Saturday, 22 January 2022



Why do those frowning vapors interpose
Between the bright expansion and my eyes,
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
The beauteous prospect of these azure skies?
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
Malicious clouds, before you rarefy

For you are of a variable condition
As well as I, and shall ere long dissolve;
Glory not, then, in interposition,
For into other elements revolve
You must, perhaps by condensation;
Hinder not, then, so poor a contentation.

And thou, sad, pond’rous, passive globe of earth,

Though, for thy weight, thou canst not mount above,
And though, from thee, my baser parts took birth,
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love:
For, with thy shadow, thou eclipsed the light
Of splendent Phoebe from my feeble sight.

Surely thy destiny is known to thee,

And the continual revolution
Of elements, as we do hourly see,
And thy irrevocable dissolution,
As well as mine—or, rather, conflagration:
Then envy not (for shame) my contentation.

And thou, dark body of the globious moon

That dost obscure the radiant Delius’s sight,
Threat’ning to make my sun to set at noon,
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
Then in conjunctions do not show thy hate.

For the impartial Parcae now have spun
Thy thread (and mine); then he that lends thee light
Shall wane himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
As in the chaos were the shades of night;
Then shall your shining spheres with fervor melt;
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.

But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone

That dost obscure bright glory from my soul;
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone,
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes roll,
Presenting to me transitory toys,
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.

But, Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
For though thou holdest in thy curséd jaws,
And I my passage make through revolution,
Humbly obedient to my Maker’s laws,
Yet He that doth in infinite power excel,
In love to me, hath conquered Death and Hell.

But O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
Makes my poor soul o’erflow with sad annoy;
’Tis they, and none but they, do interpose
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.

For were my soul from all transgression free,
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise;
Corruption, I would trample over thee,
And with swift eagle’s wings I’d mount the skies;
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly;
They fetter me more than mortality.

But yet my Savior  me with hope doth feed,
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
And, that poor I might live in death, did bleed;
He to eternal glory will me take.
Then, Sin, triumph no longer over me,
For I in Christ have conquered Death and thee.

Lady Hester Pulter (1605-1678)

South Pentland Hills


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