Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT OF THE AULTER [ALTAR] [DIFF. VER.], by ROBERT SOUTHWELL



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT OF THE AULTER [ALTAR] [DIFF. VER.], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In paschall feast, the end of ancient rite
Last Line: God, angels' gifts on bodies, may bestow.


In paschall feast, the end of ancient rite,
An entrance was to never-ending grace;
Types to the truth, dim glimpses to the light;
Performing deed presaging signs did chase;
Christ's final meal was fountain of our good,
For mortal meat He gave immortal food.

That which He gave, He was: O peerless gift!
Both God and man He was, and both He gave.
He in His hands Himself did truly lift.
Far off they see Whom in themselves they have.
Twelve did He feed, twelve did their feeder eat.
He made, He dressed, He gave, He was, their meat.

They saw, they heard, they felt Him sitting near.
Unseen, unfelt, unheard, they Him received;
No diverse thing, though diverse it appear;
Though senses fail, yet faith is not deceived;
And if the wonder of the work be new,
Believe the work because His word is true.

Here truth believe, belief inviteth Love.
So sweet a truth Love never yet enjoyed.
What thought can think, what will doth best approve,
Is here obtained where no desire is void.
The grace, the joy, the treasure here is such,
No wit can wish, nor will embrace so much.

Self-love here cannot crave more than it finds,
Ambition to no higher worth aspire;
The eagerest famine of most hungry minds
May fill, yea far exceed their own desire.
In sum, here all is in a sum expressed,
Of much the most, of every good the best.

To ravish eyes here heavenly beauties are;
To win the ear sweet music's sweetest sound;
To lure the taste the angels' heavenly fare;
To soothe the scent divine perfumes abound.
To please the touch, He in our hearts doth bed,
Whose touch doth cure the deaf, the dumb, the dead.

Here to delight the wit true wisdom is;
To woo the will, of every good the choice;
For memory, a mirror showing bliss;
Here's all that can both sense and soul rejoice;
And if, to all, all this it do not bring,
The fault is in the men, not in the thing.

Though blind men see no light, the sun doth shine.
Sweet cakes are sweet, though fevered tastes deny it.
Pearls precious are, though trodden on by swine;
Each truth is true, though all men do not try it;
The best still to the bad doth work the worst
Things bred to bliss do make them more accurst.

The angels' eyes, whom veils cannot deceive,
Might best disclose what best they do discern;
Men must with sound and silent faith receive
More than they can by sense or reason learn.
God's power our proofs, His works our wit exceed.
The Doer's might is reason of His deed.

A body is endued with ghostly rights;
And Nature's work from Nature's law is free.
In heavenly sun lie hid eternal lights,
Lights clear and near, yet them no eye can see.
Dead forms a never dying life do shroud.
A boundless sea lies in a little cloud.

The God of hosts in slender host doth dwell,
Yea, God and man with all to either due,
That God who rules the heavens and rifled hell,
That man whose death did us to life renew:
That God and man that is the angels' bliss,
In form of bread and wine our nurture is.

Whole may His body be in smallest bread,
Whole in the whole, yea whole in every crumb;
With which, be one or be ten thousand fed,
All to each one, to all but One doth come;
And though each one as much as all receive,
Not one too much, nor all too little have.

One soul in man is all in every part.
One face at once in many mirrors shines.
One fearful noise doth make a thousand start;
One eye at once of countless things defines.
If proofs of one in many, Nature frame,
God may in stranger sort perform the same.

God present is at once in every place,
Yet God in every place is ever one;
So may there be by gifts of ghostly grace
One man in many rooms, yet filling none.
Since angels may effects of bodies show,
God, angels' gifts on bodies, may bestow.





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