THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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Affliction is a mother,
Whose painful throes yield many sons,
Each fairer than the other.
As great a store
Have we of books as bees of herbs or more.
Bright shadows of true rest! some shoots of bliss;
Heaven once a week;
The next world's gladness prepossest in this;
A day to seek;
Eternity in time; the steps by which
We climb above all ages: lamps that light
Man through his heap of dark days; and the rich
And full redemption of the whole week's flight.
Dear beauteous death, the jewel of the just.
Mornings are mysteries; the first world's youth,
Man's resurrection, and the future's bud
Shroud in their births.
Some syllables are swords.
The rising winds
And falling springs,
Birds, beasts, all things,
Adore him in their kinds.
Thus all is hurl'd
In sacred hymns and order, the great chime
And symphony of nature.
Thou can'st not die. Here thou art more than safe
Where every book is thy epitaph.
- on Sir Thomas Bodley's library [Libraries]
'Twas so; I saw thy birth. That drowsy lake
From her faint bosom breath'd thee, the disease
Of her sick waters, and infectious ease.
But now at even,
Too gross for heaven,
Thou fall'st in tears, and weep'st for thy mistake.
When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave
To do the like; our bodies but forerun
The spirit's duty. True hearts spread and heave
Unto their God, as flow'rs do to the sun.
Give him thy first thoughts then; so shalt thou keep
Him company all day, and in him sleep.
When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair,
Forms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air;
Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours
Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.
Bright pledge of peace and sunshine!
And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.
- Ascension Hymn (They are all gone into the World of Light)
(st. 7) [Dreams : Thought]
The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and, all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
- Christ's Nativity [Christmas]
Yet never sleep the sun up. Prayer shou'd
Dawn with the day. There are set, awful hours
'Twixt heaven and us. The manna was not good
After sun-rising; far day sullies flowres.
Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sin glut,
And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
- Rules and Lessons (st. 2) [Sleep]
The world in tune,
And vocall joyes,
Whose Eccho is heaven's blisse.
- The Morning Watch [Prayer]
Bright pledge of peace and sunshine! the sure tie
Of thy Lord's hand, the object of His eye!
When I behold thee, though my light be dim,
Distinct, and low, I can in thine see Him
Who looks upon thee from His glorious throne,
And minds the covenant between all and One.
- The Rainbow [Rainbows]
But felt through all this fleshly dresse
Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.
- The Retreate [Immortality]
Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch
At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb;
Keep clean, be as fruit, earn life, and watch,
Till the white-wing'd reapers come.
- The Seed Growing Secretly
[Cleanliness : Growth]
Sure thou did'st flourish once! and many springs,
Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers,
Passed o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
Which now are dead, lodg'd in thy living bowers.
And still a new succession sings and flies;
Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
Towards the old and still-enduring skies;
While the low violet thrives at their root.
- The Timber [Trees]