Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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An Address to the Soul Occasioned by a Rain

by Edward Taylor


Ye Flippering Soule,
     Why dost between the Nippers dwell?
Not stay, nor goe. Not yea, nor yet Controle.
     Doth this doe well?
     Rise journy'ng when the skies fall weeping Showers,
     Not o're nor under th' Clouds and Cloudy Powers.


Not yea, nor noe:
     On tiptoes thus? Why sit on thorns?
Resolve the matter: Stay thyselfe or goe:
     Ben't both wayes born.
     Wager thyselfe against thy surplic'de see,
     And win thy Coate, or let thy Coate win thee.


Is this th' Effect
     To leaven thus my Spirits all?
To make my heart a Crabtree Cask direct?
     A Verjue'te Hall?
     As Bottle Ale, whose Spirits prison'd must
     When jogg'd, the bung with Violence doth burst?


Shall I be made
     A sparkling Wildfire Shop,
Where my dull Spirits at the Fireball trade
     Do frisk and hop?
     And while the Hammer doth the Anvill pay,
     The fire ball matter sparkles ev'ry way.


One sorry fret,
     An anvill Sparke, rose higher,
And in thy Temple falling, almost set
     The house on fire.
     Such fireballs dropping in the Temple Flame
     Burns up the building: Lord, forbid the same.




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