Chicks and Eggs
Meditations upon an Egg
The egg’s no chick by falling from the hen,
Nor man a Christian till he’s born again.
The egg’s at first contained in the shell.
Men afore grace in sins and darkness dwell.
The egg, when laid, by warmth is made a chicken,
And Christ by grace the dead in sin doth quicken,
The chick at first is in the cell confined.
So, heaven-born souls are in the flesh detained.
The shell doth crack, the chick doth chirp and peep.
The flesh decays, and men then pray and weep.
The shell doth break, the chick’s at liberty.
The flesh falls off, the soul mounts up on high.
But both do not enjoy the selfsame plight.
The soul is safe, the chick now fears the kite.
But chicks from rotten eggs do not proceed.
Nor is a hypocrite a saint indeed.
The rotten egg, thou underneath the hen,
If cracked is foul, and loathsome unto men.
Nor doth her warmth makes what is rotten sound:
What’s rotten, rotten will at last be found.
The hypocrite, sin in him possession.
He is a rotten egg under profession.
Some eggs bring cockatrices, and some men.
Seem hatched and brooded in the viper’s den.
Some eggs bring wild fowls; and some men there be.
As wild as are the wildest fowls that flee.
Some eggs bring spiders; and some men appear.
More venomed than the worst of spiders are.
Some eggs bring pismires; and some seem to me.
As much for trifles as the pismires be.
And thus, do divers eggs form different shapes,
As like some men as monkeys are like apes.
But this is but an egg; if it were a chick,
Here had been legs, and wings, and bones to pick.
word meanings: Viper = Venomous Snakes
Pismires = Ants (smell of formic acid)