24 February 2008

Edward Taylor

[Edward Taylor, 1682, from The English Poetry Database]

Thy Good Ointment

How sweet a Lord is mine? If any should
Guarded, Engarden'd, nay, Imbosomd bee
In reechs of Odours, Gales of Spices, Folds
Of Aromaticks, Oh! how sweet was hee?
He would be sweet, and yet his sweetest Wave
Compar'de to thee my Lord, no Sweet would have.

A Box of Ointments, broke; sweetness most sweet.
A surge of spices: Odours Common Wealth,
A Pillar of Perfume: a steaming Reech
Of Aromatick Clouds: All Saving Health.
Sweetness itselfe thou art: And I presume
In Calling of thee Sweet, who art Perfume.

But Woe is mee! who have so quick a Sent
To Catch perfumes pufft out from Pincks, and Roses
And other Muscadalls, as they get Vent,
Out of their Mothers Wombs to bob our noses.
And yet thy sweet perfume doth seldom latch
My Lord, within my Mammulary Catch.

Am I denos'de? or doth the Worlds ill sents
Engarison my nosthrills narrow bore?
Or is my smell lost in these Damps it Vents?
And shall I never finde it any more?
Or is it like the Hawks, or Hownds whose breed
Take stincking Carrion for Perfume indeed?

This is my Case. All things smell sweet to mee:
Except thy sweetness, Lord. Expell these damps.
Breake up this Garison: and let me see
Thy Aromaticks pitching in these Camps.
Oh! let the Clouds of thy sweet Vapours rise,
And both my Mammularies Circumcise.

Shall Spirits thus my Mammularies suck?
(As Witches Elves their teats,) and draw from thee
My Dear, Dear Spirit after fumes of muck?
Be Dunghill Damps more sweet than Graces bee?
Lord, clear these Caves. These Passes take, and keep.
And in these Quarters lodge thy Odours sweet.

Lord, breake thy Box of Ointment on my Head;
Let thy sweet Powder powder all my hair:
My Spirits let with thy perfumes be fed
And make thy Odours, Lord, my nosthrills fare.
My Soule shall in thy sweets then soar to thee:
I'le be thy Love, thou my sweet Lord shalt bee.

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