(A meditation on John 6):
I kenning through astronomy divine
The world’s bright battlement, wherein I spy
A golden path my pencil cannot line,
From that bright throne unto my threshold lie.
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pour
I find the Bread of Life in’t at my door.
When that this bird of paradise put in
This wicker cage (my corpse) to tweedle praise
Had pecked the fruit forbade: and so did fling
Away its good; and lost its golden days;
It fell into celestial famine sore:
And never could attain a morsel more.
Alas! Alas! Poor bird, what wilt thou do?
The creature’s field no food for souls ever gave.
And if thou knock at angels’ doors they show
An empty barrel: they no soul bread have.
Alas! Poor bird, the world’s white loaf is done.
And cannot yield thee here the smallest crumb.
In this sad state, God’s tender bowels run
Out streams of grace: And he to end all strife
The purest wheat in heaven, his dear-dear Son,
Grinds and kneads up into this Bread of Life.
Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands
Dished on thy table up by angel hands.
Did God mold up this Bread in heaven and bake
Which from his table came and to thine goeth?
Doth he bespeak thee thus, This soul Bread take.
Come eat thy fill of this thy God’s white loaf?
It’s food too fine for angels, yet come, take
And eat thy fill. It’s heaven’s sugar cake.
What grace in this knead is this loaf? This thing
Souls are but petty thing it to admire.
Yea, angels help: This fill would to the brim
Heaven’s whelmed-down crystal meal bowl, yea and higher.
This Bread of Life dropped in thy mouth doth cry,
Eat, eat me, soul, and thou shalt never die.