Waller, Edmund - Divine Poems - 04 Divine Love
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
To glory man, or misery, is born,
Of his proud foe the envy, or the scorn;
Wretched he is, or happy, in extreme;
Base in himself, but great in Heaven's esteem;
With love, of all created things the best;
Without it, more pernicious than the rest;
For greedy wolves unguarded sheep devour
But while their hunger lasts, and then give o'er;
Man's boundless avarice his wants exceeds,
And on his neighbours round about him feeds.
His pride and vain ambition are so vast,
That, deluge-like, they lay whole nations waste.
Debauches and excess (though with less noise)
As great a portion of mankind destroys.
The beasts and monsters Hercules oppress'd,
Might in that age some provinces infest;
These more destructive monsters are the bane
Of every age, and in all nations reign;
But soon would vanish, if the world were bless'd
With sacred love, by which they are repress'd.
Impendent death, and guilt that threatens hell,
Are dreadful guests, which here with mortals dwell;
And a vex'd conscience, mingling with their joy
Thoughts of despair, does their whole life annoy;
But love appearing, all those terrors fly;
We live contented, and contented die.
They in whose breast this sacred love has place,
Death, as a passage to their joy, embrace.
Clouds and thick vapours, which obscure the day,
The sun's victorious beams may chase away;
Those which our life corrupt and darken, love
(The nobler star!) must from the soul remove.
Spots are observed in that which bounds the year;
This brighter sun moves in a boundless sphere;
Of heaven the joy, the glory, and the light,
Shines among angels, and admits no night.