1648
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Psyche. Canto XVI. The Supply.

Psyche: or Loves Mysterie. In XX. Canto's: displaying the Intercourse betwixt Christ, and the Soule. By Joseph Beaumont, Mr. in Arts and ejected Fellow of S. Peters College in Cambridge.

Rev. Joseph Beaumont


Phylax discourses on the Pentecost, and Joseph Beaumont takes the occasion to defend episcopacy and criticize dissent — with reference to the Tower of Babel. All the material in this canto appeared for the first time in the 1702 edition.



THE ARGUMENT.
That Absent Love might here be Present still,
He on His dear Disciples' Heads His own
Coequal Spirit from heav'n's lofty Hill
Pours in a Wind's loud-rushing Torrent down;
And Pentecost in solemn State transfers
Prom Jewish, to the Christian Calendars.

Ye gentle Souls, whose ravish'd bosoms are
Tun'd to the sweet and lofty Key of Love;
Whose flaming Thoughts can in the answering sphere
Of pure and mystick Fire securely move;
Whose stoutly-paradoxick Essence founds
Its dearest Health upon its deepest wounds;

Ye whose brave Strength in Languishments can reign,
Whose calmest Solace in Disquiet rests,
Whose resolute Joy's inhanc'd by cruel Pain
Whose daintiest life by daily Deaths subsists;
Ye who by Loss your secret Gains improve,
And are not what you are, but what you love:

To You, most apprehensive you alone
This Preface her abstruser self presents;
For though the Stoicism of Ice and Stone
Which stupifies ignoble Hearts, prevents
Her entertainment there: yet you can well
And truly understand the Truths you feel.

Those torturing Truths, which too-too Present are
And Near, in Abscence and sad Separation:
O cruel Names, which on a Lover's ear
Beat more unsufferable Perturbation
Than ever from the angriest Thunder's Roar
Down on the soul of frighted Guilt could pour.

For what is Love, but that mysterious Glue
Which joins — O no! which more can do than join:
Which makes Two Hearts disdain themselves to view
Longer as Two, and generously combine
Into an Union so severely close
That in the knot ev'n Self it self doth lose.

No such cold Things remain as I and Thou,
No such loose-laced Words as Mine and Thine:
Thou into I, I into Thou doth grow,
Or rather Thou and I in I intwine.
Both Here and There together strangely shut,
I in this bosom, I the same in that.

Mine hates it self, until it self it feel
Daintily nestling in Thine's dearer breast:
And Thine is not at home till it can steal
Its property into Mine's sweeter nest:
Thus Mine and Thine into one Mine are run,
Nor will Love know more Possessives than One.

Is't for my Friend? it is not mine to give
O let him freely take what is his own:
His wants must needs my Interess derive
Unto himself: then let it be my Crown,
My Fame, my Life; I cannot lose, nor miss
What will be more mine own in being His.

Doth golden Plenty wait upon His Pleasures?
I dare Misfortune's spight to make me Poor:
For my Estate's ensured in his Treasures;
Kept in his bank are my Accounts: the more
I need, the more must He disburse, and be
Malgre Disasters Envy, Me to Me.

Doth spightful Mirth smile in my pleased eyes?
He by those Mirrours dresses his Delight.
Do Sorrow's clouds in his horizon rise?
The same envelope mine in doleful night.
No different things are such to Us, but We
As willingly in Griefs as Joys agree.

I by His Wisdom sage and learned am;
He by my Beauty gracefully doth shine;
He my Dishonor owns, and I His Fame;
My Health is his, and his Diseases Mine:
Abroad He always in my Journeys is,
In his Retirement I my Home possess.

Mine are his Thoughts, and His are my desires:
Alike our faithful Bosoms pant and heave;
One equal Fervor all our Motions fires;
Heart doth with Heart embraces interweave:
What Words can ne'r express, emphatick Sighs
Speak plain, and most intelligible Eyes.

We sigh for joy our happy selves to find
More closly soder'd than our Tongues can tell:
We glance our Rhetorick, and look our mind
To one another; till the Spectacle
So equally reflects us both, that He
As I in Him, beholds himself in Me.

Yet though the Soul of Sweetness thrilling be
In this dear Riddle; still it doth create
New Thirst of more Content amidst this Sea
Of Satisfaction; still our Bosoms beat
In strong ambition to be nearer yet,
Though they in straitest Union be knit.

In everlasting Discord they agree,
Still fighting which should with the best Embrace
Hug his most-nearly-precious Enemy,
And higher strein what most excessive was:
O noble Strife, whose venturous Ardors prove
There's no end of Superlatives in Love!

Since then the Marriage of souls, which are
Espous'd by true and genuine Affection,
Reigns in Delight's supremest purest Sphere;
What reach of fancy, or Poetick fiction
Can with due horror paint that strange Vexation
Which boils in Absence and in Separation.

Disrobe me of my Beauty, and unty
My closest veins; undress me, of my skin;
Unclasp my Joints; unlace my nerves; and try
My finest tenderest membranes to unpin:
Yet something still you leave me since I find
My Heart at home, and in my Heart my Mind.

But if you snatch my friend, my friend away,
Of all my dearest All you quite devest me;
Upon my Heart, my mind; my Life, you prey:
And in this loss what Comfort can assist me!
My Soul you split, you cleave my Bowels, and
My Sweetest Essence quite in sunder rend.

Mistake me not: though here I now appear,
O I am nothing less than here; for I
Intirely am confin'd and chained there
Where e'r it be that My most Mine doth lie.
Trust, trust sad Truth: 'tis but my shadow this;
With Him, with precious Him my Substance is.

Feel not my Pulse, nor ask me How I do;
Such Questions only mock my Loss and Me:
Go where I am; to my Soul's Jewel go,
Where your Demand can clearlyest answer'd be:
By his Disease or Health you best shall tell
Whether unhappy I be Sick or Well.

Nay lose no grave Discourses on my Pain,
Which no Philosophy has wit to cure:
Wisely you preach, but that you preach in vain;
Nor can my wedded loyal Ear endure
New Counsels to embrace, since He is gone,
Whom I espous'd for Oracle alone.

Peace idle Musick; thy concording Strings
With jarring discord grate my widdow'd Heart,
No harmony, say I, whoever sings,
Unless my dearest Solace-bears his part.
Airs are cold Wind, but where soul-charming He
Inflames the Tune with cordial Suavity.

Remove that Banquet, whose choise Dainties be
But bitter Memorandums of my Wo;
Whilst every Viand feeds my Memory
With thoughts of how much sweeter sweets I now
Bereaved am, and left to famish here
Far far from Him my heart's sustaining Cheer.

Walk if you will; I no Delights can gather
In all that thickset Garden of Content:
Those spicy Beds whose smiles invite you thither,
Choke my Approach ev'n with their odorous sent:
He He's my Paradise; whence being thrown,
All Earth to me with Thorns is overgrown.

Y' are out again: nor will the Theatre
Find me more Company than yon dark Grove:
Though rivited in thickest Throngs I were,
I still through woful Solitude should rove:
Still I 'm alone, yea singler than alone;
In Absent Him I from my self am gone.

When Titan's wheels have roll'd him under Night,
Her Widdowhood so sadly sits upon
The loyal Marygold, that from the sight
Of all the World she willing is to run:
She shuts her curtains, down she hangs her head
And leaves her self so long['s] her spouse is fled.

My friend's my Sun; and what's this World to me
But Night and Blackness, seeing He is set?
Wonder not then my hanging head to see,
My senses' windows clos'd, my Spirit's put
To bed; alas, but not to rest I and this
My house of flesh and bone grown Tenantless.

Kind Brothers, gentle Sisters, O how fain
My Arms would meet and hug your Courtesy!
But strange Impossibility's great Chain
Forbids me that Delight, since dearest He
In whose embrace alone I sweetness taste
Beyond my vainly-panting reach is plac'd.

Brothers and Sisters are no more to me
Than empty Names and handsome Skins of Joy:
Talk not of Blood; of all Affinity
Love's is the nearest: and now He's away,
All all my Kinred's lost, and you to me
Are strangers by meer Consanguinity.

Tell me no more that my arrived Ships
Have brought the East to make my Riches rise
Fuller and fairer; for His Absence nips
That springing Wealth; His West seals up mine eyes
To eastern Joys, and no Returns can be
Gainful, but that which brings Him back to me.

I grant my Crop is fair, and well content
Is Ceres to lie crouded in my Barn:
But ah, what pleasure can I thence resent
Who famish'd am amidst my plenteous Corn!
That swelling store but mocketh my Distress;
My Barn is full, my Bosom empty is.

Do, if you please, think me and call me Mad;
For I alas, find I am more than so:
Madmen lose nothing but their wits, and had
My Loss no further reach'd, my present wo
Had not been infinite; but wretched I
Of Head and Heart and all deprived lie.

Never was lunatick lymphatick Wight
So cruelly Distracted, as poor I,
Who thus am torn and flung far from the light
Of mine own eyes; far from the Kiss of my
Own lips; far far from Him who needs must be
In spight of Distance Nearest still to me.

Discredit not the Strangeness of my Pain
By bowing it to any Parallel;
Nor let the rack'd dismembred Men complain
That they on Earth are damn'd to such an Hell.
There, only Composition's rent, but I
This sad Division find in Unity.

I am not I; nor know I what I am:
A monstrous Nothing for my self I find.
O how comes Emptiness so full of flame
Which scorches and devours my absent mind!
O Me, not Me! Why may my Pangs not end
In mine own Inanition! O my friend!

This is the fury of the sober Lover
Whene'r the fuel of his fire's away
In this impatient Phrensy he boils over
The brim of whatsoe'r strives to allay
His Desolation; nor dares he be
Content, till his more precious Self he see.

Let not Amazement then on Psyche gaze;
Her Passion's violence no more then suits
With Love's Decorum: Love enacted has
This brave Self-torture, whose excess confutes
All Comforts in that Bosom, which is left
Quite of her Soul's intirest Soul bereft.

For 'twas not after any Mortal friend
That now her labouring heart did pant and reach:
O no! her restless Aim was to ascend
After Ascended Jesus; who with such
Infinitude of Sweetness drew that she
Could not in this contention finite be.

This swell'd the Billows of her sighs so high,
That soon they overwhelmed Phylax's Haste;
Drown'd all the Nighings of the Coursers by
A louder Tempest; a new Bridle cast
On their loose Reins: and by a mighty Shock
Broke the Wheels' Speed, and blew the Chariot back.

For now the tender-hearted Angel grew
So deep a sharer in the Virgin's Pain;
That to aswage his own in hers, he flew
To Salem's cordial Spectacle again;
Steering his smoaking Steeds' cloud-cutting feet
Into Content's dear Harbor, Olivet.

Psyche forthwith levell'd her hasty Eye
Against the venerable footsteps, and
Shot her heart thither fether'd with a sigh
Of pious Joy: then darting out her hand
And Head, her fervor hug'd and kissed what
(Being distant still) she hug'd and kissed not.

When Philax thus: sweetly-afflicted Dear,
Disparage not thy Lord's Magnificence
By deeming that those empty footsteps there
Are all the Tokens Love's triumphant Prince
Did on the Spouse's loyal hearts bestow,
Whom, though on earth, He would not leave below.

No: His most bounteous Wisdom found a way
To make them be in Heav'n e'r they come thither,
By not enduring that His Heav'n should stay
For them above, but come aforehand hither:
It came, and taught Beneath to be on High;
It came, His Absence fully to SUPPLY.

Sit then soft Soul, sit down; for Rest may here
Be reap'd, ev'n in this World of Restlesness.
Sit down, and I to entertain thine ear
Will such a feast of royal Comfort dress,
As shall compel thy hungry heart to say
All Dainties are not with thy Lord away.

Mark that bare head of yonder Mountain: 'twas
Once cover'd with a House; until the Broom
Of Vengeance swept away proud Salem's grace,
And made for righteous Desolation room:
That scene it was were Jesus's bounty chose
The Comedy of Comfort to expose.

For His Disciples, though no longer they
Could hold Himself, yet kept they His Command,
Not dreading in that Town to fix their stay
Where thousand foes their Valour did attend.
What Dangers could afflict their stay with fear,
Who waited for the Promis'd Comforter.

And yet they challeng'd not the Wrath of Spight
With broad defiance; but in sober Care
Array'd their Resolution to fight
If to the battle they inforc'd were.
As valour's stain it is, and shame, to fly;
So, needlesly to seek an Enemy.

Into that House they manag'd their Retreat,
And gallantly their Hold they fortify'd
With Unanimity: strong Guards they set
Of Prayers and Watchings, and on every side
Themselves secured with a moat of Brine
Fed by no other Springs but their own Eyn.

Well-furnished they were with Ammunition,
With shields of faith, with fiery darts of Love;
Besides a plenteous Stock of sound Provision
To dare all Perils' siege; for from above
Being at first with Hope supplyed, they
Fed on that hearty Diet Night and Day.

Hearty it was, and able to maintain
The fortress of their Life and Health: but yet
Their breeding Solace in its birth was slain,
Because the Promise which had fir'd their great
Zeal's Expectation, cold delays did make,
And now the ninth Day held them on the rack.

Alas how shall their wearied Anchor bear
The Tempest of the Tenth; which with more sadness
Will on their Patience beat, because they are
Summon'd by it to publick solemn Gladness:
To pensive Them the joyous Pentecost
Its own renown'd festivity hath lost.

O how the most unseasonable feast
Insults and laugheth at their Desolation!
For since the Bridegroom of their Souls, who blest
The Palate of their hearts with Contentation,
Away is flown; fast, fast they must, though they
At Plenty's proudest board sit down to day.

And fast they will, now He would have them fast,
Whose Pleasure feasts them when they most abstain:
His Will their Banquet is; nor dares their Taste
But please its loyal self in any Pain
His wholsome Love provides; like bitter sauce
The sweetness of His sweets the more to grace.

Resolved thus; with cheerful Sadness they
Look'd up, and faced Pentecost's fair Dawn:
When Jesus, weary of His own delay
A brighter festival hastes to pour down;
A festival which by the sacred power
Of fuller sweets that other might devour.

The Angels started at the wondrous sight;
All Heav'n was mov'd and quak'd with mighty joy;
In sunder shivered with sacred fright
The spheres laid open an Illustrious way,
And fain through their own gap would have descended
And on the progress of their King attended.

For leaping out of His eternal throne
Where He with equal Majesty did shine
Together with the Father and the Son,
Th' almighty Spirit bowed His divine
Highness to this low journey, for He went
Though sent by Them, yet, by His own Consent.

And that His Progress might embraved be
By all the Port of bright Magnificence;
Master of His own Ceremonies He
Himself contriv'd the way how to advance
His Coming down; since He descended now
Not to Descend, but Rule and Reign below.

Through that soft Air which fills the boundless Sea
Of highest Heav'n, though no rude Tempests roar,
Yet dainty Gales of potent Suavity;
Their storms of everlasting Odours pour;
Which Blisse's Calms more calm and gentle make,
And in deep Joy the Souls of Angels wrack.

All these He summon'd to attend His Eye
By an imperious Beck; and nimble They
By Prest Obedience making their reply,
Flew to His glorious foot, and panting lay
In greedy expectation to know
How by His service they might nobler grow:

When Sovereign He from their delicious Throng
Cull'd all the choicest Breaths He saw excel
In Pleasure's wealth, or Speed's impatient wing,
Or Power's nerves: which as they 'gan to swell
To goodly Multitudes, He into one
Conspiracy of Closeness bad them run.

Forthwith their yielding Essences they clung
Into such strait submission, that now
They find their various selves quite lost among
Themselves; nor can they any longer blow
Their several ways, but fitted are to fly
About no bus'ness but of Unity.

Which when their Lord observ'd, you now, said He
Shall learn, that tis not Height that maketh Heav'n;
To My celestial Realm beneath, with Me
You shall the honor have to stoop: for ev'n
On lowest earth I mean My Throne to found,
And spread My Empyreum on the Ground.

This said; full in the lap of that fair Wind
He pitch'd Him down, and there His Chariot took:
To which He meant no Coursers' help to bind,
Which through the mighty Road away might smoke:
A Coach of Wind no borrow'd Swiftness needs,
Being it self its own most speedy Steeds.

But yet e'r this Almighty Traveller
Set forth, much more of Heav'n He pleas'd to take:
A glorious Altar its four horns doth rear
Before th' eternal Throne, and holier make
The sacred Hecatombs it beareth, by
Its own inestimable Purity.

For all its radiant Metal temper'd was
Of Claritude's own thrice-refined Soul:
But since the poverty of Language has
No richer Word, we are constrain'd to foul
Its gallant Beauties, and its Splendors fold
Up in the dim unworthy name of Gold.

Yet though the golden Pile with fairer beams
Than horns did flame, the Coals enthron'd on it,
Pour'd out a flood of more Illustrious streams,
Dazeling the metal'd Eyes of their own Seat.
Strong was the fire, yet amorously mild;
Deeply it burnt, yet harmlesly it smil'd.

For with a Ray, shot from His quickning Eye,
LOVE kindled it at first, and ever since
It gratefully maintains the gallantry
Of its most blessed birth: the Excellence
Of sweetest Vigor in the Bonfire keeps
Its court; in every Spark Life's fervor leaps.

Let any of these Coals bestow a kiss
On mortal lips, the ardent Complement
With Heav'nly Eloquence will stigmatize
The blessed Mouth; nor shall the stout Consent
Of Learning's opposition break the force
Of that inflamed Tongue's sublime Discourse.

But if it burns its passage through the breast
The Heart with nature's pulse no longer beats;
But with the fulness of new Life opprest,
Lab'reth and panteth with immortal Heats;
Yielding bright proofs, that Heav'n's high fire's no less
Unquenchable than that of Hell's Abyss.

The Sovereign Spirit from this fair Altar's sphere
Listing two Troops of choise serenest dames,
Together coupled then, all pair by pair;
Then severing by a Cleft their upper beams,
Their radiant roots into one stock he clung,
And form'd each Two like One divided Tongue.

In splendid equipage He mustered
All these before His sprightful Coach, that they
Might graceful Tapers be to light and lead
His great Procession's Pomp; which to the Ray
Of far inferior Titan for a golden
And flaming Convoy, scorn'd to be beholden.

Appointed thus, His royal March He 'gan,
Needing no Trumpets' throats the News to tell;
The gallant Paeans of His vocal Van
To all the Orbs proclaim'd the Spectacle:
Heav'n summon'd by the strong Alarm, awoke,
And all its twinckling Eyes did thither look.

Into Amazement's Deep old Nature started,
And there stood staring on the wonderous sight
In which She read her own great Statutes thwarted
By Him whose Mandate first had set them right;
Seeing brisk Lightness its strange Progress rending
Through weight's dull road, and wind and fire descending.

As in the speed of furious Sweetness this
Greedy Procession down it self did croud;
By sudden fragor's vast Impetuousness
The Air's calm Ocean all was overflow'd:
Which Noise's flood broke ope that House, and there
Thy Lord's Disciples overwhelm'd with fear.

Not with that slavish fear which strikes the stroke
Of Vengeance upon guilty Hearts before
The whip can touch them; but with Dread whose Look
Starts into joyouse Hope; a Dread which more
Afflicts with piercing Comfort than with Pain;
Which pinches, but by breaking of the Rein.

The blustering Language of the Coach they heard,
And fully understood from whence it came;
By which their Expectation's Bliss appear'd
Before its Apparition: had no flame
Lighted the noble Truth, yet plain the case
They found, that Heav'n upon them rushing was.

But as their eyes they rifted up to meet
Their glorious Hopes, th' authentick Attestation
On their brave faith its radiant signet set:
In broke the mighty Wind of Consolation,
With all the Lightening's graceful Troop, and on
Their Heads each flaming Tongue strait took its throne.

The blessed Breath its vigor roll'd about
The wondering House, and every corner fill'd;
Yet suffered no Blasts to straggle out,
And blow on Jewish, or on Pagan field:
Heav'n's Spirit hither deigned to resort,
And only here He means to keep His Court.

What though its Walls be poor; what though the Room
As yet be scant? the simple fabrick is
His Holy Church, His sublunary Home,
His sweet though but His earthly Paradise:
Though other Piles be fair, God chooseth none
To be His Temple, but His Church alone.

The fond Schismatick and Heretick fry
Flatter their conventicling Cells in vain,
As if the sneaking Arms of Privacy
The great and Catholick Spirit could contain;
Or He in snarling several Sects could dwell
Who Union's is and Peace's closest Seal.

Indeed with Wind their Houses filled are;
But empty Wind, or full of baneful breath;
Breath much of kin to that contagious Air
Whose bosom stuffed is with gales of Death:
Breath of immortal Plagues, which pierceth through
The breast and heart, till Souls to hell it blow.

Nay several Breaths together bluster there,
And all the Card of Winds in battle meet:
Whence by the Tempest of their monstrous War
They upon Cities, Churches, Kingdoms beat,
Till into mad Confusion's gulf at last
Wrack'd friends and foes, and their own selves they cast.

O that the foolish World so far would learn
Its own felicity as but to know
The soil that bears it! could they once discern
That in the Church's mount it groweth, how
Could madness be so mad as once to think
To find it in a conventicle's sink?

But to display the Plenitude with which
The Spirit's vast Magnificence did store
His dear Ecclesiastick House, the reach
Of Seraph's largest Eloquence, nay more,
The glorious Compass of the Tongues which thus
Attended it, too scant and narrow is.

Yet noble were those Tongues: whose cloven fashion
Their temples crown'd with due Significance,
Who were by this sublime Inauguration
Made sacred Princes of all Lands. Not chance,
But just and Heav'nly Reason did bestow
These flaming Miters on the Churche's brow.

Mitres, whose bright Prerogative as far
Outshines old Aaron's golden Coronet
As purest Evangelick Glories are
Above the sphere of Legal Beauties set:
Most reverend Miters, which ingraved were
With greater Holyness than triumph'd there.

This shape's fair Points right gloriously maintain
Due opposition to Hell's ugly King:
These Princes destin'd were above to reign,
For ever, He beneath: and answering
In head and feet their several Kingdoms, now
They Cloven are above, and He below.

Nor must th' Ambition of the forked Hill
Which higher than it self proud Greece doth lift,
By Cirrha or by Nissa parallel
The loftier Honor of this splended Cleft:
Here here in multiplicity the true
Parnassus his most learned Top doth shew.

Here dwels not that thin family of Nine
Fictitious Sisters, whom kind Poets first
Devoutly fixing in their fancie's shrine,
With Praises and quaint Admirations nurst
Into fond Deities; and then desir'd
By what themselves had made, to be inspir'd.

O no! a Brood of Graces numberless
And really divine, which hatched were
By th' everlasting Dove's pure warmth, in this
Illustrious habitation Tenants are:
Graces with whose enthusiastick Heat
Both breasts of Poets and of Preachers beat.

For these fire-crowned Saints conveened here
Where Heav'n's grand Trumpets, chosen to proclaim
Round Phebus's circle unto every ear
The glories of a fairer Titan's Name:
And now Heav'n's Breath was ready come to teach
The World-alarming Trumpets, how to Preach.

And this unclouds thy doubting, Psyche, why
On these Disciples heads this Embleme sate:
No Badge so truly proper to imply
The signal Glory of their Charge, as that:
Talk not of Beauty, Wealth or Pedegree
What but a Tongue the Preacher's Crown can be?

This with meet emphasis declares that they
Are His Embassadors who is the Word:
Their Errand's Peace: nor seek they to array
Themselves in Steel, or trust to spear and sword;
Compounded all of Sweetness is their might,
As being sent to Treat, and not to Fight.

Religion knows no stern Artillery,
But in her Tongue her gentle Powers reign;
Prayers and Persuasions her Engins be,
Prepared pure unbloody Bays to gain:
Her Master's Death suffices her, and she
No other Wounds desires to make or see.

Her own dear Veins She rather will expose
To quench the barbarous Thirst of any steel
Than broach and quaff in others; with her foes
More kindly She than with her self will deal,
And struggles at her own Life's price to give
Them happy power eternally to live.

Shame then, the dregs of shame all poured be
On their bold Souls, who shall hereafter by
The Ammunition of Barbarity
Religion's peaceful Quarrel fortify
Who not by Prayers, but Armies shall beseech,
Who not by Tongues, but Canons' Roar shall preach.

Whose Church shall grow so Militant indeed,
That it by nothing but by War can stand;
The flames of whose hell-kindled Zeal shall feed
Upon and quite devour the Altar; and
Its wild Combustion spread to Court and Bar
Till Throne and Laws in Ashes buried are.

'Tis true, these Tongues of Pentecosts were all
Compos'd of fire, but fire serene and mild;
Which corresponding to the festival,
With harmless fervor on these Preachers smil'd:
Bright were the flames, yet did not scorch but gild,
Covering their Temples with a radiant Shield.

Resolv'd to sport it in a Summer's Eve
Thus did of late the merry Lambent fire
An innocent Kiss to thine own Tresses give;
A Kiss which still thy ravish'd thoughts admire,
Being so tender that it could not by
Thy touch be felt, but only by thine Eye.

Yet though those flames on this Assembly sate
With unconsuming delicacy; They
Approv'd themselves victoriously hot,
When through the World their might rent ope its way
And burnt so bright from East to West, that it
On a-light fire with Zeal all Nations set.

With sacred Zeal, which made all Dross its Prey,
All Dross of Ignorance, of Superstition,
Of atheous Grossness; and refin'd the Clay
Of humane Nature into a condition
So richly pure, that on its holy face
Splendidly legible God's Image was.

Nor prov'd their Heat less useful than their Light,
Which poured out meridian Grace's Day
Upon the Depth of that Soul-blinding Night
Of Sin in which all Countries groping lay:
For Piety forthwith awoke, and read
Heav'n clear and plain, and what way thither led.

Has holy Fame not acted to thine ear
That old Exploit which graved Shinar's Plain
On Memorie's eternal pillars? where
The deep and dreadful Item stands, to rein
All mortal Pride's bold speed, and fright Ambition
Into remembrance of its frail Condition.

All several Tongues as yet were One, nor did
Distinction of cross Dialects estrange
This Colony from that; no Sense lay hid
In an exotick Dress; no Climate's change
Created need of an Interpreter
To speak again what once was spoken there.

When humane Race, who freely now could trade
With one another's Minds, together laid
Their beads and plots, and politickly mad
Consulted how to make their fears afraid,
To fortify their Strength, to teach their Pride
To rise, and Union not to divide.

The drowned World so deep had sunk into
Their jealous hearts, that though the King of Fate
Shot them Assurance from his splendid Bow,
On their own Counsil's anvil still they beat,
And hop'd to hammer by their Wisdom's work
Some surer larger Refuge than an Ark.

For all in Parliament most gravely met,
And having popular Nimrod chose to be
Their learned Speaker; cunning he, to get
By his sly Bait of outside Honesty,
Power's prize his proud-hearted-burning thirst to slake
With looks demure the wild House thus bespake:

Henceforth all private Thoughts farewel, adieu
Mine own Estate, my Fame, my Liberty;
Nimrod must have no more to do with you
Than with the Publick you the same can be:
My Life's without me now, nor can I feel
My proper Health but in the Common-weal.

How miserable were my Gains, could I
Shift for my Self alone, when all my dear
And rational Kinred must exposed be
To cruel Chance's insolent carreer?
How could my Life its Name to me maintain
Who must in every one of them be slain!

That therfore no Dispersion may unty
Our Common Bodies' joints, and ope a way
To Disolation's full-tide injury;
I here propound, what I will first obey;
Let it enacted be, that All combine
Their Purses and their Hands in one Design.

In one Design, to build a City, where
Against all fears we may our selves immure:
And in that City's heart a Tower to rear
Whose chance-defying Top shall not endure
To be o'rlooked and controlled by
Proud Clouds, or at the Thunder's mercy lie.

A Tower whose head amidst the Spheres shall dwell,
And with a starry Crown imbellish'd be;
A Tower which may befriend the Heav'ns as well
As Earth, with bravely firm Security;
And higher than Rain's empire, scorn the froth
Of any Deluge's impatient Wrath.

Bold Nimrod so. The silly Senate all
Voted his Motion strait into a Law,
And then about their insolent Work they fall,
And mounts of Slime and Brick together draw;
Unto a barbarous depth they dig, and set
In hell their heav'n-aspiring Fabrick's feet.

That Expedition then their Work might crown,
They with their Morter mix'd their willing Sweat;
The long-breath'd Sun was tir'd, and laid him down
Before their daily Task would Rest admit;
Nor could he out of bed so early be
As they, who higher vow'd to climb than He.

O how much easier might they have ascended
To heav'n's fair Hill, would they have gone the way
Which Heav'n it self had oft to them commended!
The possible and ready way, which lay
Not o'r the dangerous tops of highlook'd Towers,
But through Humility's safe shady bowers.

As now the monstrous Pile began to rise,
One story climbing on another's back;
The Workmen's swelling Joy first through their eyes,
Then through their lips in haughty triumph brake:
Loud were their Acclamations, and beat
The Stars, which now their Tower presum'd to threat.

God heard the saucy Noise, and challeng'd by
Its importunity, came down to see
How far the Madness of Impiety,
To her own ruin clambering would be:
He came, and saw th' outrageous Work, and how
Proud Dust above its Earth aspir'd to grow.

This made Him His just Indignation seal
Sure on their Tongues which call'd His Vengeance down:
The troubled Builders strait a-staring fell,
Deeming all Ears were deaf except their own,
Or that their Fellows' wits grew dizzy by
Their rearing up this Edifice so high.

This man gives Brick, when that for Morter calls,
This cries, a Hammer, that a Ladder brings;
A-swearing this, and that a-Laughing falls
To hear his Neighbours thus miscalling Things:
This Prays, that Curses his Commanding; and
This Rails, and that his Praises doth commend.

A hideous Combustion of Voice
Amaz'd the Air; and each one wonder'd why
He spake so loud, and yet could make no noise
To any of the gaping Standers by;
Whose Senses equally astonish'd were
To find they heard not what they still did hear.

Confounded thus, away their Tools they threw,
And all their Hopes which with their Tower had swell'd;
Being inforc'd to study out a new
Manner of Architecture, which might build
More useful Castles in the Air than this,
And raise of Words a various Edifice.

For in this clamorous hurliburly tost,
They saw their Language which till now had run
In one smooth chanel, miserably lost
Into a maze of more than seven times ten
Ragged Meanders, where the vexed Sound
Alas, an harsh and troubled passage found.

This fatal Curse made every Country be
Barbarian to one another, and
To mighty cost put Humane Industry
Their sillyest Neighbours how to understand:
On sprucest Wit this stampt the flame of fool,
And sent profoundest Learning's self to School.

This forc'd through many tedious sweating Years
The patience of the earnest Student; who
Consumed with a thousand pallid Cares,
Amidst his painful Work could nothing do.
For to inrich his Tongue, his Brains he brake,
And aged grew e'r he had learn'd to speak.

Strange scrambling Alphabets this multiply'd,
And to an Art improv'd Necessity;
Each parted Tongue this did again divide
Into Eight several Stations, and by
Unworthy Grammar's busy Niceties
All generous Apprehensions exercise.

Yea Grammar too found all her Laws too weak
To govern Language's extravagance;
Such odd and unruly Idioms did kick
Against her setled Discipline, and prance
So wildly through Expression's fields, that Art
Was fain to play the child, and conne by heart.

But Pentecost's miraculous Virtue now
By cloven Tongues did Tongues' Division heal,
And teach all different Languages to flow
From single mouths; which happily repeal
The fate of Bable, and can fully rear
A loftier Tower then was designed there.

For these brave Architects impowred were
The royal fabrick of the Church to raise:
A fabrick which though its foundation here
In low and scorn'd Humility it lays,
It mounts above the Clouds in sacred pride
And in the Heav'n of Heav'ns its head doth hide.

A fabrick whose Materials scatter'd lay
Both in the East and West, the South and North;
Which though no more than simple Dust and Clay,
Yet far excell'd the Parian Marble's worth,
And those fair Stones' whose sparkling eyes with sweet
And bright Good Morrows rising Titan meet.

These all both live and breath, and are endow'd
With vigor which on Time's proud Sithe can tread:
For in the bosom of this dusty cloud
Are pure immortal Souls inveloped;
Which, since the Church's Pile Spiritual is,
Suit fairest with the glorious Edifice.

And O, what power of Art's requir'd to hew
And square and polish Spirits! Psyche this
High Workmanship's rare difficulties shew
That more than Man the Master-builder is.
He is indeed; and these Disciples now
Felt with no less than God their bosoms glow.

Though flaming Tongues perch'd on their heads, yet in
Their breasts the mighty fire its furnace chose:
There, there th' eternal Spirit his divine
All-quickning fervor's plenitude let loose;
Which swell'd its Dwelling with impatient Bliss,
And strain'd their heart-strings to Delight's excess.

As when the Harvest with a plenteous Crop
Of smiling streams augments his teeming store,
Jordan grown bigger than himself, flings ope
The bounty of his Arms on either shore;
And deluges of kind Embraces spreads
Over the beauties of his neighbour Meads.

So in this time of Grace's Harvest now
These sacred Souls were stuff'd and stretch'd so high
That all their bosoms' banks proved much too low
To bridle in their floods' immensity:
The working Torrent broke their lips in sunder,
And drown'd all Salem's ears in holy wonder.

(For sooner shall the fire refuse to burn,
The golden Sun to chase out leaden Night,
Earth's Lump to stand, Heav'n's nimble Wheels to turn,
Th' inamor'd Needle to affect the sight
Of her dear North; than all the World shall slake
Their Tongues' carreer whom Heav'n inspires to speak.)

They Spake; but hampered and scanted now
No longer in the Syrian Speeches' pale:
All Sounds to them in champagne lay; and through
That open Race they scoured, to forestal
Bold Ignorance's Plea, and make't appear
That All might learn, who would not stop their ear.

Nor were they common murmuring Rils which broke
From their Lips' fount, but highest floods of Praise:
Heav'n's mighty King they for their Subject took
And bravely ventured their first Essays
On Love's Omnipotence, whose Wonders they
In most courageous faith and Zeal display.

Forthwith a noble Auditory on
These all-tongu'd Preachers thronged to attend;
For from the rising to the setting Sun
Devotion's bus'ness did to Salem send
All pious hungry Hearts to feast it here,
with sacred Pentecost's most solemn cheer.

Here Lybia with Cappadocia met;
Aegypt and Media saw Pamphilia here;
Here Parthia and Pontus crowded Creet;
With Elamites here Jews surrounded were;
Mesopotamia here kiss'd Phrygia, and
Arabia here took Asia by the hand.

Had any been too great and proud to come,
Imperial Rome on those high terms had stood;
Yet she disdained not to travel from
Her Pomp and mingle with this common flood:
All which were welcom'd by a nobler feast
Than by Mosaick Rites was ever drest.

A Feast so strangely sumptuous, that they
Can nothing but their deep Amazement feed;
The Elamite his wonder doth bewray
Unto the Jew, the Lybian to the Mede.
All loose themselves in dubious fancies, and
Astonish'd are because they Understand.

The Babylonian Workmen wracked were
In less devouring Deeps of Ecstasy
Those unintelligible Sounds to hear
Whose breath blew down their bold Conspiracy;
Than these admiring Nations, now they know
Plainly what spoken is, yet know not how.

Up fly their puzzell'd hands and eyes and voice
And thus they cry: What, O what do we hear!
Did e'r from any single fountain choise
Of every Liquor flow! what Root can bare
All tribes and kinds of Herbs and flowers, and make,
A goodly Garden grow on one poor Stalk!

Yet lo, those numerous Varieties
Of disagreeing Languages, by which
Each Country shut from one another lies
Beyond Communication's friendly reach,
All flourishing in reconcilement here
Upon the tips of single Tongues appear.

And were not these strange Orators all bred
In dull and simple Galilee? Yet we
Find more then learned Athens' treasured
In Ignorance's clownish Proginy;
Which them both Linguists doth and Doctors make,
For they as marvelously Teach as spake.

Home to our hearts they piercing come in our
Own Dialects, and print their Sermons there,
Leaving our most convinced Souls no power
Of contradiction: O how Heav'nly-rare
Is that Magnificence of Mercy they
Like God's own Trumpets royally display!

What Miracles of News; what Oracles
Of bliss-begetting Truths are these, by which
We learn how bright Divinity a Dress
Of Clouds put on; how God was pleas'd to pitch
His Tent on Earth; and how Immensity
Shrunk into Dust, and deign'd a Babe to be.

How mighty Jesus shin'd so fair, ev'n by
His dim Condition, as away to chase
Each misty Type and shady Prophesy
Which muffled up till now Religion's face:
How most oppressed He triumph'd, and though
Both poor and scorn'd, Heav'n's Kingdom rais'd below.

What sacred Laws He for that Realm enacted;
In what stupendous Deeds His Power did reign;
How He His twice six Deputies elected;
How He His Spirit promis'd to sustain
Their faint frail flesh in that grand Office, and
Their Patience arm'd that Promise to attend.

How by His dying Breath He blew down Death
And undermin'd Corruption in His Grave;
How Hell He lower bode, when's foot's brave Wrath
Into the Dragon's brains due Vengeance crave;
How He the third Day cancell'd mortal fate,
And to the World op'd Resurrection's gate.

How gloriously besmear'd with Conquests, He
Encoached in a thriambeutick Cloud
Returned home; how Heav'n's sublimity
In loyal reverence to His Coming bow'd;
How He resum'd His Sovereign Throne, and there
Honor's own earned Crown on's Temples ware.

The pious Strangers by these Admirations
Eas'd their oppressed hearts. When Hell's black King
Whose ever-jealous ear caught all Mutations
Which through the coasts of startled Nature run,
Rous'd his mad head, and shook the snaky hair
And fiery horns which sadly stared there.

The fragor of the Heav'nly Wind he heard,
Which rent his sturdy throne and stouter heart
Into suspition that some stronger Lord
Had seized on his Realm's superior part,
And blown away his power to maintain
His dearest Title of Air's Sovereign.

This fir'd his speed, and he to Salem flew
To see what most he fear'd and hated most:
Where those fair troops of flaming Tongues through new
Terrors and Doubts his dazell'd fancy tost,
And fry'd his brains in pangs, because they did
Not burn but burnish this Assemblie's head.

Not all the seizings, shrieks, gropes, yellings, which
To damned ears his hideous Hell apply,
Had ever jarr'd upon his Soul with such
Sad harshness, as that blessed Melody
Of all-agreeing Languages, which through
Th' Apostle's Heav'n-tun'd lips distilled now.

Nor was the Theme of their most sweet Discourse
Less bitter to his fell malicious Taste;
For by divine Love's wonderworking force
He into fetters felt his fury cast,
And those Exploits he heard proclamed here
The History of his own Ruins were.

But that which with more cruel anguish tore
His venomous Soul, was to observe how all
This Conflux in astonishment before
This Miracle's bright face made haste to fall;
Ne'r strugling by fond prejudice to slight
What they could not resist by Reason's Might.

His breast he smote, he stamp'd, his lips he bit;
Three desperate sighs he fetch'd: three times he try'd
His tortured impatience forth to spit;
But was as oft repulsed by the Tide
Of gloriously-convincing power which he
Saw shining in this sacred Prodigy.

Recoiling then into his belking heart
Thus his indignant Fury there he chewed:
Fy Belzebub shall thine immortal Art
Of Spight and Wrath so poorly be subdued,
That silly Fishermen should catch thy Prey,
And empty send thy Plots and Thee away!

Shall Galilean Tongues the credit wrest
From thy renowned Oracles, and draw
Astonish'd Nations to adore that Christ
Who galls his Subjects with an iron Law:
Whilst fooled Thou ingrateful Man to please
Lin'st thy Commands with silken downy Ease?

What boots it Thee Damnation's King to be,
If thy vast Realms depopulated lie;
If thy presumed Slaves revolt from Thee
And to thy hated Rival's standard fly:
If Emptiness must fill thy Jails of Pain;
If all thy sulphury Gulfs must flame in vain!

Canst thou with patience be a Devil, and yet
Behold how in this new converted Rout,
(Who for his Churche's Pile, themselves as fit
Materials, to the Carpenter have brought,)
Thy heedless Earth is tainted by the strong
Christ-bred Contagion, swelling every Tongue!

Thus murmuring in his fretful self; at length
His Wrath and Craft bode down his fear; and He
Vowed to tenter Desperation's strength,
And deepest Hell's profounder Policy,
Rather than any of those Tongues should grow
Famous by preaching his Pride's Overthrow.

Wind is but Wind, though puff'd from Heav'n, said He,
And what care I for what was with it blown?
Great Satan's Tongue is full as fiery
As those which now these Galileans crown:
Yea and from Heav'n it fell as well as They,
Why then, why should it fear what those can Say?

'Tis true, their Might is mightier than their own
For Heav'n's grand Spirit nestles in their breast,
(Though with more credit, sure, He might have shown
Himself abroad, and chose fair Honor's List.)
But not I, brave I, a Spirit too?
Yes; and will make my Rival find it so.

And since in ambush He His strength hath laid,
(Whether in fear to pitch a field, or no,
Let others judge:) it never shall be said
But I at His own play will meet my Fo.
I'd rather win by open battel: yet
Rather than loose, I'l fight by secret Wit.

He to His cost shall quickly find, that I
Can my Disciples too inspire; nor shall
His Tongue's admired Multiplicity
Outpreach my Orators. Shall Words appall
Me, who ne'r stoop'd to Deeds? forbid it my
Immortally-rebellious Gallantry.

Well beat my Pulse; well belk'd my noble Brain;
Brave Triumph's March in my own heart I feel:
My Plot's as sure and safe, as my Disdain
And Wrath are just: all foolish Doubts farewel.
Thus having brag'd his Blasphemies, the Feind
With hideous gladness smiled in his mind.

Then having spy'd out an unhappy Knot
Of unbelieving Souls, who stared there
And scratch'd their musing heads; himself he shot
Deep into their unguarded bosoms, where
He tainted to such rampant strength their Doubt
That from their lips the raging Venom wrought.

O fond Mistake! cry'd they: where are your eyes,
Your Reason's eyes, ye blind Admirers!
Why Must all the world by your rash Ecstasies
Run headlong into credulous Foolery?
Shall every Country else besotted be
By, — which of all's the sillyest, — Galilee?

Is't such a tame and sober Age, that you
A pack of Drunkards never saw but here!
Alas poor Fishers; they have only now
Taken too great a Draught: their Brains which were
With Water more than Wine acquainted, feel
What 'tis with new strange Elements to deal.

Perhaps 'twas Pentecost's Festivity
Which tempted them into this jovial Fit:
But they began the Feast too soon; or by
Rude headlong Joy outran their Wits, and it.
By this, had they a Temple there, you see
What goodly Feasts they'd keep in Galilee.

The Wine was new, and news, and woo'd their Taste
With such strong complement, that yielding They
The pleasant smiling sparkling Nymph embrac't
With wanton greediness; and threw away
The tedious thoughts of their old Nets and Pains
When once imprison'd in her dainty chains.

What cause of Marvel is it then, that they
Who thus were stuff'd and stretch'd, at length run over,
That working Must would not the bung obey
But on the Vessel's brim its strength discover!
That brim's their lips, on which the surplusage
Of their mad fulness foams its drunken rage.

What wonder e'r fool'd sober hearts, to see
The Menades rapt into Ecstasies
When ravish'd by their raging Deity
They lost their virgin sense? And do not these
Intoxicated Priests of Wildness now
With Bacchus's vitious virtue overflow?

What through their Legs no staggering betray?
This drunken Fit works only upwards; and
What gross and fuming burdens oversway
Their Brains, you by their mouths may understand:
For their unwieldy Tongues reel to and fro,
And stumbling through a thousand Dialects go.

Or if Wine's Spirit too unlearned seem
To prompt so many Languages; why may
That other Spirit not have tutor'd them
Who taught their Master strength! 'tis less to Say
Than Do: If He by Belzebub could break
Hell's Laws, against them why may These not Speak?

Old Satan's cunning and hath often found
The way his great Creator's steps to trace;
A gainful Trick, and which hath fairly crown'd
His hellish Projects with an heavenly Grace.
If God once preach'd by Balaam's Ass, why may
Not Satan do as much by These to-day?

But clearly to uncloud your Stupor, let
A little Sleep but cool these Linguists' brain;
And they from their evaporated Wit
Will wake into their silly selves again:
These Fishers then will all as silent be
As their mute Preys they hunted in the Sea.

Thus rail'd this slanderous Crew: and Satan, who
Had roared through their throats this Calumny,
Presum'd to hope the Miracle was so
Smitten and blasted, that it needs must die.
Fond Devil! who though beat from heav'n to hell,
Will still conceit he with his God can deal.

As when bold Malice contumely spits
Upon th' Embassage of some glorious Prince,
The generous Embassador forgets
His own, and putteth on his Sovereign's sense;
Whom stoutly he asserts, and from the face
Of his great Interess wipes all Disgrace:

So Heav'n's twelve Legers now affronted by
This foul Reproach which on their God did bound;
Pluck'd up their loyal Zeal, and lifting high
Their most undaunted heads, dispensed round
About their railing Foes an awful Look,
Which to their Lye, resolv'd Defiance spoke.

Their Captain then, He whose faint Tongue of late
Into Apostasie's base safety sneaked;
That cowardly Retreat to expiate,
The powers of faithful Bravery awaked,
And full in Slander's face led up the Van
Of strong though naked Truth; and thus began:

O most mistaken Jews, lend me your ears,
And fill'd with Bliss I'l pay them back again:
Wer't Wine's wild Energy which domineers
In our O how unjustly slander'd brain;
Yet would it quit your cost to hear us speak
Since Verity from Wine's free lips doth break.

But ask your eyes, and they will tell you Day
Is young and has but crawl'd three steps as yet:
And can Suspition dream We would betray
Our early hours to Night's foul bus'ness? let
All Histories of Monsters ransack'd be,
No morning Drunkards you inroll'd shall see.

Yet if you wash from Drunkenness's Name
The guilty blot of carnal Luxury;
We own the Word, and fear not any shame
That can attend on such Ebriety.
That Drunk we are, we willingly profess,
But not, as you suppose, by Wine's excess.

'Tis not the blood of Grapes which swells our veins
And makes our tongues so glib: O no, the Wine
Whose sprightful vigor in our bosoms reigns,
The gallant issue is of th' heav'nly Vine;
Whence pressed but this Morning, down upon
Our heads and hearts in living streams it ran.

Long since, your reverend Joel's piercing eye
Discover'd this intoxicating Day;
When drunk with sympathetick ecstasy
This sacred Rage of ours he did display.
O blame not then our Tongues nor Brains, since We
Are thus distemper'd ev'n by Prophesy.

He, noble He, foretold, how in the dry
Old age of Time, his God abroach would set
Th' aquickning Fountain of Immensity
To cure the languishing World's Drought, and let
The Deluge of his mighty Spirit flow
Down on parch'd gasping bosoms here below:

How this most cleansing Flood should wash the eye
Of every Age and Sex so bright, that they
Through gloomy Closets of futurity
Should light themselves by their own searching Ray;
And traffick in the deepest Mysteries
Of holy Visions, Dreams, and Prophesies.

This, this, that strange Effusion is which now
Our blind illiterate Ignorance hath drown'd;
This from our heav'n-instructed tongues doth flow
In every Dialect's right-tuned Sound.
Our Souls this Wine enflames; and thus are We
Drunk with mysterious Sobriety.

When Slander at this high Apology
Chain'd in inevitable Muteness stood:
Further to reach his blessed Victory,
The conquering Saint on in's Oration rode,
And on his now ingaged Auditory
Full volleys poured of his Master's Story.

Which Charge so smartly wounded them, that they
Fling up their Arms, and Quarter, Quarter cry;
No longer they dispute, but meekly pray
For life and pardon: nor could all the sly
Recruits which Satan stole into their breast,
The sense of this their Overthrow resist.

Three thousand Souls thus at one single Cast
This lately-vilified Fisher caught;
Whom from their Unbelief's rough Deep, to most
Serene and happy Baptism's streams he brought;
And sent back frighted Belzebub to quake
Ev'n in the bottom of his burning Lake.

This early Conquest's grand Experiment
Doubled their Privilege's former sense
On these Disciples' hearts: the full extent
Of that dear Promise their ascending Prince
Pawn'd to their Widdowhood, perform'd they see:
Now they invested are in Potency.

In Potency; and in such pure Delight
That Joy's own Soul's not more content than they:
Indeed all Pleasures seem'd to take their flight
On Jesus's wings, when hence He towr'd away.
But now in their own ravish'd breasts they find
Heav'n's and Earth's Comforter Himself inshrin'd.

Whole Oceans of Jubilations beat
And foam'd upon their bosoms' swelled shore:
Their former selves they sought amongst those sweet
Extremities, but found themselves no more:
The Men were lost in joyous Perturbation,
And all their Essence turn'd to Exultation.

This Solace's divine Contagion spread
Upon all Contraries its conquering might;
With Honor, this disgrace imbellished;
This candied bitterest Tortures with Delight;
This sow'd the Smiles of Life and pleasant Grace
Thick in the furrows of Death's frowning face.

Nor could all Persecution's Troops forbid
These Heros' March, whose valiant Jollity
Through all Distress, and Straits and Anguish rid:
Which muster'd stood to stop their Victory.
Their Heav'n they sweetly antidated here,
Whilst from their eyes was wiped every Tear.

Great was this glorious Bliss. But, Psyche, know
A royaler Prerogative than this
On their selected Souls was sealed now:
As wide's Heav'n's Kingdom their Dominion's is;
Both East and West's their Jurisdiction, and
They sacred Princes are in every Land.

On twelve fair Thrones they sit in heav'nly state,
Judging the Tribes not of that Israel which
Is scanted in poor Canaan, but that
Whose equal bounds the World's wide margin reach;
Spiritual Israel, link'd to Abraham by
The surest bands of Faith's Affinity.

So absolute's their Legislative Right,
That what they once establish for a Law,
Not all the Votes of Hell, not all the Might
Of contradicting Earth can overthrow:
For in this style run their great Statutes,
Thus It seems good to the Holy Ghost and Us.

And little thinks Heretick madness, she
At God Himself lifts up her desperate heels,
Whene'r her proud Opiniastrete
Against Ecclesiastick Sanctions swells:
For this almighty Spirit came not now
To visit, but inhabit here below.

T' inhabit here, as long as Here is here,
Till Dissolution's gulf this World devours:
Although this royal Twelve have chang'd their sphere:
And in a higher heav'n are fix'd than yours;
Amongst their Successors He still abides
And always at their Council-Board Presides.

But as these Wonders with ecstatick joy
Embrav'd and feasted these Disciples' hearts
Behold another Miracle's bright Ray
Fresh Delicacies of Amazement darts:
Their heads' dim region they enlightned find
No less than was th' horizon of their mind.

For their faint Memories' low-seated Cells,
Which fogs and mists had dammed up before,
This searching Spirit with pure Brightness fills;
And rouses their Astonishment the more
To see how in their Brains' unlikely West
That Claritude vouchsaf'd to choose its East.

Hast thou not seen, when courteous Titan's beams
Pour his bright bounty through the Summer air,
How in the golden bosom of his streams
Thick shoals of Atoms swim? About this fair
Irradiation's Scene thus scudding here
Millions of Memorative Figures were.

And those not thin and starv'd, not blind, or lame;
Not crude and embryo Notions; no shreds
Of half-lost Things; no open-eyed Dream
No slow-pac'd Topicks, whose dull tedium leads
Poor Recollection long long ways about,
And often seeks what needed not be sought:

But fair and full Ideas; which were all
Muster'd in Method's rational array;
Off'ring their ripe and perfect selves to fall
Into the gatherer's eye without delay;
And telling brisk Anamnesis that she
And all her pains henceforth might spared be.

Drawn up in fairly-ranged Bodies here
Appear'd those mighty Precepts which of late
Preach'd in the Mountain's awful Pulpit were
When Truth's and Power's grand Prince the Doctor sate.
Precepts which far outshined those which broke
From thundering Sina's head in fire and smoke.

Here in their several Troops and Squadrons all
Those Sayings and Expressions marshall'd were,
Which from His venerable Lips did fall,
Whether He taught, or prais'd or chode, or tare
Out Devils and Diseases, or with smart
Threatnings, alarm'd the dull obdurate Heart.

Here in a sweet Reserve all smiling stood
His Promises and Benedictions: from
His Baptism's streams down to His own Side's flood
Whate'r He spake, found here its proper room:
So did His new-rais'd Tongue's Discourse, which now
Reviv'd again and march'd in open view.

The smallest Syllable, and lesser Point
Fail'd not their clue appearance here to make:
The massy bulk of heav'n and earth shall faint
And fade to nothing; but no Words that break
From His dear mouth who is th' almighty Word
In black Oblivion's pit can lie interr'd.

Thus, thus the Gospel first was writ, and in
Thus many Copies: which soon after by
The same great Spirit's providential Pen
Transcrib'd in quadruple Epitomy,
Sure to perpetual Memory treasur'd are
In Piety's authentick Register.

Wonder not then, that no Conspiracy
Of Earth's bold envy, or Hell's madder spight
Could blast the growth of Christianity;
Which flourish'd by no mortal Vigour's might,
But by th' eternal Spirit, who power can give
(And who alone,) to Life it self to live.

He potent He's her Soul, and fortifies
Her heart's inexpugnable garrison:
Whence He to every Part sends due supplies
Of vivid heat and cheerful Motion:
No Members so remote, but still He warms
And hugs them in His Influence's arms.

He warms and hugs them, if they kick and fight
Not with His Favour's patience; nor by
Sin's black cold puddle strive to quench the bright
Flames of His Grace's Importunity:
If by rebellious spight they grieve not Him
Whose sweetness works to solace worthless Them.

Retort thine eyes into thy Self, my Dear,
(For thou a Member of this Body art,)
And mark by strict examination there
How matters tuned are in thine own heart:
Thy heart, I know, will answer, that it beats
Less by its own than by this Spirit's heats.

Those Heats of His are they to which thou owest
The speed of this thy sacred Pilgrimage,
Far more than to these fiery Steeds: nor knowest
Thou how to travel to the final Stage
Of thy celestial Hopes, unless the blast
Of this great Spirit help thy zealous haste.

Forget not then how happy is the debt
Which thy best Thanks to Pentecost ingages:
The royal Feast is not expired yet,
Nor has long Time cool'd its heav'n-kindled Rages,
Which here will surely flame till all this All
By fatal fire into its ashes fall.

The Angel ceased here, in hopes that he
Had quenched now his Pupil's sacred thirst:
When with exultant tears bedewed, She
Into her wonted Zeal's impatience burst,
Crying, O LOVE, how how shall finite I
Contain thy ravishing Immensity!

Was't not enough that thy Magnificence
Sent Phylax down from heav'n to Comfort me;
But thou must pour a greater Spirit thence
Than any of the winged Hierarchy;
That Spirit which enlivens heav'n with bliss,
And all our guardian Angel's Phylax is!

Was't not enough, O matchless Sovereign
Of most inestimable Bounty, that
Thou climb'st Thy Cross in valiant disdain
Of Shame and Torment, and refusedst not
To give Thine utmost Blood for me, but Thou
Must thus Thy mighty Spirit too bestow!

Do, sweetest Conqueror, if Thou canst, do more
To triumph over Thy thrice vanquish'd Slave:
Lo here most potent Thee I challenge, for
I fear no heavier Chains than these I have:
Under Thy Love's whole Tyranny I groan,
Nor could Omnipotence do more than's done.

Yet shall not this profoundest Project prove
Sufficient thy poor Vassal to deceive;
Nor must the greatest Tokens of thy Love
Seduce my Loyal Languishment to leave
Thirsting and panting after precious Thee,
And drink full Solace from their Suavity.

How cowardly is his Affection's Heat
Which can by any Present from his Friend
Be tam'd and pacify'd, and fail to beat
With ferventer Desire! Let Jesus send
Me what He will, or can, His Gift shall but
Whet and enrage my soul Himself to get.

Because this Paraclete the Fountain is
Of sacred Comfort, therefore dare not I
Pitch my Contentment's final rest in His
Divinely-satisfying Company:
He but augments my Debt, dear Lord, to Thee,
And makes my love's impatience fiercer be.

Poor Psyche's heart why draw'st Thou by so great
And irresistible a Cord as He.
Yet strangely still averse, wilt not permit
This violence to hale me home to Thee?
Why must the Giver of mysterious Ease
The Comforter Himself my pains increase?

Not for the price of thousand heav'ns would I
A stranger to His blessed Influence be:
Yet in Desire's deep furnace this doth fry
My soul together, Him and Thee to see.
Art Thou not one with Him? this then I crave,
That Thee I may not want whilst Him I have.

O pardon my Unsatiableness,
Since Thou thy self alone art cause of it:
Though Pentecost's vast Plentitude should press
Its feast of Joyes into my bosom, yet
I should but famish'd be the more until
I my Desires might at thy fountain fill.

As long's this cruel Distance puts a bar
'Twixt Psyche and her Jesus, woful she
Is torn and sever'd from her self as far
As groveling Earth from Heav'n's sublimity.
O most prodigious Rack, which thus canst spare
My life, and yet my heart in sunder tear!

Might I but die, how would I thank my pain!
But I am that strangely-massacred She,
Who sport for Death to make, must still be slain
Yet still survive, destroy'd afresh to be.
Help, help, dear Phylax, for my Lord is deaf;
Unriddle thou my Smart by some Relief.

Thus groaned she. But her wise Guardian now
Seeing her Passion's Cunning drew Dismay
From Comfort's purest Spring, forbore to throw
Forestalled Counsil in her headlong way.
'Twas now too late to stop the Torrent's rage,
Which yet Diversion might perhaps aswage.

He therefore to her ear made no reply
But seal'd his silent Answer on her lip:
Which Kiss she welcom'd with a loving sigh,
And hopes of something more in it did sip.
But soon she saw that what her Expectation
Took for the Preface, prov'd the whole Oration.

For nimble He strait by his shaked Rein
Unto his Coursers signifies his mind;
And they, whose fierceness all this while in pain
Had stood and stamp'd, now snuff'd the scorned Wind,
Louder and swifter than whose stoutest wing,
In neighing triumph through the clouds they fling.

[1702; Grosart (1880) 2:78-93]

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