The Motion of Thoughts

Musing one time alone,1 mine eyes being2 fixed
Upon the ground, my sight with gravel mixed,
My feet did walk without direction’s guide;
My thoughts did travel far and wander wide.
At last they chanced upon3 a hill to climb,                                 5
And being there, saw things that were divine.
        First, what4 they saw: a glorious light did5 blaze,
Whose splendor made it painful for the6 gaze.
No separations nor shadows by stops7 made,
No darkness did8 obstruct this light with shade.                     10
This light had no dimension, nor no bound,9
No limits, but it10 filled all places round.11
Always in motion ’twas,12 yet fixed did prove,
Like to the twinkling stars, which never move.
This motion working, running several ways,                           15
Seemed as if contradictions it would13 raise,
For with itself it seemed not to agree,14
Like to15 a skein of thread, if’t knotted be.
For some did go straight in an even line,
But some again did cross, and some did twine.                        20
Yet at the last, all several motions run
Into the first Prime Motion, which begun.
In various forms and shapes did life run through,
Which was eternal, but the shapes were16 new;
No17 sooner made, but quickly18 passed away,                         25
Yet while they were, they did desire19 to stay.
But motion to one form can ne’er constant20 be,
For life, which motion is, joys in21 variety.
For the22 First Motion everything can make,
But cannot add unto itself, nor take.                                           30
Indeed no other matter could it23 frame:
Itself was all, and in itself the same.
Perceiving now this fixèd point of light,
I spied24 a union: Knowledge, Power, and Might,
Wisdom, Truth, Justice,25 Providence, all one,                          35
No attribute was by itself26 alone.
Not like to27 several lines drawn to one point,
For what doth meet may be again28 disjoint.
But this same29 point, from whence all lines did30 flow,
Nought can diminish it, or31 make it grow.                               40
’Tis its own center and circumference round,
Yet neither has a limit nor32 a bound.
A fixed eternity,33 and so will last:
All present is, nothing to come or34 past.
A fixed perfection; nothing can add more;                               45
All things is it, and itself doth35 adore.
My thoughts then wondering at what they did see,
Found at the last themselves the same to be,36
Yet were37 so small a branch, as they38 could not
Know39 whence they sprung, nor how they40 were begot.    50
        Some say, all that41 we know of Heaven above
Is that we joy, and that we love.42
But who43 can tell that? For all we know,44
Those passions we call joy and love below45
May by excess such other passions grow;                                  55
None in the world is capable to know.
Just like our bodies, although46 they shall rise,
And as St. Paul says, see God with our eyes,
Yet may we in the change such difference find,
Both in our bodies, and also in mind,47                                      60
As if we never had been of48 mankind,
And that these49 eyes we see with now were blind.
Say we can measure all the planets high,
And number all the stars be50 in the sky,
And we can circle51 all the world about,                                    65
And can find all52 th’effects of nature out:53
Yet all54 the wise and learnèd cannot tell55
What’s done in Heaven, or how we there shall dwell.

The Same Circle Squared in Prose

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A circle is a line without ends, and a square hath3 four equal sides, not one longer or shorter than another. To square the circle is to make the square figure4 to be equal with the round figure. Honesty is the5 circle without ends, that is,6 by-respects, for an honest man is honest7 for honesty’s sake. But8 to square this circle is9 very difficult, for it is hard10 for Honesty to take part with four sides without Faction. For where there is siding there is11 Faction; and where Faction is,12 there is Partiality; and where Partiality is, there is Injustice; and where Injustice is, there is Wrong;13 and where Wrong is, Truth is not; and where Truth is not, Honesty cares not to live.

But let us see how we can square this circle of Honesty. First, draw four lines: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice. These four lines, let them be cross parallels,14 to make a square,15 and at each end of every line make a point. At16 the line of Justice, a point of Severity at one end and another of Facility at the other end. And at either17 end of Fortitude, one of Rashness and another of Timorosity. And at each18 end of Temperance, Prodigality and Covetousness. At each end of Prudence, Sloth and Stupidity. Then draw out these points and make them angles: as Severity and Timorosity make one19 angle, Rashness and Stupidity another. Sloth and Prodigality make a third angle;20 Facility and Covetousness make the fourth.21

Then exactly in the midst of either line, set on22 either23 side of the line a figure: as Distributive on the outside of the line of Justice, and Communicative within the line. So on the line24 of Fortitude, Despair on the outside and Love within. On Prudence line, Experience on the outside25 and Industry within. On Temperance26 line, Observation on the outside and Ease within.

Then draw a line of Charity27 from the point Distribution, and from the point of Observation28 a Line of Discretion, and make an angle of29 Hope. Then from Community30 a line of Clemency,31 and from the point of Ease32 a line of Comfort, which make an angle of Peace. Then from Despair a line of Hope, and from Industry a line of Fruition, which make an angle of Tranquility. Then from the point of Love a line of Faith, and from the point of Ease a Line of Pleasure; this makes an angle of Joy. Then set a point at every angle, viz.,33 Obedience, Humility, Respect, and Reverence. And thus the square measured with truth will34 be equal with the circle of Honesty.

The Trisection

1

Cut the line of Wisdom into three parts: Prudence, Experience, and Judgment. Then draw a line of Discretion equal to the line of Experience, and a line of Industry equal to the line of Prudence, and a line of Temperance equal to the line of Judgment; and to Temperance an equal line of Tranquility, and to the line Industry a line of Ingenuity, and to the line of Discretion draw an equal line of Obedience. Then all these lines measured with the rule of Reason, you’ll find them2 equal to the line of Wisdom. Join these lines3 together, and let Truth make4 the angle. This is the Trisection. 5