Of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar

In paschall feast, the end of auncient rite,
An entraunce was to never-endinge grace;
Tipes to the truth, dymm glymses to the light;
Performinge deed presaging signes did chase:
Christe's final meale was fountayne of our good,
For mortall meate He gave immortall foode.

That which He gaue, He was: O peerelesse gifte!
Both God and man He was, and both He gaue.
He in His handes Himself did trewlye lifte,
Farre off they see whome in them selves they have;
Twelve did He feede, twelve did their feeder eate,
He made, He dressd, He gave, He was their meate.

They sawe, they harde, they felt Him sitting nere,
Unseene, unfelt, unhard, they Him receivd;
No diverse thinge, though divers it appeare;
Though sences faile, yet faith is not deceiv'd;
And if the wonder of the worke be newe,
Beleive the worke because His worde is trewe.

Here truth beleefe, beleefe inviteth love,
So sweete a truth Love never yett enjoy'd;
What thought can thincke, what will doth best approve,
Is here obteyn'd where no desire ys voyde:
The grace, the joy, the treasure here is such,
No witt can wishe, nor will embrace so much.

Self-love here cannot crave more then it fyndes;
Ambition to noe higher worth aspire;
The eagrest famyn of most hungry myndes
May fill, yea farre exceede their owne desire:
In summ here is all in a summ expressd,
Of much the most, of every good the best.

To ravishe eyes here heavenly bewtyes are;
To winne the eare sweete musick's sweetest sound;
To lure the tast the angells' heavenly fare;
To sooth the sent divine perfumes abounde;
To please the touch, He in our hartes doth bedd,
Whose touch doth cure the dephe, the dumm, the dedd.

Here to delight the witt trewe wisdome is,
To wooe the will—of every good the choise;
For memory, a mirrhor showing blisse;
Here's all that can both sence and soule rejoyce;
And if to all, all this it do not bringe,
The fault is in the men, not in the thinge.

Though blynde men see no light, the sunne doth shyne;
Sweete cates are sweete, though fevered tastes deny it;
Perles pretious are, though trodden on by swyne;
Ech truth is trewe, though all men do not trye it;
The best still to the badd doth worke the worste;
Thinges bredd to blisse do make them more accurst.

The angells' eyes, whome veyles cannot deceive,
Might best disclose that best they do descerne;
Men must with sounde and silent faith receive
More then they can by sence or reason lerne;
God's poure our proofes, His workes our witt exceede,
The doer's might is reason of His deede.

A body is endew'd with ghostly rightes;
And Nature's worke from Nature's law is free;
In heavenly sunne lye hidd eternall lightes,
Lightes cleere and neere, yet them no eye can see:
Dedd formes a never-dyinge life do shroude;
A boundlesse sea lyes in a little cloude.

The God of hoastes in slender hoste doth dwell,
Yea, God and man with all to ether dewe,
That God that rules the heavens and rifled hell,
That man whose death did us to life renewe:
That God and man that is the angells' blisse,
In forme of bredd and wyne our nurture is.

Whole may His body be in smallest breadd,
Whole in the whole, yea whole in every crumme;
With which be one or be tenn thowsand fedd,
All to ech one, to all but one doth cumme;
And though ech one as much as all receive,
Not one too much, nor all too little have.

One soule in man is all in everye part;
One face at once in many mirrhors shynes;
One fearefull noyse doth make a thowsand start;
One eye at once of countlesse thinges defynes;
If proofes of one in many, Nature frame,
God may in straunger sort performe the same.

God present is at once in everye place,
Yett God in every place is ever one;
So may there be by giftes of ghostly grace,
One man in many roomes, yett filling none;
Sith angells may effects of bodyes shewe,
God angells' giftes on bodyes may bestowe.

What God as auctour made He alter may;
No change so harde as making all of nought;
If Adam framèd were of slymye claye,
Bredd may to Christe's most sacred flesh be wrought:
He may do this that made with mighty hande
Of water wyne, a snake of Moyses' wande.
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