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Fifth Stanza

Make me thy branch to bare thy grapes, Lord, feed             25

Me with thy bunch of raisins of the sun

Me stay with apples: let me eat indeed

Fruits of the tree of Life: it’s richly hung.

Am I thy child, son, heir, thy spouse, yet gain

Not of the rights that these relations claim?                        30

At this point, the prayer changes from a complaint or repentance to a petition.  Lines 25-28 are the petition. Lines 29-30, while they may appear to be a repetition of the previous complaint (that is, how is it true that I bear this relation and yet do not have a conforming life) are the predicate or basis for the prayer: Since I bear this relationship, then let me to partake of the benefits of this relationship.


The petition, lines 25-28, are set off by means of a stressed first syllable:  MAKE, ME, ME, FRUITS.

The first line is accented as follows (note also how the alliteration on the B helps tie the line together)


At this point the line contains two accented syllables and two pauses:

GRAPE [pause] LORD [pause] FEED

The accented final syllable of line 25 and the accented first syllable of line 26 as well as syntactical link (imperative verb + direct object) rush the line “FEED ME”

Notice also the alliteration of the second line matching the first

ME with thy BUNCH [branch, bare, bunch] of RAISins the [r matching GR in grapes]

Lines 26 & 27 each begin ME: ME with thy BUNCH, ME stay with APPles.

Read alone, line 27 might scan me STAY with APPles. But when read in conjunction with the end of line 26 it is necessary to accent ME to mark the new clause. Without the accent, “Me” then marks a continuance, which would be nonnses.

Me with thy bunch of raisins of the sun

Me stay with apples


The petition is for something to eat. That might seem rather strange coming after a series of complaints pertaining to his apparent hypocrisy. However, by understanding the nature of the allusions contained in these lines, the riddle is resolved.

To be made a branch: This is a reference to John 15 in which Jesus says the life of the Christian is a life which is flows from Christ the vine to the disciple, the “branch”. To be made a branch is to bare true life. To bare grapes would be to bare the fruit of the vine: which is the demonstration of true life. 

Raisins: a fruit of Canaan. A notable reference to raisins is Abigail providing raisins to David:

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.

1 Samuel 25:18 (ESV)

The unusual construction “stay me” and “apple” comes from the Canticles. It is the prayer of the beloved:

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

Song of Solomon 2:5 (AV)

To eat from the Tree of Life would be to live in the heavenly city:

Revelation 22:1–3 (AV)

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

The basis for the petition:

Am I thy child, son, heir, thy spouse, yet gain

Not of the rights that these relations claim?

In the earlier part of the poem, the structure has been: If I have this relation, then why does my life not show more evidence. Here, the structure of the argument is since I have this relation, give me the benefit of that relationship.

Each of these relations is found in Scripture as a description of the believer. (No single description of the believer or the church provides a complete description of the relationship between God and his people. Those who over press one relationship to the exclusion of all others run into various errors.