Some observations upon the prosody:
Consider the first four lines:
1 Oh! that I alwayes breath’d in such an aire,
2 As I suckt in, feeding on sweet Content!
3 Disht up unto my Soul ev’n in that pray’re
4 Pour’de out to God over last Sacrament.
The poem begins with regular iambs through the first 1 ½ lines. Then following the caesura of line two, Taylor refuses the meter with the word “Feeding”. The jar of the change in rhythm coming immediately after the pause places great emphasis upon verb.
This verb is particularly important to the overall structure of the poem: The poem at physical, objective level concerns eating: Taylor is going to eat at the Lord’s Supper. The verb also echoes John 6:54-56 in which commands – in striking and at the time inexplicable language(see John 6:60) — that his disciples “eateth me.”
The same jarring reversal of rhythm takes place in the after caesura in lines 3 & 4: “ev’n in” and “over” both taking accent on the first syllable of the foot.
The effect is to drive attention to the moment at issue: It was a time of feeding (2), it took place at the time of prayer (the reversal in rhythm requires one to think through what was entailed “dishing up”) (3), it was the time of the Sacrament.
Taylor uses the same tactic in line 8 to again draw one’s attention to the objective moment of the rhapsody:
7 Most strange it was! But yet more strange that shine
8 Which filld my Soul then to the brim to spy
The accent falls heavily upon the “then”. Thus Taylor is drawing his attention backwards to a particular moment in time.
Taylor uses another variation on the iambs in lines 11-12 to focus attention on the matter of his ecstasy:
11 Flesh of my Flesh, Bone of my Bone. There’s run
12 Thy Godhead, and my Manhood in thy Son.
For the first time in the poem, Taylor begins a line with the accent. The accent drops most heavily on the “flesh …flesh, bone …bone” in a paired rhythm which draws the phrases together and sets them off from the surrounding lines. Here is the mystery which drew his attention at the “then” of line 8: God was paired to man, and Taylor could say to the Son, “you flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”!
The matter of “nature” (“nature” in the sense of one phusis (Greek) not something “natural” as opposed to artificial or manmade) which received the surprising rhythm in line 11 returns in line 22 when the matter of nature is again considered:
21 My Nature is your Lord; and doth Unite
22 Better than Yours unto the Deity.
In this stanza, Taylor is comparing his “nature” to that of the angels, and states emphatically that Taylor’s nature is “better” than the angels. This language of better recounts the better of the Son than the angels in Hebrews 1.