1My soul: in struggling thou dost ill!
2The chicken in the shell lies still;
3So doth the embryo in the womb;
4So doth the corpse within the tomb;
So doth the flower sleep in its cause—
6Obedient, all, to nature’s laws.
thou’rt still striving to be free,
8As if none were in bonds but thee.
9Though for a time thou’rt clothed with earth,
thou’lt have a happy birth.
11The chirping bird will break its shell;
12The infant leave its loathed cell;
13The sleeping dust will rise and speak,
14And will her
marble prison break;
15The flower her beauty will display;
enfranchised soul, away
17Beyond the sky will take her flight,
18And rest above the
spheres of night,
19In everlasting life and light.
dunghill globe of earth,
from whence she had her birth.
22But (O my soul) once more, return,
23And call me in my silent urn.
24But if asleep I then am found,
Jog me, and say
the trump doth sound.
26Then will I rise and fly away
27With thee to everlasting day;
28Then shall our grief and past annoys,
29Be swallowed up
of infinite joys;
30Then, being perfect and
31We shall discern this globe
32Then shall we know these
orbs of wonder,
in a maze we now live under.
34And why sad
Saturn’s heavy eye
35Frowns on me with malignancy;
conjunctions should foreshew,
38And by what (swift and infinite) power
Sol runs three hundred miles an hour.
40And why pale
Cynthia doth so change
41Her lovely face as she doth range
a-hunting in the shade;
43And how fair
Venus can be made
44Hesperus, in the orient,
45And Vesperus, in the occident;
whether ethereal fire doth burn,
47Or that this
terrene globe doth turn,
48The sun being center unto all,
he ne’er doth rise or fall;
50Or whether they have
a treble motion,
51Of which we have so small a notion.
52All this (and more) we then shall know,
53Which are such wonders here below.
54But which will most increase our joys
55(Compared with which, these will prove
56Our unknown friends we then shall know,
57Even those (aye me) we lost below.
58Nay, we shall know (without which all is none)
59The eternal essence, even as we are known.