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the-ascension

The analysis of stanzas 1-3 can be found  herehere  and  here.

4.
Methinks I see Heaven’s sparkling courtiers fly
In flakes of glory down him to attend
And hear heart cramping notes of melody
Surround his chariot as it did ascend
Mixing their music making every string
More in in-ravish as they this tune sing.

5.
God is gone up with a triumphant shout
The Lord with sounding trumpets’ melodies
Sing praise, sing praise, sing praise, sing praises out
Unto our King sing praises seraphic-wise.
Lit up your heads ye lasting door they sing
And let the King of Glory enter in.

6.
Art thou ascended up on high, my Lord,
And must I be without thee here below?
Art thou the sweetest joy the heavens afford?
Oh! that I with thee was! What shall I do?
Should I pluck feather from an angel’s wing,
They could not waft me up to thee my King.

7.
Lend my thy wings, my Lord, I’st fly apace.
My soul’s arms stud with thy strong quills, true faith,
My quills then feather with thy saving grace,
My wings will take the wind thy Word displaith
Then I shall fly up to thy glorious throne
With my strong wings whose feathers are thine own.

Stanzas 4 & 5, shift from the ascent of the Lord into heaven to the reception he receives. As doors glory open, the Lord is met with the heavenly beings — the “sparking courtiers”, as fit for a king. It is an imagined scene of a triumphant king entering into his place.

Stanza 5 relies heavily upon the imagery of Isaiah 6 (as well as Psalm 24, discussed previously). In Isaiah 6, Isaiah sees a vision of the Lord surrounded by seraphim singing praise:

Isaiah 6:1–4 (ESV)

6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

Taylor imagines the scene and calls upon the heavenly host to praise even more fully the King of Glory.

This scene of singing also recalls the Incarnation:

Luke 2:10–14 (ESV)

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14  “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

And the scene of the heavenly court in Revelation 5:

Revelation 5:13–14 (ESV)

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

And interesting shift takes place in the final two stanzas. Taylor moves from imagining the scene to a plan as to how to enter into the scene. In age of “heaven tourism” plucking an angel’s feather seems most plausible. But Taylor knows that such thing is not to be.

In the final stanza, he says that such a space is open to him through the means of (1) true faith, (2) saving grace, (3) the Word of God. There is a present an anticipation, but to a present physical presence before the Lord. That is to come. He has an anticipation of eventual, future reception before the King

Lend my thy wings, my Lord, I’st fly apace.

Not an angel’s feather, but wings from the Lord will be needed.
My soul’s arms stud with thy strong quills, true faith,

It will be true faith that will raise him. It is faith alone that is the conduit of salvation.

My quills then feather with thy saving grace,

Faith obtains for us saving grace as a gift:
Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

My wings will take the wind thy Word displaith

Contrary to a mysticism which goes beyond the written Word of God, Taylor says, I will take the means which you provide to us, the Word of God. Note also the future sense: “will take”.

Then I shall fly up to thy glorious throne
With my strong wings whose feathers are thine own.

Faith, grace, developed by the Word of God (and note how thoroughly Taylor’s poetic imagination is filled with allusions to the Word), will result in the future coming to the Lord “I shall fly”.
The purpose of the poem is then to sharpen his present hope.

Romans 8:23–25 (ESV)
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.