Quite spent with thoughts, I left my cell, and lay
Where a shrill spring tun’d to the early day.
I begg’d here long, and groan’d to know
Who gave the clouds so brave a bow,
Who bent the spheres, and circled in
Corruption with this glorious ring;
What is His name, and how I might
Descry some part of His great light.
I summon’d Nature; pierc’d through all her store;
Broke up some seals, which none had touch’d before
Her womb, her bosom, and her head,
Where all her secrets lay abed,
I rifled quite; and having past
Through all the creatures, came at last
To search my self, where I did find
Traces, and sounds of a strange kind.
Here of this mighty spring I found some drills,
With echoes beaten from th’ eternal hills.
Weak beams and fires flash’d to my sight,
Like a young East, or moonshine night,
Which show’d me in a nook cast by
A piece of much antiquity,
With hieroglyphics quite dismember’d,
And broken letters scarce remember’d.
I took them up, and — much joy’d — went about
T’ unite those pieces, hoping to find out
The mystery; but this ne’er done,
That little light I had was gone.
It griev’d me much. At last, said I,
“Since in these veils my eclips’d eye
May not approach Thee — for at night
Who can have commerce with the light? —
I’ll disapparel, and to buy
But one half-glance, most gladly die.”