They are all gone into the world of light, and I alone sit lingering here.
Caesar had perished from the world of men, had not his sword been rescued by his pen.
So stick up ivy and the bays, and then restore the heathen ways, green will remind you of the Spring, though this great day denies the thing, and mortifies the earth, and all, but your wild revels, and loose hall.
Man hath still either toys or care: But hath no root, nor to one place is tied, but ever restless and irregular, about this earth doth run and ride. He knows he hath a home, but scarce knows where; He says it is so far, that he has quite forgot how to go there.
Vain Wits and Eyes
VAIN wits and eyes
Leave, and be wise :
Abuse not, shun not holy fire,
But with true tears wash off your mire.
Tears and these flames will soon grow kind,
And mix an eye-salve for the blind.
Tears cleanse and supple without fail,
And fire will purge your callous veil,
Then comes the light ! which when you spy,
And see your nakedness thereby,
Praise Him, Who dealt His gifts so free
In tears to you, in fire to me.
LORD ! what a busy, restless thing
Hast Thou made man !
Each day and hour he is on wing,
Rests not a span ;
Then having lost the sun and light,
By clouds surpris'd,
He keeps a commerce in the night
With air disguis'd.
Hadst Thou given to this active dust
A state untir'd,
The lost son had not left the husk,
Nor home desir'd.
That was Thy secret, and it is
Thy mercy too ;
For when all fails to bring to bliss,
Then this must do.
Ah, Lord ! and what a purchase will that be,
To take us sick, that sound would not take Thee !
1 Unfold! unfold! Take in His light,
2 Who makes thy cares more short than night.
3 The joys which with His day-star rise,
4 He deals to all but drowsy eyes;
5 And (what the men of this world miss)
6 Some drops and dews of future bliss.
7 Hark! how his winds have chang'd their note,
8 And with warm whispers call thee out.
9 The frosts are past, the storms are gone,
10 And backward life at last comes on.
11 The lofty groves in express joys
12 Reply unto the turtle's voice;
13 And here in dust and dirt, O here
14 The lilies of His love appear!
What happy secret fountain,
Fair shade or mountain,
Whose undiscovered virgin glory
Boasts it this day, though not in story,
Was then thy dwelling? Did some cloud,
Fixed to a tent, descend a shroud
My distressed Lord? Or did a star,
Beckoned by Thee, though high and far,
In sparkling smiles haste gladly down
To lodge light and increase her own?
My dear, dear God! I do not know
What lodged Thee then, nor where, nor how;
But I am sure Thou dost now come
Oft to a narrow, homely room,
Where Thou too hast but the least part:
My God, I mean my sinful heart.
My God and King! to Thee
I bow my knee;
I bow my troubled soul, and greet
With my foul heart thy holy feet.
Cast it, or tread it! it shall do
Even what thou wilt, and praise thee too.
My God, could I weep blood,
Gladly I would,
Or if thou wilt give me that art,
Which through the eyes pours out the heart,
I will exhaust it all, and make
Myself all tears, a weeping lake.
O! 'tis an easy thing
To write and sing;
But to write true, unfeigned verse
Is very hard! O God, disperse
These weights, and give my spirit leave
To act as well as to conceive!
[...] Read more
False life, a foil and no more, when
Wilt thou be gone?
Thou foul deception of all men
That would not have the true come on.
Thou art a moon-like toil, a blind
A dark contest of waves and wind,
A mere tempestuous debate.
Life is a fixed, discerning light,
A knowing joy;
No chance or fit, but ever bright
And calm and full, yet doth not cloy.
'Tis such a blissful thing that still
And shine and smile and hath the skill
To please without eternity.
[...] Read more