صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

7 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.

8 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 ?

9 When without hands she doth thus castles build,

Sees without eyes, and without feet doth run; When she digests the world, yet is not filld:

By her own powers these miracles are done.

10 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.

11 These actions in her closet, all alone,

Retired within herself, she doth fulfil;
Use of her body's organs she hath none,

When she doth use the powers of wit and will.

12 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.

13 Nor can herself discourse or judge of ought,

But what the sense collects, and home doth bring; And yet the powers

of her discoursing thought, From these collections is a diverse thing.

14 For though our eyes can nought but colours see,

Yet colours give them not their power of sight; So, though these fruits of sense her objects be,

Yet she discerns them by her proper light.

;

15 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.

16 So, though this cunning mistress, and this queen,

Doth, as her instruments, the senses use,
To know all things that are felt, heard, or seen;

Yet she herself doth only judge and choose.

17 Even 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:

18 But things of weight and consequence indeed,

Himself doth in his chamber then debate;
Where all his counsellers he doth exceed,

As far in judgment, as he doth in state.

19 Or as the man whom princes do advance,

Upon their gracious mercy-seat to sit,
Doth common things of course and circumstance,

To the reports of common men commit:

20 But when the cause itself must be decreed,

Himself in person in his proper court,
To

grave and solemn hearing doth proceed,
Of every proof, and every by-report.

21 Then, like God's angel, he pronounceth right,

And milk and honey from his tongue doth flow : Happy are they that still are in his sight,

To reap the wisdom which his lips doth sow.

22 Right so the soul, which is a lady free,

And doth the justice of her state maintain:
Because the senses ready servants be,

Attending nigh about her court, the brain:

23 By them the forms of outward things she learns,

For they return unto the fantasy,
Whatever each of them abroad discerns,

And there enrol it for the mind to see.

24 But when she sits to judge the good and ill,

And to discern betwixt the false and true,
She is not guided by the senses' skill,

But doth each thing in her own mirror view.

25 Then she the senses checks, which oft do err,

And even against their false reports decrees; And oft she doth condemn what they prefer;

For with a power above the sense she sees.

26 Therefore no sense the precious joys conceives,

Which in her private contemplations be;
For then the ravish'd spirit the senses leaves,

Hath her own powers, and proper actions free.

27 Her harmonies are sweet, and full of skill,

When on the body's instruments she plays;
But the proportions of the wit and will,
Those sweet accords are even the angels' lays.

28 These tunes of reason are Amphion's lyre,

Wherewith he did the Theban city found :
These are the notes wherewith the heavenly choir,
The praise of Him which made the heaven doth

sound.

29 Then her self-being nature shines in this,

That she performs her noblest works alone : • The work, the touchstone of the nature is;

And by their operations things are known.'

SPIRITUALITY OF THE SOUL.

1 But though this substance be the root of sense,

Sense knows her not, which doth but bodies know: She is a spirit, and heavenly influence,

Which from the fountain of God's Spirit doth flow.

2 She is a spirit, yet not like air or wind;

Nor like the spirits about the heart or brain;
Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find,

When they in everything seek gold in vain.

3 For she all natures under heaven doth

pass,
Being like those spirits, which God's bright face do

see,
Or like Himself, whose image once she was,

Though now, alas! she scarce his shadow be.

4 For of all forms, she holds the first degree,

That are to gross, material bodies knit;
Yet she herself is bodiless and free;

And, though confined, is almost infinite.

5 Were she a body,* how could she remain

Within this body, which is less than she?
Or how could she the world's great shape contain,

And in our narrow breasts contained be?

6 All bodies are confined within some place,

But she all place within herself confines:
All bodies have their measure and their space;

But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines?

7 No body can at once two forms admit,

Except the one the other do deface;
But in the soul ten thousand forms do fit,

And none intrudes into her neighbour's place. 8 All bodies are with other bodies fill'd,

But she receives both heaven and earth together: Nor are their forms by rash encounter spill’d,

For there they stand, and neither toucheth either. 9 Nor can her wide embracements filled be;

For they that most and greatest things embrace, Enlarge thereby their mind's capacity,

As streams enlarged, enlarge the channel's space. 10 All things received, do such proportion take,

As those things have, wherein they are received: So little glasses little faces make,

And narrow webs on narrow frames are weaved.

11 Then what vast body must we make the mind, Wherein are men, beasts, trees, towns, seas, and

lands;
And yet each thing a proper place doth find,
And each thing in the true proportion stands?
* That it cannot be a body.

« السابقةمتابعة »