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Treasury of Sacred Song
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CLI

THE BELOVED

F. Quarles

E'en like two little bank-dividing brooks,

That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,

And having ranged and search'd a thousand nooks,

Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,

Where in a greater current they conjoin:

So I my Best-beloved's am; so He is mine.

E'en so we met; and after long pursuit,

E'en so we join'd: we both became entire;

No need for either to renew a suit,

For I was flax and He was flames of fire:

Our firm-united souls did more than twine;

So I my Best-beloved's am; so He is mine.

He is my Altar; I, His Holy Place;

I am His guest; and He my living food;

I'm His by penitence; He mine by grace;

I'm His by purchase; He is mine, by blood;

He's my supporting elm; and I His vine;

Thus I my Best-beloved's am; thus He is mine,

If all those glittering Monarchs that command

The servile quarters of this earthly ball,

Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,

I would not change my fortunes for them all:

Their wealth is but a counter to my coin;

The world's but their's; but my Beloved 's mine.

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