Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Whilst I Beheld the Neck o’ th’ Dove
By Patrick Cary (fl. 1651)
 
WHILST I beheld the neck o’ th’ dove,
I spied and read these words.
‘This pretty dye
Which takes your eye,
Is not at all the bird’s.        5
The dusky raven might
Have with these colours pleased your sight,
Had God but chose so to ordain above;’
This label wore the dove.
 
Whilst I admired the nightingale,        10
These notes she warbled o’er.
‘No melody
Indeed have I,
Admire me then no more:
God has it in His choice        15
To give the owl, or me, this voice;
’Tis He, ’tis He that makes me tell my tale;’
This sang the nightingale.
 
I smelt and praised the fragrant rose,
Blushing, thus answer’d she.        20
‘The praise you gave,
The scent I have,
Do not belong to me;
This harmless odour, none
But only God indeed does own;        25
To be His keepers, my poor leaves He chose;’
And thus replied the rose.
 
I took the honey from the bee,
On th’ bag these words were seen.
‘More sweet than this        30
Perchance nought is,
Yet gall it might have been:
If God it should so please,
He could still make it such with ease;
And as well gall to honey change can He;’        35
This learnt I of the bee.
 
I touch’d and liked the down o’ th’ swan;
But felt these words there writ.
‘Bristles, thorns, here
I soon should bear,        40
Did God ordain but it;
If my down to thy touch
Seem soft and smooth, God made it such;
Give more, or take all this away, He can;’
This was I taught by th’ swan.        45
 
All creatures, then, confess to God
That th’ owe Him all, but I.
My senses find
True, that my mind
Would still, oft does, deny.        50
Hence, Pride! out of my soul!
O’er it thou shalt no more control;
I’ll learn this lesson, and escape the rod:
I, too, have all from God.
 
 
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