Meditation 8

An Electronic Edition · Edward Taylor (1642-1729)

Original Source: The poetical works of Edward Taylor. Edited with an introduction and notes by Thomas H. Johnson. New York, Rockland editions, 1939.

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

I ken[n]ing through Astronomy Divine  
The Worlds bright Battlement, wherein I spy  
A Golden Path my Pensill cannot line,  
From that bright Throne unto my Threshold ly.  
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore 5.
I finde the Bread of Life in’t at my doore. 

When that this Bird of Paradise put in  
This Wicker Cage (my Corps) to tweedle praise  
Had peckt the Fruite forbad: and so did fling  
Away its Food; and lost its golden dayes;  
It fell into Celestiall Famine sore: 5.
And never could attain a morsell more.  

Alas! alas! Poore Bird, what wilt thou doe?  
The Creatures field no food for Souls e’re gave.  
And if thou knock at Angells cores they show  
An Empty Barrell: they no soul bread have.  
Alas! Poore Bird, the Worlds White Loafe is done. 5.
And cannot yield thee here the smallest Crumb.  

In this sad state, Gods Tender Bowells run  
Out streams of Grace: And he to end all strife  
The Purest Wheate in Heaven, his deare-dear Son  
Grinds, and kneads up into this Bread of Life.  
Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands 5.
Disht on thy Table up by Angells Hands.  

Did God mould up this Bread in Heaven, and bake,  
Which from his Table came, and to shine goeth?  
Doth he bespeake thee thus, This Soule Bread take.  
Come Eate thy fill of this thy Gods White Loafe?  
Its Food too fine for Angells, yet come, take 5.
And Eate thy fill. Its Heavens Sugar Cake. 

What Grace is this knead in this Loafe? This thing  
Souls are but petty things it to admire.  
Yee Angells, help: This fill would to the brim  
Heav’n s whelm’d-down Chrystall meele Bowle, yea and
This Bread of Life drops in thy mouth, doth Cry. 5.
Eate, Eate me, Soul, and thou shalt never dy.  

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: Puritans
Period: 1650-1700
Location: New England
Format: verse

This poem was completed ca. 1685but not published until 1939 in New York.

The text of the document was initially prepared from and proofed against The poetical works of Edward Taylor. Edited with an introduction and notes by Thomas H. Johnson (New York, Rockland editions, 1939). All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible. All editorial notes have been omitted except those that indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.