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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Richard Crashaw (1613?–1640)

God’s Love and Man’s

ALL 1 things swear friends to Fair and Good,
Yea, suitors; man alone is woo’d,
Tediously woo’d, and hardly won;
Only not slow to be undone.
As if the bargain had been driven        5
So hardly betwixt Earth and Heaven.
Our God would thrive too fast, and be
Too much a gainer by’t, should we
Our purchas’d selves too soon bestow
On Him, who has not lov’d us so.        10
When love of us call’d Him to see
If we’d vouchsafe His company,
He left His Father’s court and came
Lightly as a lambent flame,
Leaping upon the hills to be        15
The humble King of you and me.
Nor can the cares of His whole crown,
When one poor sigh sends for Him down,
Detain Him, but He leaves behind
The late wings of the lazy wind,        20
Spurns the tame laws of Time and Place
And breaks through all the heavens to our embrace.
Note 1. This is a passage from a corrected and much improved version of the lines “To the Countess of Denbigh.” It is known to exist only in one pamphlet, in the British Museum. [back]