Treasury of Sacred Song
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When for the thorns with which I long, too long,

With many a piercing wound,

My Saviour's head have crown'd,

I seek with garlands to redress that wrong:

Through every garden, every mead,

I gather flowers--(my fruits are only flowers),

Dismantling all the fragrant towers9999towers, garlands to crown a girl

That once adorn'd my shepherdesse's head:

And now, when I have summ'd up all my store,

Thinking, (so I myself deceive),

So rich a chaplet thence to weave

As never yet the King of Glory wore:

Alas! I find the Serpent old,

That, twining-in his speckled breast,

About the flowers disguised, does fold

With wreaths of fame and interest.

Ah, foolish man, that would'st debase with them,

And mortal glory, Heaven's diadem!

--But Thou Who only could'st the Serpent tame,

Either his slippery knots at once untie,

And disentangle all his winding snare;

Or shatter too, with him, my curious frame100100frame, his own ingenious poetry,

And let these wither--so that he may die--

Though set with skill, and chosen out with care:

That they, while Thou on both their spoils dost tread,

May crown Thy feet, that could not crown Thy head.

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