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please help me with this poem


unclhien
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What Love is this of thine, that Cannot bee

In thine Infinity, O Lord, Confinde,

Unless it in thy very Person see,

Infinity, and Finity Conjoyn'd?

What hath thy Godhead, as not satisfide

Marri'de our Manhood, making it its Bride?

 

 

Oh, Matchless Love! filling Heaven to the brim!

O're running it: all running o're beside

This World! Nay Overflowing Hell; wherein

For thine Elect, there rose a mighty Tide!

That there our Veans might through thy Person bleed,

To quench those flames, that else would on us feed.

 

 

Oh! that thy Love might overflow my Heart!

To fire the same with Love: for Love I would.

But oh! my streight'ned Breast! my Lifeless Sparke!

My Fireless Flame! What Chilly Love, and Cold?

In measure small! In Manner Chilly! See.

Lord blow the Coal: Thy Love Enflame in mee.

 

 

Can you explain the first four lines of this poem? I have no idea.

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What Love is this of thine, that Cannot bee

In thine Infinity, O Lord, Confinde,

Unless it in thy very Person see,

Infinity, and Finity Conjoyn'd?

 

Can you explain the first four lines of this poem? I have no idea.

unclhien,

 

I don't think I do, either, but as few people seem to get in this forum I will offer these thoughts.

 

For Lines 1 and 2:

 

The writer sees God as infinite (= without any boundary or ending).

 

God is also seen as a loving spirit whose love is so great that it cannot be kept within God, even though God is infinite. So the question is asked (right at the start) 'what sort of love is this?'.

 

In Lines 3 and 4 I'm struggling, but I think the writer is answering his own question by suggesting that God is both infinite and finite and therefore mysterious and beyond understanding.

 

Michael

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unclhien,

 

I don't think I do, either, but as few people seem to get in this forum I will offer these thoughts.

 

For Lines 1 and 2:

 

The writer sees God as infinite (= without any boundary or ending).

 

God is also seen as a loving spirit whose love is so great that it cannot be kept within God, even though God is infinite. So the question is asked (right at the start) 'what sort of love is this?'.

 

In Lines 3 and 4 I'm struggling, but I think the writer is answering his own question by suggesting that God is both infinite and finite and therefore mysterious and beyond understanding.

 

Michael

 

Thanks Michael,

Now I understood the first stanza.

Can you check my understanding of the next two lines?

Paraphrase: What has your Godhead, as if not satisfied, married our Manhood, and made it [the Godhead] its [the Manhood] Bride?

Is that correct?

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Can you check my understanding of the next two lines?

Paraphrase: What has your Godhead, as if not satisfied, married our Manhood, and made it [the Godhead] its [the Manhood] Bride?

Is that correct?

unclhien,

 

I think it is the other way round - God (husband) has married mankind (bride). But the use of it and its leads to a lack of clarity.

 

What's "O're"?

 

I don't know.

 

But I suspect it's a typo for o'er = over (as with e'er for ever it's a way of losing a syllable in a line). Running over would fit the context of brimful and overflowing.

 

Michael

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Can you explain what does "Nay Overflowing Hell" mean? What's 'Nay'?

What does 'for thine Elect' mean? What is 'our Veans'?

What does the 12th line mean?

 

Nay = no. I’m not sure of the meaning of this line, unless it’s suggesting that God’s love also overflowed into Hell. Are you sure nay is correct?

 

Thine elect roughly = your elected, ie the people God has chosen.

 

Veans must be be veins.

 

To quench those flames, that else would on us feed = to extinguish those flames (presumably of Hell) which would otherwise have consumed us.

 

Michael

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