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Seventh Stanza

Thou to the cups dost say (that catch this wine)

This liquor, golden pipes, and wine-vats plain,

Whether Paul, Apollos, Cephas, all are thine.

Oh golden word! Lord speak it o’re again

Lord speak it home to me, say these are mine.

My bells shall then thy praises bravely chime.

Summary: The poem ends with the words of God to the poet: This grace you have received and more – “all [these things] are thine”. This final stanza breaks the form of the previous stanzas in that the prayer is found in the fourth & fifth lines, rather than the final couplet: Here he prays that God will repeat the promise, “all are thine.” It then ends with a final promise of future praise.

Notes:

The image here is of one who bestows the feast: God speaks to the cups which hold this grace and he bids them continually be filled with grace. 

Indeed, the entire stanza is about speaking: And since it is God is speaking the words are efficacious (And God let there be light, etc.)

Thou to the cups dost SAY (that catch this wine)

This liquor, golden pipes, and wine-vats plain,

“Whether Paul, Apollos, Cephas, all are thine.”

Oh golden WORD! Lord SPEAK it o’re again

Lord SPEAK it home to me, SAY these are mine.

My bells shall then thy praises bravely CHIME.

This stanza is a plea for God to speak directly to Taylor, “Say, these are mine.”

But there is an interesting shift in the address of the first three lines of the stanza. Poet speaks to and of God speaking

You, God, say to the cups, “All [these things] are thine.” The cups are not something separate from the poet, he does not take up a cup: he is the cup. God blesses the cup – who is the poet – and says to him: All these things are yours.

So far, the emphasis in the poem has been on grace of salvation. But here the scope and breadth of that salvation is made plain: It is not a bare escape from hell but rather a great promise.

Now, there is something interesting in the section of the promise which Taylor selects, the three names Paul, Apollos, Cephas (Peter). In the passage selected, Paul has been speaking to the Corinthians concerning their fighting one-another under the banner of this or that preacher: Some say they follow Paul, some Apollos, I follow Peter. Paul explains that God does all the work and the ministers are merely those who serve God in his work. Immediately after the passage quoted by Taylor, Paul will go onto state that ministers are “stewards of the mysteries of God.” They are those delivering someone else’s property. 

Thomas Watson, an English Puritan and near contemporary of Taylor, gave this sense of the clause quoted by Taylor:  “Under these words, ‘Paul and Apollos,’ by a figure are comprehended all the ministers of Christ, the weakest as well as the eminentest. ‘Paul and Apollos are yours,’ viz. their labours are for edifying the church. They are the helpers of your faith; the parts of a minister are not given for himself, they are the church’s.” Thomas Watson, The Christian’s Charter of Privileges.

Taylor hiself was a minister. And while I have no idea of how he felt or thought upon the day this poem was drafted (beyond the poem itself), I could see some peculiar encouragement to a pastor in these words. God has redeemed Taylor – God has also given Taylor all things. He has given Taylor the work of other Christian ministers.

But God has also given Taylor for others in this particular capacity. 

And Taylor states that having received this grace from God, he will turn around praise this grace of God, As he hears these words over again, he will in turn chime the praise of God to others. Thus, in a manner, Taylor is taken up into the promise of Paul’s letter. 

This meditation being a preparation for the service which Taylor would lead for his congregation, this promise of “all things are thine” and the promise that he will praise God works out in the fact of Taylor’s ministry.

Moreover, the poem itself answers to this promise to praise God. By writing the poem, Taylor is in fact praising God.

Musical

The accents are interesting: I have marked the irregular lines:

THOU to the CUPS dost SAY (that CATCH this WINE)

This liquor, golden pipes, and wine-vats plain,

WHEther Paul, Apollos, Cephas, all are thine.

OH GOLDen WORD! LORD SPEAK it O’RE aGAIN

LORD SPEAK it HOME to ME,  SAY THESE are MINE.

My bells shall then thy praises bravely chime.

The accents help to direct the attention of the speech. The first line of the stanza accents “Thou”: it gets attention and functions like a greeting. The fourth and fifth lines of the stanza are over-accented. Each word must be said separately and slowly which creates substantial emphasis. This makes sense, because they two lines are the petition of the prayer. The last line is part of the prayer, but it is a promise of future praise, not a request from God. 

The repetition of the phrase, “Lord speak” coupled with the strongly emphasized syllables creates an impassioned plea: Lord, say these words, give me assurance this is true: I know it is so, I just want to hear it again. This is the sort of intensity of the lover saying, “Say you love me again.” Or the pardoned criminal, “Say it again, I can hardly believe I have been freed.”