This watch my father did on me bestow,
A golden one it is, but 'twill not go,
Unless it be at an uncertainty:
But as good none as one to tell a lie.
When ’tis high day my hand will stand at nine;
I think there’s no man’s watch so bad as mine.
Sometimes ’tis sullen, 'twill not go at all,
And yet ’twas never broke nor had a fall.
Your watch, though it be good, through want of skill
May fail to do according to your will.
Suppose the balance, wheels, and springs be good,
And all things else, unless you understood
To manage it, as watches ought to be,
Your watch will still be at uncertainty.
Come, tell me, do you keep it from the dust,
Yea, wind it also duly up you must?
Take heed, too, that you do not strain the spring;
You must be circumspect in every thing,
Or else your watch, were it as good again,
Would not with time and tide you entertain.
This boy an emblem is of a convert,
His watch of the work of grace within his heart,
The watchmaker is Jesus Christ our Lord,
His counsel, the directions of his Word;
Then convert, if thy heart be out of frame,
Of this watchmaker learn to mend the same.
Do not lay ope’ thy heart to worldly dust,
Nor let thy graces over-grow with rust,
Be oft’ renewed in the’ spirit of thy mind,
Or else uncertain thou thy watch wilt find.