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O that the
splendent1and illustrious sun,
Round whom the planets’
all-quickening orb6keeps still his station,
Whilst they about his throne dance each his
According to the Great Creator’s pleasure):
O that his influence, his heat, his light
Would clasp this
that9these sad shades of night
our horoscope involve no more10,
Nor me the loss of day so oft deplore.
Now half our time in horrid night is lost;
The other half, ’twixt hope and fear, is tossed
Till pain and grief (O cursed
Twixt soul and body) doth dissolve the union.
Then Death, triumphant, doth perform his
Grinding, in spite, our very bones to
Then shuts us in Oblivion’s
Our infant cradle, now our age’s tomb,15
Till infinite power and love our dust shall raise,
To sing, in
joys16, His everlasting praise.
But though the sun be center unto all,
And our earth’s motion makes him
rise and fall17,
Yet must his
orb18confine my thoughts also?
Must they (ay me!), must they no higher go?
Since first I saw a glimpse of heavenly joy,
Methinks this world is but a trundling
And all those glitt’ring
globes20that shine like fire
Are lights hung out to
light21my thoughts up higher,
To Him that doth the universe
Whose Word creates, whose breath do all dissolve,23
Even Him that total nature doth surround,
The thought of whom doth my poor soul confound.
Ay me! Who can invisible light behold,
Or can eternity’s age be told?
If I, to contemplate His glory, venture,
Rottenness into my bones doth enter.
Hollo24! my thoughts, to native earth descend;
For thy ambition in the
Yet26we may, by the beauty of the creature,
Conceive the glory of the Great Creator,
He whose incomprehensible power
Did make the tallest tree and smallest flower,
Even lofty cedars that on mountains grow
And humble daisies which in valleys blow.
The elephant and whale, He doth
The28despicablest reptile or insect.
Then will I here, my few and evil days,
Make Him the sum and center of my praise.