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A he bow can the but immortal


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 : Then, since to eternal God the doth aspire,

She cannot be but an eternal thing.

“All moving things to other things do move

Of the same kind, which shows their nature such ; So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above,

Till both their proper elements do touch.

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 :

Long doth she stay, as loth to leave the land

From whose soft side the first did issue make; She tastes all places, turns to every hand,

Her Aowery banks unwilling to forsake.

Yet Nature so her streams doth lead and carry,

As that her course doth make no final stay, Till she herself unto the Ocean marry,

Within whose watery bosom first she lay.

E’en so the soul, which in this earthly mould

The spirit of God doth secretly infuse, Because at first she doth the earth behold,

And only this material world she views.

At first her mother Earth she holdeth dear,

And doth embrace the world, and worldly things She flies close by the ground and hovers here,

And mounts not up with her celestial wings:

Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught

That with her heavenly nature doth agree ; She cannot reft, she cannot fix her thought,

She cannot in this world contented be.

For who did ever yet, in honor, wealth,

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 lustre 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 the first was sent,

And lies to Him that first her wings did make.

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,

These do by fibs her fantasy possess ; But she diftaftes them all within a while,

And in the sweetest finds a tediousness ;

But if upon the world's Almighty King

She once doth fix her humble, loving thoughts ; Who by his picture drawn in every thing,

And sacred messages, her love hath sought ;

Of Him she thinks she cannot think too much ;

This honey tasted still, is ever sweet ;
The pleasure of her ravished thought is such,

As almost here she with her bliss doth meet.

But when in heaven she shall His essence see,

This is her sovereign good, and perfect bliss, Her longings, wishings, hopes, all finished be,

Her joys are full, her motions rest in this.

There is the crowned with garlands of content ;

There doth she manna eat, and nectar drink; That presence doth such high delights present, As never tongue could speak, nor heart could think.

Sir John Davies. Born in 1570.


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HE seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,

So calm are we when passions are no more !
For then we know how yain it was to boast
Of fleeting things so certain to be loft.

Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries;
The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made.

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home ;

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