
Rise, then, immortal maid! Religion, rise!
Be what thy beauties, not our blots, have made thee,
Girt all thy glories to thee: then sit down,
Open this book, fair Queen, and take thy crown.
Where thou shalt reach all hearts, command each eye.
A majesty that may beseem thy throne.
*Shelford's "Discourses" (Cambridge: 1635), in which volume the adopted text of the present poem appears. Most edd. lack the last 10 lines of the present text.—ED.
The holy youth of Heaven, whose golden rings
By the fair laws of thy firm-pointed pen,
Pure sluttishness for pure religion :
No longer shall our Churches' frighted stones
In their sad ruins; nor Religion keep
A melancholy mansion in those cold.
Like God's sanctuaries they look'd of old:
No more the hypocrite shall th' upright be
While others bend their knee, no more shalt thou,
Or (for two turtle-doves) it shall suffice
To bring a pair of meek and humble eyes.
This shall from henceforth be the masculine theme
What can the poor hope from us, when we be
Nor shall our zealous ones still have a fling
At that most horrible and hornèd thing,
Forsooth the Pope: by which black name they call
The Turk, the devil, Furies, Hell and all,
And something more. O he is Anti-Christ :
Doubt this, and doubt (say they) that Christ is Christ: Why, 'tis a point of Faith.
Whate'er it be,
I'm sure it is no point of Charity.
In sum, no longer shall our people hope,
To be a true Protestant's but to hate the Pope.
On Mr. George herbert's Book, entitled "The Temple of Sacred Poems,"
SENT TO A GENTLEWOMAN.
Know you, fair, on what you look?
Divinest love lies in this book: