Untitled [When I did write this book I took great pains]


When I did write this book I took great pains,
For I did walk, and think, and break my brains.
My thoughts run out of breath, then down did2 lie,
And panted3 with short wind, like those that die.
When time had given ease and lent them4 strength,             5
Then up they’ll5 get and run another length.
Sometimes I kept my thoughts with a strict diet,6
And made them fast with ease, and rest, and quiet,
That they might run again with swifter speed,
And by this course new fancies they could7 breed.               10
But I do fear they’re not so good to please;
Yet8 now they’re out, my brain is more at ease.

  1. Other editions sometimes title this poem “Clasp” or “Clasp (1)”; as I have discussed in the Introduction to this site, I believe that “The Clasp” is not a poem title but a structural marker, so have named this poem as “Untitled.”
  2. did] would 1653
  3. panted] panting 1653
  4. ease and lent them] them but some ease and 1664, 1668
  5. they’ll] would 1653; they’ld 1664, 1668
  6. my thoughts with a strict diet,] them to a stricter Diet, 1664, 1668
  7. could] did 1664, 1668
  8. Yet] But 1653