Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Beloved is Mine, and I am His

Francis Quarles, Emblems Divine and Moral, pp. 199-200:

Canticles 2.16

My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies.


Ev'n like two little bank-dividing brooks,
That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,
And having range'd and search'd a thousand nooks,
Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,
Where in a greater current they conjoin
So I my best beloved's am, so he is mine.


Ev'n so we met; and, after long pursuit,
Ev'n so we join'd, we both became entire;
No need for either to renew a suit,
For I was flax, and he was flames of fire.
Our firm united souls did more than twine:
So I my best beloved's am; so he is mine.


If all those glitt'ring monarchs that command
The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,
I would not change my fortunes for them all:
Their wealth is but a counter to my coin;
The world's but theirs: but my Beloved's mine.


Nay, more; if the fair Thespian ladies all
Should heap together their diviner treasure,
That treasure should be deem'd a price too small
To buy a minute's lease of half my pleasure;
'Tis not the sacred wealth of all the Nine
Can buy my heart from him, or his from being mine.


Nor time, nor place, nor chance, nor death can bow
My least desires unto the least remove:
He's firmly mine, by oath; I his, by vow:
He's mine, by water; I am his, by wine:
Thus I my best beloved's am; thus he is mine.


He is mine altar; I, his holy place:
I am his guest; and he my living food:
I'm his, by penitence; he mine, by grace:
I'm his, by purchase; he is mine, by blood:
He's my supporting elm; and I his vine:
Thus I my best beloved's am; thus he is mine.


He gives me wealth; I give him all my vows:
I give him songs; he gives me length of days:
With wreaths of grace he crowns my conqu'ring brows;
And I his temples with a crown of praise,
Which he accepts: an everlasting sign,
That I my best beloved's am; that he is mine.

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