Happy those early dayes! when I Shin'd in my Angell-infancy. Before I understood this place Appointed for my second race, Or taught my soul to fancy ought But a white, Celestiall thought, When yet I had not walkt above A mile, or two, from my first love, And looking back (at that short space,) Could see a glimpse of his bright-face; When on some gilded Cloud, or flowre My gazing soul would dwell an houre, And in those weaker glories spy Some shadows of eternity; Before I taught my tongue to wound My Conscience with a sinfull sound, Or had the black art to dispence A sev'rall sinne to ev'ry sense But felt through all this fleshly dresse Bright shootes of everlastingnesse. O how I long to travell back And tread again that ancient track! That I might once more reach that plaine, Where first I left my glorious traine, From whence th'Inlightned spirit sees That shady City of Palme trees; But (ah!) my soul with too much stay Is drunk, and staggers in the way. Some men a forward motion love, But I by backward steps would move, And when this dust falls to the urn In that state I came return.
'Twas so, I saw thy birth: That drowsie Lake From her faint bosome breath'd thee, the disease Of her sick waters, and Infectious Ease. But, now at Even Too grosse for heaven, Thou fall'st in teares, and weep'st for thy mistake. Ah! It is so with me; oft have I prest Heaven with a lazie breath, but fruitles this Peirc'd not; Love only can with quick accesse Unlock the way, When all else stray The smoke, and Exhalations of the brest. Yet, if as thou doest melt, and with thy traine Of drops make soft the Earth, my eyes could weep O'er my hard heart, that's bound up, and asleep, Perhaps at last (Some such showres past,) My God would give a Sun-shine after raine.
Weighing the stedfastness and state Of some mean things which here below reside Where birds like watchful Clocks the noiseless date And Intercourse of times divide, Where Bees at night get home and hive, and flowrs Early, aswel as late, Rise with the Sun, and set in the same bowrs; I would (said I) my God would give The staidness of these things to man! for these To his divine appointments ever cleave, And no new business break their peace; The birds nor sow, nor reap, yet sup and dine, The flowres without clothes live, Yet Solomon was never drest so fine. Man hath stil either toyes, or Care He hath no root, nor to one place is ty'd, But ever restless and Irregular About this Earth doth run and ride, He knows he hath a home, but scarce knows where, He sayes it is so far That he hath quite forgot how to go there. He knocks at all doors, strays and romas, Nay hath not so much with as some stones have Which in the darkest nights point to their homes, By some hid sense their Maker gave; Man is the shuttle, to whose winding quest And passage through these looms God order'd motion, but ordain'd no rest.
My Soul, there is a Countrie Far beyond the stars, Where stands a winged Centrie All skilfull in the wars, There above noise, and dnager Sweet peace sits crown'd with smiles, And one born in a Manger Commands the Beauteous files, He is they gracious friend, And (O my Soul awake!) Did in pure love descend To die her for thy sake, If thou canst get but thither, There growes the flowre of peace, The Rose that cannot wither, Thy fortresse, and thy ease; Leave them thy foolish ranges; For none can thee secure, But one, who never changes, Thy God, thy life, they Cure.