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Short poem

Edward Taylor (ca. 1642-1729)

Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children

              1A Curious Knot God made in Paradise,
              2    And drew it out inamled neatly Fresh.
              3It was the True-Love Knot, more sweet than spice
              4    And set with all the flowres of Graces dress.
              5    Its Weddens Knot, that ne're can be unti'de.
              6    No Alexanders Sword can it divide.

              7The slips here planted, gay and glorious grow:
              8    Unless an Hellish breath do sindge their Plumes.
              9Here Primrose, Cowslips, Roses, Lilies blow
            10    With Violets and Pinkes that voide perfumes.
            11    Whose beautious leaves ore laid with Hony Dew.
            12    And Chanting birds Cherp out sweet Musick true.

            13When in this Knot I planted was, my Stock
            14    Soon knotted, and a manly flower out brake.
            15And after it my branch again did knot
            16    Brought out another Flowre its sweet breath’d mate.
            17    One knot gave one tother the tothers place.
            18    Whence Checkling smiles fought in each others face.

            19But oh! a glorious hand from glory came
            20    Guarded with Angells, soon did Crop this flowere
            21Which almost tore the root up of the same
            22    At that unlookt for, Dolesome, darksome houre.
            23    In Pray're to Christ perfum'de it did ascend,
            24    And Angells bright did it to heaven tend.

            25But pausing on't, this sweet perfum'd my thought,
            26    Christ would in Glory have a Flowre, Choice, Prime,

            27And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought.
            28    Lord, take't. I thanke thee, thou takst ought of mine,
            29    It is my pledg in glory, part of mee
            30    Is now in it, Lord, glorifi'de with thee.

            31But praying ore my branch, my branch did sprout
            32    And bore another manly flower, and gay
            33And after that another, sweet brake out,
            34    The which the former hand soon got away.
            35    But oh! the tortures, Vomit, screechings, groans,
            36    And six weeks fever would pierce hearts like stones.

            37Griefe o're doth flow: and nature fault would finde
            38    Were not thy Will, my Spell, Charm, Joy, and Gem:
            39That as I said, I say, take, Lord, they're thine.
            40    I piecemeale pass to Glory bright in them.
            41    I joy, may I sweet Flowers for Glory breed,
            42    Whether thou getst them green, or lets them seed.


2] inamled: enamelled.

5] Weddens: wedding.

14] a manly flower: Edward’s son Samuel (born August 27, 1675).

16] another Flowre: Edward’s daughter Elizabeth (born December 27, 1676, died December 25, 1677).

17] tother: another (“the other”).

18] Checkling: chuckling.

31] ore: over.

32] another manly flower: Edward’s son James (born October 12, 1678).

33] another, sweet: Edward’s daughter Abigail (born August 6, 1681, died August 22, 1682).

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): 468-70. First published: The poetical works of Edward Taylor, ed. Thomas Johnson (New York: Rockland editions, 1939): 290-322.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/7

Composition date note: Composed ca. 1682-83.

Other poems by Edward Taylor