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Poems

The Ebb And Flow

When first thou on me, Lord, wrought’st thy Sweet Print,
My heart was made thy tinder box.
My ‘ffections were thy tinder in’t:
Where fell thy Sparkes by drops.
Those holy Sparks of Heavenly fire that came
Did ever catch and often out would flame.

But now my Heart is made thy Censar trim,
Full of thy golden Altars fire,
To offer up Sweer Incense in
Unto thyselfe intire:
I finde my tinder scarce thy sparks can feel
That drop out from thy Holy flint and Steel.

Hence doubts ut bud for theare thy fire in mee
‘S a mocking Ignis Fatuus,
or lest thine Altars fire out bee,
it’s hid in ashes thus.
Yet when the bellows of thy Spirit blow
Away mine ashes, then thy fire doth glow.

c.1683

 

l. 1: wroughtfst thy Sweet Print; made me in your image
l. 2: tinder box; metal box for combustibles
l. 3: fffections; affections, feelings, emotions
l. 7: Censar; censer, container for burning incense
l. 10: intire; entire
l. 14: Ignis Fatuus; foolish fire, a deceptive hope