Description of a Religious House and Condition of Life


No roofes of gold o're riotous tables shining
Whole dayes and suns devour'd with endlesse dining;
No sailes of tyrian sylk proud pavements sweeping;
Nor ivory couches costlyer slumbers keeping;
False lights of flairing gemmes; tumultuous joyes;
Halls full of flattering men and frisking boyes;
Whate're false showes of short and slippery good
Mix the mad sons of men in mutuall blood.
But W ALKES and unshorn woods; and soules, just so
Unforc't and genuine; but not shady tho.
Our lodgings hard and homely as our fare.
That chast and cheap, as the few clothes we weare.
Those, course and negligent, As the naturall lockes
Of these loose groves, rough as th'unpolish't rockes.
A hasty Portion of praescribed sleep;
Obedient slumbers? that can wake and weep,
And sing, and sigh, and work, and sleep again;
Still rowling a round sphear of still-returning pain.
Hands full of harty labours; Paines that pay
And prize themselves; doe much, that more they may,
And work for work, not wages; let to morrow's
New drops, wash off the sweat of this daye's sorrows.
A long and dayly-dying life, which breaths
A respiration of reviving deaths.
But neither are there those ignoble stings
That nip the bosome of the world's best things,
And lash Earth-laboring souls.
No cruell guard of diligent cares, that keep
Crown'd woes awake; as things too wise for sleep.
But reverent discipline, and religious fear,
And soft obedience, find sweet biding here;
Silence, and sacred rest; peace, and pure joyes;
Kind loves keep house, ly close, and make no noise,
And room enough for Monarchs, while none swells
Beyond the kingdomes of contentfull Cells.
The self-remembering Soul sweetly recovers
Her kindred with the starrs; not basely hovers
Below: But meditates her immortall way
Home to the originall sourse of L IGHT and intellectuall Day.
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