Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 232 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.
Till one appears that must excel the rest; 80
One! like the Author, whose capacious mind
Might, by the glorious work, the Maker find;
Might measure heaven, and give each star a name;
With art and courage the rough ocean tame;
Over the globe with swelling sails might go,
And that ’tis round by his experience know;
Make strongest beasts obedient to his will,
And serve his use the fertile earth to till.

When, by His Word, God had accomplish’d all, 89
Man to create He did a council call;
Employed His hand, to give the dust He took
A graceful figure, and majestic look;
With His own breath convey’d into his breast
Life, and a soul fit to command the rest;
Worthy alone to celebrate His name
For such a gift, and tell from whence it came. 
Birds sing His praises in a wilder note,
But not with lasting numbers and with thought,
Man’s great prerogative! but above all
His grace abounds in His new fav’rite’s fall. 100

If He create, it is a world He makes;
If He be angry, the creation shakes;
From His just wrath our guilty parents fled;
He cursed the earth, but bruised the serpent’s head. 
Amidst the storm His bounty did exceed,
In the rich promise of the Virgin’s seed;
Though justice death, as satisfaction, craves,
Love finds a way to pluck us from our graves.

[1] ‘Abandoned soul and all’:  Exodus xxxii. 32.  Ep. to the Romans ix. 3. [2]:  ‘Royal prophet’:  David.

CANTO III.

Not willing terror should His image move;
He gives a pattern of eternal love; 110
His Son descends to treat a peace with those
Which were, and must have ever been, His foes. 
Poor He became, and left His glorious seat
To make us humble, and to make us great;
His business here was happiness to give
To those whose malice could not let Him live.

Legions of angels, which He might have used,
(For us resolved to perish) He refused;
While they stood ready to prevent His loss,
Love took Him up, and nail’d Him to the cross. 120

Immortal love! which in His bowels reign’d,
That we might be by such great love constrain’d
To make return of love.  Upon this pole
Our duty does, and our religion, roll. 
To love is to believe, to hope, to know;
’Tis an essay, a taste of heaven below!

He to proud potentates would not be known;
Of those that loved Him He was hid from none. 
Till love appear we live in anxious doubt;
But smoke will vanish when the flame breaks out; 130
This is the fire that would consume our dross,
Refine, and make us richer by the loss.

Could we forbear dispute, and practise love,
We should agree as angels do above. 
Where love presides, not vice alone does find
No entrance there, but virtues stay behind;
Both faith, and hope, and all the meaner train
Of mortal virtues, at the door remain. 
Love only enters as a native there,
For, born in heaven, it does but sojourn here. 140

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Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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