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Poems

Upon Wedlock And Death Of Children

A Curious Knot God made in Paradise
And drew it out inamled neatly Fresh.
It was the True-Love Knot, more Sweet than spice
And Set with all the flowres of Graces dress.
Its Weddens Knot, that ne're can be unti'de.
No Alexanders Sword can it divide.
The Slips here planted, gay & glorious grow:
Unless an Hellish breath do sindge their Plumes.
Here Primrose, Cowslips, Roses, Lilies blow,
With Violets & Pinkes that voide perfumes.
Whose beautious leaves ore lai'd with Hony Dew.
And Chanting birds Cherp out sweet Musick true.

When in this Knot I planted was, my Stock
Soon knotted, & a manly flower out brake.
And after it my branch again did knot
Brought out another Flowre its Sweet breathd mate.
One knot gave one tother the tothers place.
Whence Checkling Smiles fought in each others face.

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

But pausing on't, this Sweet perfum's my thought,
Christ would in Glory have a Flowre, Choice, Prime,
And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought;
Lord take't. I thanke thee, thou takst ought of mine,
It is my pledg in glory, part of mee
Is now in it, Lord, glorifi'de with thee.

But praying ore my branch, my branch did Sprout
And bore another manly flower, & gay
And after that another, Sweet brake out,
The which the former hand soon got away.
But oh! the tortures, Vomit, Screechings, groans,
And Six weeks Fever would pierce hearts like Stones.

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

c.1682

 

l. 1: Knot; flower bed
l. 2: inamled (enamelled); shining, bright
l. 5: Weddens; wedding's, matrimony / ne're; never / unti'de; untied
l. 6: reference to Alexander the Great, who cut through the Gordian Knot with his sword
l. 7: Slips; cuttings
l. 9: blow; bloom, blossom
l. 10: voide (void); emit, give off
l. 11: oer lai´d; overlaid / Hony; honey
l. 13: Stock; stem
l. 14: refers to the birth of Taylor's son, Samuel, born August 27, 1675
l. 16: refers to the birth of Taylor's daughter, Elizabeth, born December 27, 1676
l. 20: crop; cut, harvest (refers to the death of Elizabeth, December 25, 1677)
l. 28: ought; anything
l. 32: refers to the birth of his son, James, born October 12, 1678
ll. 33-34: Taylor's daughter, Abigail, was born on August 6, 1681and died on August 22, 1682
l. 37: o're doth flow; overflows
l. 40: piecemeale; one piece at a time, piece by piece
l. 42: getst them green; take them as children