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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;
Out of their match a true conclusion brings.
11 These actions in her closet, all alone,
Retired within herself, she doth fulfil;
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,
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,
Yet she herself doth only judge and choose.
17 Even as a prudent emperor, that reigns
By sovereign title over sundry lands,
Sees by their eyes, and writeth by their hands:
18 But things of weight and consequence indeed,
Himself doth in his chamber then debate;
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,
To the reports of common men commit:
20 But when the cause itself must be decreed,
Himself in person in his proper court,
grave and solemn hearing doth proceed,
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:
Attending nigh about her court, the brain:
23 By them the forms of outward things she learns,
For they return unto the fantasy,
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,
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;
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;
28 These tunes of reason are Amphion's lyre,
Wherewith he did the Theban city found :
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;
When they in everything seek gold in vain.
3 For she all natures under heaven doth
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;
And, though confined, is almost infinite.
5 Were she a body,* how could she remain
Within this body, which is less than she?
And in our narrow breasts contained be?
6 All bodies are confined within some place,
But she all place within herself confines:
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;
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