DEAR, heav'n-designed soul! Amongst the rest
Of suitors that besiege your maiden breast,
Why may not I
My fortune try,
And venture to speak one good word,
Not for myself, alas! but for my dearer Lord?
You've seen already in this lower sphere
Of froth and bubbles, what to look for here.
Truth bids me say, 'tis time you ceased to trust
Your soul to any son of dust.
'Tis time you listen to a braver love,
Which from above
Calls you up higher,
And bids you come
And choose your room
Among his own fair sons of fire,
Where you among
The golden throng
That watches at his palace doors,
May pass along
And follow those fair stars of yours;
Stars much too fair and pure to wait upon
The false smiles of a sublunary sun.
Sweet, let me prophesy, that at last 'twill prove
Your wary love
Lays up his purer and more precious vows,
And means them for a far more worthy spouse
Than this world of lies can give you:
Ev'n for him with whom nor cost
Nor love, nor labour can be lost;
Him who never will deceive you.
Let not my Lord, the mighty lover
Of souls, disdain that I discover
The hidden art
Of His high stratagem to win your heart.
It was His heav'nly art
Kindly to cross you
In your mistaken love.
That, at the next remove,
Thence He might toss you,
And strike your troubled heart
Home to Himself; to hide it in His breast,
The bright ambrosial nest,
Of love, of life, and everlasting rest.
That thus shall wake
Your wise soul, never to be won
Now with a love below the Sun.
Your first choice fails, O when you choose again,
May it not be among the sons of men.
--- Richard Crashaw (1613-1649)