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FIRST, the two eyes, which have the seeing pow'r,
These mirrors take into their little space
Of ev'ry body, and of ev'ry place,
Which with the world's wide arms embraced are:
Yet their best object, and their noblest use,
Here are they guides, which do the body lead,
Which else would stumble in eternal night: Here in this world they do much knowledge read, And are the casements which admit most light:
They are her furthest reaching instrument,
Yet they no beams unto their objects send ; But all the rays are from their objects sent, And in the eyes with pointed angles end.
If th' objects be far off, the rays do meet
In a sharp point, and so things seem but small: If they be near, their rays do spread and fleet, And make broad points, that things seem great withal.
Lastly, uine things to sight required are;
The pow'r to see, the light, the visible thing, Being not too small, too thin, too nigh, too far, Clear space and time, the form distinct to bring.
Thus see we how the soul doth use the eyes,
As instruments of her quick pow'r of sight: Hence doth th' arts optic, and fair painting rise; Painting, which doth all gentle minds delight.
Now let us hear how she the ears employs :
These wickets of the soul are plac'd on high,
They are delay'd with turns and windings oft.
For should the voice directly strike the brain,
As streams, which with their winding banks do play, Stopp'd by their creeks, run softly through the So in th' ear's labyrinth the voice doth stray, [plain: And doth with easy motion touch the brain.
This is the slowest, yet the daintiest sense;
Much like a subtle spider 3, which doth sit
LASTLY, the feeling pow'r, which is life's root, Through ev'ry living part itself doth shed By sinews, which extend from head to foot; And, like a net, all o'er the body spread.
By touch, the first pure qualities we learn,
Which quicken all things, hot, cold, moist, and dry: By touch, hard, soft, rough, smooth, we do discern: By touch, sweet pleasure and sharp pain we try.
This ledger-book lies in the brain behind,
Like Janus' eye, which in his poll was set: The layman's tables, storehouse of the mind; Which doth remember much, and much forget.
Here sense's apprehension end doth take;
THE PASSION OF THE SENSE.
BUT though the apprehensive pow'r do pause,
These passions have a free commanding might,
Do from the passion of the sense proceed.
'But since the brain doth lodge the pow'rs of sense, How makes it in the heart those passions spring? The mutual love, the kind intelligence
'Twixt heart and brain, this sympathy doth bring.
From the kind heat, which in the heart doth reign,
These spirits of sense, in fantasy's high court,
Judge of the forms of objects, ill or well; And so they send a good or ill report
Down to the heart, where all affections dwell.
If the report be good, it causeth love,
And longing hope, and well assured joy: If it be ill, then doth it hatred move,
And trembling fear, and vexing griefs annoy.
Yet were these natural affections good,
(For they which want them, blocks or devils be) If reason in her first perfection stood,
That she might Nature's passions rectify.
BESIDES, another motive-power doth 'rise
Out of the heart, from whose pure blood do spring The vital spirits; which, born in arteries, Continual motion to all parts do bring.
This makes the pulses beat, and lungs respire; This holds the sinews like a bridle's reins; And makes the body to advance, retire,
To turn, or stop, as she them slacks or strains.
Thus the soul tunes the body's instruments,
These harmonies she makes with life and sense; The organs fit are by the body lent,
But th' actions flow from the soul's influence.
And as from senses, reason's work doth spring,
So, many stairs we must ascend upright
Ere we attain to wisdom's high degree: So doth this Earth eclipse our reason's light, Which else (in instants) would like angels see.
INNATE IDEAS IN THE SOUL.
YET hath the soul a dowry natural,
And sparks of light, some common things to see; Not being a blank where naught is writ at all, But what the writer will, may written be.
For Nature in man's heart her laws doth pen,
For ev'ry thought or practice, good or ill:
Although they say, "Come let us eat and drink;
Therefore no heretics desire to spread
Their light opinions, like these epicures; For so their stagg'ring thoughts are comforted, And other men's assent their doubt assures.
Yet though these men against their conscience strive,
That though they would, they cannot quite be beasts.
But whoso makes a mirror of his mind,
And doth with patience view himself therein,
Drawn from the desire of knowledge.
And from the essence of the soul doth spring.
With this desire, she hath a native might
To find out ev'ry truth, if she had time; Th' innumerable effects to sort aright,
And by degrees, from cause to cause to climb.
But since our life so fast away doth slide,
As doth a hungry eagle through the wind; Or as a ship transported with the tide,
Which in their passage leave no print behind.
That our short race of life is at an end,
Ere we the principles of skill attain.
Or God (who to vain ends hath nothing done)
Hereafter must be perfected in Heav'n.
God never gave a pow'r to one whole kind,
But most part of that kind did use the same: Most eyes have perfect sight, though some be blind; Most legs can nimbly run, though some be lame.
But in this life, no soul the truth can know
An higher place must make her mount thereto.
Drawn from the motion of the soul.'
Water in conduit-pipes can rise no higher
Than the well-head, from whence it first doth Then since to eternal God she doth aspire, [spring: She cannot be but an eternal thing.
AGAIN, how can she but immortal be,
When, with the motions of both will and wit, She still aspireth to eternity,
And never rests, till she attain to it?
"All moving things to other things do move,
Of the same kind which shows their nature such :"
And as the moisture, which the thirsty earth
Sucks from the sea, to fill her empty veins, From out her womb at last doth take a birth,
And runs a lymph along the grassy plains:
Of which swift little time so much we spend,
Or, having wisdom, was not vex'd in mind?
Long doth she stay, as loath to leave the land,
From whose soft side she first did issue make: She tastes all places, turns to ev'ry hand,
Her flow'ry banks unwilling to forsake:
Yet Nature so her streams doth lead and carry,
Within whose watry bosom first she lay.
E'en so the soul, which in this earthly mould
And only this material world she views:
At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the world, and worldly things;
Yet under Heav'n she cannot light on aught
That with her heav'nly nature doth agree:
Then as a bee which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet flow'rs, with lustre fresh and She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all; [gay; But, pleas'd with none, doth rise, and soar away:
So, when the soul finds here no true content,
And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take,
And flies to him that first her wings did make.
Now God the truth and first of causes is;
God is the last good end, which lasteth still;
Since then her heav'nly kind she doth display,
The soul compared to a river.