Benjamin Tompson

(1642 - 1714 / Massachusetts, United States)

Remarks On The Bright And Dark Side


But may a Rural Pen try to set forth
Such a Great Fathers Ancient Grace and worth
I undertake a no less Arduous Theme
Then the Old Sages found the Chaldae Dream
'Tis more then Tythes of a profound respect
That must be paid such a Melchizedeck
Oxford this light with tongues and Arts doth trim
And then his Northern Town doth Challeng him
His Time and Strength he Center'd there in this
To do good works, and be what now he is.
His fulgent Virtues there and learned Strains
Tall comely Presence, Life unsoil'd with Stains
Things most on WORTHIES in their Stories writ
Did him to move in Orbs of Service fitt
Things more peculiar yet, my muse intend
Say stranger things then these, so weep and End
When he forsook first his Oxonian Cell
Some Scores at once from Popish darkness fell
So this Reformer studied! rare first fruits!
Shakeing a Crab-tree thus by hot disputes
The acid juice by miracle turn'd wine
And rais'd the Spirits of our young Divine
Hearers like Doves flock'd with contentios wing
Who should be first, feed most: most homeward bring
Laden with honey like Hyblaean Bees
They knead it into combs upon their knees.
Why he from Europes pleasant Garden fled
In the Next Age will be with horrour said
Braintree was of this Jewel then possest
Untill himself he labour'd into Rest
His Inventory then with Johns was took
His rough Coat, Girdle with the Sacred Book
When Reverend Knowles and he sail'd hand in hand
To Christ, Espousing the Virginian Land
Upon a ledge of Craggy Rocks near stav'd
His Bible in his bosome thrusting sav'd
The Bible, the best cordial of his Heart
Come floods, come flames (cry'd he) we'l never part
A constellation of great converts there
Shone round him and his Heav'nly Glory where
With a Rare Skill in hearts, this Doctor cou'd
Steal into them words that should do them good
His Balsom's from the Tree of Life distill'd
Hearts cleans'd and heal'd, and with rich comforts fill'd
But here's the wo! Balsoms which others cur'd
Would in his Own Turn hardly be endur'd
Apollyon Owing him a cursed Spleen
Who an Apollos in the Church had been
Dreading his Traffick here would be undone
By Numerous proselites he daily won
Accus'd him of Imaginary faults
And push'd him down so into dismal Vaults
Vaults where he kept long Ember weeks of grief
'Till Heav'n alarm'd sent him in relief
Then was a Daniel in the lyons Den
A man, oh how belov'd of God and men
By his beds-side an Hebrew sword there lay
With which at last he drove the Devil away.
Quaker's too durst not bear his keen replies
But fearing it half drawn the trembler flyes
Like Lazarus new rais'd from Death appears
The Saint that had been dead for many years
Our Nehemiah said, shall such as I
Desert my flock, and like a Coward fly
Long had the Churches begg'd the Saints release
Releas'd at last, he dies in Glorious peace
The Night is not so long, but phosphors ray
Approaching Glories doth on high display
Faith's Eye in him discern'd the Morning Star
His heart leap'd; Sure the Sun cannot be far
In Extasies of Joy, he Ravish'd Cryes
Love, Love the Lamb, the Lamb, in whome he dies.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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