The Flesh And The Spirit

By Anne Bradstreet

    In secret place where once I stood
    Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood,
    I heard two sisters reason on
    Things that are past and things to come.
    One Flesh was call’d, who had her eye
    On worldly wealth and vanity;
    The other Spirit, who did rear
    Her thoughts unto a higher sphere.
    “Sister,” quoth Flesh, “what liv’st thou on
    Nothing but Meditation?
    Doth Contemplation feed thee so
    Regardlessly to let earth go?
    Can Speculation satisfy
    Notion without Reality?
    Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
    And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
    Hast treasures there laid up in store
    That all in th’ world thou count’st but poor?
    Art fancy-sick or turn’d a Sot
    To catch at shadows which are not?
    Come, come. I’ll show unto thy sense,
    Industry hath its recompence.
    What canst desire, but thou maist see
    True substance in variety?
    Dost honour like? Acquire the same,
    As some to their immortal fame;
    And trophies to thy name erect
    Which wearing time shall ne’er deject.
    For riches dost thou long full sore?
    Behold enough of precious store.
    Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold
    Than eyes can see or hands can hold.
    Affects thou pleasure? Take thy fill.
    Earth hath enough of what you will.
    Then let not go what thou maist find
    For things unknown only in mind.”

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