On The Bible - Poem by William Strode
Behold this little volume here inrolde:
'Tis the Almighty's present to the world:
Hearken earth's earth; each sencelesse thing can heare
His Maker's thunder, though it want an eare:
God's word is senior to his works, nay rather
If rightly weigh'd the world may call it father;
God spake, 'twas done; this great foundation
Is the Creator's Exhalation
Breath'd out in speaking. The best work of man
Is better than his word; but if wee scanne
God's word aright, his works far short doe fall;
The word is God, the works are creatures all.
The sundry peeces of this generall frame
Are dimmer letters, all which spell the same
Eternal word; But these cannot expresse
His greatnesse with such easy readinesse,
And therefore yeild. The Heavens shall pass away,
The sun and moone and stars shall all obey
To light one general bonfire; but his word,
His builder-upp, his all-destroying sworde,
That still survives; no jott of that can dye,
Each tittle measures immortalitie.
The word's owne mother, on whose breast did hang
The world's upholder drawne into a span,
Shee, shee was not so blest because she bare him
As cause herselfe was new-born, and did hear him.
Before she had brought forth she heard her Son
First speaking in the Annunciation:
And then, even then, before she brought forth child,
By name of Blessed shee herselfe instilde.
Once more this mighty word his people greets,
Thus lapt and thus swath'd upp in paper sheets:
Read here God's Image with a zealous eye,
The legible and written Deity.
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