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Short poem

Edward Taylor (ca. 1642-1729)


              1Make me, O Lord, thy Spining Wheele compleate.
              2     Thy Holy Worde my Distaff make for mee.
              3Make mine Affections thy Swift Flyers neate
              4     And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee.
              5     My Conversation make to be thy Reele
              6     And reele the yarn thereon spun of thy Wheele.

              7Make me thy Loome then, knit therein this Twine:
              8     And make thy Holy Spirit, Lord, winde quills:
              9Then weave the Web thyselfe. The yarn is fine.
            10     Thine Ordinances make my Fulling Mills.
            11     Then dy the same in Heavenly Colours Choice,
            12     All pinkt with Varnisht Flowers of Paradise.

            13Then cloath therewith mine Understanding, Will,
            14     Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory
            15My Words, and Actions, that their shine may fill
            16     My wayes with glory and thee glorify.
            17     Then mine apparell shall display before yee
            18     That I am Cloathd in Holy robes for glory.


2] Distaff: “A cleft staff about 3 feet long, on which … wool or flax was wound. It was held under the left arm, and the fibres of the material were drawn from it through the fingers of the left hand, and twisted spirally by the forefinger and thumb of the right, with the aid of the suspended spindle, round which the thread, as it was twisted or spun, was wound” (OED “distaff” 1).

3] Flyers: later in machine spinning, the flyer twisted the thread as it led it to the bobbin and wound it therein (OED “flyer, flier” 3e).

8] quills: stems on which yarn is wound.

10] Fulling Mills: a mill where wooden hammers beat cloth and fuller’s earth (soap) cleans it.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text:
Publication date note: Text: The Poems of Edward Taylor, ed. Donald E. Stanford with a forward by Louis L. Martz (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960): 467. First published: The poetical works of Edward Taylor, ed. Thomas Johnson (New York: Rockland editions, 1939): 116.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/7

Other poems by Edward Taylor