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For works with similar titles, see Fragment and Fragment (Finch).

Fragment


So here confined, and but to female clay,
Ardelia's soul mistook the rightful way:
Whilst the soft breeze of pleasure's tempting air
Made her believe felicity was there;
And basking in the warmth of early time,
To vain amusements dedicate her prime.
Ambition next allur'ed her tow'ring eye,
For Paradise she heard was plac'd on high.
Then thought the Court with all it's glorious show,
Was sure above the rest and Paradise below.10
There plac'd too soon the flaming sword appeared
Removed those powers, whom justly they rever'd
Adher'd too in their wreck, and in their ruin shar'd.

Now by the wheels inevitable round,

With them thrown prostrate to the humble ground
No more she takes (instructed by that fall)
For fix'd, or worth her thought, this rolling ball:
Towards a more certain station she aspires,
Unshaken by revolts, and owns no less desires.
But all in vain are prayers extatic thoughts,20
Recovered moments, and retracted faults,
Retirement, which the world moroseness calls,
Abandoned pleasures in monastic walls:
These, but at distance towards that purpose tend,
The lowly means to an exalted end;
Which He must perfect who allots her stay
And that, accomplish'd, will direct the way.
Pity her restless cares, and weary strife,
And point some issue to escaping life;
Which so dismissed, no pen or human speech30
The ineffable recess can ever teach:
The expanse, the light, the harmony, the throng,
The Bride's attendance, and the bridal song,

The numerous mansions, and the immortal tree,
No eye, unpurged by Death, must ever see,
Or waves which through that wondrous city roll.
Rest then content my too impatient soul;
Observe but here the easy precepts given,
Then wait with chearful hope, till heaven be known in heaven.