Hail to the 16th


Hail to the 16th Century [redux]

This text of Robert Southwell, a martyred Jesuit, who I believe is a Saint, is taken from the Oxford Book of Mystical Verse, 1917 available online at Bartleby.

Of the Blessed Sacrament of the Aulter Robert Southwell  (?1561–1595)    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.
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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 5, 2002 8:07 AM.

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