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Taylor’s mediation “25” begins as follows:

Why should my bells, which chime thy praise, when thou
My shew-bread, on thy table wast, my King,
Their clappers, or their cell-ropes want even now?
Or those that can thy changes sweetly ring?
What is a scar-fire broken out?  No, no.
The bells would backward ring if it was so.

This poem will speak to the poet’s inability to rightly praise God, he “cannot unscrew [open] love’s cabinet” (which holds his love and praise). It begins with this strange discussion of bells. (That image of bells will appear later as possibly tolling the poet’s death).

The first trick will be to understand the introductory question. It will help to understand the whole to break the subordinate clause:

Why should my bells, which chime thy praise, [when thou
My shew-bread, on thy table wast, my King,]
Their clappers, or their cell-ropes want even now?

Paraphrased: Why should these bells lack a clapper or rope when they should being playing in praise to you?

The rhythm is regular until the final turn of line three “even now”. That accent on the first syllable of “EVen” forces one to stop and underscores the point: At this moment — when I should be praising — I cannot.

The second line contains the image of “shewbread”:

Bread of the Presence. Loaves of bread placed on a special table in the sanctuary or Holy Place of the tabernacle and later in the temple. Two other terms in the OT are used to describe the “bread of the Presence,” which means bread that has been set before the Lord’s face (Ex 25:23, 30; 35:13; 39:36; 1 Kgs 7:48; 2 Chr 4:19). The term “showbread” (kjv shewbread) refers to the arrangement of the bread in rows on the table (1 Chr 9:32; 23:29; 28:16; 2 Chr 2:4; 13:11; 29:18). The term “continual bread” refers to its perpetual offering (Nm 4:7).

David W. Wead, “Bread of the Presence,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 379. By referring to the “shewbread” being on the Lord’s table, it is most likely that Taylor is referring to Lord’s Supper.

Thus, here at the moment where I am contemplating the great gift of God, I find that my praise lacks voice.

Robert Nares Glossary (1859) of idioms and phrases of Shakespeare and contemporaries explains “scar-fire” as “scar-fire or scarefire: an alarm of fire. The cry fire! fire!” It could also refer to the fire itself.

Example,

THE SCARE-FIRE.
by Robert Herrick

WATER, water I desire,
Here’s a house of flesh on fire ;
Ope the fountains and the springs,
And come all to bucketings :
What ye cannot quench pull down ;
Spoil a house to save a town :
Better ’tis that one should fall,
Than by one to hazard all.

Thus, the lines

 What is a scar-fire broken out?  No, no.
 The bells would backward ring if it was so.

Could mean there was a question as to whether a fire had broken out, or an alarm of fire. Either would support the meaning.

Why cannot the poet praise God? Is it because some fire had broken out and destroyed the bells? No, that would be impossible. The “backward” will be picked up in the next stanza.