I am the Living Bread: Meditation Eight: John 6:51

By Edward Taylor 1642–1729 Edward Taylor
I kening through Astronomy Divine
      The Worlds bright Battlement, wherein I spy
A Golden Path my Pensill cannot line,
      From that bright Throne unto my Threshold ly.
      And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore
      I finde the Bread of Life in't at my doore.

When that this Bird of Paradise put in
      This Wicker Cage (my Corps) to tweedle praise
Had peckt the Fruite forbad: and so did fling
      Away its Food; and lost its golden dayes;
      It fell into Celestiall Famine sore:
      And never could attain a morsell more.

Alas! alas! Poore Bird, what wilt thou doe?
      The Creatures field no food for Souls e're gave.
And if thou knock at Angells dores they show
      An Empty Barrell: they no soul bread have.
      Alas! Poore Bird, the Worlds White Loafe is done
      And cannot yield thee here the smallest Crumb.

In this sad state, Gods Tender Bowells run
      Out streams of Grace: And he to end all strife
The Purest Wheate in Heaven, his deare-dear Son
      Grinds, and kneads up into this Bread of Life.
      Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands
      Disht on thy Table up by Angells Hands.

Did God mould up this Bread in Heaven, and bake,
      Which from his Table came, and to thine goeth?
Doth he bespeake thee thus, This Soule Bread take.
      Come Eate thy fill of this thy Gods White Loafe?
      Its Food too fine for Angells, yet come, take
      And Eate thy fill. Its Heavens Sugar Cake.

What Grace is this knead in this Loafe? This thing
      Souls are but petty things it to admire.
Yee Angells, help: This fill would to the brim
      Heav'ns whelm'd-down Chrystall meele Bowle, yea and higher.
      This Bread of Life dropt in thy mouth, doth Cry.
      Eate, Eate me, Soul, and thou shalt never dy.

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Poet Edward Taylor 1642–1729

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Religion, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Christianity

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


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, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Christianity

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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