A Fig for Thee Oh! Death
Edward Taylor (c. 1685)
Thou King of Terrours with thy Gastly Eyes
With Butter teeth, bare bones Grim looks likewise.
And Grizzly Hide, and clawing Tallons, fell,
Opning to Sinners Vile, Trap Door of Hell,
That on in Sin impenitently trip
The Downfall art of the infernall Pit,
Thou struckst thy teeth deep in my Lord’s blest Side:
Who dasht it out, and all its venom ‘stroyde
That now thy Poundrill shall onely dash
My Flesh and bones to bits, and Cask shall clash.
Thou’rt not so frightfull now to me, thy knocks
Do crack my shell. Its Heavenly kernells box
Abides most safe. Thy blows do break its shell,
Thy Teeth its Nut. Cracks are that on it fell.
Thence out its kirnell fair and nut, by worms
Once Viciated out, new formd forth turns
And on the wings of some bright Angell flies
Out to bright glory of Gods blissfull joyes.
Hence thou to mee with all thy Gastly face
Art not so dreadfull unto mee through Grace.
I am resolvde to fight thee, and ne’er yield,
Blood up to th’Ears; and in the battle field
Chasing thee hence: But not for this my flesh,
My Body, my vile harlot, its thy Mess,
Labouring to drown me into Sin, disguise
By Eating and by drinking such evil! joyes
Though Grace preserv’d mee that I nere have
Surprised been nor tumbled in such grave.
Hence for my strumpet I’le ne’er draw my Sword
Nor thee restrain at all by Iron Curb
Nor for her safty will I ‘gainst thee strive
But let thy frozen gripes take her Captive
And her imprison in thy dungeon Cave
And grinde to powder in thy Mill the grave,
Which powder in thy Van thou’st safely keep
Till she hath slept out quite her fatall Sleep.
When the last Cock shall Crow the last day in
And the Arch Angells Trumpets sound shall ring
Then th’Eye Omniscient seek shall all there round
Each dust death’s mill had very finely ground,
Which in death’s smoky furnace well refinde
And Each to’ts fellow hath exactly joyn’t,
Is raised up anew and made all bright
And Christalized; all top full of delight.
And entertains its Soule again in bliss
And Holy Angells waiting all on this,
The Soule and Body now, as two true Lovers
Ery night how do they hug and kiss each other.
And going hand in hand thus through the skies
Up to Eternall glory glorious rise.
Is this the Worst thy terrours then canst, why
Then should this grimace at me terrify?
Why camst thou then so slowly? Mend thy pace.
Thy Slowness me detains from Christ’s bright face.
Although thy terrours rise to th’highst degree,
I still am where I was, a Fig for thee.