Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WRITTEN IN JUICE OF LEMON, by ABRAHAM COWLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WRITTEN IN JUICE OF LEMON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whilst what I write here, I needs must say
Last Line: Yet like them, when thei'r burnt in sacrifice.


WHilst what I write I doe not see,
I dare thus, even to you, write Poetrie.
Ah foolish Muse, which dost so high aspire,
And knowest her judgement well,
How much it does thy power excell,
Yet darst bee read by, thy just Doome, the Fire.


Alas, thou thinkest thy selfe secure,
Because thy forme is Innocent and Pure:
Like Hypocrites, which seeme unspotted here;
But when they sadly come to dy,
And the last Fire their Truth must try,
Scrauld ore like thee, and blotted they appeare.


Go then, but reverently goe,
And, since thou needs must sinne, confesse it too:
Confes't, and with humility cloath thy shame;
For thou, who else must burned bee
An Heretick, if shee pardon thee,
May'st like a Martyr then enjoy the Flame.


But if her wisdome growe severe,
And suffer not her goodnesse to bee there;
If her large mercyes cruelly it restraine;
Be not discourag'd, but require
A more gentle Ordeall Fire,
And bid her by Love's Flames read it again.


Strange power of heat, thou yet dost show
Like winter earth, naked, or cloath'd with snow,
But, as the quick'ning sunne approaching neare,
The Plants arise up by degrees,
A suddaine paint adornes the trees,
And all kind Nature's Characters appeare.


So, nothing yet in Thee is seene,
But when a Geniall heate warmes thee within,
A new-borne Wood of various Lines there grows;
Here buds an A, and there a B,
Here sprouts a V, and there a T,
And all the flourishing Letters stand in Rowes.


Still, silly Paper, thou wilt thinke
That all this might as well be writ with Inke.
Oh no; ther's sence in this, and Mysterie;
Thou now may'st change thy Author's name,
And to [her] Hand lay noble claim;
For as She Reads, she Makes the words in Thee.


Yet if thine owne unworthinesse
Will still, that thou art mine, not Her's, confesse:
Consume thy selfe with Fire before her Eyes,
And so her Grace and Pitty move;
The Gods, though Beasts they do not Love,
Yet like them, when thei'r burnt in Sacrifice.

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