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

By Richard Crashaw (1613?–1640)

The Dear Bargain

LORD! what is man? why should he cost you
So dear? what had his ruin lost you?
Lord! what is man, that Thou hast overbought
        So much a thing of nought?
Love is too kind, I see, and can        5
Make but a simple merchant man;
’Twas for such sorry merchandise,
Bold painters have put out his eyes.
Alas! sweet Lord, what wer’t to Thee,
If there were no such worms as we?        10
  Heaven ne’er the less still heav’n would be
            Should mankind dwell
            In the deep hell,
What have his woes to do with Thee?
            Let him go weep        15
            O’er his own wounds,
            Seraphims will not sleep,
  Nor spheres let fall their faithful rounds:
  Still would the youthful spirits sing,
  And still the spacious palace ring:        20
Still would those beauteous ministers of light
            Burn all as bright,
  And bow their flaming heads before Thee,
Still thrones and dominations would adore Thee,
Still would those wakeful sons of fire        25
            Keep warm Thy praise
            Both nights and days,
And teach Thy loved name to their noble lyre.
  Let froward dust then do its kind,
And give itself as sport to the proud wind;        30
Why should a piece of peevish clay plead shares
In the eternity of Thy old cares?
Why should’st Thou bow Thy awful breast to see
What mine own madnesses have done with me?
  Should not the king still keep his throne,        35
  Because some desperate fool’s undone?
  Or will the world’s illustrious eyes
  Weep for every worm that dies?
            Will the gallant sun
            E’er the less glorious run?        40
  Will he hang down his golden head,
Or e’er the sooner seek his western bed,
            Because some foolish fly
            Grows wanton, and will die?
If I was lost in misery,        45
What was it to Thy heav’n and Thee?
What was it to the precious blood,
If my foul heart call’d for a flood?
What if my faithless soul and I
            Would needs fall in        50
            With guilt and sin?
  What did the Lamb that He should die?
  What did the Lamb that He should need,
  When the wolf sins, Himself to bleed?
        If my base lust        55
Bargain’d with death and well-beseeming dust,
            Why should the white
            Lamb’s bosom write
            The purple name
            Of my sin’s shame?        60
Why should His unstain’d breast make good
My blushes with His own heart-blood?
O my Saviour, make me see,
How dearly Thou hast paid for me,
That lost again my life may prove,        65
As then in death, so now in love.