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To Heaven's high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye;
Without thy presence, earth gives no refection;
Without thy presence, sea affords no treasure; Without thy presence, air 's a rank infection; Without thy presence, Heaven itself 's no pleasure. If not possessed, if not enjoyed in thee, What's earth, or sea, or air, or Heaven to me? FRANCIS QUArles.
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?
Water in conduit-pipes can rise no higher
Than the well-head from whence it first doth spring;
"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
Long doth she stay, as loth to leave the land
Yet Nature so her streams doth lead and carry,
Within whose watery bosom first she lay.
E'en so the soul, which in this earthly mould
At first her mother Earth she holdeth dear,
She flies close by the ground and hovers here,
Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught
That with her heavenly nature doth agree; She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought, She cannot in this world contented be.
For who did ever yet in honor, health,
Or pleasure of the sense contentment find? Who ever ceased to wish, when he had wealth? Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind?
Then as a bee which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet flowers with luster fresh and gay, She lights on that and this, and tasteth all,
But pleased 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, She doth return from whence she first was sent, And flies to Him that first her wings did make.
THE SPACIOUS FIRMAMENT ON HIGH. 359
So, while the virgin soul on earth doth stay,
She, wooed and tempted in ten thousand ways, By these great powers which on the earth bear sway, The wisdom of the world, wealth, pleasure, praise;
With these sometimes she doth her time beguile,
But if upon the world's Almighty King
She once doth fix her humble loving thought, Who, by his picture drawn in everything,
And sacred messages, her love has sought:
Of him she thinks she cannot think too much;
But when in heaven she shall his essence see,
Her joys are full, her motions rest in this.
There is she crowned with garlands of content;
As never tongue could speak, nor heart could think.
The spacious Firmament on high.
'HE spacious firmament on high,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
What though, in solemn silence, all
BRIGHT shadows of true rest! some shoots of blisse:
once a week: The next world's gladnesse prepossesst in this; A day to seek :
Eternity in time: the steps by which
We climb above all ages: lamps that light
THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE
The pulleys unto headlong man: time's bower;
Transplanted Paradise: God's walking houre:
The creature's jubilee; God's parbe with dust:
A gleam of glory after six-days-showres!
The Churche's love-feasts: time's prerogative,
Deducted from the whole: the combs and hive,
The milky-way chalkt out with suns; a clue,
That guides through erring homes; and in full story,
A taste of heaven on earth: the pledge and cue
The Spiritual Temple.
["And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."-1 KINGS, vi. 7. See also chap. v. 7-18.]
AND whence, then, came these goodly stones 't was
Israel's pride to raise,
The glory of the former house, the joy of ancient days;
From coasts the stately cedar crowns, each noble slab was brought,
In Lebanon's deep quarries hewn, and on its mountains wrought;