Musing one time alone, mine eyes being 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 upon a hill to climb, 5
And being there, saw things that were divine.
First, what they saw: a glorious light did blaze,
Whose splendor made it painful for the gaze.
No separations nor shadows by stops made,
No darkness did obstruct this light with shade. 10
This light had no dimension, nor no bound,
No limits, but it filled all places round.
Always in motion ’twas, yet fixed did prove,
Like to the twinkling stars, which never move.
This motion working, running several ways, 15
Seemed as if contradictions it would raise,
For with itself it seemed not to agree,
Like to 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 were new;
No sooner made, but quickly passed away, 25
Yet while they were, they did desire to stay.
But motion to one form can ne’er constant be,
For life, which motion is, joys in variety.
For the First Motion everything can make,
But cannot add unto itself, nor take. 30
Indeed no other matter could it frame:
Itself was all, and in itself the same.
Perceiving now this fixèd point of light,
I spied a union: Knowledge, Power, and Might,
Wisdom, Truth, Justice, Providence, all one, 35
No attribute was by itself alone.
Not like to several lines drawn to one point,
For what doth meet may be again disjoint.
But this same point, from whence all lines did flow,
Nought can diminish it, or make it grow. 40
’Tis its own center and circumference round,
Yet neither has a limit nor a bound.
A fixed eternity, and so will last:
All present is, nothing to come or past.
A fixed perfection; nothing can add more; 45
All things is it, and itself doth adore.
My thoughts then wondering at what they did see,
Found at the last themselves the same to be,
Yet were so small a branch, as they could not
Know whence they sprung, nor how they were begot. 50
Some say, all that we know of Heaven above
Is that we joy, and that we love.
But who can tell that? For all we know,
Those passions we call joy and love below
May by excess such other passions grow; 55
None in the world is capable to know.
Just like our bodies, although 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, 60
As if we never had been of mankind,
And that these eyes we see with now were blind.
Say we can measure all the planets high,
And number all the stars be in the sky,
And we can circle all the world about, 65
And can find all th’effects of nature out:
Yet all the wise and learnèd cannot tell
What’s done in Heaven, or how we there shall dwell.