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A WARD, and still in bonds, one day

I stole abroad:
It was high-spring, and all the way

Primrosed, and hung with shade;
Yet was it frost within ;

The surly wind
Blasted my infant-buds, and sinne

Like clouds ecclipsed my mind.


Storm'd thus; I straight perceiv'd my spring

Meere stage and show,
My walke a monstrous, mountain'd thing

Rough-cast with rocks and snow;
And as a pilgrim's eye,

Far from reliefe,
Measures the melancholy skye,

Then drops, and rains for griefe,

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So sigh'd I upwards still : at last,

'Twixt steps and falls,
I reach'd the pinacle, where plac'd

I found a paire of scales;
I took them up, and layd

In th’ one late paines ;
The other smoake and pleasures weigh'd,

But prov'd the heavier graines.


With that some cryed, “ Away!" straight I

Obey'd, and led
Full east, a faire, fresh field could spy:

Some call'd it Jacob's Bed;
A virgin soile, which no

Rude feet ere trod;
Where, since he stept there, only go

Prophets and friends of God.

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Here I repos’d; but scarce well set

A grove descryed
Of stately height, whose branches met

And mixt on every side:
I entred, and once in,

Amaz'd to see't,
Found all was chang'd, and a new spring

Did all my senses greet.


The unthrift sunne shot vitall gold

A thousand peeces,

And heaven its azure did unfold,

Chequer'd with snowie fleeces.
The aire was all in spice,

A garland wore: thus fed my eyes,
But all the eare lay hush.

VII. Only a little fountain lent

Some use for eares,
And on the dumbe shades language spent,

The musick of her teares :
I drew her neere, and found

The cisterne full
Of divers stones, some bright and round,

Others ill-shap'd and dull.


The first (pray, marke !) as quick as light

Danc'd through the floud;
But th' last, more heavy than the night,

Nail'd to the centre stood :
I wonder'd much, but, tyrd

At last with thought,
My restless eye, that still desir'd,

As strange an object brought.


It was a banke of flowers, where I descried

(Though 'twas mid-day) Some fast asleepe, others broad-eyed,

And taking in the ray:

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