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His cancred foes, His fights, His toyle, His strife,
His paines, His povertie, His sharpe assayes,
Through which He past His miserable dayes,
Offending none, and doing good to all,
Yet being malist1 both by great and small.
And look at last, how of most wretched wights
He taken was, betrayd, and false accused ;
How with most scornfull taunts, and fell despights,
He was revyld, disgrast, and foule abused;
How scourgd, how crownd, how buffeted, how brused; And, lastly, how twixt robbers crucifyde,
With bitter wounds through hands, through feet, and syde!
Then let thy flinty hart, that feeles no paine,
Empierced be with pittiful emorse,
And let thy bowels bleede in every vaine,
At sight of His most sacred heavenly corse,
So torne and mangled with malicious forse;
And let thy soule, whose sins His sorrows wrought,
Melt into teares, and grone in grieved thought.
With sence whereof, whilest so thy softened spirit
Is inly toucht, and humbled with meeke zeale
Through meditation of His endlesse merit,
Lift up thy mind to th' Author of thy weale,
And to His soveraine mercie doe appeale;
Learne Him to love that loved thee so deare,
And in thy brest His blessed image beare.
With all thy hart, with all thy soule and mind,
Thou must Him love, and His beheasts embrace;
1 Malist, regarded with ill will.
All other loves, with which the world doth blind
Weake fancies, and stirre up affections base,
Thou must renounce and utterly displace,
And give thy self unto Him full and free,
That full and freely gave Himselfe to thee.
Then shalt thou feele thy spirit so possest,
And ravisht with devouring great desire
Of His dear selfe, that shall thy feeble brest
Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire
With burning zeale, through every part entire,
That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight,
But in His sweet and amiable sight.
Thenceforth all worlds desire will in thee dye,
And all earthes glorie, on which men do gaze,
Seeme durt and drosse in thy pure-sighted eye,
Compar'd to that celestiall beauties blaze,
Whose glorious beames all fleshly sense doth daze
With admiration of their passing light,
Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright.
Then shall thy ravisht soul inspired bee
With heavenly thoughts, farre above humane skil,
And thy bright radiant eyes shall plainely see
Th' idee of His pure glorie present still
Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill
With sweete enragement1 of celestiall love,
Kindled through sight of those faire things above.
1 Enragement, fervent admiration.
RAPT with the rage of mine own ravisht thought,
Through contemplation of those goodly sights,
And glorious images in heaven wrought,
Whose wondrous beauty, breathing sweet delights,
Do kindle love in high conceipted sprights;
I faine to tell the things that I behold,
But feele my wits to faile, and tongue to fold.
Vouchsafe then, O Thou most Almightie Spright!
From whom all guifts of wit and knowledge flow,
To shed into my breast some sparkling light
Of thine eternall truth, that I may show
Some little beames to mortall eyes below
Of that immortall Beautie, there with Thee,
Which in my weake distraughted1 mynd I see;
That with the glorie of so goodly sight
The hearts of men, which fondly here admyre
Faire seeming shewes, and feed on vaine delight,
1 Distraughted, distracted.
Transported with celestiall desyre
Of those faire formes, may lift themselves up hyer,
And learne to love, with zealous humble dewty,
Th' Eternall Fountaine of that heavenly Beauty.
Beginning then below, with th' easie vew
Of this base world, subiect to fleshly eye,
From thence to mount aloft, by order dew,
To contemplation of th' immortall sky;
Of the soare faulcon 1 so I learne to flye,
That flags a while her fluttering wings beneath,
Till she her selfe for stronger flight can breath.
Then looke, who list thy gazefull eyes to feed
With sight of that is faire, looke on the frame
Of this wyde universe, and therein reed.
The endlesse kinds of creatures which by name
Thou canst not count, much less their natures aime;
All which are made with wondrous wise respect,
And all with admirable beautie deckt.
First, th' Earth, on adamantine pillers founded
Amid the Sea, engirt with brasen bands;
Then th' Aire still flitting, but yet firmely bounded
On everie side, with pyles of flaming brands,
Never consum'd, nor quencht with mortall hands;
And, last, that mightie shining cristall wall,
Wherewith he hath encompassed this all.
By view whereof it plainly may appeare,
That still as every thing doth upward tend,
1 Soare faulcon, a falcon of the first year.
And further is from earth, so still more cleare
And faire it growes, till to his perfect end
Of purest Beautie it at last ascend;
Ayre more then water, fire much more then ayre, And heaven then fire, appeares more pure and fayre.
Looke thou no further, but affixe thine eye
On that bright shynie round still moving masse,
The house of Blessed God, which men call Skye,
All sowd with glistring stars more thicke then grasse,
Whereof each other doth in brightnesse passe,
But those two most, which, ruling night and day,
As king and queene, the heavens empire sway;
And tell me then, what hast thou ever seene
That to their beautie may compared bee,
Or can the sight that is most sharpe and keene
Endure their captains flaming head to see?
How much lesse those, much higher in degree,
And so much fairer, and much more then these,
As these are fairer then the land and seas?
For farre above these heavens, which here we see,
Be others farre exceeding these in light,
Not bounded, not corrupt, as these same bee,
But infinite in largenesse and in hight,
Unmoving, uncorrupt, and spotlesse bright,
That need no sunne t'illuminate their spheres,
But their owne native light farre passing theirs.
Ver. 60. Their captains.] The sun's.