21 October 2009

Monday's Holy Poetry

My beloved is mine and I am His; He feedeth among the Lillies...

Canticles II. 16 (partial);
By Francis Quarles

If all those glitt'ring Monarchs that command
The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,
I would not change my fortunes for them all:

Their wealth is but a counter to my coin:
The world's but theirs; but my Beloved's mine.
Nay more; if the fair thespian ladies all
Should heap together their diviner treasure:
That treasure should be deem'd a price too small
To buy a minute's lease of half my pleasure.

'Tis not the sacred wealth of all the Nine
Can buy my heart from Him, or His, from being mine.

Nor Time, nor Place, nor Chance, nor Death can bow
My least desires unto the least remove;
He's firmly mine by oath; I, His, by vow;
He's mine by faith; and I am His by love;

He's mine by water; I am His by wine;
Thus I my Best-beloved's am, thus He is mine.

He is my Altar; I, his Holy Place;
I am His guest; and he, my living food;
I'm his by penitance; He, mine by Grace;
I'm his, by purchase; He is mine, by blood;

He's my supporting elme, and I, his vine:
Thus I am my Best-beloved's am, thus He is mine.
He gives me wealth, I give him all my vows:
I give Him songs; He gives me length of days:

With wreaths of grace he crownes my conqu'ring brow
And I, his Temples, with a crown of praise,
Which he accepts as an ev'rlasting signe,
That I my Best-beloved's am; that He is mine.

(Emblemes 1635)