51 Upon Wedlock and Death of Children

Edward Taylor

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 and glorious grow:

Unless an Hellish breath do sindge their Plumes.

Here Primrose, Cowslips, Roses, Lilies blow,

With Violets and Pinkes that voide perfumes:

Whose beautious leaves are lac’d with Hony Dew,

And Chanting birds Chirp out Sweet Musick true.


When in this Knot I planted was, my Stock

Soon knotted, and a manly flower out brake.

And after it my branck again did knot:

Brought out another Flowre: its sweet beath’d mate.

On knot gave tother and tothers place;

Then 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, Dolesome, daresome 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’d my thought,

Christ would in Glory have a Flowre, Choice, Prime.

And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought.

Lord, take! 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 playing o’re my branch, my branch did sprout,

And bore another manly flower, and 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 piece hearts like stones.


Griefe o’re doth flow: and nature fault would finde

Were not thy Will, my Spell Charm, Joy, and Gem:

That as I said, I say, take, Lord, the’re thine.

I piecemeale pass to Glory bright in them.

I joy, may I sweet Flowers for Glory breed,

Whether though getst them green, or lets them seed.

(ca. 1682)


The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor, Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Public Domain


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