Or the great Clever Party con
How many grains of sifted sand,
Heap’d, make a likely house to stand,
How many fools one Solomon.
Science, beyond all other lust
Endow’d with appetite for dust,
We glance at where it grunts, well-sty’d,
And pass upon the other side.
Pass also by, in pensive mood,
Taught by thy kind twin-sister, Certitude,
Yon puzzled crowd, whose tired intent
Hunts like a pack without a scent.
And now come home,
Where none of our mild days
Can fail, though simple, to confess
The magic of mysteriousness;
For there ’bide charming Wonders three,
Besides, Sweet, thee,
To comprehend whose commonest ways,
Ev’n could that be,
Were coward’s ’vantage and no true man’s praise.
Say, did his sisters wonder what could Joseph see
In a mild, silent little Maid like thee?
And was it awful, in that narrow house,
With God for Babe and Spouse?
Nay, like thy simple, female sort, each one
Apt to find Him in Husband and in Son,
Nothing to thee came strange in this.
Thy wonder was but wondrous bliss:
Wondrous, for, though
True Virgin lives not but does know,
(Howbeit none ever yet confess’d,)
That God lies really in her breast,
Of thine He made His special nest!
All mothers worship little feet,
And kiss the very ground they’ve trod;
But, ah, thy little Baby sweet
Who was indeed thy God!
THE OPEN SECRET.
The Heavens repeat no other Song,
And, plainly or in parable,
The Angels trust, in each man’s tongue,
The Treasure’s safety to its size.
In shameful Hell
The Lily in last corruption lies,
Where known ’tis, rotten-lily-wise,
By the strange foulness of the smell.
Earth, that, in this arcanum, spies
Proof of high kinship unconceiv’d,
By all desired and disbeliev’d,
Shews fancies, in each thing that is,
Which nothing mean, not meaning this,
Yea, does from her own law, to hint it, err,
As ’twere a trust too huge for her.
Maiden and Youth pipe wondrous clear
The tune they are the last to hear.
’Tis the strange gem in Pleasure’s cup.
Physician and Philosopher,
In search of acorns, plough it up,
But count it nothing ’mong their gains;
Nay, call it pearl, they’d answer, ’Lo,
Blest Land where pearls as large as pumpkins grow!’
And would not even rend you for your pains.
To tell men truth, yet keep them dark
And shooting still beside the mark,
God, as in jest, gave to their wish,
The Sign of Jonah and the Fish.
’Tis the name new, on the white stone,
To none but them that have it known;
And even these can scarce believe, but cry,
’When turn’d was Sion’s captivity,
Then were we, yea, and yet we seem
Like them that dream!’