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THE FLAMING HEART
Upon the Book and Picture of the Seraphical Saint Teresa, as she is usually expressed with
a Seraphim beside her
WELL-MEANING readers! you that come as friends
That fair-cheeked fallacy of fire.
Readers, be ruled by me, and make
Painter, what didst thou understand
To put her dart into his hand?
Shows this the mother seraphim.
This is the mistress flame, and duteous he
Her happy fireworks, here, comes down to see:
Had thy cold pencil kissed her pen,
Thou couldst not so unkindly err
To show us this faint shade for her.
Why, man, this speaks pure mortal frame,
And mocks with female frost love's manly flame;
One would suspect thou meant'st to paint
Some weak, inferior woman Saint.
But, had thy pale-faced purple took
Fire from the burning cheeks of that bright book,
Thou wouldst on her have heaped up all
Glowing cheek, and glist'ring wings,
Had filled the hand of this great heart.
Do, then, as equal right requires,
Since his the blushes be, and hers the fires,
Give him the veil, give her the dart.
Give him the veil, that he may cover
The red cheeks of a rivalled lover,
Give her the dart, for it is she,
Fair youth, shoots both thy shaft and thee;
What magazines of immortal arms there shine
Of worst faults to be fortunate,
If all's prescription, and proud wrong
For all the gallantry of him,
Give me the suff'ring seraphim.
His be the bravery of those bright things,
Leave her that, and thou shalt leave her
A nobler weapon than a wound.
The wounded is the wounding heart.
O, heart! the equal poise of Love's both parts,
Live in these conquering leaves, live all the same,
By all thy lives and deaths of love,
By thy large draughts of intellectual day,
And by thy thirst of love more large than they;
By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire,
By the full kingdom of that final kiss
That seized thy parting soul, and sealed thee His;
By all the heav'ns thou hast in Him,
Fair sister of the seraphim!
By all of Him we have in thee,
ON THE DEATH OF MR. CRASHAW
POET and Saint! to thee alone are given
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven;
The hard and rarest union which can be,
Next that of Godhead with humanity.
Long did the muses banished slaves abide,
And built vain pyramids to mortal pride:
Like Moses, thou (though spells and charms withstand) Hast brought them nobly back home to their Holy Land.
Ah, wretched we, poets of earth! but thou Wert living the same poet which thou'rt now. Whilst angels sing to thee their airs divine, And join in an applause so great as thine, Equal society with them to hold,
Thou need'st not make new songs, but say the old.
And they (kind spirits!) shall all rejoice to see
Still the old heathen gods in numbers dwell,
And though Pan's death long since all oracles broke,
Thy spotless muse, like Mary, did contain
And for a sacred mistress scorned to take
But her whom God Himself scorned not His spouse to
It (in a kind) her miracle did do;
A fruitful mother was and virgin too.
How well, blest swan, did Fate contrive thy death,
And make thee render up thy tuneful breath
In thy great Mistress' arms, thou most divine
A fever burns thee, and love lights the fire.
Angels (they say) brought the famed chapel there, And bore the sacred load in triumph through the air. "Tis surer much they brought thee there, and they And thou, their charge, went singing all the way.