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The Garden of Cyrus - text

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All things began in order
So shall they end, so shall they begin again
According to the Ordainer of Order
And mystical Mathematicks of the City of Heaven.
That the first day should make the last,
(that) the Tail of the Snake (should) return into its Mouth
Is indeed a remarkable Coincidence,
Life in but a shadow of death,
Sun is but a dark simulacrum
Aspis spires, Serpent's order, Ouroboros
But the Quincunx of Heaven runs low,
And 'tis time to close the five ports of knowledge;
We are unwilling to spin out our awaking thoughts
Into the phantasms of sleep,
Which often continueth præcogitations;
Making Cables of Cobwebbes and Wildernesses of handsome Groves.
There is little encouragement
To dream of Paradise itself.
Nor will the sweetest delight of Gardens
Afford much comfort in sleep;
Wherein the dulnesse of that sense
Shakes hands with delectable odours;
And though in the Bed of Cleopatra,
Can hardly with any delight
Raise up the ghost of a Rose.
But who can be drowsie at that hour
Which freed us from everlasting sleep?
Or have slumbering thoughts at that time,
When sleep itself must end,
As some conjecture all shall awake again?

(adapted from sir Thomas Browne)

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