Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children


A curious knot God made in paradise,
      And drew it out enameled neatly fresh.
It was the truelove knot, more sweet than spice
      And set with all the flowers of grace's dress.
      Its wedding knot, that ne'er can be untied;
      No Alexander's sword can it divide.

The slips here planted, gay and glorious grow,
      Unless an hellish breath do singe their plumes.
Here primrose, cowslips, roses, lilies blow
      With violets and pinks that void perfumes:
      Whose beauteous leaves o'er laid with honey-dew,
      And chanting birds chirp out sweet music true.

When in this knot I planted was, my stock
      Soon knotted, and a manly flower out brake.
And after it my branch again did knot;
      Brought out another flower its sweet breathed mate.
      One knot gave one t'other the t'other's place;
      Whence chuckling smiles fought in each other's face.

But oh! A glorious hand from glory came
       Guarded with angels, soon did crop this flower
Which almost tore the root up of the same
       At that unlooked for, dolesome, darksome hour.
       In prayer to Christ perfumed it did ascend,
       And angels bright did it to heaven tend.

But pausing on't, this sweet perfumed my thought,
       Christ would in glory have a flower, choice, prime,
And having choice, chose this my branch forth brought.
       Lord take't. I thank thee, thou takest aught of mine,
       It is my pledge in glory; part of me
       Is now in it, Lord, glorified with thee.

But praying o'er 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 pierce hearts like stones.

Grief o'er doth flow, and nature fault would find
       Were not thy will, my spell charm, joy, and gem;
That as I said, I say, take, Lord, they're thine.
        I piecemeal pass to glory bright in them.
        I joy, may I sweet flowers for glory breed,
       Whether thou getst them green, or let them seed.


Edward Taylor.