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For some her chair up to the brain do carry,
Some thrust it down into the stomach's heat.
Some place it in the root of life, the heart ;
Some in the river fountain of the veins; Some say, she's all all, and all in every part :
Some say, she's not contain'd, but all contains.
Thus these great clerks their little wisdom show,
While with their doctrines they at hazard play ; Tossing their light opinions to and fro,
To mock the lewd, as learn'd in this as they.
For no craz'd brain could ever yet propound,
Touching the soul, so vain and fond a thought; But some among these masters have been found, Which in their schools the self-same thing have
God only wise, to punish pride of wit,
Among men's wits has this confusion wrought, As the proud tow'r whose points the clouds did hit,
By tongues' confusion was to ruin brought.
But (thou) which didst man's soul of nothing make,
And when to nothing it was fallen again, “ To make it new, the form of man didst take ;
And God with God, becam'st a man with men."
Thou that hast fashion'd twice this soul of ours,
So that she is by double title thine,
Her subtle form thou only canst define.
To judge herself, she must herself transcend,
As greater circles comprehend the less ; But she wants pow'r, her own pow’rs to extend,
As fetter'd men cannot their strength express.
But thou, bright morning Star, thou rising Sun,
Which in these later times hast brought to light Those mysteries, that, since the world begun,
Lay hid in darkness, and eternal night.
Thou (like the Sun) do'st with an equal ray
Into the palace and the cottage shine,
By the clear lamp of oracle divine.
This lamp, through all the regions of my brain,
Where my soul sits, doth spread such beams of As now, methinks, I do distinguish plain, (grace,
Each subtle line of her immortal face.
The soul a substance and a spirit is,
Which God himself doth in the body make, Which makes the man, for every man from this
The nature of a man and name doth take,
And though this spirit be to th’ body knit,
As an apt means her pow'rs to exercise, Which are life, motion, sense, and will, and wit,
Yet she survives, although the body dies.
THAT THE SOUL IS A THING SUBSISTING BY ITSELF
WITHOUT THE BODY.
She is a substance, and a real thing,
Which hath itself an actual working might, Which neither from the senses' power doth spring,
Nor from the body's humours temper'd right.
She is a vine, which doth no propping need
To make her spread herself, or spring upright; She is a star, whose beams do not proceed
From any sun, but from a native light.
For when she sorts things present with things
past, And thereby things to come doth oft foresee; When she doth doubt at first, and choose at last,
These acts her own,* without her body be.
When of the dew, which th' eye and ear do take
From flow'rs abroad, and bring into the brain, She doth within both wax and honey make :
This work is her's, this is her proper pain.
When she from sundry acts one skill doth draw;
Gathering from divers fights one art of war,
* That the soul hath a proper operation without the body.
From many cases, like one rule of law;
These her collections, not the senses are,
When in th’ effects she doth the causes know,
doth rise ; And, seeing the branch, co ceives the root below;
These things she views without the body's eyes.
When she, without a Pegasus, doth fly,
Swifter than lightning's fire from east to west; About the centre, and above the sky,
She travels then, although the body rest.
When all her works she formeth first within,
Proportions them, and sees their perfect end ; Ere she in act doth any part begin,
What instruments doth then the body lend?
When without hands she doth thus castles build,
Sees without eyes, and without feet doth run; When she digests the world, yet is not fill'd;
By her own pow’rs these miracles are done.
When she defines, argues, divides, compounds,
Considers virtue, vice, and general things: And marrying divers principles and grounds,
Out of their match a true conclusion brings.
These actions in her closet, all alone,
(Retir'd within herself) she doth fulfil; Use of her body's organs she hath none,
When she doth use the pow'rs of wit and will.
Yet in the body's prison so she lies,
As through the body's windows she must look, Her divers powers of sense to exercise,
By gathering notes out of the world's great book.
Nor can herself discourse or judge of ought,
From these collections is a diverse thing.
For though our eyes can nought but colours see,
Yet colours give them not the pow'r of sight: So, though these fruits of sense her objects be,
Yet she discerns them by her proper light.
The workman on his stuff his skill doth show,
And yet the stuff gives not the man his skill : Kings their affairs do by their servants know,
But order them by their own royal will.
So, though this cunning mistress, and this queen,
Doth, as her instruments, the senses use,
Yet she herself doth only judge and c.100se.
E'en as a prudent emperor, that reigns
By sovereign title over sundry lands, Borrows, in mean affairs, his subjects' pains,
Sees by their eyes, and writeth by their hands :
But things of weight and consequence indeed,
Himself does in his chamber them debate ;