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Short poem

Edward Taylor (ca. 1642-1729)

I am the Living Bread: Meditation Eight: John 6:51

              1I kening through Astronomy Divine
              2    The Worlds bright Battlement, wherein I spy
              3A Golden Path my Pensill cannot line,
              4    From that bright Throne unto my Threshold ly.
              5    And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore
              6    I finde the Bread of Life in't at my doore.

              7When that this Bird of Paradise put in
              8    This Wicker Cage (my Corps) to tweedle praise
              9Had peckt the Fruite forbad: and so did fling
            10    Away its Food; and lost its golden dayes;
            11    It fell into Celestiall Famine sore:
            12    And never could attain a morsell more.

            13Alas! alas! Poore Bird, what wilt thou doe?
            14    The Creatures field no food for Souls e're gave.
            15And if thou knock at Angells dores they show
            16    An Empty Barrell: they no soul bread have.
            17    Alas! Poore Bird, the Worlds White Loafe is done
            18    And cannot yield thee here the smallest Crumb.

            19In this sad state, Gods Tender Bowells run
            20    Out streams of Grace: And he to end all strife
            21The Purest Wheate in Heaven, his deare-dear Son
            22    Grinds, and kneads up into this Bread of Life.
            23    Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands
            24    Disht on thy Table up by Angells Hands.

            25Did God mould up this Bread in Heaven, and bake,
            26    Which from his Table came, and to thine goeth?
            27Doth he bespeake thee thus, This Soule Bread take.
            28    Come Eate thy fill of this thy Gods White Loafe?
            29    Its Food too fine for Angells, yet come, take
            30    And Eate thy fill. Its Heavens Sugar Cake.

            31What Grace is this knead in this Loafe? This thing
            32    Souls are but petty things it to admire.
            33Yee Angells, help: This fill would to the brim
            34    Heav'ns whelm'd-down Chrystall meele Bowle, yea and higher.
            35    This Bread of Life dropt in thy mouth, doth Cry.
            36    Eate, Eate me, Soul, and thou shalt never dy.


1] kening: seeing.

3] Pensill: pencil.

8] tweedle: swindle.

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): 18-19. First Published: 1684, 1937 (Johnson ETQ).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/7

Other poems by Edward Taylor