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.
 
The Rock
By Thomas Washbourne (1606–1687)
 
Num. xx. ii.

WHAT wonder’s this, that there should spring
  Streams from a rock to quench a people’s thirst?
What man alive did e’er see such a thing,
  That waters out of stone should burst,
Yet rather than with drowth should Israel die,        5
God by a miracle will them supply.
 
What wonder’s this, that from Christ’s side
  Water and blood should run to cleanse our sin?
This is that fountain which was opened wide
  To purge all our uncleanness in;        10
But this the greater wonder is by far,
As substances beyond the shadows are.
 
Christ is that spiritual Rock from whence
  Two sacraments derivèd are to us;
Being the objects of our faith and sense,        15
  Both receive comfort from them thus;
Rather than we should faint our Rock turns Vine,
And stays our thirst with water and with wine.
 
But here’s another rock, my heart,
  Harder than adamant; yet by and by,        20
If by a greater Moses struck, ’twill part,
  And stream forth tears abundantly.
Strike then this rock, my God, double the blow,
That for my sins, my eyes with tears may flow!
 
My sins that pierced thy hands, thy feet,        25
  Thy head, thy heart, and every part of Thee,
And on the cross made life and death to meet,
  Death to Thyself, and life to me;
Thy very fall does save; O happy strife,
That struck God dead, but raisèd man to life.        30
 
 
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