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Then lend thine ear to what I do relate,
Touching the town of Mansoul and her state,
How she was lost, took captive, made a slave,
And how against him set, that should her save.
Yea, how by hostile ways, she did oppose
Her Lord, and with his enemy did close.
For they are true; he that will them deny,
Must needs the best of records vilify.
For my part, I myself was at the town,
Both when 'twas set up, and when pulling down,
I saw Diabolus in his possession,
And Mansoul also under his oppression.
Yea, I was there when she own'd him for Lord,
And to him did submit with one accord.
When Mansoul trampled upon things divine,
And wallowed in filth as doth a swine :
When she betook herself unto her arms,
Fought her Emanuel, despis'd his charıns,
Then I was there, and did rejoice to see
Diabolus and Mansoul so agree.
Let no man then count me a fable-maker,
Nor make my name or credit a partaker
Of their derision: What is here in view,
Of mine own knowledge, I dare say is true.
I saw the Prince's armed men come down
By troops, by thousands, to besiege the town.
I saw the captains, heard the trumpets sound,
And how his forces cover'd all the ground.
Yea, how they set themselves in battle-ray,
I shall remember to my dying day.
I saw the colours waving in the wind, And they within to mischief how conibind,
To ruin Mansoul, and to make away
Her Primum Mobile without delay.
I saw the mounts cast up against the town,
And how the slings were plac'd to beat it down.
I heard the stones fly whizzing by mine ears,
(What longer kept in mind than got in fears ?)
I heard them fall, and saw what work they made,
And how old Mars did cover with his shade
The face of Mansoul: And I heard her cry,
Woe-worth the day in dying I shall die.'
I saw the battering-rams, and how they play'd
To beat down Ear-gate, and I was afraid,
Not only Ear-gate, but the very town
Would by those battering rams be beaten down.
I saw the fights, and heard the Captains shout,
And in each battle saw who fac'd about:
I saw who wounded were, and who were slain,
And who when dead, would come to life again.
I heard the cries of those that wounded were,
(While others fought like men bereft of fear)
And while the cry, Kill, Kill, was in mine ears,
The gutters ran not so with blood as tears.
Indeed the Captains did not always fight: But then they would molest us day and night; Their cry, Up, fall on, let us take the town, Kept us from sleeping, or from lying down.
I was there when the Gates were broken ope, And saw how Mansoul then was stript of hope. I saw the Captains march into the-town, How there they fought, and did their foes cut down.
I heard the Prince bid Boanerges go
Up to the castle, and there seize his foe,
And saw him and his fellows bring him down
In chains of great contempt quite through the towe,
I saw Emanuel when he possest
His town of Mansoul, and how greatly blest
A town, his gallant town of Mansoul was,
When she received his pardon, lov’d his laws.
When the Diabolians were caught,
When tried, and when to execution brought,
Then I was there; yea, I was standing by,
When Mansoul did the rebels crucify.
I also saw Mansoul clad all in white,
And heard her Prince call her his heart's delight,
I saw him put upon her chains of gold,
And rings and bracelets, goodly to behold.
What shall I say? I heard the people's cries,
And saw the Prince wipe tears from Mansoul's eyes,
I heard the groans, and saw the joy of many;
of all I neither will, nor can I,
But by what here I say, you well may see
That Mansoul's matchless wars no fables be.
Mansoul the desire of both Princes was,
One keep his gain would, t’other gain his loss;
Diabolus would cry, The town is mine,
Emanuel would plead a right divine
Unto his Mansoul; then to blows they go,
And Mansoul cries, These wars will me undo!
Mansoul, her wars seem'd endless in her eyes,
She's lost by one, becomes another's prize;
And he again that lost her last would swear,
Have her I will, or her in pieces tear.
Mansoul, it was the very seat of war, Wherefore her troubles greater were by far, Than only where the noise of war is heard, Or where the shaking of a sword is fear’d; Or only where small skirmishes are fought, Or where the fancy fighteth with a thought.
She saw the swords of fighting men made red, And heard the cries of those with them wounded. Must not her frights then-be much more by far, Than theirs that to such doings strangers are? Or theirs that hear the beating of a drum, But not made fly for fear from house and home?
Mansoul not only heard the trumpet sound, But saw her gallants gasping on the ground; Wherefore we must not think that she could rest With them whose greatest earnest is but jest ; Or where the blust'ring threat'ning of great wars Do end in parleys, or in wording jars.
Mansoul, her mighty wars they did portend Her weal, or woe, and that world without end; Wherefore she must be more concern'd than they, Whose fears begin and end the self-same day'; Or where none other harm doth come to him That is engaged, but loss of life or limb, As all must needs confess that now do dwell In Universe, and can this story tell.
Count me not then with them, that to amaze The people, set them on the stars to gaze,
Insinuating with much confidence
That each of them is now the residence
Of some brave creatures; yea, a world they will
Have in each star, tho' it be past their skill
To make it manifest unto a man
That reason hath, or tell his fingers can
But I have too long held thee in the porch,
And kept thee from the sun-shine with a torch.
Well, now go forward, step within the door,
And there behold five hundred times much more
Of all sorts of such inward rarities,
As please the mind will, and will feed the eyes,
With those which, if a Christian, thou wilt see,
Not small, but things of greatest moment be.
Nor do thou go to work without my key.
(In mysteries men soon do lose their way)
And also turn it right if thou wouldst know
My riddle, and wouldst with my heifer plow;
It lies there in the window, fare thee well,
My next may be to ring thy passing bell.