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Yet can a friend what Thou hast done fulfil?

O, write in brass, My God upon a tree
His blood did spill,

Only to purchase my good-will';
Yet use I not my foes as I use Thee.

LOVE

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.

'A guest,' I answered, 'worthy to be here': Love said, 'You shall be he.'

'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear! I cannot look on thee.'

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, 'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve.'

'And know you not,' says Love, 'who bore the blame? 'My dear, then I will serve.'

'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.' So I did sit and eat.

THE PULLEY

WHEN God at first made man,

Having a glass of blessings standing by,
'Let us,' said He, 'pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.'

So strength first made a way,

Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour

pleasure;

When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure, Rest in the bottom lay.

'For if I should,' said He,

'Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

'Yet let him keep the rest,

But keep them with repining restlessness; Let him be rich and weary, that at least, If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to My breast.'

THE COLLAR

I STRUCK the board, and cried, 'No more; I will abroad.

What, shall I ever sigh and pine?

My lines and life are free; free as the road, Loose as the wind, as large as store.

Shall I be still in suit?

Have I no harvest but a thorn

To let me blood, and not restore

What I have lost with cordial fruit?

Sure there was wine

Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn Before my tears did drown it;

Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it,

No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted,
All wasted?

Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
And thou hast hands.

Recover all thy sigh-blown age

On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
Thy rope of sands,

Which petty thoughts have made: and made to

thee

Good cable, to enforce and draw,

And be thy law,

While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
Away! take heed;

I will abroad.

Call in thy death's-head there, tie up thy fears; He that forbears

To suit and serve his need

Deserves his load.'

But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, 'Child';

And I replied, 'My Lord.'

LIFE

I MADE a posy while the day ran by:

Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

My life within this band;

But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they

By noon most cunningly did steal away,

And withered in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part
Time's gentle admonition;

Who did so sweetly Death's sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day,
Yet sugaring the suspicion.

Farewell, dear flowers; sweetly your time ye spent, Fit while ye lived for smell or ornament,

And after death for cures.

I follow straight, without complaints or grief,
Since if my scent be good, I care not if

It be as short as yours.

MISERY

LORD, let the angels praise Thy name:
Man is a foolish thing, a foolish thing;

Folly and sin play all his game;

His house still burns, and yet he still doth singMan is but grass,

He knows it-Fill the glass.'

How canst Thou brook his foolishness?

Why, he'll not lose a cup of drink for Thee:

Bid him but temper his excess,

Not he: he knows where he can better be-
As he will swear-

Than to serve Thee in fear.

What strange pollutions doth he wed,

And make his own! as if none knew but he.

No man shall beat into his head

That Thou within his curtains drawn canst see:

'They are of cloth

Where never yet came moth.'

The best of men, turn but Thy hand
For one poor minute, stumble at a pin ;
They would not have their actions scanned,
Nor any sorrow tell them that they sin,
Though it be small,

And measure not the fall.

They quarrel Thee, and would give over

The bargain made to serve Thee; but Thy love

Holds them unto it, and doth cover

Their follies with the wings of Thy mild Dove, Not suffering those

Who would, to be Thy foes.

My God, man cannot praise Thy name:
Thou art all brightness, perfect purity;

The sun holds down his head for shame,
Dead with eclipses, when we speak of Thee:
How shall infection

Presume on Thy perfection?

As dirty hands foul all they touch,

And those things most which are most pure and fine,

So our clay-hearts, even when we crouch

To sing Thy praises, make them less divine:

Yet either this

Or none Thy portion is.

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