Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DIET, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT

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THE DIET, by            
First Line: Last night my supper, as I fed
Last Line: By thy sweet grace an endlesse feast shall reap.
Subject(s): Dinners & Dining; Gluttony; Mortality; Temptation

LAST night my Supper, as I fed,
Sufficed not but changed quite
My Stomack, & in Secret led
It to a Table
Compleatly able
To satisfie the largest Appetite.

What are these Meats & Drinks below,
But things as vaine & fraile as Wee?
By which We grow indeed, but grow
Neerer each day
To that Decay
Which must consummate our Mortalitie.

Wee feed but on these Things, untill
Ourselves become fit meat, wherby
The Grave her gaping Mouth may fill;
Where finallie
Our Meats & wee
In one Corruption swallowed up must lie.

Could any earthly Dainties teach
Us how to live indeed, sure I;
Could there Devoto turne, & preach
For them, & none
But them alone,
Nor any Doctrine presse, but Gluttonie.

I could on silly Womens Zeale
Grow fat, & at their Tables end
Uses & Exhortations deale
Wherby they might
Both Noon & Night
Meat & Drink-Offrings on GOD BELLY spend.

The Reprobates I could Decree
To have no Right, but those alone
Who Godly are, to all we see
Daintie & sweet
And fatning Meat;
Taking for granted, that my Selfe were One.

All Fasting Dayes I could despise
And prove a Fryday-Capon were
A purer, holyer, Sacrifice
Then Abstinence
And Penitence,
And such vexatious Superstitious geare.

But oh! Those Viands onely can
The Belly fill; but know not how
Indeed to satisfie ye Man.
Man's not wt We
Heere feeding see;
The Soule's ye Man, & that must feed & grow.

Unbounded is its Appetite,
And boundlesse Diet doth require;
Meats of unmeasured delight
Which allway fill
It full, yet still
Leave room for Hungers ever fresh Desire.

JESU, no Diet can suffice,
But what Thine, owne Magnificence
Provided hath above ye Skies.
Thou, who didst make
This Hunger, take
Some course to stop its burning violence.

Long in this weary world have I
Trembled & toss'd, & nothing found
But husks, which cannot satisfie
My hungry Heart:
Faine would I part
From hence, whence naught but nothing does abound.

But if I must not die as yet,
Alive do Thou this Hunger keep:
By Faith & Hope oh nourish it
Till at ye last
This long, long Fast
By Thy sweet grace an endlesse Feast shall reap.

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