Award, and still in bonds, one day I stole abroad, It was high-spring, and all the way Primros'd, and hung with shade; Yet, was it frost within, And surly winds Blasted my infant buds, and sin Like clouds eclips'd my mind.
Storm'd thus; I straight perceiv'd my spring Mere stage, and show, My walk a monstrous, mountain's thing Rough-cast with rocks, and snow; And as a pilgrim's eye Far from relief, Measures the melancholy sky Then drops, and rains for grief,
So sigh'd I upwards still, at last 'Twixt steps, and falls I reach'd the pinnacle, where plac'd I found a pair of scales, I took them up and laid In th'one late pains, The other smoke, and pleasures weigh'd But prov'd the heavier grains;
With that, some cried, Away; straight I Obey'd, and led Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy Some call'd it Jacob's Bed; A virgin-soil, which no Rude feet ere trod, Where (since he slept there,) only go Prophets, and friends of God.
Here, I repos'd; but scarce well set, A grove descried Of stately height, whose branches met And mixed on every side; I entered, and once in (Amaz'd to see't,) Found all was chang'd, and a new spring Did all my senses greet;
The unthrift sun shot vital gold A thousand pieces, And heaven its azure did unfold Checker'd with snowy fleeces, The air was all in spice And every bush A garland wore; thus fed my eyes But all the ear lay hush.
Only a little fountain lent Some use for ears, And on the dumb shades language spent The music of her tears; I drew her near, and found The cistern full Of diverse stones, some bright, and round Others ill'shap'd, and dull.
The first (pray mark,) as quick as light Danc'd through the flood, But, th'last more heavy than the night Nail'd to the center stood; I wonder'd much, but tir'd At last with thought, My restless eye that still desir'd As strange an object brought;
It was a bank of flowers, where I descried (Though 'twas mid'day,) Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed And taking in the ray, Here musing long, I heard A rushing wind Which still increas'd, but whence it stirr'd No where I could not find;
I turn'd me round, and to each shade Dispatch'd an eye, To see, if any leaf had made Least motion, or reply, But while I listening sought My mind to ease By knowing, where 'twas, or where not, It whispered: Where I please. Lord, then said I, On me one breath, And let me die before my death!