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The lights of Heav'n (which are the world's faireyes)
Look down into the world, the world to see;

And as they turn, or wander in the skies,
Survey all things, that on this centre be.

And yet the lights which in my tow'r do shine,
Mine eyes which view all objects nigh and far,

Look not into this little world of mine,
Nor see my face, wherein they fixed are.

Since Nature fails us in no needful thing,
Why want I means my inward self to see *

Which sight the knowledge of myself might bring,
Which to true wisdom is the first degree.

That pow'r which gave me eyes the world to view,
To view myself, infus’d an inward light,

Whereby my soul, as by a mirror true,
of her own form may take a perfect sight.
Vol. IV. C

But as the sharpest eye discerneth nought,
Except the sun-beams in the air do shine :

So the best soul, with her reflecting thought,
Sees not herself without some light divine.

O Light, which mak’st the light, which mak’st the
day !
Which set'st the eye without, and mind within;
*Lighten my spirit with one clear heavenly ray,
Which now to view itself doth first begin.

For her true form how can my spark discern,
Which, dim by nature, art did never clear

When the great wits, of whom all skill we learn,
Are ignorant both what she is, and where.

One thinks the soul is air; another, fire;
Another, blood diffus’d about the heart;

Another saith, the elements conspire,
And to her essence each doth give a part.

Musicians think our souls are harmonies,
Physicians hold that they complexions be:

Epicures make them swarms of atomies,
Which do by chance into our bodies flee.

Some think one gen'ral soul fills ev'ry brain,
As the bright Sun sheds light in every star;

And others think the name of soul is vain,
And that we only well-mix’d bodies are.

In judgment of her substance thus they vary,
And thus they vary in judgment of her seat;

For some her chair up to the brain do carry,
Some thrust it down into the stomach's heat,

Some place it in the root of life, the heart;
Some in the river fountain of the veins;

Some say, she's all in all, and all in every part:
Some say, she's not contain'd, but all contains.

Thus these great clerks their little wisdom show,
While with their doctrines they at hazard play;

Tossing their light opinions to and fro,
To mock the lewd, as learn’d in this as they.

For no craz'd brain could ever yet propound, Touching the soul, so vain and fond a thought; But some among these masters have been found, Which in their schools the self-same thing have taught.

God only wise, to punish pride of wit,
Among men's wits has this confusion wrought,

As the proud tow'r whose points the clouds did hit,
By tongues' confusion was to ruin brought.

But (thou) which didst man's soul of nothing make, And when to nothing it was fallen again,

“To make it new, the form of man didst take; And God with God, becam'st a man with men.”

Thou that hast fashion'd twice this soul of ours,
So that she is by double title thine,

Thou only know'st her nature and her pow'rs;
Her subtle form thou only canst define.

To judge herself, she must herself transcend,
As greater circles comprehend the less;

But she wants pow'r, her own pow'rs to extend,
As fetter'd men cannot their strength express.

But thou, bright morning Star, thou rising Sun,
Which in these later times hast brought to light

Those mysteries, that, since the world begun,
Lay hid in darkness, and eternal night.

Thou (like the Sun) do'st with an equal ray
Into the palace and the cottage shine,

And show'st the soul, both to the clerk and lay,
By the clear lamp of oracle divine.

This lamp, through all the regions of my brain, Where my soul sits, doth spread such beams of

As now, methinks, I do distinguish plain, [grace, Each subtle line of her immortal face.

The soul a substance and a spirit is,
Which God himself doth in the body make,

Which makes the man, for every man from this
The nature of a man and name doth take.

And though this spirit be to th' body knit,
As an apt means her pow'rs to exercise,

Which are life, motion, sense, and will, and wit,
Yet she survives, although the body dies.




SHE is a substance, and a real thing,
Which hath itself an actual working might,

Which neither from the senses’ power doth spring,
Nor from the body's humours temper'd right.

She is a vine, which doth no propping need
To make her spread herself, or spring upright;

She is a star, whose beams do not proceed
From any sun, but from a native light.

For when she sorts things present with things
And thereby things to come doth oft foresee;
When she doth doubt at first, and choose at last,
These acts her own,” without her body be.

When of the dew, which th’ eye and ear do take
From flow’rs abroad, and bring into the brain,

She doth within both wax and honey make :
This work is her’s, this is her proper pain.

When she from sundry acts one skill doth draw; Gathering from divers fights one art of war,

* That the soul hath a proper operation without the body.

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