Meditation 60b

The following is a poem by the great American Puritan poet, Edward Taylor (1642-1729), it is based on 1 Corinthians 10:4: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Ye Angells bright, pluck from your Wings a Quill.
Make me a pen thereof that best will write.
Lend me your fancy, and Angellick skill
To treate this Theme, more rich than Rubies bright.
My muddy Inke, and Cloudy fancy dark,
Will dull its glory, lacking highest Art.


An Eye at Centre righter may describe
The Worlds Circumferentiall glory vast
As in its nutshell bed it snugs fast tide,
Than any angells pen can glory Cast
Upon this Drink Drawn from the Rock, tapt by
The Rod of God, in Horeb, typickly.
Sea water straind through Mineralls, Rocks, and Sands
Well Clarifi’de by Sunbeams, Dulcifi’de,
Insipid, Sordid, Swill, Dishwater stands.
But here’s a Rock of Aqua-Vitae tride.
When once God broacht it, out a River came
To bath and bibble in, for Israels train.
Some Rocks have sweat. Some Pillars bled out tears.
But here’s a River in a Rock up tun’d
Not of Sea Water nor of Swill. Its beere.
No Nectar like it. Yet it once Unbund
A River down out runs through ages all.
A Fountain opte, to wash off Sin and Fall.
Christ is this Horebs Rock, the streames that slide
A River is of Aqua Vitae Deare
Yet costs us nothing, gushing from his side.
Celestiall Wine our Sinsunk souls to cheare.
This Rock and Water, Sacramentall Cup
Are made, Lords Supper Wine for us to sup.
This Rock’s the Grape that Zions Vineyard bore
Which Moses Rod did smiting pound, and press
Untill its blood, the brooke of Life, run ore.
All Glorious Grace, and Gracious Righteousness.
We in this brook must bath: and with faiths quill
Suck Grace, and Life out of this Rock our fill.
Lord, oynt me with this Petro oyle. I’m sick.
Make mee drinke Water of the Rock. I’m dry.
Me in this fountain wash. My filth is thick.
I’m faint, give Aqua Vitae or I dy.
If in this stream thou cleanse and Chearish mee
My Heart thy Hallelujahs Pipe shall bee.

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Filed under art, edward taylor, poetry, puritans

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