O SPITEFUL bitter thought,
Bitterly spiteful thought! Couldst thou invent
So high a torture? is such poison bought?
Doubtless, but in the way of punishment;
When wit contrives to meet with thee,
No such rank poison can there be.
Thou saidst but even now
That all was not so fair as I conceiv'd
Betwixt my God and me. That I allow,
And coin large hopes, but that I was deceiv'd:
Either the league was broke, or near it;
And that I had great cause to fear it.
And what to this? what more
Could poison, if it had a tongue, express?
What is thy aim? wouldst thou unlock the door
To cold despairs and gnawing pensiveness?
Wouldst thou raise devils? I see, I know;
I writ thy purpose long ago.
But I will to my Father,
Who heard thee say it. O most gracious Lord,
If all the hope and comfort that I gather
Were from myself, I had not half a word,
Not half a letter to oppose
What is objected by my foes.
But Thou art my desert:
And in this league, which now my foes invade,
Thou art not only to perform Thy part,
But also mine; as when the league was made,
Thou didst at once Thyself indite,
And hold my hand while I did write.
Wherefore, if Thou canst fail,
Then can Thy truth and I: but while rocks stand
And rivers stir, Thou canst not shrink or quail;
Yea, when both rocks and all things shall disband,
Then shalt Thou be my rock and tower,
And make their ruin praise Thy power.
Now, foolish thought, go on,
Spin out thy thread, and make thereof a coat
To hide thy shame; for thou hast cast a bone
Which bounds on thee, and will not down thy throat:
What for it self Love once began,
Now Love and Truth will end in man.
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