FATHER of Heaven, and Him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else for us,
Thou madest, and govern'st ever, come
And re-create me, now grown ruinous:
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father, purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new-fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I'm dead.
O Son of God, who, seeing two things,
Sin and Death, crept in, which were never made,
By bearing one, tried'st with what stings
The other could Thine heritage invade ;
O be Thou nail'd unto my heart,
And crucified again ;
Part not from it, though it from Thee would part,
But let it be by applying so Thy pain,
Drown'd in Thy blood, and in Thy passion slain.
THE HOLY GHOST.
O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls , and condensèd dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Half wasted with youth's fires of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weather-beat,
Double in my heart Thy flame,
Which let devout sad tears intend, and let—
Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim—
Fire, sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.
O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish'd, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.
THE VIRGIN MARY.
For that fair blessed mother-maid,
Whose flesh redeem'd us, that she-cherubin,
Which unlock'd paradise, and made
One claim for innocence, and disseizèd sin,
Whose womb was a strange heaven, for there
God clothed Himself, and grew,
Our zealous thanks we pour. As her deeds were
Our helps, so are her prayers ; nor can she sue
In vain, who hath such titles unto you.
And since this life our nonage is,
And we in wardship to Thine angels be,
Native in heaven's fair palaces
Where we shall be but denizen'd by Thee ;
As th' earth conceiving by the sun,
Yields fair diversity,
Yet never knows what course that light doth run ;
So let me study that mine actions be
Worthy their sight, though blind in how they see.
And let Thy patriarchs' desire,
—Those great grandfathers of Thy Church, which saw
More in the cloud than we in fire,
Whom nature clear'd more, than us grace and law,
And now in heaven still pray, that we
May use our new helps right—
Be satisfied, and fructify in me ;
Let not my mind be blinder by more light,
Nor faith by reason added lose her sight.
Thy eagle-sighted prophets too,
—Which were Thy Church's organs, and did sound
That harmony which made of two
One law, and did unite, but not confound ;
Those heavenly poets which did see
Thy will, and it express
In rhythmic feet—in common pray for me,
That I by them excuse not my excess
In seeking secrets, or poeticness.
And thy illustrious zodiac
Of twelve apostles, which engirt this All,
—From whom whosoever do not take
Their light, to dark deep pits throw down and fall ;—
As through their prayers Thou'st let me know
That their books are divine,
May they pray still, and be heard, that I go
Th' old broad way in applying ; O decline
Me, when my comment would make Thy word mine.
And since Thou so desirously
Didst long to die, that long before Thou couldst,
And long since Thou no more couldst die,
Thou in thy scatter'd mystic body wouldst
In Abel die, and ever since
In Thine ; let their blood come
To beg for us a discreet patience
Of death, or of worse life ; for O, to some
Not to be martyrs, is a martyrdom.
Therefore with Thee triumpheth there
A virgin squadron of white confessors,
Whose bloods betroth'd not married were,
Tender'd, not taken by those ravishers.
They know, and pray that we may know,
In every Christian
Hourly tempestuous persecutions grow ;
Temptations martyr us alive ; a man
Is to himself a Diocletian.