Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell,--I humbly crave,
Let me once know?
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And ask'd if Peace were there.
A hollow wind did seem to answer, 'No;
Go seek elsewhere.'
I did; and going did a rainbow note:
Surely, thought I,
This is the lace of Peace's coat:
I will search out the matter.
But while I look'd, the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.
Then went I to a garden, and did spy
A gallant flower,--
The Crown Imperial. Sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digg'd, I saw a worm devour
What show'd so well.
At length I met a reverend good old man;
Whom when for Peace
I did demand, he thus began:
'There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, Who lived with good increase
Of flock and fold.
'He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of His grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;
Which many wondering at, got some of those
To plant and set.
'It prosper'd strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth;
For they that taste it do rehearse
That virtue lies therein:
A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sin.
'Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you:
Make bread of it; and that repose
And peace, which everywhere
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
Is only there.'