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Believer. Welcome, friendly Death;
What canst thou do to me,
That I have cause to fear?
Though thou shalt stop my breath,
Yet I in life shall be,
When thou shalt not be there.
And though the gate be strait,
It leads unto that height
Where I shall defy thy dart :
Willingly I yield,
As armed by that shield
That will save my nobler part.
Death. Come away, frail man,
And open now thy breast,
And take thy mortal wound :
Let friends do what they can,
And physic do its best,
They'll all too weak be found.
Lay now aside thy mirth,
And turn unto thy earth :
I will give thee the fatal blow :
It is vain to wish;
Thou canst not save thy flesh:
For my power thou shalt know.
Believer. Readily I come,
As being not the first,
That bath pass’d through thy door.
Thou shalt but help me home,
When thou hast done thy worst;
And thou shalt be no more :
By drawing out my blood,
Thou shalt but do me good,
And ease me of my grief:
And though thou look so grim,
Thou shalt bring me to him,
That will give me full relief.
Death. Thy flesh I'll turn to clay,
And all thy bones to dust;
And leave thee in the grave.
Make no longer stay,
For come away thou must;
It is in vain to crave :
Clothed from head to feet,
But with a winding-sheet,
My prisoner thou shalt be; Bearing my loathsome mark, Thou shalt lie in the dark,
And the face of no man see.
Believer. Thou shalt but dig the ground,
Where God bis seed shall sow,
And raise it at the spring :
And there I shall be found,
And Christ his own will know,
And unto glory bring :
When here I cease to live,
A better life he'll give,
Which thou shalt not destroy : And though this life thou spill, My soul thou canst not kill,
Nor again with fears annoy. When thou putt’st out these eyes, I shall receive my sight:
My day will all he noon:
Above the spangled skies,
Where never shall be night,
Nor need of sun or moon :
The grave also shall keep
My dust in quiet sleep,
Till the coming of my Lord :
That flesh shall shine with God,
That now is but a clod,
And must lie as a thing abhorr'd.
A man himself doing what God forbade,
His house a Bedlam and a bridewell made;
Man turn’d it by his sinful base defection,
Into God's prison and house of correction.
God's wondrous mercies wbich do never fail,
Fetch many sons to Heav'n out of this gaol.
If the rest finally neglect God's grace,
And choose no better than this sinful place,
The dream of pleasure which will end in shame,
They had their choice, and whom else can they blame?
Who'd censure God for one poor Bedlam's sake,
But such as of his madness do partake ?
And though he rage, and sober men disdains,
Who loves his case, or longeth for his chains ?
Who envy wicked men their hurting power,
Who do believe their sad approaching hour?
Who the toad's hurtful venom envieth,
Who'd have the basilisk's pernicious breath ?
Who longs to be a serpent for the sting ?
It's worse to be a great, but hurtful king.
Christians by patience win a better crown,
Than all the bloody conquerors' renown.
True Christian kings, who rule in peace and love
A better kingdom have with Christ above.
Our king may with more peace and safety rule,
Than the great Turk, Tartarian, or Mogul.
No king so mighty as the devil is,
Nor hath dominion so large as his.
Yet would no wise man such a devil be,
That he might be as powerful as he ;
If any would be such, his own desire
Makes him a devil fitted for hell-fire.
And what though death be painful ? The pain is quickly past !
My soul shall soon be freed : My Lord shall make it gainful: The gain shall ever last;
And joy shall grief succeed. And though the place seem strange, And nature fear a change ;
Yet I with Christ shall be.
And when with him I dwell,
I know I shall be well,
And his glorious light shall see.
Thou shalt but kill
And crown my painful race,
And end my grief and fear:
Thou shalt but let me in
To see the blessed face
Of my Redeemer dear.
And is it any loss
To follow with my cross,
Till I attain the crown?
It's he that truly dies,
That mercy doth despise,
And at last God will disown.
I knew that from my birth
I was a mortal man:
My frailty is confess'd.
I knew my flesh was earth;
My life was but a span.
And here is not my rest. If thou canst say no more, All this I knew before,
And yet thy threats defy. Have I long sought in pain, And would I not obtain,
Joyful eternity ?
O feeble thing!
How canst thou conquer Christ,
And make his promise void ?
First overcome my King,
And his command resist,
By whom thou art employ'd :
First win the world above,
And conquer endless love;
And then I'll be thy slave :
Kill an immortal soul,
And we will all condole,
And fear a darksome grave.
It's Christ that doth thee send,
To bring about his end;
And him thou must obey :
my dearest friend,
And doth no harm intend
In calling me away.
And why should he fear ill,
Whom love itself doth kill ?
And numb’reth with the blest?
Why should not Death fulfil
His good all-ruling will,-
My spring, my guide, my rest?
[CROLY.] • EARTH to earth, and dust to dust!' Here the evil and the just, Here the youthful and the old, Here the fearful and the bold,