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My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part

Time's gentle admonition;
Who did so sweetly death's sad taste convey,
Making my

mind smell my fatal day,

Yet sugaring the suspicion.

Farewell, dear flowers; sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye liv’d, for smell or ornament,

And after death for cures.
I follow straight, without complaints or grief;
Since, if my scent be good, I care not if

It be as short as yours.

Prayer.
Of what an easy quick access,
My blessed Lord, art Thou ! how suddenly

May our requests Thine ear invade!
To shew that state dislikes not easiness,
If I but lift mine eyes, my suit is made :
Thou canst no more not hear, than Thou canst die.

Of what supreme almighty power
Is Thy great arm, which spans the east and west,

And tacks the centre to the sphere !
By it do all things live their measur'd hour:
We cannot ask the thing which is not there,
Blaming the shallowness of our request.

Of what unmeasurable love
Art Thou possess'd, who when Thou couldst not die,

Wert fain to take our flesh and curse,
And for our sakes in person sin reprove !
That by destroying that which tied Thy purse,
Thou might'st make way for liberality.

Since then these three wait on Thy throne, Ease, Power, and Love; I value prayer so,

That were I to leave all but one, Wealth, fame, endowments, virtues, all should go:

HERBERT.

87

I, and dear prayer, would together dwell,
And quickly gain, for each inch lost, an ell.

Providence.

O sacred Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest ! shall I write,
And not of Thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill? Shall they not do Thee right?

Of all the creatures both in sea and land
Only to man Thou hast made known Thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him secretary of Thy praise.

Beasts fain would sing; birds ditty to their notes ;
Trees would be tuning on their native lute
To Thy renown: but all their hands and throats
Are brought to man, while they are lame and mute.

Man is the world's high-priest; he doth present
The sacrifice for all; while they below
Unto the service mutter an assent, -
Such as springs use that fall, and winds that blow.

He that to praise and laud Thee doth refrain
Doth not refrain unto himself alone,
But robs a thousand, who would praise Thee fain;
And doth commit a world of sin in one.

Wherefore, most sacred Spirit, I here present,
For me and all my fellows, praise to Thee :
And just it is that I should pay the rent,
Because the benefit accrues to me.

We all acknowledge both Thy power and love
To be exact, transcendent, and divine;
Who dost so strongly and so sweetly move,
While all things have their will, yet none but Thine.

For either Thy command or Thy permission
Lay hands on all; they are Thy right and left;

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HERBERT.

87

I, and dear prayer, would together dwell,
And quickly gain, for each inch lost, an ell.

Providence.

O sacred Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest! shall I write,
And not of Thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill ? Shall they not do Thee right?

Of all the creatures both in sea and land
Only to man Thou hast made known Thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him secretary of Thy praise.

Beasts fain would sing; birds ditty to their notes ;
Trees would be tuning on their native lute
To Thy renown: but all their hands and throats
Are brought to man, while they are lame and mute.

Man is the world's high-priest; he doth present
The sacrifice for all; while they below
Unto the service mutter an assent,
Such as springs use that fall, and winds that blow.

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The first puts on with speed an expedition ;
The other curbs sin's stealing pace and theft:

Nothing escapes them both; all must appear,
And be dispos’d, and dress’d, and tun'd by Thec,
Who sweetly temper’st all. If we could hear
Thy skill and art, what music would it be!

Thou art in small things great, not small in any;
Thy even praise can neither rise nor fall.
Thou art in all things one, in each thing many :
For Thou art infinite in one, and all.

Tempests are calm to Thee, they know Thy band,
And hold it fast, as children do their father's,
Which cry and follow. Thou hast made poor sand
Check the proud sea, even when it swells and gathers.

Thy cupboard serves the world; the meat is set,
Where all may reach; no beast but knows his feed.
Birds teach us hawking; fishes have their net:
The great prey on the less, they on some weed.

Nothing engender'd doth prevent his meat;
Flies have their tables spread, e'er they appear;
Some creatures have in winter what to eat;
Others do sleep, and envy not their cheer.

How finely dost Thou times and seasons spin,
And make a twist checker'd with night and day!
Which as it lengthens, winds, and winds us in,
As bowls go on, but turning all the way.

Each creature hath a wisdom for his good.
The pigeons feed their tender offspring, crying,
When they are callow; but withdraw their food,
When they are fledged, that need may teach them flying.

Bees work for man; and yet they never bruise
Their master's flower, but leave it, having done,
As fair as ever, and as fit to use:
So both the flower doth stay, and honey run.

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