The Dialog Between the Soul and Body
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O who shall, from this Dungeon, raise
A Soul inslav'd so many ways?
With bolts of Bones, that fetter'd stands
In Feet; and manacled in Hands.
Here blinded with an Eye; and there,
Deaf with the drumming of an Ear.
A Soul hung up, as 'twere, in Chains
Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins.
Tortur'd, besides each other part,
In a vain Head, and double Heart.
O who shall me deliver whole,
From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul?
Which, stretcht upright, impales me so,
That mine own Precipice I go;
And warms and moves this needless Frame:
(A Fever could but do the same.)
And, wanting where its spite to try,
Has made me live to let me die.
A Body that could never rest,
Since this ill Spirit it possest.
What Magic could me thus confine
Within another's Grief to pine?
Where whatsoever it complain,
I feel, that cannot feel, the pain.
And all my care its self employs,
That to preserve, which me destroys:
Constrain'd not only to endure
Diseases, but what's worse, the Cure:
And ready oft the port to gain,
And Shipwrackt into Health again.
But Physic yet could never reach
The maladies thou me dost teach;
Whom the first Cramp of Hope dost tear:
And then the Palsy shakes of Fear.
The Pestilence of Love does heat:
Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat.
Joy's cheerful Madness does perplex:
Or Sorrow's other Madness vex.
Which Knowledge forces me to know,
And Memory will not forgo.
What but a Soul could have the wit
To build me up for Sin so fit?
So Architects do square and hew,
Green Trees that in the Forest grew.
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.