Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ADMIRABLE CONVERSION OF S. PAUL, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT



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THE ADMIRABLE CONVERSION OF S. PAUL, by            
First Line: A thirst againe? But even now
Last Line: A sweet & intellectuall star.
Subject(s): Christianity; Conversion; Saints


A THIRST againe? But even now
Stev'ns Sacred veines were broached, whence Thou
Tookst thy full draught, & left'st ye Saint
No more then servd his wounds to paint.
Thy bloody Mouth still blusheth in
Confession of that reeking sin:
And needs some other liquor now,
To wash that stain. O didst Thou know
The vertue of ye Springs, which rise
In a true Penitent Sinners Eyes,
Those streams ye better thirst of thy
Inflamed Soule would satisfie,
And washing her deep staine away
Up unto Heavn thy Heart convey
(How foule soever it came hither)
As faire as His Thou Stoned'st thither.
But of all Liquors onely Blood
Quenches not thirst; its Purple Flood
All though but moderate whilst at home,
Most Fiercely burnes when it doth come
Abroad, & in all veines is knowne
To turne to fire, but in its owne.
Look how ye furious flame doth break
Vers. 1. From Sauls impatient Mouth, & speak
Its proper language, fire & sword
Against ye Followers of ye Lord:
That Lord, whose blood, if any, might
Have quenchd Mortalls immortall Spight.
But Furies thirst, still thirsty can
Exhaust ye Blood of God & man.
But whither now? Why to ye Priest?
He is a Man, & in his Breast
There something lesse perhaps may dwell
Then perfect Tigre: down to Hell
And get thy desperate Commission
Under ye Broad Seale of Perdition.
There Thou shalt have both thanks & pay
And new fire to thy Zeale: away,
A prince will help Thee there, & be
Captaine of thy Conspiracie.
No: heers a shorter Passage: Saul
Can meet Him in ye High Priests Hall,
Where ye black Warrant first was pennd
JESUS him selfe to apprehend.
And 'tis decorum now, sayes He,
That none but this Authoritie
Which did that foule Imposter take,
Should seize his Followers, & make
The Glory wholly yours; that you
Most Holy Sir, should overthrow
That Rout wch dares oppose ye Grace
Of Moses evershining face;
Which dares blasphemously preferre
Poor Tabors forged Lustre far
Before those dreadfull beames, wch did
Break out from Sina's glorious Head.
Let these resumptious Rebells know
Moses is still alive in you;
And as in His great Chaire you sit,
So His all-powerfull Rod is put
Into your Hand. Had that proud He
The Master of this Heresie,
Been kept close to his honest Trade,
Surely he never could have had
So many Prentises. But, Sir,
Is it not time for Zeale to stir
Now their vile Carpenters new Art
Hath built his Fabrik in ye Heart
Of ye deceived People higher
Then doth our Temples crest aspire?
Now that Mechanik Doctors Law
Out braves our reverend Statutes? Now
The cursed Crosse usurps to be
Of Life & Blessednesse the Tree
By His profound Inchantment? O
(Seing They themselves will have it so)
Envy them not that Glorie's shame;
Let every one obteine ye fame
Of their Lords Death: Such honour I
To no Blasphemer would deny.
If You can undertake to find
Crosses enough, let Me have sign'd
Your warrant, & no feare, but I
Will Heretiks enough descry
For you ye righteous Priest to offer
Upon those Altars; They can suffer
Upon no fitter Engin; you
No better Offring can bestow
Upon that God, which doth decree
Strict Death for lesser Blasphemie.
And if ye Romans will not Yeild
By tumult We will win ye feild.
Eas'ly was this Comission got
And Saul well mounted on a hot
And fiery Steed (though not so fierce
As He himselfe) sets on his course
Damascus way. What hardy He
Dares stop ye Man? Authority
And zeale both spur him on. I ride
Upon Heavns errand; on my side
Is both ye Highest Priest, says He,
And that Priests Highest Dietie.
Why starts ye Gallant? O hee's downe
Both Horse & Man are overthrowne:
Vers. 3. A Light shining with much more day
Then ye compleat Meridian Ray
Arrests Him in his way unto
His work of darkness; & doth show
A higher Priest then He, from whom
His proud Commission doth come.
It showes ye Carpenter to be
Maker of Light & Majestie,
At which those late disdainfull eyes
Shrink into Blindnes. Now Saul spies
Without his Sight, what untill now
He could not see, or would not know.
O happy Blindnes! Christ before
Call'd divers, whilst He did restore
Their Sight: but here He doth begin
By Blindnes Proselytes to win.
It is enough, if to ye Eyes
Of Mans dark heart Day does arise.
But hearken Saul, thine ears are ope;
The way of Faith Christ would not stop.
Hark, 'tis not angry Thunders tone
But ye soft Voice of Love alone.
Vers. 4. SAUL, SAUL. And why not Rebell, who
Against his King rides armed so.
O no: tis Love yt speaks, & He
By Sweetnes will a Conqueror be.
Why persecut'st Thou Me? Can I
Offend my Creature, who did die
To win its love? What wouldst Thou more,
Then what I freely gave before?
My Heart resignd Thee all her blood
Which once alone can do Thee good.
Seek not to ravish it againe
Out of my Mystik Bodies veine,
Out of my tender Church which I
Have chose to be its Treasurie.
Alas thy Stomach doth in vaine
My milde Humilitie disdaine:
Were I still crownd wth Thornes, ev'n those
Would prick & vex my proudest Foes.
But now that wreath I have layd downe,
And reassum'd my Royall Crowne,
Whose Lustre frights Thee thus. And how
Wilt Thou indure my Hand, who now
Confounded art with one poore beam
Which from my Countenance doth stream?
And yet more powerfull, & more bright
And farr more sweet then is this Light,
Is My dear Name: I JESUS AM
Whom Thou to persecute art come.
Sure Heavn & all its powers doe lie
In this blessd words Epitomie.
Sweetly rolld up: Sure JESUS is
The truer Name of Paradise.
In this one Sound all Charmes unite
Their Mystik & unconquer'd might:
Which makes all Nature stop, & yeild
Unto victorious Grace ye Feild.
Rage never held a larger part
In any robbed Lyons Heart,
Then in Sauls furious Soule, untill
This potent Name his Eares did fill:
His eares, wch stop'd before had heard
Onely ye Outside of ye Word.
But now no Dove more mild, no Lamb
More gentle ever was & tame,
No Aire more calme, no wax more free
To entertain impression: See
How patiently He lies; DEARE LORD,
Vers. 6. WHAT WOULDST THOU HAVE ME DOE's his word.
I am beseig'd with light & love
And yeild my selfe to them: O prove
Thy Prisoners Loyaltie; impose
What task Thou wilt, I cannot choose
But serve so dear a Conqueror: say
Shall I goe travell in ye way,
That hard & stony way, which thy
Most Faithfull Steven went in to die?
Or shall I march unto ye Place
Of thy dear Crosse, & have ye grace
To climb up to it, & there pay
The debt of this most gracious Day,
My Blood & Life? O that I had
Ten thousand Hearts, that I might shed
Some worthy store of Streames for Thee
Who shed'st such Noble Blood for Mee!
Stay, Zealous Soule; brave is ye heat
Which in thy faithfull Breast doth beat.
A Heat too brave to make such hast
Unto its ashes; it must last
Untill it flame so high & bright,
That all ye World admire its light:
Untill it doth those Mists dispell
Which on ye Earth have spred out Hell;
Untill it dazell ye weak eye
Of ye proud Priest, no longer high;
Untill it takes up all ye room
From Solyma to Illyrium;
Untill its Prosperous beams doe fight
With sturdy Romes most monstrous Night;
And in great Nero's Court prepare
Some lodging for Heavns Emperor.
Then shall thy Fire have leave to make
Towards its Sphear: A Sword shall take
Away thine Head, or rather be
But as a Snuffer unto Thee;
For then ye Flame shall purer rise
And reach far far above ye skies,
Meeting ye fount of that Sweet Light,
From whence it selfe at first grew bright;
And so for ever glitter there
A sweet & intellectuall Star.





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