The Preface

By Edward Taylor 1642–1729 Edward Taylor

   Infinity, when all things it beheld
In Nothing, and of Nothing all did build,
Upon what Base was fixt the Lath wherein
He turnd this Globe, and riggalld it so trim?
Who blew the Bellows of His Furnace Vast?
Or held the Mould wherein the world was Cast?
Who laid its Corner Stone? Or whose Command?
Where stand the Pillars upon which it stands?
Who Lacde and Fillitted the earth so fine,
With Rivers like green Ribbons Smaragdine?
Who made the Sea's its Selvedge, and it locks
Like a Quilt Ball within a Silver Box?
Who Spread its Canopy? Or Curtains Spun?
Who in this Bowling Alley bowld the Sun?
Who made it always when it rises set:
To go at once both down, and up to get?
Who th' Curtain rods made for this Tapistry?
Who hung the twinckling Lanthorns in the Sky?
Who? who did this? or who is he? Why, know
It's Onely Might Almighty this did doe.
His hand hath made this noble worke which Stands
His Glorious Handywork not made by hands.
Who spake all things from nothing; and with ease
Can speake all things to nothing, if he please.
Whose Little finger at his pleasure Can
Out mete ten thousand worlds with halfe a Span:
Whose Might Almighty can by half a looks
Root up the rocks and rock the hills by th' roots.
Can take this mighty World up in his hande,
And shake it like a Squitchen or a Wand.
Whose single Frown will make the Heavens shake
Like as an aspen leafe the Winde makes quake.
Oh! what a might is this Whose single frown
Doth shake the world as it would shake it down?
Which All from Nothing fet, from Nothing, All:
Hath All on Nothing set, lets Nothing fall.
Gave All to nothing Man indeed, whereby
Through nothing man all might him Glorify.
In Nothing then embosst the brightest Gem
More pretious than all pretiousness in them.
But Nothing man did throw down all by Sin:
And darkened that lightsom Gem in him.
   That now his Brightest Diamond is grown
   Darker by far than any Coalpit Stone.

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Poet Edward Taylor 1642–1729

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Religion, Christianity, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Couplet

Biography

Edward Taylor was an American Puritan poet and minister of the Congregational church at Westfield, Massachusetts for over fifty years. Considered one of the more significant poets to appear in America in the 17th and 18th centuries, his fame is the result of two works, the Preparatory Meditations ... (written 1682-1725) and Gods Determinations touching his Elect ... (written 1682?). But he also wrote many other poems during his . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Christianity, God & the Divine

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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