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



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THE CANDLE, by            
First Line: The life and death I once did mark
Last Line: Converts ye candles into starrs.
Subject(s): Candles; Christianity; Faith; Humanity; Youth; Belief; Creed


THE Life and Death I once did mark
Of a wax Candle in ye Dark:
And by its light Me thought I read
Poor Mans short story,
His slender glory
Soon lighted, soon extinguished.

In this blind World, all black as Night,
Is Kindled each Mans native Light;
And Kindled at a Senior Flame
Which if you shall
A Candle call,
You but describe a Parents Name.

When first this infant Light is borne,
How tender is its twinckling Morne!
When every petty, paltrie Wind
Which walks yt way
Makes it his play
To puffe it out, & leave it blind.

As it does stronger grow, it finds
More boistrous stormes, & greater Winds,
And yet ye worst and foulest fear
Doth from within
Its mischeif gin,
When a slie Theefe appeareth there.

But yet of all ye rest, ye cheife
And most pernicious fatall Theefe
Is blazing, droyling Luxurie:
Never was Light
So rich & bright
But this could wast it suddenlie.

But still ye Snuffer may, (& this
Nothing but sharp Affliction is)
The wastfull Theefe expell & set
The trimmed Light
In thriving plight,
Right safe and quiet, clean & neat.

If downward then it does propend,
It turnes its owne Theefe, & does spend
It selfe in vaine: Steadfast & even
The Light must be,
Perpetually
Upright & burning towards Heaven.

If it be hurried heer and there,
The troubled Flame cannot forbear
To wast its Stock: that Life is best,
For Man, which may
It selfe injoy
Immured safe in private Rest.

Yet in that Rest ye Candle lives
By preying on it Selfe, & thrives
To its owne ruine: Tis ye same
False Fire from whom
Its Life doth come,
Wch proves at length its Funerall Flame.

And then, how fine so e'r before,
In Faithfull tale It must restore
Its Principles; & so discover
What was before;
Nothing alas, but poor
And sallow Ashes furbish'd over.

Thus All must dye. But yet We see
That In their Deaths they disagree.
Some leave a stink, which breatheth in
Their Memorie;
And these are they
Whose grosse Composure smelt of sin.

Yet Purer Candles leave behind
A pleasing smell, sweet as ye Wind
Which at ye Phenix's Funerall Flame
Perfum'd his Breath,
And blew her Death
Through all ye fairest Mouths of Fame.

But those clear Tapors, wch we find
Of Virgin wax, leave Them behind
And by Unstained Puritie
Far, far excell
All parallell;
These sweetlyest live, and sweetlyest die.

But These & They die not to be
Bury'd in that blind Destinie.
Heavn for ye Dying Spark prepares
A better Spheer
Above, & there
Converts ye Candles into Starrs.





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