Rev. Edward Taylor - Westfield, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
N 42° 07.198 W 072° 44.890
18T E 686145 N 4665550
Quick Description: The original gravestone of Rev. Edward Taylor, colonial America's first and foremost poet, and Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor are located in the walkway between the First Congregational Church and the Old Town Hall at 18 Broad Street in Westfield, MA.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 7/30/2021 11:41:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM14N5E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 1

Long Description:

The Rev. Edward Taylor was the first pastor of the Westfield Congregational church and has been recognized as colonial America's first and foremost poet. He is buried in the Mechanic Street Cemetery in Westfield but his original gravestone is preserved encased in concrete in downtown Westfield. The lower half of the stone is badly worn. The upper half is inscribed:

Here Rests ye body of
ye Revd. Mr. Edward
Taylor ye Aged,
Venerable, Learned
& Pius ...
87th Year of his Age.

Edward Taylor was born in Coventry, England in around 1642. He emigrated to the American Colonies in 1668 and became pastor of the Congregational Church of Christ in Westfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Although he began writing poetry around 1668, his poems were forgotten for over 200 years. A 7000 page manuscript of his poems were discovered by Thomas H. Johnson in the Yale University Library and published in The New England Quarterly in 1937.

A collection of his work were published in Preparatory Meditations (1682-1725) and Gods Determinations touching his Elect and the Elects Combat in Their Conversion and Coming up to God in Christ: Together with the Comfortable Effects Thereof(about 1682). Over 60 of his sermons are published in The Harmony of the Gospels.

Among Edward Taylor's published poems (along with the opening lines) are:

Meditation 1
"What Love is this of thine, that Cannot bee
In thine Infinity, O Lord, Confinde"

I am the Living Bread
"Which Bread of Life from Heaven down came and stands
Disht on thy Table up by Angells Hands."

Things Present
"Oh! that I ever felt what I profess.
'Twould make me then the happi'st man alive."

I Go to Prepare a Place for You.
"Who goes away t'prepare's a place most cleare
Whose Shine o're shines the shining Sunshine here."

Let Him Kiss Me With the Kisse of His Mouth
"Shall Christ bestow his lovely Love on his,
And mask his face? allowing not a kiss?"

Our Insufficiency to Praise God Suitably, for His Mercy.
"Our Musick would the World of Worlds out ring
Yet be unfit within thine Eares to ting."

And All Drunk the Same Spirituall Drinke
"A River down out runs through ages all.
A Fountain opte, to wash off Sin and Fall."

He Sent a Man Before Them, Even Joseph, Who Was Sold, ....
"All Dull, my Lord, my Spirits flat, and dead
All water sockt and sapless to the skin.
Oh! Screw mee up and make my Spirits bed
Thy quickening vertue For my inke is dim,
My pensill blunt. Doth Joseph type out thee?"

God Commends His Love Unto Us, In That While We Were Yet Sinners, Christ Died For Us
"Gods Love thus Caskt in Heaven, none can tap
Or breake its truss hoops, or attain a Scrap.

The Cup of Blessing Which Wee Bless, is It Not the Comunion of the Body of Christ? ...
Oh! Gracious Grace! whither soarst thou? How high
Even from thy root to thy top branch dost tower?
Thou springst from th'essence of blesst Deity
And grow'st to th'top of Heavens all blissfull flower."

If One Died For All Then Are All Dead
"What did Deaths arrow shot at me thee hit?
Didst slip between that flying shaft and mee?
Didst make thyselfe Deaths marke shot at for nice?
So that her Shaft shall fly no far than thee?

The Joy Of Church Fellowship Rightly Attended
"In Heaven soaring up, I dropt an Eare
On Earth: and oh! sweet Melody!
And listening, found it was the Saints who were
Encoacht for Heaven that sang for Joy.
For in Christs Coach they sweetly sing,
As they to Glory ride therein."

An Address to the Soul Occasioned by a Rain
"Shall I be made
A sparkling Wildfire Shop,
Where my dull Spirits at the Fireball trade
Do frisk and hop?"

"Make me, O Lord, thy Spinning Wheele compleat;
Thy Holy Worde my Distaff make for mee.
Make mine Affections thy Swift Flyers neate,
And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee."

The Reflexion
"Shall I not smell thy sweet, oh! Sharons Rose?
Shall not mine Eye salute thy Beauty? Why?
Shall thy sweet leaves their Beautious sweets upclose?
As halfe ashamde my sight should on themly?"

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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