Lord, ope the door: rub off my rust, remove

My sin, and oil my lock (dust there doth shelf).

My wards will trig before thy key: my love                15

Then, as enliven’d, leap will on thyself.

It needs must be, that giving hands receive

Again receiver’s heart furled in love wreath.


The first lines are easily handled: Sin is the rust that keeps the chest of love closed. Simply remove the rust and oil the lock, and love will flow out to the Lord.

My wards is a bit obscure. It must be a reference to the facets of the lock which will open with the key: trig, move quickly. The presentation of God to the soul will awaken the soul. The image of love leaping upon the Lord is surprising. It seem almost irreverent.

The last two line present the sort of linguistic complications which often mark the “metaphysical” poets:

Giving hand receive again: Who is the giver and who the receiver here? The giving must be God, even though the poem has no clear identification. But in terms of relationship, God must be the one who give. The giving hands will then receive the love the receiver, who is the poet. The receiver’s heart is his heart. His heart is adorned with love as a wreath.

It must needs be: The necessity here is propriety not logical: it is right that you receive love from me. That makes clear sense, although this particular stanza is less successful than some others.