Friday, April 06, 2007

Christ and Our Selves

I wish a greater knowledge, then t'attaine
The knowledge of my selfe: A greater Gaine
Then to augment my selfe; A greater Treasure
Then to enjoy my selfe: A greater Pleasure
Then to content my selfe; How slight, and vaine
Is all selfe-Knowledge, Pleasure, Treasure, Gaine:
Vnlesse my better knowledge could retrive
My Christ; unles my better Gaine could thrive
In Christ; unles my better Wealth grow rich
In Christ; unles my better Pleasure pitch
On Christ; Or else my Knowledge will proclaime
To my owne heart how ignorant I am:
Or else my Gaine, so ill improv'd, will shame
My Trade, and shew how much declin'd I am;
Or else my Treasure will but blurre my name
With Bankrupt, and divulge how poore I am;
Or else my Pleasures, that so much inflame
My Thoughts, will blabb how full of sores I am:
Lord, keepe me from my Selfe; 'Tis best for me,
Never to owne my Selfe, if not in Thee.

 —Francis Quarles (1592-1644)



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