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Still resting whole, when blows the air divide;
Abiding pure when th’ air is most corrupted;

Throughout the air, her beams dispersing wide;
And when the air is toss'd, not interrupted:

So doth the piercing soul the body fill,
Being all in all, and all in part diffus’d ;

Indivisible, incorruptible still;
Nor forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd.

And as the Sun above the light doth bring,
Though we behold it in the air below;

so from the eternal light the soul doth spring,
Though in the body she her pow'rs do show.

SECTION XI. how THE soul Exercises hER pow ERS IN THE Body. .

But as the world's Sun doth effect beget
Diff'rent, in divers places, every day;

Here autumn's temperature, their summer's heat;
Here flow'ry spring-tide, and there winter grey.

Here ev'n, there morn; here noon, there day, there
night, [some dead;
Melts wax, dries clay, makes flow’rs, some quick,
Makes the Moor black, the European white;
Th’ American tawny, and th’ East Indian red :

so in our little world, this soul of ours
Being only one, and to one body ty’d,

Doth use, on divers objects, divers powers;
And so are her effects diversify’d.


HER quick’ning power in ev'ry living part,
Doth as a nurse or as a mother serve;

And doth employ her economic art,
And busy care, her household to preserve.

Here she attracts, and there she doth retain;
There she decocts, and doth the food prepare;

There she distributes it to ev’ry vein,
There she expels what she may fitly spare.

This pow'r to Martha may compared be.
Who busy was, the household things to do:

Or to a Dryas, living in a tree :
For e'en to trees this pow'r is proper too.

And though the soul may not this pow'r extend
Out of the body, but still use it there;

She hath a pow'r which she abroad doth send,
Which views and searcheth all things ev'ry where.


This power is sense, which from abroad doth bring
The colour, taste, and touch, and scent, and sound,

The quantity and shape of ev'rything
Within Earth's centre, or Heav'n's circle found.

This pow'r, in parts made fit, fit objects takes;
Yet not the things, but forms of things receives;

As when a seal in wax impression makes,
The print therein, but not itself, it leaves.

And though things sensible be numberless,
But only five the sense's organs be;

And in those five, all things their forms express,
Which we can touch, taste, feel, or hear, or see.

These are the windows, through the which she views The light of knowledge, which is life's load-star:

“And yet, while she these spectacles doth use, Oft worldly things seem greater than they are.”

she el N. G.

Finst, the two eyes, which have the seeing pow'r, Stand as one watchman, spy, or centinel,

Being plac'd aloft, within the head's high tow’r; And though both see, yet both but one thing tell.

These mirrors take into their little space
The forms of Moon and Sun, and ev'ry star,

Of ev'ry body, and of ev'ry place,
Which with the world's wide arms embraced are :

Yet their best object, and their noblest use,
Hereafter in another world will be,

When God in them shall heav'nly light infuse,
That face to face they may their Maker see.

Here are they guides, which do the body lead,
Which else would stumble in eternal night:

Here in this world they do much knowledge read,
And are the casements which admit most light:

They are her furthest reaching instrument,
Yet they no beams unto their objects send;

But all the rays are from their objects sent,
And in the eyes with pointed angles end.

If th’ objects be far off, the rays do meet
In a sharp point, and so things seem but small :
If they be near, their rays do spread and fleet,
And make broad points, that things seem great

Lastly, nine things to sight required are;
The pow'r to see, the light, the visible thing,

Being not too small, too thin, too migh, too far,
Clear space and time, the form distinct to bring.

Thus see we how the soul doth use the eyes,
As instruments of her quick pow'r of sight:

Hence doth th’ arts optic, and fair painting rise;
Painting, which doth all gentle minds delight.


Now let us hear how she the ears employs:
Their office is the troubled air to take;

Which in their mazes forms a sound or noise,
Whereof herself doth true distinction make.

These wickets of the soul are plac'd on high,
Because all sounds do lightly mount aloft;

And that they may not pierce too violently,
They are delay'd with turns and windings oft.

For should the voice directly strike the brain,
It would astonish and confuse it much;

Therefore these plaits and folds the sound restrain,
That it the organ may more gently touch.

As streams, which with their winding banks do play,
Stopp’d by their creeks, run softly through the
So in th’ ear’s labyrinth the voice doth stray,
And doth with easy motion touch the brain.

This is the slowest, yet the daintiest sense;
For e'en the ears of such as have no skill,

Perceive a discord, and conceive offence;
And, knowing not what's good, yet find the ill.

And though this sense first gentle music found,
Her proper object is the speech of men;

But that speech chiefly which God’s heralds sound,
When their tongues utter what his spirit did pen.

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