Ben Jonson | |
— TO OLDEND GATHERER.
Long-gathering OLDEND, I did fear thee wise,
When having pill'd a book which no man buys,
Thou wert content the author's name to lose ;
But when, in place, thou didst the patron's choose,
It was as if thou printed hadst an oath,
To give the world assurance thou wert both ;
And that, as puritans at baptism do,
Thou art the father, and the witness too.
For, but thyself, where, out of motley, 's he
Could save that line to dedicate to thee ?
George Herbert | |
Since, Lord, to thee
A narrow way and little gate
Is all the passage, on my infancy
Thou didst lay hold, and antedate
My faith in me.
O let me still
Write thee great God, and me a child:
Let me be soft and supple to thy will,
Small to my self, to others mild,
Although by stealth
My flesh get on, yet let her sister
My soul bid nothing, but preserve her wealth:
The growth of flesh is but a blister;
Childhood is health.
George Herbert | |
As he that sees a dark and shady grove,
Stays not, but looks beyond it on the sky;
So when I view my sins, mine eyes remove
More backward still, and to that water fly,
Which is above the heav'ns, whose spring and rest
Is in my dear Redeemer's pierced side.
O blessed streams! either ye do prevent
And stop our sins from growing thick and wide,
Or else give tears to drown them, as they grow.
In you Redemption measures all my time,
And spreads the plaster equal to the crime;
You taught the book of life my name, that so
What ever future sins should me miscall,
Your first acquaintance might discredit all.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
I was the laughing-stock of the village,
Chiefly of the people of good sense, as they call themselves --
Also of the learned, like Rev.
Peet, who read Greek
The same as English.
For instead of talking free trade,
Or preaching some form of baptism;
Instead of believing in the efficacy
Of walking cracks -- picking up pins the right way,
Seeing the new moon over the right shoulder,
Or curing rheumatism with blue glass,
I asserted the sovereignty of my own soul.
Before Mary Baker G.
Eddy even got started
With what she called science
I had mastered the "Bhagavad Gita,"
And cured my soul, before Mary
Began to cure bodies with souls --
Peace to all worlds!
Claude McKay | |
Into the furnace let me go alone;
Stay you without in terror of the heat.
I will go naked in--for thus ''tis sweet--
Into the weird depths of the hottest zone.
I will not quiver in the frailest bone,
You will not note a flicker of defeat;
My heart shall tremble not its fate to meet,
My mouth give utterance to any moan.
The yawning oven spits forth fiery spears;
Red aspish tongues shout wordlessly my name.
Desire destroys, consumes my mortal fears,
Transforming me into a shape of flame.
I will come out, back to your world of tears,
A stronger soul within a finer frame.
Derek Walcott | |
After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.
Isaac Watts | |
Children devoted to God.
[For those who practise infant Baptism.
17:7,10; Acts 16:14,15,33.
Thus saith the mercy of the Lord,
"I'll be a God to thee;
I'll bless thy num'rous race, and they
Shall be a seed for me.
Abram believed the promised grace,
And gave his sons to God;
But water seals the blessing now,
That once was sealed with blood.
Thus Lydia sanctified her house,
When she received the word;
Thus the believing jailer gave
His household to the Lord.
Thus later saints, eternal King!
Thine ancient truth embrace;
To thee their infant offspring bring,
And humbly claim the grace.
Isaac Watts | |
Believers buried with Christ in baptism.
Do we not know that solemn word,
That we are buried with the Lord,
Baptized into his death, and then
Put off the body of our sin?
Our souls receive diviner breath,
Raised from corruption, guilt, and death;
So from the grave did Christ arise,
And lives to God above the skies.
No more let sin or Satan reign
Over our mortal flesh again;
The various lusts we served before
Shall have dominion now no more.
Isaac Watts | |
28:19; Acts 2:38.
'Twas the commission of our Lord,
"Go teach the nations, and baptize:"
The nations have received the word
Since he ascended to the skies.
He sits upon th' eternal hills,
With grace and pardon in his hands;
And sends his cov'nant with the seals,
To bless the distant British lands.
"Repent, and be baptized," he saith,
For the remission of your sins:"
And thus our sense assists our faith,
And shows us what his gospel means.
Our souls he washes in his blood,
As water makes the body clean;
And the good Spirit from our God
Descends like purifying rain.
Thus we engage ourselves to thee,
And seal our cov'nant with the Lord;
O may the great eternal Three
In heav'n our solemn vows record!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |
The face of all the world is changed, I think,
Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul
Move still, oh, still, beside me, as they stole
Betwixt me and the dreadful outer brink
Of obvious death, where I, who thought to sink,
Was caught up into love, and taught the whole
Of life in a new rhythm.
The cup of dole
God gave for baptism, I am fain to drink,
And praise its sweetness, Sweet, with thee anear.
The names of country, heaven, are changed away
For where thou art or shalt be, there or here;
And this .
this lute and song .
(The singing angels know) are only dear
Because thy name moves right in what they say.
Robert Herrick | |
Charm me asleep, and melt me so
With thy delicious numbers;
That being ravish'd, hence I go
Away in easy slumbers.
Ease my sick head,
And make my bed,
Thou Power that canst sever
From me this ill;--
And quickly still,
Though thou not kill
Thou sweetly canst convert the same
From a consuming fire,
Into a gentle-licking flame,
And make it thus expire.
Then make me weep
My pains asleep,
And give me such reposes,
That I, poor I,
May think, thereby,
I live and die
Fall on me like a silent dew,
Or like those maiden showers,
Which, by the peep of day, do strew
A baptism o'er the flowers.
Melt, melt my pains
With thy soft strains;
That having ease me given,
With full delight,
I leave this light,
And take my flight