Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 15. Christ and Our Selves
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
15. Christ and Our Selves
By Francis Quarles  (1592–1644)
  
I WISH a greater knowledge, then t’attaine
The knowledge of my selfe: A greater Gaine
Then to augment my selfe; A greater Treasure
Then to enjoy my selfe: A greater Pleasure
Then to content my selfe; How slight, and vaine        5
Is all selfe-Knowledge, Pleasure, Treasure, Gaine;
Vnlesse my better knowledge could retrive
My Christ; unles my better Gaine could thrive
In Christ; unles my better Wealth grow rich
In Christ; unles my better Pleasure pitch       10
On Christ; Or else my Knowledge will proclaime
To my owne heart how ignorant I am:
Or else my Gaine, so ill improv’d, will shame
My Trade, and shew how much declin’d I am;
Or else my Treasure will but blurre my name       15
With Bankrupt, and divulge how poore I am;
Or else my Pleasures, that so much inflame
My Thoughts, will blabb how full of sores I am:
Lord, keepe me from my Selfe; ’Tis best for me,
Never to owne my Selfe, if not in Thee.       20

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