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Have patience, my afflicted soul:
Thou shalt not long in darkness
I will the elements implore;
Then shall I need to beg no more
To come unto my last, best feast:
limpid3lady’s my first guest;
Cool crystal Water, take
First, that which circles my sad heart;
Or, if my tears will satisfy,
To tears I’ll quickly
Number them not; count sand or star—
You’ll sooner number them by far.
O, that they had been shed for sin,
Then they in Heaven had bottled been!
Why were they shed? O, ask not why;
If I repeat my woes, I die
A double death; O, ask no more;
Let me alone my loss deplore.
thou’st6oft quenched thirst in me:
Retaliate and drink up me!
Seven lovely buds thou hast drawn dry:7
O, spare the rest, or else I die
A treble death. O hear me speak!
Let not my heart so often break,
But let Death strike me once for all;
A little blow will make me fall.
Thou didst a whole world once involve;8
Then let me into thee dissolve!
Sweet Air, refresher of mankind,
Let me at last thy
exhaust10a little vapor,
Thou’lt11quickly blow out my life’s taper.
’Twill be my last request to thee;
Thou’rt free to all–be so to me!
I oft have made thee such a feast
That all the odors of the east
Could not with their sweet breath compare,
Blossoms so lovely, young, and rare:
gillyflower14before the shadow flies,
The dewy violet, or the
O say no more! My grief o’erflows;
I into tears am
And thou thy part will be denied.17
O take this sigh, then, for thy part,
For such another breaks my heart.
Most noble and illustrious fire,
Whom (though I know not) I admire:
If such an element there be,
My strange petition is to thee.
O hearken to my last desire
And help my sad soul to expire!
Contract thy vigor, hold thy heat:
Then will my heart forget to beat
trepidate18within my breast.
O, then, how sweet will be my rest;
What a sweet slumber shall I take
When my sad dreams do me forsake
And cease my afflicted soul t’affright!
Welcome, O welcome, that blessed night.
Then do but my short breath
My structure straight to
Welcome, O welcome, that blessed night,
Which ushers in eternal light!
For what is death but cold and night,
Life being only heat and light?
Then all my heat to thee I’ll give,
And though I die, in thee I live.
Dust, or Earth
Dear Dust, from thee I drew my birth:
Then come, and ’tis but
earth to earth21.
My lovely children thou hast taken:
Shall their sad mother be forsaken?
Ay me, thou took’st them young and fair,
And leav’st me here with
They lovely fair, with snowy skin,
Did too, too soon thy favor win.
But I, involved with sin and sorrow,
Sadly expect thee night and morrow.
I ask no pyramid nor stately tomb:
involve23me in thy spacious womb.
To beg this once, dear mother, give me leave:
O let thy
bowels24yearn, and me receive.