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To find my Saviour; I have been
As far as Bethlem, and have seen
His inne and cradle ; being there,
I met the Wise Men, askt them where
He might be found, or what starre can
Now point him out, grown up a man?
To Egypt hence I fled, ran o're
All her parcht bosome to Nile's shore,
Her yearly nurse ; came back, enquir'd
Amongst the doctors, and desir'd
To see the Temple, but was shown
A little dust, and for the town
A heap of ashes, where some sed
A small bright sparkle was a bed,
Which would one day beneath the pole
Awake, and then refine the whole.
Tyr’d here, I came to Sychar ; thence
To Jacob's well, bequeathed since
Unto his sonnes, where often they
In those calme, golden evenings lay
Watring their flocks, and having spent
Those white dayes, drove home to the tent
Their well-fleeced traine ; and here (O fate !)
I sit where once my Saviour sate.
The angry spring in bubbles swellid,
Which broke in sighes still, as they fill'd,
And whisper'd, "Jesus lad been there,
But Jacob's children would not heare."
Loath hence to part, at last I rise,
But with the fountain in mine eyes ;
And here a fresh search is decreed :
He must be found where he did bleed.
I walke the garden, and there see
Idæas of his agonie,
And moving anguishments, that set
His blest face in a bloudy sweat :
I climb'd the hill, perus’d the crosse,
Hung with my gaine, and his great losse:
Never did tree beare fruit like this,
Balsam of soules, the bodye's blisse.
But O his grave! where I saw lent
(For he had none) a monument,
An undefild, a new-hew'd one,
But there was not the Corner-stone.
Sure then, said I, my quest is vaine,
Heeʼle not be found where he was slaine;
So mild a Lamb can never be
'Midst so much bloud and crueltie.
I’le to the wilderness, and can
Find beasts more mercifull than man;
He liv'd there safe, 'twas his retreat
From the fierce Jew, and Herod's heat;
And forty dayes withstood the fell
And high temptations of hell;
With seraphins there talked he,
His Father's flaming ministrie;
He heav'nd their walks, and with his eyes
Made those wild shades a paradise.
Thus was the desert sanctified
To be the refuge of his bride.
I'le thither then ; see, it is day !
The sun's broke through to guide my way.
But as I urg'd thus, and writ down
What pleasures should my journey crown,
What silent paths, what shades and cells,
Faire virgin-flowers and hallow'd wells,
I should rove in, and rest my
head Where my deare Lord did often tread, Sugring all dangers with successe, Methought I heard one singing thus :
Leare, leave thy gadding thoughts:
Still out of doores,
Within them nought.
Sure here he must
needs stay, Is not the way,
Search well another world: who studies this, Travels in clouds, seekes manna where none is.
That they should seeke the Lord, if haply they might feele after him, and find him, though he be not far off from every one of us ; for in him we live, and move, and have our being.
Gen. xxiv. 63.
And Isaac went out to pray in the field at the even-tide; and he lift
and behold, the camels were comming.
PRAYING! and to be married! It was rare,
But now 'tis monstrous; and that pious care,
Though of ourselves, is so much out of date,
That to renew't were to degenerate.
But thou a chosen sacrifice wert given,
And offer'd up so early unto Heaven,
Thy flames could not be out; religion was
Ray'd into thee like beames into a glasse,
Where, as thou grewst, it multiply'd, and shin'd
The sacred constellation of thy mind.
But being for a bride, sure, prayer was
Very strange stuffe wherewith to court thy lasse:
Had’st ne’r an oath nor complement? Thou wert
An odde, coarse sutor: hadst thou but the art
Of these our dayes, thou couldst have coyn’d thee
New sev’rall oathes, and complements too plenty.
O sad and wild excesse! and happy those
White dayes, that durst no impious mirth expose !
When sinne, by sinning oft, had not lost sence,
Nor bold-fac'd custome banish'd innocence!
Thou hadst no pompous traine, nor antick crowd
Of young, gay swearers, with their needless, lowd
Retinue; all was here smooth as thy bride,
And calme like her, or that mild evening-tide.
Yet hadst thou nobler guests: angels did wind
And rove about thee, guardians of thy mind;
These fetch'd thee home thy bride, and all the
Advis’d thy servant what to doe and say;
These taught him at the well, and thither brought
The chaste and lovely object of thy thought.
But here was ne’r a complement, not one
Spruce, supple cringe, or study'd looke put on.
All was plaine, modest truth: nor did she come
In rowles and curles, mincing and stately dumbe;
But in a frighted, virgin-blush approach'd
Fresh as the morning, when ’tis newly coach'd.
O sweet, divine simplicity! O grace
Beyond a curled lock or painted face!
A pitcher too she had, nor thought it much
To carry that, which some would scorn to touch;