"These rugged Walls, less grievous are to me, / Than those bedeck'd with curious Arras be / T'a guilty Conscience; to a wounded Heart, / A Palace cannot palliate that smart: / Tho' drunk with Pleasure, dull with Opiates, / Some seem as Senseless of their sad Estates, / Till on their Dying-Beds Conscience awakes. / But tho' the Righteous be in Bonds confin'd, / They inwardly sweet Satisfaction find."
— Mollineux [née Southworth], Mary (1651-1695)
Be pleas'd to try his Babes, by Suffering;
Tho' some departing from the Sinner's way,
And walking Sion-ward, become a Prey;
Yea, tho' through Tribulations Israel must
Enter the Promis'd Land, yet Heav'n is just,
And tenderly supports his patient Ones,
Altho' he Chasten his Beloved Sons;
And tho' in Prisons outwardly they be
Confin'd, the Son of Love doth set them free,
And leads in verdant Plains of Liberty:
The fresh fat Valleys, where sweet Shiloh flows,
Upon whose fertile Banks the Lilly grows;
Where, tho' he by some Exercises prove,
He sollaceth with Flaggons of his Love.
Then why should any Murmur? Jesus thus
Extended Signal Favours unto us.
Here are we with the hidden Manna fed,
Tho' with Transgressors we be numbered:
Here can we Prospects from our Tower survey,
With much more Innocent Delight, than they
That range at large; yea, here we may descry
The pleasant Path, hid from the Vult'rous Eye:
Wherein the Righteous follow Christ , their King
And tender Shepherd, to the living Spring
Of Joy; and to his Name, High Praises sing.
Nor can the proudest Walls (tho' ne'er so High,
The Monuments of Grave Antiquity)
Be terrible to Spotless Innocence,
That knows the Rock of Ages a Defence.
Tho' some be from their Families remov'd;
Here Mary's choice may better be improv'd:
And Christ takes care for his, altho' they sit
As unconcern'd, weeping at Jesus Feet:
He'll be a Father to the Family
Of such as, for his Name, in Prison lye;
And fill their Hearts with Everlasting Joy.
These rugged Walls, less grievous are to me,
Than those bedeck'd with curious Arras be
T'a guilty Conscience; to a wounded Heart,
A Palace cannot palliate that smart:
Tho' drunk with Pleasure, dull with Opiates,
Some seem as Senseless of their sad Estates,
Till on their Dying-Beds Conscience awakes.
But tho' the Righteous be in Bonds confin'd,
They inwardly sweet Satisfaction find.
Neither can stately Roofs, Gates, Bars, nor all
The Art of Man, suppress the Cries and Call,
Or Supplication, or the poorest Sigh,
Of Isr'els Seed; for his Redeemer's nigh;
Who will regard the Cries, and hear the Groans,
Of his Afflicted, Tribulated Ones;
And will, in his appointed Time, arise,
Utterly to confound his Enemies:
Altho' by them he for a Season prove
His Children dear; he'll yet in time remove
The Scourge, and cast the Chast'ning Rod aside,
When Isr'els Faith and Patience he hath try'd.
(pp. 123-5; ll. 1-58)
See Fruits of Retirement: or, Miscellaneous Poems, Moral and Divine. Being Some Contemplations, Letters, &C. Written on Variety of Subjects and Occasions. By Mary Mollineux, Late of Leverpool, Deceased. To Which Is Prefixed, Some Account of the Author. (London: printed and sold by T. Sowle, in White-Hart-Court in Gracious-Street, 1702). <Link to ESTC>