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(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.