Ecclesiastes, othervvise called The preacher Containing Salomons sermons or commentaries (as it may probably be collected) vpon the 49. Psalme of Dauid his father. Compendiously abridged, and also paraphrastically dilated in English poesie, according to the analogie of Scripture, and consent of the most approued writer thereof. Composed by H.L. Gentleman. Whereunto are annexed sundrie sonets of Christian passions heretofore printed, and now corrected and augmented, with other affectionate sonets of a feeling conscience of the same authors.
Lok, Henry., Lok, Henry. Sundry Christian passions contained in two hundred sonnets.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the vertuous Lady, the Lady Woollie.

FArre fet, deare bought, doth fit a Lady best;
Such you deserue, such would my will bestow:
Good things are rare, rare things esteem'd you know;
Rare should yours be, as you rare of the rest:
Such hold this gift, fetcht from a forraine land,
Which wisest King, as pretious did prouide,
Who viewing all the earth, hath nought espide,
Whose worth (herewith cōpar'd) may longer stand:
The price (I dare assure) is very deare,
As puchasd by your merit and my care,
Whose trauell would a better gift prepare,
If any better worthy might appeare:
Then this accept, as I the same intend,
Which dutie to the dead would will me send.
Page  [unnumbered]

ECCLESIASTES, OTHERVVISE CALLED THE PREACHER. Containing Salomons Sermons or Commentaries (as it may probably be collected) vpon the 49. Psalme of Dauid his father. Compendiously abridged, and also paraphrastically dilated in English poesie, according to the analogie of Scripture, and consent of the most approued writer thereof.

Composed by H. L. Gentleman.

Whereunto are annexed sundrie Sonets of CHRISTIAN PAS∣SIONS heretofore printed, and now corrected and augmen∣ted, with other affectionate Sonets of a feeling con∣science of the same Authors.


Psal. 144.

3 Lord what is man, that thou regardest him: or the sonne of man, that thou thinkest vpon him?

4 Man is like to vanitie, his dayes like a shadow that vanisheth.

LONDON. Printed by Richard Field, dwelling in the Blacke∣friers neare Ludgate. 1597.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

TO THE RIGHT EX∣CELLENT AND NOBLE PRIN∣CESSE, LADIE OF RAREST VERTVES, Queene Elizabeth our most gracious Soueraigne: her Highnes faithfull subiect Henrie Lok, wisheth perfect and perpetuall felicitie.

THE purest liquor drawne out of the heauenly fountaine of SALOMONS inspired wisdom I here (with all zeale of your Highnesse seruice) in most hū∣ble dutie, offer to your thrise sacred Maiestie, vnder whose most glorious Empire, hauing first receiued the breath of this life: and by whose shining beames of most gra∣cious gouernement, that life hauing tasted part of the common comfort of your many happie subiects, and peculiar fauor of your most prince∣ly countenance: I cannot but as I acknowledge all my powers of right to pertain to your High∣nesse disposition: so to force my weake inde∣uours, Page  [unnumbered] to testifie the sinceritie of the same. This my present, which (in a rustie caske, in steed of a golden cup) I haue ventured to purchase for your Highnesse, is (I confesse) farre vnworthie your Maiesties tasting of (though in the benig∣nitie of Dauids spirit, I doubt not your Highnes will accept the same,) which, as it is borrowed from the labours of so mightie and worthie a king as was Salomon the true Author therof, it seems most fit the dedication to your Maiestie, who in Empire being a peere vnto him, in ele∣ction a partner, in happinesse a riuall, and in wisedome a Sabian obseruer of his soundest do∣ctrines, can perfectliest iudge, and will kindliest (I assure my selfe) welcome this his child for his fathers sake, which must be (and so I desire) his onely grace. For with me it is true that in the composition hereof, it fared as with more wor∣thie Nehemias, when he attempted the repaire of the holy Citie: who being oftentimes di∣sturbed therein by the practise and malice of Sanballat, Tobia and Geshem, was sometimes forced to desist from his attempt, and in the end to effect it with sword in one hand and mattock in the other: so whilest common cares and do∣mestik Page  [unnumbered] duties (the direct enemies to all ingeni∣ous actions, and proper poyson) of pure inuen∣tion, did many times confound my iudgement, disturbe my leisure, & in a maner vtterly disable my disposition for so waighty an affaire (remo∣uing so often my hand from my mind, and my minde almost from the affection of my heart) I (with half my weak selfe) haue bene driuen thus to peece together, this often broken off, & now vnworkmanly perfected taske. VVhich yet (as a well fauoured person, euen in meane attires, seemes yet euer comely) will I doubt not shew some excellencie of the cōposers spirit, though it be not artificially clothed with borowed bew∣ties frō my barren braine. And your Highnesse, whose course of life so wel conformeth with this his discourse (teaching vs your subiects by holy practise, what he by deuine precepts instructed his) may as iustly chalenge (me seemeth) the publication of the like discourse: as we without defrauding God of his honor, & your Highnesse of your due, may not conceale the perfect re∣semblance your Highnes hath of him in name, disposition, and fortune: & we with his subiects in honor, prosperitie and peace: which albeit, Page  [unnumbered] we your inferior subiects (as the weake sighted eyes which cannot behold perfectly the face of the sunne, but looking downe in the water: nor see his first appearing in the East, but by looking for the shadow in the VVest) knowing our disa∣bilities iudicially to obserue the cleare bright∣nes of your shining vertues: referring to borde∣ring Princes and attendant Peeres, the more fit recording of the same: we take palpable assurā∣ces of the blessed Spirit of God working in you; by the like frute of peace, prosperitie and plenty deriued by your Maiesties most excellent go∣uernement and wisdome, vnto vs: whose first worke of building vp the Church of Christ, pro∣uiding for learning, restoring the decayd strēgth and munitions of the realme, enriching the trea∣surie of the land by refined coine, retaining with most princely magnanimity, the ancient ample bounds of your Empire, the establishment of so many profitable factories for vnfrequented traf∣ficke, the chargeable discoueries of so many vn∣known parts, the honorable repulsiō of so many foes, the bounteous purchase of so many neigh∣bor friēds, the charitable relief of so many Chri∣stians oppressed, the equal distribution of iustice Page  [unnumbered] vnto all, (all tending to the glory of God, & pro∣speritie of your raigne) do sensibly, without any disparagement of the greatnesse of that mightie Prince, draw on a certaine liuely comparison of both your {pro}perties & blessings: which therfore might excuse me of flatterie, if in a few words I should point thereat. But I wil leaue the ampler relatiō hereof to future posterities, & herein hū∣bly crauing pardon of your Maiestie, for this my presumption (which indeed hath bene founded on your Highnesse gracious acceptance of my former Passionate present) and recommending them anew to your Maiesties fauor herewithall, augmented and reformed; I will with all feruen∣cie of prayer, cōmend your Highnes to the pro∣tection of the Almightie: who as he hath confir∣med your throne these (now nigh fortie) yeares amongst vs, to the vniuersall peace and comfort of his Israell the Church of Europe: so may he redouble and continue euen to the end (if so his Highnesse please) your Maiesties most happie raigne ouer vs for euer.

Your Maiesties most duti∣full and loyall subiect, HENRY LOK.

Page  [unnumbered]

To the Christian Reader.

IT is the most fit subiect for the nobility of mans spirit to meditate of fe∣licitie: and a true saying of Aristotle, that Omnia appetunt bonum. Yea the common practise of our high minded age, is to striue for the same in the superlatiue degree. But so foolish and new-fangled are our desires, that wishing we wot not what, and seeking it we know not how nor where: we come all farre short of the same, and some runne headlong to the despised contrary (looking for it on earth) and therby groping for it to their graues, they are there cut off of their hopes, and die discontented with their haps. Whereas if they acknowledged it to be the tree of life, planted in the hea∣uenly paradise, they wold lesse labor their bodies for attaining these transi∣torie shadowes of pleasure, and more exercise the faculties of the soule for atchiuing the same, so much the more despising these instable & imperfect happinesses of this life, as they found their foolish affections of the flesh (doting on thē) to worke neglect of the nutriment of their soule: & slacknes in the constant trauell in religion and vertue (which is requisit for the long iorney we haue to passe through life and death thereunto.) But this hauing bin the sicknes of all ages, & specially of the Iewes in Salomons time, (which induced him, as it should appeare, to take so great paines in remouing thē from that error,) I the lesse maruell, that our age florishing in the pride of like long peace and plentie, vnder her Maiesties most happie raigne, be also sotted with the world as they were, dreaming of that perfection and perpe∣tuity here, which God by nature hath denied vnto vs, & but by her Highnes raigne we could hope for. And since it is the dutie of euery part and mem∣ber of the body, to ioyne in the assistance & cure of the whole, if any parti∣cular of it shold suffer: I haue in a dutiful compassiō of this cōmon calamity endeuored to seeke forth some mithridate for this poyson: by which so ma∣ny perish, and haue here brought thee a Doses of the wisest Physitions cō∣position, that euer had practise of that cure: who did not (for th' experimēt of his potions qualitie, first kill many patients in triall thereof) but apply∣ing it to his owne wound first, dares confidently write probatum est, and by the seale of the holy spirit and consent of the Church, doth warrant thee to tast of the same. It is a receipt so oldly composed perhaps, that thou respe∣ctest it the lesse, or of so small price, that thou shamest to take it, or perhaps knowing the bitternesse of the tast, thou hadst as liue continue sicke, as to trie it. But deceiue not thy selfe, it is of the nature of the perfectest drogs, which with age increase in strength: of the kind of Sibillaes works, which re∣fused, grow higher prized: and of the herbe called woodroofe. which onely handled hath an euill smell, but more forcibly rubbed, yeeldeth a sweet sa∣uour. Receiue it therefore as confidently as he assureth it, and as kindly as I intend it: who in respect that the obscuritie of many places, the contra∣rietie (as at first would appeare) of some points, and strange dependancie of the whole together: haue done my carefull & studious iudeuor (by con∣sideration & imitation of the best interpreters hereof) to explane the true Page  [unnumbered] sense, accord the different places: to ioine by probable cōnexion the whole discourse together: which aswel to distinguish the seuerall arguments, as to varie the verse, and pawse the reader) I haue not altogether vnfitly distribu∣ted into three Sermons, each one containing foure Chapters a peece. The first especially shewing the vaine opinion of felicitie, which is not in earth to be found. The second pointing more directly (by the lawfull vse of this life) the true way vnto her. The last, teaching her residence to be in heauen, and perswading the speedie pursute of her fauor. And that you might truly consider of the cariage of the matter, according to the scope of the Text, I haue caused the same to be quoted in the margent, reducing for memorie sake into two abstract lines of verse set in the top of euerie leafe: the sub∣stance of euery pages content, which afterward as thou seest, is paraphra∣stically dilated page by page, in the plainest forme I can deuise. Who in re∣spect of the grauitie of the argument did restraine my pen frō the helpes of much profane learning, and in consideration of the antiquity of the worke, and maiestie of the author, could not (without great indecencie) haue vsed the authorities of men, or of so late times (as since the learnings florished, whence we now receiue our common light.) Like naked truth therefore I pray thee receiue it, for it owne, if not for my sake: & if in any thing I seeme to swarne from thy conceit of many points, I pray thee confer farther ther∣in, with D. Gregorius, Neocerasiensis Epis. Olimpioderus, D. Salonius Epis. Viennēsis, Theod. Beza, Ioh. Serranus, Anth. Corranus, Tremelius, all interpreters and para∣phrasers in prose vpon this worke, and I. Lectius, Ro. Lemmannus, I. Viuianus, reducers thereof into Latin poesie, or any other thou likest better of, so shal my errors be couered or excused, whilst their different formes, distributiōs of method, & interpretatiōs, wil leaue thee (I am perswaded) in some points as litle satisfied as this my labor shall do: who in some things was forced to digresse from them all, when either too much in one place, or too litle in an other, they followed the forme of a Paraphrasis, which they vndertooke: in∣to which error also it is not vnlike but I haue sometimes fallen my selfe, and I doubt not but many things more might haue bin said, & perhaps to more purpose then I haue done, but non omnia possumus omnes. According to my suf∣ficiencie I haue discharged my self faithfully vnto thee, and therfore I trust (in these dayes wherein some pernitious, many vnciuil, and a swarme of su∣perfluous and vnprofitable books passe from the presse) it shall not be need∣full for me to vse great insinuation for thy fauour; since it lyeth not in the bounds of a Preface, to prepare a peruerse mind, or in the nature of such a worke, to go a begging for a grace. I will therfore cut off that labor, & only signifie vnto thee the excellency of this worke, compiled by the wisest man, and mightiest king of Israell, euen Salomon the king of peace: Ydida: the be∣loued of God: Ecclesiastes the preacher: who in his Prouerbs instructeth thee as a child, to a ciuill and honest life: in this worke, instituteth thy manly thoughts to the inquisition of the highest good. To the end, that by his last song of heauenly loue, thy ripened thoughts might be inflamed with that glorious bride Christ Iesus: to whose holy direction I hartily cōmend thee.

H. L.

Page  [unnumbered]

Certaine poems to the Authour of the worke.

TErra ferax vatum est Brittannia, non tamen omnes,
Aut vno, aut sacro flamine Phoebus agit
Hic canit obscuri certaminis arma virosve,
Alter lasciui ludicra amoris alit.
Hos genio vt superas, sic carmine & argumento
AEquum & Reginae est cedere Regis opus.

A. H. S.

Ad Serenissimam Reginam Elizabetham.

REgia Virgineae soboles dicata parenti,
Virgo animo, patriaemater, Regina quid quid optas?
Chara domi, metuenda foris, Regina quid optas?
Pulchra, piaes, princeps, foelix, Regina quid optas?
Coelum est? Certò at serò sit Regina quod optas.

Ioh. Lily.

Ad Lockum eiusdem.

INgenio & genio locuples, dic Locke quid addam?
Addo, quod ingenium quondam preciosius auro.

Ad Authorem.

NOn vane vanos sapiens perstringit abusus:
Nec vano enarras regalem carmine mentem.
Nec qui suasit opus, fuerat vanúsve malúsve.
Nec vanum diuae sacrum dicare laborem.
Cuius quid vani? quid non memorabile dictu?
Non vanumest sceptro, populum rexisse potentem.
Non iusto regem bello, superasse superbum,
Non Antichristi virès fregisse furentis,
Non armis miseros, vicináque regna fouere,
Si vanus repeto, ignosce ô regia virgo▪
Vano. Pergetamen. Sola haec & vera putato.

L. P.

Page  [unnumbered]

To the worke.

THee Princes pen, now present to a Prince,
And poeme to a princely sprited Muse:
Ye full sound Ethicks of the sweet essence
Of heauenly truth, which all ought to peruse
View all, reape good, leaue ill without excuse.

H. A.

To the Author.

FOr me to praise this worke, it were no praise,
Whil'st thou doest publish it: it prayseth thee;
Thing (once cald perfect) further praise denayes,
Because all other words inferior bee.
With happie sight thy muse appeares to see,
That could select a subiect of such choyce,
Which hath enforced many more then mee,
With silence (for thy blist attempt) reioyce.
Thy former vaine, no vaine conceipt bewrayes
By Passions (patternes of a Christian fight)
But for this worke, yet highest honor stayes,
And therefore henceforth feare no others flight
Thy Zeale, thy theame, thy gift, thy fame to staine,
Which imitate they may, but not attaine.

M. C.

Page  [unnumbered]

TO THE QVEENES MOST EXCEL∣LENT MAIESTIE.

TO you thrise sacred Princesse of this Ile:
By God, By countrie, By true wisdomes praise,
Elect, Annointed, Soueraigne, is the stile,
Religous Empresse, Beautie of our dayes,
His Church you cherish, that your state did raise,
Our peace you purchase, where your throne is plast,
Eternall glorie on your actions stayes;
Rare, Crowned, Vertue: Holy, Humble, Chast,
Whom all heauens high perfections fully grac't
Whom all earth honors, should, do, will adorne:
VVhom all the Muses haue with loue embrac't:
VVho doth pale Enuie, and blind Fortune scorne;
To you wise kings discourse of blisse I bring,
Renowned Queene, true type of happiest King.
Page  1

Chap. 1.

[verse 1] Those sacred words king Dauids son did preach, who Israel taught
[verse 2] All vanitie of vanities, he calls: more light then thought.
1.
The words of the Preacher the sonne of Dauid king in Ierusalem.
THe heauenly words of holy Dauids sonne,
Who ouer Israels race sometimes did raigne,
Wherewith to vertue he his subiects wonne,
Whilst in Ierusalem he did remaine,
And to instruct them thus did not disdaine.
Those words, no vaine discourse it is I write,
Pend by a Prince, as God did them indite.
Strange doctrines, which some paradoxes call,
But yet the quintessence of holy creed,
Liues pure Elixer, which is sought of all,
T'asswage cares corasiues, in heart that breed,
Of happinesse the generatiue seed,
Of morall speculation practise sound:
Of constant faith the quiet fruit he found.
2.
Vanitie of va∣nities, saith the Preacher: va∣nity of vanities, all is vanitie.
The farre fet happinesse which some propound,
In minds, in bodies, and in fortunes gifts:
(Which all conioyned seeldome times are found)
But to a vaine conceit the fancie lifts,
And their best Sectaries do lose their drifts;
The crowne it is, of heauens most glorious state,
Earths fruites all vaine: care, folly, and debate.
Yea vaine, all vaine (saith he) mans soule well proues,
What euer on earths spatious Orbe below
Hath breath, life, being, sense, or what so moues
By vegetatiue kind: or which doth ow
To nature a declyning state to grow.
Vaine in the roote, in bud, in flower all vaine:
Vaine fruit, whose of-springs vainly vades againe.
Page  2
[verse 3] What solid fruite finds tyred man, of trauell vnder Sunne?
[verse 4] The earth is firme, whilst mans age past, another age doth runne.
3.
What remai∣neth vnto man in all his trauel, which he suffe∣reth vnder the Sunne?
What if some one amids a multitude,
More happie in many points then others be?
Yet truly can you not thereby conclude,
That perfect happie, in all respects is he:
Nor long time can enioy the same we see.
Vpon a tickle point earths blessings stand,
And come and go in turning of a hand.
All must confesse, that nothing long remaines
To man, for all the trauels of his mynd,
Sustained in this life with bodies paines,
Since earth and earthly things all vade by kynd,
As doth a shadow or a puffe of wynd.
No prouidence preuenteth destinie,
Earth and her fruites do liue but for to die.
4.
One generatiō passeth, and an other genera∣tiō succeedeth, but the earth remaineth for euer.
Mans life like to a burning lampe doth wast,
And like the ship on sea all stormes abyde,
Flies swift as thought, which straight is come and past:
Whose memorie as soone away doth slyde,
As trace which soaring fowle through aire did guyde,
Whose entercourse of change so swift doth go,
That sence can scarce discerne that it was so.
And as on stage new actors issue still,
Vntill each part expir'd, the play be done:
So generations newe the world do fill,
And ages newe past ages ouer-runne:
And shall till this worlds end haue new begun
That other world, which neuer shall haue end:
To which we posting thus, our hopes should bend.
Page  3
[verse 5] The mouing sun doth rise and set, and turnes from whence it came,
[verse 6] The wind frō north to south blows roūd, & calmeth with the same.
5.
The sunne ri∣seth, and the sunne goeth downe, and draweth to his place where he riseth.
Yea all heauens elements full well we see,
Though farre more durable then man by kind,
Yet for our vse, in motion still to bee,
And by their change of change put vs in mind,
As in the lightsome sunne we proofe may find;
Whose time in measuring out our time is spent,
Whilst we to marke his motion onely ment.
This glorious Bride, in loue of earth his spouse
From his Starchambered pallace of the sky,
Drawne on by mornings wings, betimes doth rouse
Through either Hemi-sphere, and passing by
Th'Antipodes, from East to East doth fly,
With euery step Horizons making new,
Wherewith the earth new bewties doth indew.
6.
The wind go∣eth toward the South, and cō∣passeth toward the North: the wind goeth round about, and returneth by his circuit.
This pure sweete aire wherein things breathing liue,
Th'all filling essence of vacuitie,
He vnto life the very spright doth giue,
And neuer rests, his presence to applie
To our behoofe: who languishing would lie,
If long he should retire his flagrant breath,
Whose vse (from vs restraind) doth menace death.
He being speedie guide to motions all,
In tender care and neighbour loue he owes
Vnto those lower regions, forth doth call
From hils and dales exhaled breaths, whence growes
As many winds as on earths compasse blowes,
Which cleansing clouds, and drying dampish soile,
Do whistling through earths hollow vaults recoile.
Page  4
[verse 7] Fresh waters from the sea thence flowes, their ebs yet fill not it.
[verse 8] All is but toyle man sees or heares, with his insatiat wit.
7.
〈…〉
The liquid streames, of waters which arise,
Fro out the Cesterne of the Centors deepe,
Whose winding channels in a wondrous wise,
Through hils and dales, in curbed wise do creepe,
A constant progresse do by nature keepe,
Till they the Ocean (their deere mother) meet,
Whose brackish tears for thē, their drops make sweet.
Whose fruitfull wombe, in gratefull wise repaies
The yeelding earth, the tribute of her loue,
By sending strayned springs through forced waies,
And Porus passages for mans behoue,
That so her selfe in bounds might mildly moue:
Who yeelds likewise to beare earths heauy brood,
And breeds her selfe some store of humaine food.
8.
All things are full of labour: man can not vtter it, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the eare filled with hearing.
And not these compound elements alone
Are subiect to this intercourse of change,
But euen the foure pure elements ech one
Doe from themselues, to th'others natures range,
Though contrary by kind, with motion strange:
Earth into water turnes, moist into aire,
Pure aire to fire, Condenst they backe repaire.
So all things labour euermore and tend
Vnto their end, which when they once attaine,
That forme doth chaunge and to another bend,
Which likewise in his time hath end againe,
And nothing in one state doth long remaine;
Whose wondrous frame, in vaine man seekes to find,
Whilst no mans studie can suffise his mind.
Page  5
[verse 9] What euer hath bene, shall be done: for there is nothing new:
[verse 10] What may we say is now, the which was not before thinke you?
9.
What is it that hath bene? that that shall be: and what is it that hath bene done? that which shall be done: and there is no new thing vnder the Sun.
For proofe, let me demaund but this of you,
Who most haue searched natures secret powre?
And you who are conuerst in stories true,
And you obseruers of ech day and howre,
Haue ye not found, that time doth all deuour?
And that new times the like things doth produce,
As any former ages had in vse.
We dreame of secrets daily, newly found,
And of inuentions passing former wits,
We thinke our world with wisedome doth abound,
And fame (for knowledge) vs much rather fits,
But ouer-weening thoughts this toy begits:
Their longer liues more temperately led
In holy studie, sure more knowledge bred.
10.
Is there any thing whereof one may say, behold this, it is new: it hath bene already in the old time that was be∣fore vs.
What one thing can we say is new indeed,
Excepting time it selfe, which still renewes?
New sinnes perhaps this wicked age would breed,
Yet can not other then first age did vse:
The name of new indeede we do abuse,
By calling new the thing we newly know,
Which rather ignorance of skill doth show.
Those elder times (no doubt) in golden age,
When natures strength was in her youthfull prime,
When Will on Wisedome tended as a Page,
And loue of vertue, banisht many a crime,
When humble thoughts did not for glory clime:
Then all things flourisht sure that now we see,
And actions all, that are, or that may bee.
Page  6
[verse 11] Things past forgotten are we see, and future so shalbee.
[verse 12] In Ierusalem, Israels king I was, who teacheth thee.
11.
There is no me¦morie of the former, neither shall there be a remembrance of the latter that shall be, with them that shal come after
But they forgotten are, as ours once shall,
Mans few and euill dayes with cares of mind,
Make many worthy things to dust to fall,
And vs to predecessors grow vnkind,
Whose fames with theirs shall vanish with the wind,
And as our stealing wits would clips their fame,
Deuouring time, shall desolate our name.
For what more equall recompence is due,
To such as others merits doe depraue,
Then that like base contempt, do them insue,
And of successors they like guerdon haue,
And so we see fame leaues vs at the graue:
Build then his happinesse on earth who will,
He but himselfe with care and scorne shall fill.
12.
I the Preacher haue bene king ouer Israell in Ierusalem.
By proofe I speake, who once a mighty King
Did sway the Scepter of the holy seed,
Whose blessed name of peace, true peace did bring,
And publike wealth, which happinesse did breed,
And all delights whereon the world doth feed:
From Dan to Bersaba there, bound before,
And from Euphrates vnto Nylus shore.
My seat in Centor of earths Paradice,
In blest Ierusalem Gods dwelling place,
Neare to whereas mount Sion doth arise,
The holy hill, which doth the countrey grace,
Wherein I ruled not a litle space:
For fortie yeares, I raigned still in peace,
And in a ripened age I did decease.
Page  7
[verse 13] I gaue my heart (God gaue this care) true wisedome out to find,
[verse 14] My studie found all vnder sunne, to be but griefe of mind.
13.
And I haue gi∣uen mine heart to search and find out wise∣dome by all things that are done vnder the heauen, this sore trauell hath God giue to the sonnes of men to humble them thereby.
And all this time I bent my power and will,
To find faire wisedomes pallace, that I there
My homage due, might pay vnto her still,
And trophes to her in my heart might reare,
Her loue made me all other loue forbeare:
Welth I and honour, health, and euery thing
Disdaind, that did not me true wisedome bring.
I therefore first did God most humbly craue,
To guide my steps in such a holy care,
Who (thenceforth) thereof such a measure gaue,
As none for wisedome might with me compare:
To proue all things I did my heart prepare,
Insatiat still as man by nature is,
Of skill (so doomd) for Adams first amis.
14.
I haue conside∣red all the works that are done vnder the sunne, and be∣hold all is vani∣tie & vexation of the Spirit.
What euer nature of her selfe brings forth,
Or skilfull Art by practise could produce,
What euer did to any seeme of worth,
Or for necessitie might seeme of vse,
Was still the obiect of my studious Muse,
Which out of all to gather did desire,
That happinesse whereto we would aspire.
But for my paines on earth did nought attaine,
But losse of time and agony of Spright,
A vaine desire, replete with skill more vaine,
A carefull life, disguisd with vaine delight,
A puft vp braine, with dreames of wisedomes sight,
But to my heart vnfruitfull of content,
To wearied life, a lode of time mispent.
Page  8
[verse 15] The crooked thing can none make straight, or nūber things amis.
[verse 16] I thought and said, in power or wit, none like me was or is.
15.
That which is crooked, can none make straight: and that which fai∣le•• can not be numbred.
For when I sought to practise what I knew,
My mind distracted diuersly was led,
In looking to preuent things to insew:
Much care in vaine I tooke, no fruit it bred,
To know the worlds amis, serues to small sted;
When no man can make straight the crooked tree,
Or mend the chance that is ordaind to bee.
To number forth mans miseries and woe
Is hard to doe, and litle would auaile:
To stay the Oceans course, he should but goe,
That would support, where nature meanes to faile:
It makes vs but our weaknesse more bewaile,
If any way our wisedome stood in sted,
It would suppresse the vices in vs bred.
16.
I thought in mine heart, and said, Behold I am become great, and ex∣cell in wisedom all them that haue bene be∣fore me in le∣rusalem: and mine hart hath seene much wisedome and knowledge
And though (alas) I might of all men best,
For wisedome be reputed mongst the great,
Whose knowledge farre surpassed all the rest,
Before me euer were in Israels seate,
Or any others whom Records repeat:
Yea then was Chalcoll, Darda, or Ethan,
Heman, Maholl, or any liuing man.
Yet I for all my knowledge must confesse,
That childish blindnesse raigneth ouer all,
The more I knew, I thought I knew the lesse,
My knowledge, ignorance I seem'd to call,
When to the skanning of it I did fall:
As farre to weake true wisedome to behold,
As man vnfit, Gods secrets to vnfold.
Page  9
[verse 17] I studied all both good and bad to know, in all I found
[verse 18] Much grief, & as much wisedom grew, new cares & woes aboūd.
17.
And I gaue 〈◊〉 heart to knowe wisedome and knowledge, madnesse and foolishnesse: I knew also, that this is a vexatiō of the spirit.
And that I might the better others iudge,
I bent my selfe to euery students vaine,
To reade each friuolous worke I did not grudge,
As well as writers of more pregnant braine:
The rules of obseruations I did gaine,
Which long experience maketh many see,
And to the vulgar sort instructions bee.
I put in practise what these arts did teach,
And tasted euerie toy for my delight.
Fond actions made in modest mind a breach:
For will with reason I did arme to fight;
Yet all in fine did but torment my spright.
In wisdoms graue restraint my boūds seeme straight,
On follie, shame, and sorow to awaight.
18.
For in the mul∣titude of wise∣dome is much griefe: and he that increaseth knowledge, in∣creaseth griefe.
So wisedome proues a style of small auaile,
Which cannot yeeld a man one happie day,
His infant studies seruile feares do quaile,
His youthfull yeares with wantonnesse decay,
His manly thoughts worlds combers weare away:
His yeares of iudgement for true wisedome fit,
Deuoyd of powre, through weakned limbs do sit.
And yet suppose some one in ripened time,
In bodie and in mind haue some delight,
Yet he shall find, when he doth seeme in prime,
A world of woes to march before his sight,
Which past or presently shall with him fight:
Which if he scape, yet many thousands beare,
Whereof whilst yet he liues, he stands in feare.

Chap. 2.

Page  10
[verse 1] Then did I ioy proue at full, which also proued vaine.
[verse 2] Mad laughter and short ioy, what ease do ye yeeld to my paine?
1.
I said in mine heart, goe to now, I will proue thee with ioy: ther∣fore take thou pleasure in plea¦sant things: and behold this 〈◊〉 vanitie.
THus tired with these studies I repinde,
And in my heart, I said, no more of this:
Now will I try if pleasure I may find,
To cheare my fainting soule in worlds amis:
Perhaps in mirth and ioy is plast true blis,
Let me to counsell, my affections take,
And let them to their likings frolike make.
From reasons bonds, thus set at large awhile,
They ech of them their appetites doe fit,
Each seuerall sense, himselfe seekes to beguile,
And all conspire the wished prise to git,
But (ouer gorg'd) full soone they all do surfit:
For lust complete sacietie doth breed,
And vaine the fruite, that growes from such a seed.
2.
I said of laugh∣ter, thou art mad: and of ioy, what is this that thou 〈◊〉
Then did I first begin indeed to know,
The vanitie of these vnconstant ioyes,
For while the foggie myst of lust doth grow,
As through a cloud, we see it so annoyes
Our purest iudgement, euen with childish toyes:
But then (as safe on shore) the storme I saw,
Whose raging billowes did soules perill draw.
Then cald I laughter a deformed grace,
More fit for fooles, then temp'rate men to try,
Graue maiestie expelling from the face,
And antike wise disguizing men, whereby
As madnesse, I beganne it to defy:
As forced mirth, which no sweet fruit doth bring,
But to relenting soule a poysned sting.
Page  11
[verse 3] With wine I wit and folly fed, to find mans liues content.
[verse 4] In stately workes, of houses and of vineyards, study spent.
3.
I sought in mine hart to giue my selfe to wine, and to lead mine hart in wisedome, & to take hold of folly, till I might see whe is that goodnes of the children of men, which they enioy vn∣der the sunne, the whole num¦ber of the daies of their life.
The Antidote of hearts with care opprest,
Earths bloud, wits bane, wines best delighting tast,
I gaue my selfe to proue in my vnrest,
To quicken so my sprights, with care defast,
Not glutton like, with drunkennesse disgrast,
But as in prickly bush men Roses take,
So in my plentie I not measure brake.
For why, the obiect of my actions were
So limited by wisedomes happy guyde,
That I in them, did Gods offence forbeare,
And in the bounds of temperance firme abyde:
I onely sought by all things to haue tryde,
Where, and what is, that good mans of-spring finds
In life on earth, which so inchaunts their minds.
4.
I haue made my great workes: I haue built me hou∣ses: I haue planted me vineyardes.
And for I held magnificence to bee
A vertue fitting well a princely mind,
I built and dedicated (Lord) to thee
A Temple, where thy Arke a rest might find:
A worthlesse present for a God so kind:
Yet best that skilfull Hyrams art could frame,
In seauen yeares time, and cost vpon the same.
I raysed and reedified beside,
Full many cities to withstand the foes,
And Libanus, whose beautie farre and wide,
In fame before all other cities goes:
Besides a Pallace for my Queene, like those
Where mightiest Monarks courts haue erst bin plast,
Which was with many vineyards greatly grast.
Page  12
[verse 5] I gardens had, and Orchards faire, of euery fruitfull tree.
[verse 6] And Aqueducts to water them, the purest that might bee.
5.
I haue made me gardens & orchards, and planted in thē trees of all 〈◊〉.
I made me spacious gardens therewithall,
Wherein to solace both my Queenes and mee,
In which all kind of herbes both great and small,
And all such flowers as either pleasing bee
To sight or smell, you there might plentie see,
Or which for health of man had any prayse,
Or for delight might serue him any wayes.
My Orchards like to Paradice were held,
Wherein for shadie walkes and sweete prospects,
Ingenious art had nature so exceld,
That things gainst kind produc'd most kind effects;
All fruitfull trees of tast that man affects,
Were planted plenteously, from Cedar tall
To little shrubbe, that clymbeth by the wall.
6.
I haue made me Cesterns of water, to water therewith the woods that grow with trees.
From top of farthest cliffes through hils and dales,
I set my fountaine heads and crystall springs,
I forced riuers from the lower vales,
To mount their neighbor hils, whose backs them brings
Vnto those Cesternes, which by spouts them flings,
Like Aprill showers dispersedly to fall,
And so bedeaw those bordering trees withall.
Whence softly they distilling to the ground,
Might coole the pride of sommers scorching rayes,
And cause the happy soyle with frute abound,
Which spring time like, thus flourished alwayes,
Whose ouerplus of streames in chanell stayes:
That euery fish and foule might solace take,
Or men might bath on banke, and banquet make.
Page  13
[verse 7] I housholds had of men & maids, and store of beefes and sheepe.
[verse 8] With Princes treasures, singing folke, I did for pleasure keepe.
7.
I haue gotten seruants and maides, & had children borne in the house: also I had great possession of Beeues and sheepe, aboue all that were before me in lerusalem.
I was attended on in princely sort,
As well of Nobles as of seruile kynd,
Yea tributary kings did oft resort,
To doe the homage fealty did bynd,
Of Captiues I had store, vnto my mynd,
And families of these and their of-spring,
To populate a countrey for a king.
My flockes of sheepe, and heards of cattell great,
Wherewith my royall Court I dayly fed,
Who thirtie Beeues, and fiuescore Sheepe did eat,
Besides such dainties as the countrey bred,
I fortie thousand horse to battell led,
And Charets more I had, I dare well say,
Then any king in Iewry till this day.
8.
I haue gathe∣red vnto me also siluer and gold, and the chief treasures of kings and prouinces: I haue prouided me men singers and women sin∣gers, and the delights of the sonnes of men, as a woman ta∣ken captiue, & women taken captiues,
Of treasure I had store and reuenue,
Sixe hundreth Talents, sixtie sixe of gold,
Foure hundreth fiftie more, from Ophire due,
And custome for all marchandize was sold,
With tributes more then number well you could:
So that like stones or drosse, I siluer gaue,
And in my raigne for want few needed craue.
The choyse of all the spoyles of warre I had,
Both men and women singers rare of skill,
Whose melodie would cheare the mind most sad,
Whose beauties with delight the eye might fill,
And of these had varietie at will,
And what so euer humaine kind can craue,
To seeke delight therein, my selfe I gaue.
Page  14
[verse 9] More mightie then forefathers all, with wisedome ruling mind,
[verse 10] I fed my will, my will pleasd me, this fruit my paines did find.
9.
And I was great, and en∣creased aboue all that were before me in Ierusalem: all my wisedome remained wth me.
Thus grew I mightie, and of greater fame
Then any king Ierusalem had knowne:
From farre and neare, great Princes sent and came
To see my greatnesse, which abrode was blowne:
Admir'd I was, and loued of my owne,
Surpassing farre, report that went of mee,
As Saba Queene, confest that came to see.
And (which few men, in prosperous state can do).
By wisedomes rule I guided so my life,
That holy Iustice still I leand vnto,
And shielded innocence from Tyrants strife:
And (had I not transgrest through heathnish wife,
Who made me winke at her Idolatry)
Few errors in my life you should espy.
10.
And whatsoe∣uer mine eies desired, I with∣held it not fō them: I with∣drew not mine hart from any ioy: for mine hrt reioyced in all my laor: and this was my portion of all my trauell.
Thus did I fill my eyes with their desire,
And fed my heart at full with all content,
No sooner did my thought a thing require,
But forward to effect it straight I went:
Thus I my dayes in ioy and solace spent,
Peace gaue me wealth & power, power fed my will,
My will sought happinesse in all things still.
But happinesse I had not as I thought,
For though in vse of things I seemed glad,
Yet afterward they to me loathing brought,
And things begunne in ioy, were parting sad,
And yet that present ioy was all I had,
In recompence of all my trau'll and paine,
And to haue that, was more then many gaine.
Page  15
[verse 11] I viewd in fine all I had done, & found all vaine and fruitlesse.
[verse 12] Both wit & folly, for of both none knew more: all prou'd bootlesse.
11.
Then I looked on all my workes that my hands had wrought, and on the trauell that I had la∣boured to doe: and behold, all is vanitie and vexation of the Spirit: & there is no profit vn¦der the iunn
In fine, now surfetting indeede with all
My deare bought pleasure, both begunne and past,
Vnto a reckoning I my iudgement call,
And true account of gaine, of them I cast,
And did suruay my workes, which yet did last,
To see the benefit I reapt thereby,
Because I would the truth of all things try.
Which when I found for most part vanisht quight,
And those remaining, subiect to like fate;
I saw a world of vanitie and spight,
Which made me world and all her workes to hate,
As masse of miserie, and vnkind debate,
As they shall find, who thus forwarnd will proue,
Repentance being price of foolish loue.
12.
And I turned to behold wise∣dome, madnes, and folly: for who is the man that will come after the king in things which men now haue done.
Then I a new comparison did make,
Twixt sacred wisedome (heauens infused gift)
And humaine wisedome, which doth patterne take
Of presidents, of morall actions drift,
The skill wherein doth worldly minds vp lift,
And this compard with foolish ignorance,
Which in the world doth many sotts aduance.
For if that knowledge on experience grow,
And that experience be the child of time,
If time her powre do to the studious show,
And labour doth to highest knowledge clime,
If iudgement flourish where these are in prime,
Then who hath me surpast, or shall succeed
In these, whose censure may more credit breed?
Page  16
[verse 13] Yet found I wisedome it excell, as light doth darknes farre.
[verse 14] It sees, that gropes, yet wise and fond, both in one hazard are.
13.
Then I sawe there is profite in wisedome, more then in folly: as the light is more excellent then darknesse.
And what I could, impartiall conceiue
Of ech of them, I will thee truely tell:
I found that folly did a man deceiue,
And woe to them within her snares that fell,
But wisedome did all earthly things excell,
Immortalizing man with worthy fame,
And couering the defects of natures shame.
And looke how much the sunne in sommers day,
When he in Zenith of our Hemis-pheres,
Most glorious beames of brightnesse doth display,
Suprasseth darkest nights that winter weares,
In frozen Zone for light some face he beares:
So farre and more, the wise do fooles surpasse,
Or more then precious stones doe brickle glasse.
14.
For the wise mans eyes are in hs head, but the foole wal∣keth in dark∣nesse: yet I know also that the same con∣dition falleth 〈…〉.
For why, the wise call passed things to mind,
Obserue the present, future doe fore-see,
Compare effects, whereby they courses find,
And make their actions to best rules agree,
Like Eagle eyes, and Linxes sights theirs bee,
Where fooles as blind-fold, groping misse the way,
And vnto euery daunger are a pray.
Although in deede one end befalleth all,
The wise and foolish, begger and the king:
All made of earth, againe to dust doe fall,
And euery state is crossed with some thing.
Wisedome breedes care, and folly want doth bring:
Wealth liues in feare, and pouertie in wo:
Honor enuide, base bloud contemn'd doth go.
Page  17
[verse 15] If so (thought I) then is it vaine, more wisedome to aspire,
[verse 16] All is forgot in time to come, like death haue all for hire.
15.
Thē I thought in mine heart, it befalleth vn∣to me, as it be∣falleth to the foole: why therefore doe I then labour to be more wise? and I said in mine hart, that this also is va∣nitie.
I therefore in my heart beganne to thinke,
If all estates some miserie must haue,
If wise and foolish both of one cup drinke,
If all by death must draw vnto the graue,
If wisedome may not man from daunger saue:
If sicknesse be the common guide to death,
If death the end of all that draweth breath:
Why then do I contend for wisedomes prayse?
With studious trauell, why do I applie
My time, and spend away youthes pleasant dayes▪
With paine and toyle? why serues seueritie,
And temperance of life, since all must die?
It is meere madnesse to be too precise,
Though fooles be vaine, vaine also be the wise.
16.
For there shall be no remem∣brance of the wise, nor of the foole for euer: for that that now is, in the dayes to come shall all be for∣gotten: and how dieth the wise man, as doth the foole.
Vaine in the highest point of vanitie,
If they suppose on earth true blisse to find,
As on a stage, each step they tred awrie
Is markt, and fame defamd by slaunderous kind,
And their best name that they do leaue behind
Is soone forgot, as fooles facts also bee,
As we by daily proofe full well may see.
Alas! is there no difference at all,
In length of dayes betwixt the fond and wise?
Can nought protect from death, but must all fall?
As basest sort, so those in honour rise,
Can man no way to lengthen life deuise?
Then vaine is he in them reposeth trust,
Whose ioyes with them so soone determine must.
Page  18
[verse 17] Then lothd I life, all life bred griefe, and did the mind torment,
[verse 18] My owne workes were vnpleasing then, possest by one vnment.
17.
Therefore I hated life: for the worke that is wrought vn∣der the sunne is grieuous vnto me: for all is vanitie & vexa∣tion of the Spirit.
The thought whereof made me the world to hate,
And euery circumstance of life to blame,
The day of birth, as day of cursed fate,
The length of life, as heape of woe and shame,
The dayly looke for death, as rotten frame
Of natures weakest building, earth doth beare,
Bred vp and nourished, with care and feare.
Conceiu'd in sinne, brought into world with paine,
With iust laments bewayling future case,
Who impotent, doth hopelesse still remaine,
(If pitie in the parents had not place,
Or foster mothers did him not embrace)
Whose youth sharpe tutors, age the lawes restraine,
Whose vexed soule still carkes and cares in vaine.
18.
I hated also all my labor, wher∣in I had trauel∣led vnder the Sunne, which I shall leaue to the man that shall be after me.
Yea, though my selfe was free from sundry things,
By reason of the greatnesse of my state,
With which the meaner sort full often wrings,
(As want, and suffering stroke of mighties hate)
Yet I my cares had in an other rate,
And far more forcible in me they were,
For prosperous states doe worst afflictions beare.
As feare of chaunge, care of the common good,
Desire to eternize my name on earth:
Yet nothing more (me thought) my ioy withstood,
Then that I traueld for an others mirth,
For whom, my fruits were gathred ere his birth,
Which made me all my workes of most desert
Hate and disdaine, euen from the very heart.
Page  19
[verse 19] Vnknowne if fond or wise, who yet shall all enioy leaue.
[verse 20] Which as most vain, made me abhor, my works which me deceaue.
19.
And who know¦eth whether he shall be wise or foolish, yet shal he haue rule euer all my la∣bour, wherein I haue trauel∣led, & wherein I haue shewed my selfe wise vnder the sun. This is also va∣nitie.
For what knew I, who should to me succeed,
In vse of all the wealth and pompe I left,
An infant of mine owne, and proper breed,
Or else a stranger creeping in by theft;
I knew how easly crownes might be bereft,
If kings were Orphanes lacking yeares or wit,
Ne knew I if my child for rule were fit.
The proofe he yeelds, and sentence God did giue,
Prognosticateth little good at all:
Yet (as vnto mine heire in whom I liue)
I giue what wast he may, and feare he shall;
The fruit euen of my wisest trauels all,
So that the world which witnessed my paine,
May hap record my trauels meerely vaine.
20.
Therefore I went about to make mine hart abhorre all the labour, wherein I had trauelled vnder the Sunne.
This made me oft, aide reason to contend
With my affections and my pleased sence,
And gainst my selfe, my selfe my wits to bend,
The loue of all my workes expulsing thence,
And taking on me truths sincere defence,
Said perturbations (which affections guyde)
Should not giue iudgement where her cause is tryde.
I made my mind confesse, the studie vaine
Which was imployd, on transitory thing
I made my body graunt, too great the paine
Bestowd on any pleasure life doth bring,
My senses to conclude, there was a sting
And bitter tast attended on delight,
And so resolu'd, worlds loue to banish quight.
Page  20
[verse 21] One toyles to get with right and skill, a stocke for one most vaine,
[verse 22] And no reward himselfe doth find, for all his trauell' and paine.
21.
For there is a man whose tra∣uell is in wise∣dome, and in knowledge, & in equitie: yet to a man that hath not tra∣uelled herein shall he giue 〈◊〉 portion, this 〈◊〉 vanitie and a great 〈◊〉.
For could there be a greater griefe beide,
Or iuster cause to make a man repent
The paines and perils that he did abide,
In honest trade to purchase his intent,
Whereto his wits and diligence was bent:
Then for to thinke he doth for others toyle,
Manures the ground, where others reape the soyle.
Who buildeth but in hope to dwell therein?
Who planteh, but in hope the fruit to tast?
Though birdes and Bees their nests and combs begin,
Though sheepe beare fleece, & Oxe the land haue trast,
In hope of profite, which their masters wast:
Yet wise men grieue to spend in vaine their time,
For others sake the bush to beate or clime.
22.
For what hath man of all his trauell & griefe of his heart, wherin he hath trauelled vnder the sunne?
If man vncertaine be, as sure he is
This night, if he the morrow day shall see,
If he do doubt his dayes cannot endure,
If he foresee his bed, his graue may bee▪
And yet of world haue care, vnhappie hee,
I meane such care, as doth his powers possesse,
And suffers not his soule, some ioy expresse.
For what he leaueth him behind is lost,
What he enioyd, that only was his owne,
What hath he gain'd, by wealth that comfort cost,
If he not tast his fruits of trauell growne?
Possession best by vse of things is knowne:
Who doth not so, but lost his trauels are,
A heauie burden bootlesse fetched farre.
Page  21
[verse 23] His dayes are few and spent in cares, his nights in harts vnrest,
[verse 24] If God yet grant to vse his wealth with ioy: then is he blest.
23.
For all his daies are sorrowes, & his trauel grief, his heart also taketh not rest in the night, which also is vanitie.
He doth thereby but massaker himselfe,
And seeme vnkind to natures true intent,
Whose bodie feeds not on the view of pelfe,
But on the food the hands to mouth do lend,
Which freely to ech part doth portion send:
He well may thinke his wofull dayes too long,
And trauell grieuous, thus requite with wrong.
If he the wished night ordain'd for rest,
Consume in carefull thoughts of greedie mind,
If he for others hoord his comforts best,
And to himselfe (gainst kind) do proue vnkind:
No blessednesse on earth then shall he find,
But like a bubble vanish soone away,
And in his life his vanitie bewray.
24.
There is no pro¦fit to man, but that he eat and drinke, and de∣light his soule with the profit of his labour: I saw also this, that it was of the hand of God.
For no true profit earth to earth can giue,
But (whilst on earth man yet doth make his stay)
The frutes of earth to vse by which we liue,
And ech dayes care, deferre vnto that day.
These Creatures plenteously enioy we may,
To needfull sustenance of bodies strength,
And to delight the mind, waxt dull at length.
Man onely must in plentie, plentie note
Of Gods abundant blessing shewd therein;
And not forget him whilst they passe the throte,
And them abuse, as instruments of sin,
But for his gifts, with prayse to him begin,
With almes proceed, the needy poore to feed,
And not repine, though oft they stand in need.
Page  22
[verse 25] Who knowes the vse of plentie more then I, yet this I find,
[verse 26] God makes the iust know ioy, the bad leaue welth for good behind.
25.
For who could eat, and who could hast to outward things more then I.
Of all that I do say, I haue made proofe,
And therefore may the better thee aduise,
Which as I now set downe for thy behoofe:
So thereof make thy profit, be thou wise,
He is a foole that counsell doth despise:
And I who counsell thee, sure best could try,
Earths pleasures, and the fruits that come thereby.
As being King, I all things might commaund,
As being rich, I ech thing might procure,
As being lou'd, to please me all men fawnd:
As being feard, I might my will make sure:
As being wise, I could make choyse most pure,
If any earthlie thing might breed content,
Then may I say, that God me part hath sent.
26.
Surely to a mā that is good in his sight, God giueth wisdom, and knowledg, and ioy: but to the sinner he giueth paine, togather and to heap, to giue to him that is good before God: this is also vanitie, and vexation of the spirit.
And for a full report of my conceit,
I briefly say, as truth requires of mee,
That wisedome as a blessing doth awaight
Vpon the godly, who true knowledge see,
And perfect ioy alone in them can bee:
For God the author of all goodnesse is,
And with his feare associats endlesse blis.
But to the wicked he alotteth griefe,
In getting needfull things great wo and care,
In their possession little sweet reliefe,
In laying vp of wealth, a life still bare,
Which for the godly they doe but prepare:
Rent gathrers for the good, the wicked bee,
Vaine vexers of their soules themselues may see.

Chap. 3.

Page  23
[verse 1] All purposes haue proper times, all things fit seasons find,
[verse 2] A time of birth, and death, to plant, and supplant is assignd.
1.
To all things there is an ap∣pointed time, and a time to euery purpose vnder the hea∣uen.
BVt for I see the wordly wise will say,
They haue iust cause, to studie to attaine
The hidden course, which nature doth bewray
In interchange of times: which doth remaine
Inrold in writ of many a learned braine,
I will with them awhile conferre, and show
To thee the depth of all the skill they know.
Most true it is (I graunt) that hidden are,
In knowledge of Philosophy indeede,
Such rules profound, by learning fet so farre,
As in the mind doth admiration breed:
But yet that skill doth serue to little steed,
For God hath natures bounds prefixed so,
That from that course art cannot make them go.
2.
A time to be borne, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to plucke vp that which is plan∣ted.
Begin we first where we begin and end,
With birth of man in mothers wombe conceiu'd,
Which (fortie weekes expir'd) needs forth must send,
And age compels to yeeld the breath receiu'd,
In both of which, the wisest are deceiu'd:
The birth and death of diuerse, diuersely
Preuenting time, of birth and time to dy.
And as of men, so in increase of things
The which the earth brings forth in growing kind,
Although we know the Moone fit seasons brings,
To planted things to prosper, yet we find
They oft miscarie, and we chaunge our mind,
And (be their fruits once ripe) they gathered bee,
And stocke once rotten, we stub vp the tree.
Page  24
[verse 3] A time to cure and kill there is, to build and ouerthrow,
[verse 4] To laugh and weepe, a mournfull cheare, and merry hart to show.
3.
A time to slay, and a time to heale: a time to break down, and a time to build.
And though it be a thing vnnaturall,
And most repugnant to societie,
The life of man by hand of man to fall,
And to shed bloud, wherein his life doth lie,
Yet iustice craues that male factors die,
Aswell as that the sicke, should phisicke haue,
Or salues imployd, the wounded corps to saue.
Yea though that cities first well founded were,
For safetie vnto men of ciuill sort:
Yet neuer Monarkes seat such fame did beare,
Or citie grow of much with great resort,
But time made cottages of small import
Suruiue their greatnesse, and surpasse them farre,
As Henok, Babell, Troy, true patterns are.
4.
A time to weepe, and a time to laugh: a time to mourne and a time to dance.
Though nothing be more needfull to our kind,
The rigors to alay of worldly care,
Though nothing better for the health we find,
Then mirth (at times we may well for it spare)
Yet in the vse of it we must beware,
And vse it so as if we readie were,
The brunt of greatest crosses straight to beare.
For times there are, when dutie doth require,
We should impart with neighbours woe and griefe,
For (partners in distresse) doe all desire,
And men suppose thereby they find reliefe
For sinne, so should we mourne, as cause most chiefe:
When Gods offended face, doth threat his rod,
Thus mirth and woe, are both requir'd by God.
Page  25
[verse 5] To scatter stones and gather them, t'embrace and thrust away,
[verse 6] A season is to seeke, to loose, to keepe, to wast, I say.
5.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones: a time to im∣brace, and a time to be far from imbra∣cing.
There is a time when we the quarries draw,
And from the bowels of the earth full deepe,
Rayse vp her bones, the stones which neuer saw
The lightsome aire, and them we carued keepe,
To rayse with them our towers, to heauen which peepe,
Which afterward decay, and we are faine,
Their ruines to transport abrode againe.
Euen so in youthfull yeares it seemeth fit,
As nature made it apt for loues imbrace,
So for the worlds increase to yeeld to it,
With due respect of person time and place:
Yet nothing more vnseemely in such case,
As when decrepit age creepes to the graue,
To dote in loue, and seeke a wife to haue,
6.
A time to seeke and a time to loose: a time to keepe, and a time to cast away.
There is a time, when man with reason may
With diligence indeuour for to gaine
A portion fit, his family to stay,
Although with sweat of browes, and daily paine;
But it were folly to torment his braine,
If losses happe, for there will losses fall,
Vnto most wise, if they haue ought at all.
Then he that's wise, knowes when to spend and spare,
For who hath most, before he die may need,
And he must spend sometimes that is most bare,
And he may thriue, that doth the needie feed:
Bountie doth loue, and neighbour liking breed:
It is a vertue, placed in a meane,
Although it rather doe to giuing leane.
Page  26
[verse 7] A time to reape and sow againe, for silence, and to speake,
[verse 8] To loue, to hate, to talke of peace, and peace with war to breake.
7.
A time to reap, and a time to sow: a time to keepe silence, and a time to 〈◊〉.
The rich attyres ordaynd by craft mans hand,
To couer shame, which sinne made man to see,
Be not so comely held in any land,
But that in other lands, dislikt they bee:
So what one sowes, the other reapes for thee:
Good workes for Taylers that new-fangled are,
None make more fast, then others mending marre.
What speake we of such common things as this?
Not speech it selfe (the Eccho to the hart)
May be so free, but it restrained is
To ciuill rules, and lawes of very art,
The tongues misuse, of breedes the bodie smart:
We therefore learne, both how and when to speake,
And when we modest silence may not breake.
8.
A time to loue, and a time to hate: a time of warre and a time of peace.
Yea though that kindled heate of beauties fire,
And sympathy of natures liking good,
(Chast loue) be founded on a iust desire,
And beare such sway as hardly is withstood,
Infecting by the eye, both spirit and blood:
Yet such incounters grow in some respect,
That loue findes hate, best merit, base neglect.
Yea bloudie warre the scourge of peace misusd,
The fire-brand of ambition, hels owne chyld,
The wracke of iustice, value oft abusd
From common wealth may not be well exyld,
Though peace breed welth, welth yet with pride defyld,
Produceth warre, which pouertie doth breed,
To which heauens blessed peace doth yet succeed.
Page  27
[verse 9] What profit finds the toyle some man, of all his carke and care?
[verse 10] To humble mans ambitious mind, God did these pames prepare.
9.
What profit hath he that worketh, of the thing wherein he trauelleth.
Which if so be, (as so it is indeed)
Then would I haue the Gimnosophists wise,
The Magy, Druides, and Stoicks breed,
The Sophis, and most wise of all Rabbies,
And all Philosophers of euery guise,
Who morall rules, and naturall skill did know,
Or iudgements supernaturall did show.
Them would I haue to tell to me in briefe,
What profit man, most properly may say▪
He hath, of all his dayes consumde in griefe,
Which he assured is with him shall stay:
The goods of fortune subiect to decay,
The strength of bodie, fayling euery houre,
the minds much more, which worldly cares deuour.
10.
I haue seene the trauell that God hath giuē to the sonnes of men to humble them thereby.
I see (me thinkes) a laborinth of woes
Enuiron man about, from day of birth
Till houre of death, what so about he goes,
With sower sauce, seasoning still his fained mirth,
Cares him accompan'ing vpon the earth,
For needfull things for life, yet foolish he,
With needlesse studies still will medling be.
And God hath iustly giuen this plague to all,
For our forefather Adams clyming mind,
That humbled so, we might before him fall,
Confessing that we are poore wormes, most blind,
And fly to him where we may comfort find,
Vpon his prouidence our selues to rest,
As thing whereby, we onely may be blest.
Page  28
All beautious & desird God made, though al things mā not know.
This only good know I, with ioy, good works in life to show.
11.
〈…〉 made eery thing beautiful in his time: also he hath et the world in their heart, 〈◊〉 can not man 〈◊〉 out the worke that 〈◊〉 hath 〈…〉 from the beginning, 〈◊〉 to the end.
Indeede God so his creatures beautified,
And marshald so their musters euery one,
That in them his great wisedome is espied,
And in their season is their beautie showne,
Defect vnto their kind, they suffer none:
No maruell then, if heart of man desire
To see and know their vertue, and admire,
And God hath giuen to man a speciall will,
To search for knowledge euer while he liues,
Who therefore beates his braines about it still,
And vseth all endeuour nature giues,
But he in vaine about the matter striues:
He neuer can or shall, the depth attaine
Of Gods decree, his labours are but vaine.
12.
〈◊〉 that 〈◊〉 is Sthing good in them, but to reioyce, and do good in his life.
Let wise men therefore learne to be content,
With knowledge of such things as vs befit,
Enioy the blessing God to vs hath sent,
And with contented mind in quiet sit:
His paine and trauell may not farther git,
Then God hath limited, of that be sure,
With patience therefore doe thy selfe indure.
For I no other good on earth can praise,
But present vse of blessings I possesse,
With chearefull heart to exercise my dayes,
To good of such, to whom I loue professe,
And deedes which charitie doe best expresse,
And that is all this world to thee can lend,
And vse, why God did them vnto thee send.
Page  29
[verse 13] To eat & drinke pains gained store, as gifts Gods blessings were.
[verse 14] His wil (most firme) man may not change, but it admire with fere.
13.
And also that euery man ea∣teth and drin∣keth, and seeth the commodity of all his labo: this is the gift of God.
And to speake truth, what man with all his paine, And to speake truth, what man with all his paine,
Can promise to himselfe the vse to haue
Of what with greatest trauell he doth gaine,
To yeeld the sustenance his life doth craue?
What prouidence so wisely can it saue,
But in a moment it may vade away,
Twixt cup and lip, fall many a slip we say?
Then let man learne that Gods good gifts they are,
And lent but for a time, whereof to yeeld
Account how they are vsed, and how farre
Our confidence and trust on them we build:
For wealth cannot from heauenly iudgement shield;
Let God therefore haue part, the poore haue his,
With temp'rance do thou spend, remaine that is.
14.
I know that whatsoeuer God shall doe, it shall be for euer: to it can no man adde, and from it can none diminish: for God hath done it, that they should feare before him.
For well I know, God all things doth foresee,
And seeing doth foreknow their issues all,
Whose knowledge (when he will) makes things to bee
In such estate, as vnto vs they fall:
Whose prouidence herein some fortune call,
Because effects of cause to vs vnknowne,
By chance (as we suppose) hath to vs growne.
But they in his decree immutable,
From all beginnings were, and firme must stand,
Examples be, mans frustrate labours still,
If God assist not with his helping hand,
A haire from head, a bird falles not on land,
But with his heauenly will (which is a law)
And should vs to his feare and reu'rence draw.
Page  30
[verse 15] Things past are now, what is shalbe, for God will haue it so:
[verse 16] Yet on the earth, wrong rules for right, and all peruerse doth go.
15.
What is that that hath bin? that is now: & that that shall be, hath now bene: for God requireth that which is past.
Hence nature hath this interchange of things,
This spring times clothing, of delightfull greene,
That scorched yellow colour sommer brings,
That tawney hew, in new spent haruest seene,
Those withered pale prospects in winter beene,
When trees and plants to root liues sap retyre,
And euery change, that seasons doe require.
This well deuided kingdome of the light,
Twixt Sunne and Moone, so needfull to our life,
Of th'one by day, th'other by the night,
Wherein they louingly, like man and wife,
With equall care doe trauell voyd of strife,
By Gods almightie hand were framed so,
Things past, and those to come in order go.
16.
And moreouer I haue seene vnder the Sun the place of iudgement, where was wic∣kednesse, and the place of Iu∣stice, where was iniquitie.
Yea though God be not author of our ill,
(Whereto by nature onely we are prone,)
Yet for our tryall, or our scourge, he will
Permit sometimes, (as I full oft haue knowne)
That euen his Magistrates, by whom alone
He leaues his lawes of Iustice to be tryde,
Into most foule enormities to slyde.
So wicked Tyrants vnto kingdomes rise,
And Iudges sit in holy Iustice seat,
Whose offices (ordain'd to beat downe vice,)
It fosters, and the Iust do worst intreat,
Which of all plagues to kingdomes is most great,
Yet God (who it permits) can it redresse,
Whose wondrous works therein we must confesse.
Page  31
[verse 17] My hart yet giues both good & bad, in due time God wil find.
[verse 18] Who made mā pure, & gaue him wit, though brutish wil be blind.
17.
I thought in mine hart, God will iudge the iust and the wicked: for time is there for euery pur∣pose, and for euery worke.
For God the great law-giuer, wise and iust,
Who sees the thoughts, and secrets of the raynes,
Though he a while, permit them in their lust
To range, in pride of their malicious braynes,
Yet when he please, their progresse he restraynes,
And makes them stand before his iudgement seat,
Whose sway on earth doth seeme most powrful great.
He cals each creature in his time at will,
To wreke the wrongs that innocents abyde:
Plague, famine, sword, attend vpon him still,
And all mishaps the wicked doe betyde,
Fro out the snares, the iust he safe doth guyde
In his due time, and them with honour crowne,
But their oppressors, headlong plucketh downe.
18.
I considered in mine heart, the state of the children of mē that God had purged them: yet to see to, they are in thē∣selues as beasts
Thus mayst thou see (as I do truly say)
By deepe consideration of the thing,
To humaine state on earth, each houre and day
Some chaunge, or alteration new to bring
To all estates, to subiects as to King:
And that albeit in creation, we
Were holy and pure, we now corrupted be.
Through which corruption, death did first creepe in,
And death with it, all plagues and wants hath brought,
The heauie recompence of parents sin,
By them infusd to vs, by vs still wrought:
Corrupt throughout, in word, in deed, in thought,
With more then brutish sins which in vs raigne,
And in our of-spring alwayes will remaine.
Page  32
[verse 19] Man beast like liues & dies, & both breath, liue, and die, in vaine.
[verse 20] Of dust at first, all passe by death, vnto the earth againe.
19.
For the condi∣tion of the chil¦dren of men, & the condition of beasts are euen as one cō∣dition vnto thē: as the one dy∣eth, 〈◊〉 dieth the other: for they haue all one breath▪ & there is no excellen∣cie of man a∣boue the beast: for all is vanity.
And as with brutish kind our liues pertake,
Or rather doth out passe them farre in ill:
(For Tygers, Wolues, Gotes, Swine, our sins vs make,
When wrath, deceit, lust, glut'ny, rule our will,)
So to our end with them we hasten still,
Foreseeing nothing deaths approching houre,
Which vs (like them) is readie to deuour.
In care and trauell, we like them doe liue,
We liue vncertaine of the houre of death,
Vncertaine thus, securely we doe giue
Our selues to pleasure, till it stop our breath:
When time is come, no art the houre prolongeth,
When we as they, againe returne to dust,
In earth (no more then they) may we haue trust.
20.
All goe to one place, and all was of the dust, and all shall returne to the dust.
One common matter was our stuffe and mould,
Euen earth and slime, the Element most vylde,
Which though our maker for our honour would,
With his owne hands vouchsafe to frame and bylde,
And with infused breath adopt as chyld,
Whilst by his word alone, the others all,
Take essence in the forme they were and shall.
Yet we as they, one common end do find,
One dissolution of this earthly frame:
Whose matter doth returne vnto the kind,
From whence at first creation forth it came;
The memory whereof, the mind should tame,
Of those ambitious braines vnbounded will,
Which whilst they liue, the world with comber fill.
Page  33
[verse 21] Who knows mans soule ascends, or beasts vnto the earth descēds?
[verse 22] Best then say I, ioy in thy owne: which thee thy knowledge ends.
21.
Who knoweth whether the Spirit of man ascend vpward, and the Spirit of the beast descend down∣ward to the earth?
And though indeed, the soules immortall seed,
Which had his being from a cause more pure,
Vpon a higher hope doth iustly feed,
And shall in all eternitie endure,
Yet to the eye of man, who can assure
The same, if faith (the light vnto the soule)
Did not distrustfull fleshes thoughts controule?
For euen the selfe same instruments of life,
The same necessities of nutriment,
The same effects of sicknesse with vs rife,
The same abhorred death, hath nature lent
To euery creature that on earth she sent:
And at, and after, parting of the spright,
The carkasses of both, seeme like to sight.
22.
Therfore I see that there is nothing better then that a mā should reioyse in his affayres, because that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
So that I see no vse of earths increase,
Fit for our bodies, but (whilst here we liue)
With them to cheere our sprights, and purchase peace,
And vnto God for them, due praise to giue,
Mans wit no further can his pleasure driue:
For he and they are subiect as you see
To chaunge, and to earths fraile mortalitee.
As for the care the wise and goodly haue,
Of their successors competent estate,
It is but due, and nature doth it craue,
But for their loue, our selues we ought not hate,
And toyling vex our soules with worlds debate,
What they will proue, or what in time may grow,
We know not, nor should curious be to know.

Chap. 4.

Page  34
[verse 1] Thē earths vnrights I viewd, & tears of wrōgd by worthles iudg,
[verse 2] And therwith thought, thē blessed dead, need not the liuing grudge.
1.
So I turned, & conidere all the oppressions that are wrought vnder the sunne, and behold, the teares of the oppressed, and none confor∣teth them: and o, the strength is of the hand of them that oppresse them, and none com∣forteth him.
BVt whither doth this passion me transport?
My thoghts with thinking haue forgot my thought,
Whilst (earthly I) with earthly worlds consort,
And to the bodies cares, haue comfort brought,
My meditations haue the heauens sought,
And those eternities which passe my skill,
But now descend to earth againe I will.
And of more humaine actions will intreat,
Where we a tragedie of woes shall see,
Whilst weaker ones (oppressed by the great)
Are destitute of place, whereto to flee
For succour, since their foes their Iudges bee,
And farre too powrefull, wherewith to contend,
And most men backward, poore men to defend.
2.
Wherefore I prayied the dead which now are dead, aboue the li∣uing, which are yet aliue.
Which makes me thinke, (though nature it deny)
That much more happie is the dead mans state,
Then those that in this life such troubles try,
And life like death, my heart begins to hate,
Death vnto endlesse life, is but the gate,
But life is vnto death a longsome way,
Where tyresome troubles vexe vs day by day.
And death (that lothsome state which life doth shun,)
By life itselfe, with care and toyle is sought:
Through perils men to purchase death do run,
And with lifes scorne, holde death but cheaply bought,
Which honour to them selues or countrey brought:
For life could not exempted be from wo,
Whilst dying they, all worldly cares forgo.
Page  35
[verse 3] The vnhorne better then them both, who such ill daies not saw,
[verse 4] It vexed me the spight to see, that vertuous workes do draw.
3.
And I count him better thē them both, which hath not yet bin: for he hath not seene the euill works which are wrought vnder the suune.
But yet indeed, since both by life and death,
The state of many men is wretched still:
They may most happie seeme, which nere drew breath,
Or infants dyed, neuer knowing ill:
And reason good, for both produce I will:
The ones not being, making them to bee
Incapable of vengeance wicked see.
The other cleane exempt from humane care,
As being dead, now needing nothing more,
Whose actuall crimes; hels doome could not prepare,
Originall sinnes, by grace were cleansd before,
And mercie guiding them to high heau'ns dore,
Whose want of reason (liuing) knew no wo,
But voyd of feare, to death did mildly go.
4.
Also I beheld all trauell, and all perfection of workes that this is the enuy of a mā against his neighbour: this also is va∣nitie and vexa∣tion of the Spi∣rit.
This other plague besides, doth follow man,
A vice (alas) too common in this age,
The more of vertue that he glory can,
The more the baser sort repine and rage,
And with reprochfull slander malice swage,
Depriuing, or deprauing best desart,
Or it Eclipsing with some guilefull art.
No foe to learning, like the ignorant,
Nor to the good, like to the bad we say:
Gods kingdome Beliall seeketh to supplant,
And vertue fayling his another way,
Euen viciously they vertue would betray,
Who herein yet themselues do but disgrace,
For slander can not iust deserts deface.
Page  36
[verse 5] The slothfull foole he folds his hands, but hunger staru'd he pines,
[verse 6] Whilst to a poore (but lasie life) his chosen course inclines.
5.
The foole fol∣deth his hands, and eateth vp his owne flesh.
Themselues like fooles, and feeble helplesse wights,
Vnable or vnwilling to attaine
The trauell which belongs to vertues rights,
Doe poore disgracefull liue, and so remaine,
And caterpiller like, on others paine,
Doe feed and liue, to world improfitable,
Driuen to depend on scraps, of others table.
Nay well it were with some, if so it were,
Who foodlesse are compeld to begge or starue,
Because their idle fingers doe forbeare
The honest trades, which might their liuing serue,
Whose folded hands, no better doth deserue,
But as they to themselues do proue vnkind,
So they of others, should no better find.
6.
Better is an handfull with quietnes, then two handfuls with Ibor and vexation of the Spirit.
Yet, which is lamentable to be told,
They senselesse so in idlenesse delight,
That they their course of life to prayse are bold,
And all virilitie excluding quight,
Their base borne humours glose so well in sight,
As though an humble thought, and peace of mind,
From all industrie did the honest bind.
As though that peace and plentie neuer met,
As if wealth were attain'd with bare desire,
As though they carelesse were that liue in debt,
As if they grieselesse, who not wealth aspire,
As though God did not trauell'of vs require,
As though an humble mind appeard not best,
In modest vse of plentie and of rest.
Page  37
[verse 7] More vanitie I searched out, and this I found, that one
[verse 8] Liues carefull to get vnheird wealth, and pyning liues alone.
7.
Againe I retur∣ned, and law vanitie vnder the Sunne.
Thus doth one error forth another bring,
Like Hydras heads, which ech way vs assayle,
Man vnto man, a Wolfe with Scorpions sting
Of force by fraud still seeketh to preuayle,
If Sathans forren practises do fayle,
Our selues against our selues he straight doth arme,
With ougly lusts of sinne, which in vs swarme.
So though we scape one snare, we soone may fall
Into some other snare, that he hath set,
Into despaire, if our estate be small,
Into presumption; if our power be great:
And euery sinne doth thousands more beget,
And we with euery waue of fortunes wind,
Do swell or sinke, in glorie of our mind.
8.
There is one alone, & there is not a second, which hath neither sonne nor brother, yet is there none end of all his trauell, neither can his eye be satisfied with riches: neither doth he thinke, for whom do I trauell and de∣fraud my soule of pleasure: this also is vanitie, and this is an euill trauell.
And yet of all vaine humors that arise,
This seemes to me the greatest plague indeed,
When one (of powre) vnto himselfe denies
The lawfull pleasures might his comfort breed,
When he hath no man but himselfe to feed,
Ne child, ne heire, ne any friend at all,
To whom his horded wealth he wisht to fall.
And yet he ceaseth not, to trauell still
To gather wealth, he knoweth not how nor why,
Which though with plentie God into him fill:
He to himselfe doth natures wants deny,
And of the world, is made a scorne thereby,
Not hauing grace once to his mind to call,
To whom the wealth he gets, is like to fall.
Page  38
[verse 9] Not thinking, two do more deserue then one, and haue more hire,
[verse 10] A readler helpe (if foot do slip) do find, if need require.
9.
Two are better then one: for they haue bet∣ter wages for their labour.
Ne knowes he truly (as it should appeare)
The blessings that his wealth depend vpon,
For did he, he would hold no wealth too deare
To be bestowd in gaine of such a one,
As might his comfort breed, with whom alone
He might recount the secrets of his state,
And partner make, of good and aduerse fate.
For by the lawes of friendship and of loue,
Such mutuall frutes doth kindnesse counterchange,
That two as one, like tast of state do proue,
And eithers thoughts do in the other range,
With such a sympathy as seemeth strange,
Whilst gaine of both, to each one doth remaine,
And eithers kindnesse, kindnesse payes againe.
10.
For if they fall, the one will lift vp his fellow: but woe vnto him that is a∣lone: for he falleth, & there is not a second to lift him vp.
If one of them an inconuenience haue,
The other readie is to yeeld reliefe,
His perill shall the others perill saue,
And with his yeelding shoulders beare his griefe,
And (which indeed of all is comfort chiefe)
His weale and woe, on th'others shall depend,
And loue in both, both ascend and descend.
Whilst that this wretched solitary wight,
Vnknowne and vnregarded quite of all,
Shall liue the obiect vnto all despight,
And helplesse perish, if he hap to fall,
No pittie finding, or but very small:
For who by gratitude, is bound to mone
His case, who carelesse seekes to liue alone?
Page  39
[verse 11] If two togither ly, they find, the heat that sole bed lackes,
[verse 12] If wrōgd, reliu'd by friend, for three plight cord not lightly cracks.
11.
Also if two sleep together, then shall they haue heat: but to one how should there be heat?
Such one (me thinkes) may well compared bee,
Vnto a man that in long winters night,
(Through lacke of light) can no earths comfort see,
And in his bed can find no great delight,
When (lacking list to sleepe) he hath no wight,
With whom in speech the time to passe away,
But (wallowing in his bed) doth long for day.
Or rather to the withered aged man,
In whom the liues warmth bloud is waxen cold,
Whom when as shiuerings seaze, he seeketh than,
In many furres and clothes himselfe t'infold,
Which not suffising, then he also would
A bed-fellow wish, wherewith to haue withstood
His cold, by others heat of natiue blood.
12.
And if one o∣uercome him, two shall stand against him: and a threefold cord is not ea∣sily broken.
And that in all respects (I well may say)
The solitary man vnhappy is,
Do but mans nature herein truly way,
Which is directly opposite to this,
He in societie reposeth blisse:
Whose maker great, to whom he best was knowne,
Ordain'd a meanes he might not liue alone.
The diuerse wants (likewise) our liues sustaine,
Compels the wise a neighbour helpe to craue,
A single man is soone opprest by twaine,
Whose valour (though right great) will scarce him saue,
For great the strength small twigs in bundell haue,
And closely plighted threeds, strong Cables make,
And force vnited, greater force doth take.
Page  40
[verse 13] A poore wise child is better then an old fond king vnt aught,
[verse 14] From prison to a crown he climbs, that poore king set at naught.
13.
Better is a poore and wise child, 〈◊〉 an 〈◊〉 and foolish king, which wil 〈◊〉 more be 〈…〉.
The princely state of all most happie held,
And happiest sure (if worthie Prince haue place)
Hath not all common woes so well expeld,
But often times their crownes do cares imbrace,
(Though God as his owne deputies doth them grace)
For where in vertue and wisedome is defect,
Full hardly can that honour them perfect.
For though best subiects bodies do obay,
The tyranny of most iniust behest,
Yet doth their minds obedience oft denay,
When they do find that powre hath right supprest,
And then the poore wise child is held more blest,
That yeeldeth to aduice the sage doth bring,
Then ill aduised head-strong aged King.
14.
For out of the prison he com∣meth frth to raigne, when as he that is borne in his kingdome, is made poore.
Such one there hath (not seldom times) bene seene,
Of base descent by pedegree of kin,
Abandon'd so of hope, that you would weene
He hardly should his liuing poorely win,
(Much lesse of captiue euer free haue beene:)
Yet so by vertue he hath raysd his state,
In th'end he wore a crowne that pynde of late.
Whereas contrariwise, you oft behold,
The worthlesse child of many a worthy king,
On predecessors vertues grow so bold,
And to their state so little honor bring,
That from them, natiue right some others wring,
And they vnto the common state of men,
Poore and reiected do returne as then.
Page  41
[verse 15] I saw all liuing follow change, and on sunne rising gaze,
[verse 16] No trust in peoples loue, now one, now other they will prayse.
15.
I beheld all the liuing, which walke vnder the sunne, with the secōd child which shall stand vp in his place.
For so iust God the Monarke maker great,
Disposeth of these Emperies below,
That as they well or ill their flocke intreat,
He moueth so their subiects harts to grow,
He maketh fierce Adonebesock know
Himselfe, of mightie Prince most wretch aliue,
And captiu'd Ioseph, by his bondage thriue.
Yea so vnstable are mens minds withall,
That nothing can long time their minds content,
Vnhappy are those men, who vnder-fall
The vulgar censure, which is lightly bent
Vnto new-fangled liking. And who rent
The right of rule from father, to bestow
On child ofttimes, before he merit show.
16.
There is none end of all the people, nor of all that were before them, and they that come after, shal not reioice in him, surely this is also va∣nitie, and vexa∣tion of the spirit.
So doth man gaze vpon the rising sunne,
So soone we surfet feeding on the best,
So fast the multitude to mischiefe runne,
So hardly can the fonder sort digest
Obedience, where their safest state should rest,
That (monster like) they many heads do reare,
And euery head ten thousand fancies beare.
In which their choice, by chance if they attaine
Vnto a worthy guyder of their state,
He in their likings can not long remaine,
Whilst (causelesse) malcontents turne loue to hate,
Which cares (with many more) their ioyes abate,
And makes their raysed state more deeply way,
That wo, which nature doth on all men lay.
Page  42
[verse 17] For all is vaine, saue to serue God, which whē thou dost prepare:
Heare ere thou speake, of sacrifice, of babbling foole beware.
17.
Take heed to thy foot, when thou enterest into the house of God, and be more neare to heare then to giue the sacri∣fice of fooles: for they know not that they do euill.
Now least my speech which tended to thy cure,
Should in thy mind worlds meere misliking breed,
Which yet perforce, a space thou must indure,
I will thee now with wholesome counsell feed,
With God and man, instructing thee the way
To liue in peace, and worldly cares alay.
And first (as chiefest comfort of the rest)
I will direct they steps to God aboue,
Vnto whose seruice when thou art addrest,
Let reuerent feare thy whole affection moue,
Come thou to learne, thy schoole his Temple make,
And fond prescriptious, of thy owne forsake.

Chap. 5.

Page  43
[verse 1] Vse few and pithy words to God, from heauen full well he heares,
[verse 2] As busied braine (by dreames) so want of wit, by words appeares.
1.
Be not tas•• with thy mouth not, let thine heart be hastie to vtter a thing before God, for God is in the heauens, and thou art on the earth, therfore let thy wordes be few.
BEthinke thee well ere thou begin to pray,
And so prepare thy humble soule thereto,
That thou thy worthlesse state do duely way,
Gods power beleeue, and will, thee good to do,
And then thy needfull wants craue and commend
To his best pleasure, to restraine or send.
For he inthronized in mercies seat,
All-seeing is, all-powerfull, alwayes prest,
To view our wants, to yeeld what we intreat,
If (as they ought) our prayers be addrest;
Few words (if feruent) will to heauen ascend,
He knowes our thoughts ere hart to pray we bend.
2.
For as a dream commeth by the multitude of businesse: so the voice of a foole is in the multitude of words.
The multitude of numbred words we heare
Some vse in prayer, sheweth want of faith,
Like Balaams Priests their passions do appeare,
Whose hope on their enchaunting fury stayeth,
And doth not (as it should) on God depend,
Who knowes the fittest time thy cares to end.
For looke how cares of passed day do cause,
A swarme of aparitions in the night,
Which on the sleeping senses terror drawes,
And doth the tyred body oft affright:
So folly moues the tongue, which vainely speakes,
And vaine that is, which modest measure breakes.
Page  44
[verse 3] If ought thou vow, performe it soone, God likes not fond dely,
[verse 4] It better were, vow were not made, then deede should it denay.
3.
〈…〉
And as in prayer, so aduise thee well,
When vnto God thou any thing wilt vow,
Earth is his footstoole, heau'n his throne to dwell,
What need hath he then, of thy presents now?
Yet free will offrings he doth kindly take,
If gratefull heart a lawfull promise make.
Be therefore sure, thou dally not therein,
But (if thou vow such things) performe the same,
Vntruth with men, but foule defame doth win,
With God it can not then but purchase blame,
Ne ignorance, ne rashnesse may excuse
So foule a fault, refraine it then to vse.
4.
It is better that thou shouldest not vow, then that thou shoul¦dest vw, and not pay it.
Thou hadst bene better farre, to haue with-held
Thy promise, when thou first the same didst make:
Thou wast not then by any law compeld
Thereto, but freely didst it vndertake,
Compulsiue promises, no promise bee,
But vow premeditate, it bindeth thee.
It bindeth thee, euen by the highest band,
That heauen and earth affordeth vnto man,
Thy hart (as spokes-man) for thee long doth stand,
And God the hearer, who conceiue it can,
Thy selfe (faith breaker) vnto God art found,
If thou performe not then, what vow hath bound.
Page  45
[verse 5] Sin not by words, ne ignorance plead, least God thy works cōfound,
[verse 6] But feare thou God, & count as dreams, those vaine words which abound.
5.
Suffer not thy mouth to make thy flesh to sin: neither say be∣fore the Angel, that this is ig∣norance: wher∣fore shall God be angry by thy voice, and de∣stroy the worke of thine hand?
Yet if thy promise were, to do the thing,
Which is contrary to his holy law,
I rather wish thee it forbeare, then bring
The price of sinne that should more iudgements draw:
Of euils two, the least the wise do chuse,
If vow were wicked, rather it refuse.
And first beware (as I before did say)
That thou no euill thing in vow pretend,
Then how thou canst performe it, see thou way,
And freely then, with speed performe intend,
Least God and Angels witnesse thee vntrew,
And thou and thine, with vengeance for it rew.
6.
For in the mul∣titude of dreames and vanities, are also many words: but feare thou God.
Thus (in a word) I haue informed thee,
How vaine a rash and foolish prayer is,
How daungerous, a heape of words that bee
Impertinent, and vowes that are amisse:
Euen fruitlesse vapors of corrupted braine,
Which like vaine dreames, the rest of soule do staine.
Leaue them therefore, and do thou wholly bend
Thy holy thoughts to please thy God aright,
In word and deed, and pray him grace to send,
That thy weake workes be pleasing in his sight,
So (though the world, with wrong and woe abound)
Thy faith and peace of conscience, shall be sound.
Page  46
[verse 7] If poore oppressed be, feare not: one sits in heauen it seeth,
[verse 8] Earths plenty passeth all the rest, and kings are fed therewith.
7.
If in a countrie thou seest the oppression of the poore, and the defrauding of iudgement and iustice, be not astonied at the matter, for he that is higher thē the highest, regar∣deth, and there be higher then they.
What if the wicked age wherein we liue,
Or lawlesse place wherein thou hapst to dwell,
Do sacred Iustice from her Scepter driue,
And make the poore mans life seeme worse then hell,
As though there were no God, nor prouidence
To punish sinne, or yeeld the iust defence?
Yet be thou sure, God seeth all full well,
And though he pacient be, yet (moued long)
He will dismount from heauen where he doth dwell,
To do thee right, and wreke thee of their wrong,
With hoast of Angels, and earths meanes beside,
To powre his wrath on them for lawlesse pride.
8.
And the aboū∣dance of the earth is ouer all, the king also consisteth by the field that is tilled.
When happie shall be held their blessed state,
Who humbly yeelded vnto Gods decree,
Who with the sweat of browes their liuing gate,
And with liues needfull food contented bee,
Whose trauell on this earth of mans vnrest,
With fruitfull crop, from God aboue is blest.
Thrise blest (thou silly swaine) that tilst the ground,
Voide of the crafts and cares in Courts that bee,
More honest profit, or content not found
In Princes pallace, then in cot with thee,
Kings (without thee) ne liue, ne can be kings,
Thy paine to Court and Countrey plently brings.
Page  47
[verse 9] Who loueth gold shall lacke, and he who couets much want store,
[verse 10] With wealth charge growes, the owner but, moreaseth paine the more.
9.
He that loueth siluer, shall not be satisfied with siluer, and he that loueth riches, shall be without the fruit thereof: this also is va∣nitie.
What though the world (through hateful lust of gold)
Be thus transported with a greedy mind,
To purchase wealth, which makes the coward bold,
To search land, sea, and hell, the same to find?
Yet (as it doth increase) so doth desire,
And soone consume as oyle amidst the fire.
A iust reward of so vnworthy trade,
As doth debase nobilitie of soule,
Which (made immortal) scornes those things that vade,
And in the wise should earthly'affects controule:
But mouldwarp like, these blindfold grope in vaine,
Vaine their desires, more vaine the fruit they gaine.
10.
When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good commeth to the owners thereof, but the beholding ther¦of with their eyes?
If honor, wealth, and calling do excell
The common sort, so charge doth grow with all:
Few with a litle sure, may liue as well,
As many may, though greater wealth befall:
It is not wealth, to haue of goods great store,
But wealth to be suffisd and need no more.
Who hath aboundance, and it vseth well,
Is but a steward to his family,
A purse-bearer for such as neare him dwell,
An Amner to the poore (that helplessely)
He but his share doth spend (though somwhat better)
And what he leaues, he is to world a detter.
Page  48
[verse 11] Poore labourers (empty mawd) sleep sound, whilst gluttons want their sleepe,
[verse 12] This plague I see, some with their wealth, their proper mischiefe keepe.
11.
The sleepe of him that tra∣uelleth is sweet whether he eat litle or much: but the societie of the rich will not suffer him 〈◊〉 sleepe.
The labouring man, that in his lawfull trade,
Hath past the toylesome day to gaine to liue,
No surfet hath his stomacke to vpbrayd,
Nor fearefull dreames, which into horror driue
His fraudlesse soule, whilst he the longsome night
Doth rest, and rise (to worke) as day doth light.
When as the glutton after crammed gorge,
Whose surfets vpon surfets buried bee
In his insatiat maw of hellish forge,
In bed no rest can find, but slumbering see
A swarme of visions breed by vapours vaine,
Which from a putride stomacke rise to braine.
12.
There is an euil sicknesse that I haue seene vnder the sun: to wit, riches reserued to the wners thereof for their euill.
And which I further see doth oft ensew
The wealthier sort, and which I much lament,
Is that they often times themselues do rew
Their euill gotten wealth, with time mispent
As meanes (for so it proues) of greater care,
And which in end, doth leaue them poore and bare.
Like to a spunge, which store of sap hath suckt,
Or to the Bee, that hony hath in hyue:
Their wealth is wrong, their hony combe is pluckt
Out of their hord, by which they thought to thryue,
Their liues do for their goods, fare oft the worse,
For enuious eyes pursue the plenteous purse.
Page  49
[verse 13] Their riches perish with their pains, their childrē poore remaine,
[verse 14] As naked buried, as were borne, leaue all their trauels gaine.
13.
And these ri∣ches perish by euil trauell, and he begetteth a sonne, and in his hand is no∣thing.
Which though they hap to scape, yet many wayes
There are besides, which doth their ioyes bereaue,
Ill gotten goods (we say) not long time stayes,
And hastie wealth few heires, to heires do leaue:
The getters faults or follies all may lose,
And chance or change of times it new dispose.
So that the of-spring of these mightie men,
By due vicisitude do oft descend
From their aspired greatnesse, hoped then
Vnto the meanest ranke from whence they wend,
Each Crow his feather hath, and naked they,
Their parents sinnes by their mishaps bewray.
14.
As he came forth of his mo∣thers belly▪ he shall returne naked to go as he came, and shall beare a∣way nothing of his labor, which he hath caused to passe by his hand.
The Father he, all naked went before
Vnto the earth, whence first he naked came:
The sonne (as readie) standeth at the dore
To follow fathers steps, and with the same,
Poore, naked, helplesse state, that borne he was
From all his pompe, vnto his graue to pas.
Not any thing with him, from hence to beare,
Of earthly substance that he did possesse,
The soule immortall is, and may not weare,
Nor any vertues that our way addresse
To heauen, they shall suruiue vs after death,
Whē death shal liue, by liues soone smothred breath.
Page  50
[verse 15] Gone as they came (ô griefe of griefes) his trauels paid with wind,
[verse 16] His daies in darknes spent, his bread consumd with grief of mind.
15.
And this also is an euill sicknes that in al points as he came, so 〈◊〉 he go, and what profit hath he that he ••th trauelled 〈◊〉 the wind
If so it be (alas what woe is this)
That not alone (as poorest man beside)
All naked vnto graue he posting is,
But euen the common pangs must him betide,
That to all flesh at houre of death is rife,
When soule and bodie (parting) finish life.
And that with him his trauels fruits do end,
Who hath no share in all his former gaine,
But what soeuer blisse he did pretend,
His haps (as others chance) do voide remaine:
His hopes (like dust) dispersed with the wind,
Or sownd on sea, where they no root could find.
16.
Also all his daies he eateth in darknesse with much griefe, and in his sorrow and anger.
Which when he doth fore-think with heauy cheare,
He pines away the remnant of his dayes,
How much the more he happie did appeare,
The more vnhappy he his state bewrayes,
For contraries, by contraries are showne,
As blacke from white, so good by ill is knowne.
As one that for some passed publike crime
Is scandaled, and pointed at of all,
With shame retyres himselfe in future time,
Least into more disgrace he yet should fall:
And hanging downe his head, doth sigh (alas)
And rage with griefe, so he his dayes doth pas.
Page  51
[verse 17] These hold I good, with ioy to feed, on portion God doth giue,
[verse 18] And whom God giues (with this) his grace, he in Gods loue doth liue.
17.
Behold then, what I haue seene good, that it is come∣ly to eat, and to drinke, and to take pleasure in all his labour, wherein he tra∣uelleth vnder the sunne, the whole number of the dayes of his life, which God giueth him▪ for this is his portion.
Then this (for earthly good) I count the best,
(For other good, I scarcely any know)
That with those goods thou hast, thou pleased rest,
And for thy owne behoofe thou them bestow,
Such part (I meane) as nature craues to vse,
Euen plenteously: so thou it not abuse.
And hold this all thou hast, of that is thine,
For that is left, thou seest may be lost:
God gaue the plentie of both corne and wine,
To cheere mans troubled soule, with combers tost:
This if thou hast, and grace to vse it right,
Thou hast earths good, the most on thee may light.
18.
Also to euery man to whom God hath giuē riches and trea∣sures, & giueth him power to eat thereof, & to take his part and to enioy his labour: this is the gift of God.
And they are rightly vsde, when vsde they bee
As he ordaines, that did them first bestow:
God was the author of all good to thee,
To him thy life all thankfulnesse doth owe:
So vsing them, they to thee blessings are,
Else wealth breeds woe, peace proues as ill as warre.
Thou seest many starue, in plenteous place,
Thou seest lusty youth suruyn'd by age,
Thou seest honour stoope to foule disgrace,
And heauy cheere the greatest ioyes asswage,
And (for men do not yeeld the praise of all
To God) these mischiefes do vpon them fall.
Page  52
[verse 19] He need not sure, thinke long his daies, of pilgrimage on earth,
Since God doth answere harts desire, to him with ioy and myrth.
19.
Surely he will not much re∣member the daies of his life, because God answereth to the ioy of his heart.
O rare and happie they, that God doth blesse
With grace, to know and vse his gifts aright,
Sure they more easly may support (I gesse)
The common cares that do to all men light,
For present comforts, cancell passed care,
As pleasures past, do way to woe prepare.
Such season so the actions of their life,
That common cares, seeme but the needfull sauce,
To quicken tast, as peace insuing strife,
More gratefull is, and hath the more applause,
They God in wealth and woe, a father find,
And vnto him will not appeare vnkind.

Chap. 6.

Page  53
[verse 1] This mischief more mōgst mē I find, some haue their wish at will,
[verse 2] Of honor and wealth, yet liue in lacke; a strangers mouth to fill.
1.
There is an e∣uill, which I saw vnder the sunne, and it is much among men.
BVt not one woe alone I must disclose,
For many woes do follow humane kind,
Great were these griefes, but not more great then those
That vnrecorded yet do rest behind:
One mischiefe seldome time alone doth fall,
One care or other sure doth follow all.
To speake of woes will lesse vnpleasing bee,
To such as heare (not feele) thereof the smart:
Thou (who so happie art) mayst better see,
(By others harme) thy happie peace of hart,
Then heare and learne more happinesse to gaine,
If thou (from others ill) thy selfe refraine.
2.
A man to whō God hath giuē riches & trea∣sures & honor, & he wanteth nothing for his soule of all that it desireth: but God giueth him not power to eat thereof, but a strange man shall eat it vp: this is vani∣tie, and this is an euill sicknes.
Thou mayst well see full oft a man enioy,
In show, all blessings nature can bestow;
Lands, honors, wealth, whose wants breeds thee annoy,
Whilst he (to world) doth happy seeme in show,
Not wanting any thing that thou wouldst craue,
Yet some one want makes him small comfort haue.
He hath no wife, or else he hath no child,
Or hath them both, but both vngracious proue,
He wants his health, imprisond, or exild,
Or cares of common weale his ioyes remoue:
His restlesse mind thus thirsting midst the streame,
He pines in care, and finds his blisse a dreame.
Page  54
[verse 3] And more if hundreth sonnes & yeares he haue, if lack content,
[verse 4] If die contemnd, worse then abortiue child to graue he went.
3.
If a man beget a hundred chil∣dren and liue many yeares, and the dayes of his yeares be multiplied, and his soule be not satisfied with good things, and he be not buried, I say that an vntimely frute is better then he.
Suppose a hundreth children he begot,
And liud as long, as old Methusalem,
Yet if defame his family do spot,
And he do lack the common loue of men,
And want the honor of his funerall,
How can you any wayes him happie call?
True happinesse on vertue hath his ground,
And only measurd is by peace of mind:
What though all earthly blessings do abound?
If that the soule no inward comfort find,
Is not th'abortiue child more happie farre,
Then those that liuing, thus perplexed are?
4.
For he cōmeth into vanitie & goeth into darknesse: and his name shall be couered with darknesse.
In farre more happie state, in very deed
Is he, whose timelesse birth his life denyes,
Whose mothers wombe vnable him to feed,
Vnperfect him reiects, and doth despise
Vnprofitable burden also long
To beare, that nature hath compounded wrong.
For (being) he is not the same he seemes,
The others seeming proues not so indeed,
This liuelesse humane shape, a man none deemes,
That deemed man with dreames our eyes doth feed:
This neuer being knowen, none knoweth not,
Of all men this admyrd, of all forgot.
Page  55
[verse 5] That neuer saw nor knew this life: this did, the worse his state,
[verse 6] Two thousand yeres spent, void of ioy, makes death seeme ouer late.
5.
〈◊〉 he hath: not seene the sunne nor known it: ther∣fore this hath more rest then the other.
How much it better is in true account,
To be a happie man, or so esteemd?
So farre th'abortiue th'other doth surmount,
Though naught it seeme, the other much is deemd:
For (hauing nothing good) it hath no ill,
But his expected good, all woes do fill.
His closed eyes which neuer saw this light,
Those woes nere saw, which th'other saw and felt,
His senslesse braine which knoweth no delight,
(Incapable of cares with th'other dwelt)
Makes his estate lesse ill, much better held,
Than his that thus, in wretchednesse exceld.
6.
And if he had liued a thou∣sand yeares twise told, and had seene no good, shall not all go to one place.
The multitude of yeares, but multiply
To the vnhappie, multitude of cares,
Two thousand yeares, to him that dead doth ly,
Are but one moment: all alike he fares,
But hours seem days, daies yeres, yeres millions seeme,
In care, griefe, agony, that spent we deeme.
Then how vnhappy is that hated man,
Whose long and wealthy life, in boorlesse blis,
In life no peace or ioy, enioy he can:
In death not honor haue, that proper is
To such, as by their liues do merit well,
Who dead, in sacred tombe do famous dwell.
Page  56
[verse 7] All toyle man takes, is for the mouth, his mind yet neuer easd:
[verse 8] The foole & wise cā both but liue, the wise (thogh poore) is pleasd.
7.
All the labour of man is for his mouth: yet the soule is not ••lled.
Alas, what gaineth man by all his paine,
Which in his pilgrimage on earth he takes?
Sure nothing but a life he doth maintaine,
And as his state permits he dyet makes,
For which (our backes and bellies nutriment)
Our times, our cares, our hopes and feares are spent.
And yet this food so carefully attaynd,
Cannot sustaine our life one longer day,
Then God by prouidence hath it ordaynd:
And when our time is come, we must away,
And though a little food will life sustaine,
Yet long without supply we not remaine.
8.
For what hath the wise man more then the foole? what hath the poore that knoweth how to walke before the 〈◊〉
What hath the wise, in all he doth possesse
More then the foole, whereof he may reioyce?
The vse of needfull things, he hath no lesse
That simple is, then who of wit hath choyce:
Both do but eat to liue, and liue to die,
Both like afflictions in their fortunes trie.
What doth the misers care increase his state,
More then free spenders honest thrift doth his?
Yet th'one by wretchednesse doth purchase hate,
The others bountie alwayes praysed is:
Both care to liue, both can but liue thereby,
And both of force, must yeeld (ere long) to dy.
Page  57
[verse 9] To take thy share and wish no more, is best: desire is vaine.
[verse 10] What art thou mā, to striue with God? his wil thou must sustain.
9.
The sight of of the eye is better then to walke in the lusts: this also is vanitie, and vexation of spirit.
And therefore sure, whilst we are here to liue,
It is the best to liue with chearefull hart,
And cause of good report the world to giue,
And not for vs to breed our proper smart:
Our daies consume vnpleasing to our selues,
Offensiuely to such as with vs dwels.
Yet both in end are vaine, and soone haue end,
No constancie or permanence in either,
The one or other can not life defend,
Both to the graue, are like to go togither:
Vaine and inconstant, is the fruit of all,
Wise, fond, sad, glad, into the earth must fall.
10.
What is that that hath bin▪ the name ther∣of is now na∣med: and it is knowne that it is man, and he cannot striue with him that is stronger then he.
What can a man attaine by any thing,
Which he on earth, atchieueth any way,
But euen a name and fame, the which doth bring
A swelling Eccho of his prayse a day,
But is assoone forgotten as is gaynd,
And with a thousand slaunders may be staynd.
His prayse cannot exceed, nor soone attaine
The like that many worthies had before,
Their fame is gone, thine cannot long remaine,
If thou be wise expect not any more:
For God thy maker hath ordayned so,
When he sayth yea, flesh may not answere no.

Chap. 7.

Page  58
[verse 1] Sure many vaine things do increase, which mans wit cannot mend,
[verse 2] Who knowes his best in life, or what God afterward will send?
1.
Surely there be many things that encrease vanitie: & what auayleth it mā.
SVre many things besides do yet remaine,
Our vanitie appeares in euery thing,
But they best knowledge of the fame attaine,
To whom a prosperous state, did plentie bring:
For plenty best affoords to feed our will,
And will most soone, to folly runneth still.
Which folly is the vanitie I meane,
A fruitlesse trauell of a carefull hart,
When midst the choyce of good, the ill we gleane,
And weaue vnto our selues our proper smart,
When wit is captiuated vnto fense,
Which doth produce both Gods and mans offence.
2.
For who know∣eth what is good for man in the life, and in the number of the dayes of the life of his vaitie, seeing he maketh thē as a shadow? for who can shew vnto man what shall be after him vnder the 〈◊〉.
And sure in this sense, foolish are we all,
For who discernes aright twixt good and ill,
Whose knowledge truly can you perfect call,
Who (knowing good) effectuates goodnes still:
Mans dayes are few, and like a shadow fly,
In which small good, he many woes doth try.
The wisest men themselues do scarcely know,
Of others minds their knowledge is but blind,
Their present actions do them foolish show,
How should man then a solyde knowledge find,
Of future things which after him shall bee,
Since he conceaues not what his eye doth fee?
Page  59
[verse 3] A good name sweeter is then oyle: deaths day, then day of birth.
[verse 4] In mourning house more good is learnd, then in the house of mirth.
3.
A good name is better then a good oyntmēt, and the day of death, then the day that one is borne.
Then let man cease his wisedome to bestow,
In seeking foorth on earth a happy state:
Let him endeuour rather good to grow,
The fruit and fame whereof cannot abate
Through age or death, but like a sweet perfume,
Will follow man vnto his day of doome.
The trust wherein shall make him death desire,
As path to leade him vnto blisse prepard,
And loath this life, whose cares him so do tyre,
Where vanitie and death is sole reward:
Yea he shall farre preferre the day of death,
Before the houre he first drew liuing breath.
4.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, then to the house of feasting, be∣cause this is the end of all men: and the liuing shall lay it to his hart.
For better preparation whereunto,
The wise will exercise their eyes and mind,
In contemplation of their states, who do
By death forerun their corse not farre behind:
And (by the view thereof) resolued grow,
The worlds contempt in rest of life to show.
The feasts and sports which do his senses charme,
With deepe forgetfulnesse of woes approch,
He will refraine, and rather thinke it harme,
That vnprepared death should him incroch:
(For euils looked for, lesse euill seeme,
And ioyes expected long, we doubled deeme.)
Page  60
[verse 5] Sharp lookes (then smyling shows) more soone the euil mind correct,
[verse 6] The wise delight in grauitie, whilst fooles the same reiect.
5.
Anger is better then laughten for by a sad looke the hart is made better.
And though awhile our minds therewith distract,
We feele a conflict twixt the flesh and spright,
Which lothly would dissolue the old compact,
Which flesh and world, contracted in delight:
Yet sweeter in the end we shall digest
Deathes bitter pill, which nature doth detest.
Yea though we in a sort offended wax
With euils, which we see so much abound
Within our selues, and for the good that lacks
In vs, and others which the good doth wound:
Yet this a cheerefull mendment will procure,
And rayse our hearts in sinne to fore secure.
6.
The hart of the wise is in the house of mour∣ning, but the heart of fooles is in the house of mirth.
The wise they will (like heedfull watchmen keepe)
A curious Sentinell in all their wayes,
Least death and ruine should vpon them creepe,
And turne to mournfull night their merry dayes,
They do obserue the frailtie of their state,
And rather fawne on death, then feare too late.
Whilst foolish worldlings surfet with the ioy,
Which they vnfitly plast in earths vaine sweet,
And are surprisd with euery small annoy
So sore, that it to beare they are not meet,
And vnder euery aduerse cause do sinke,
Whilst others hope and ioy at perils brinke.
Page  61
[verse 7] More sweet are wise rebukes, then notes, which flattering fooles do sing.
[verse 8] As blase of thornes, so vainely passe, the pleasures they do bring.
7.
Better it is to heare the re∣buke of a wise man, then that a man should heare the song of fooles.
And (for we hardly see our owne amisse,
And each in others eyes a mote can spy)
My best aduice (to do thee good) is this:
That to thy friends reproofe thou do apply,
Yea such a friend, as knoweth good from ill,
And thy misdeeds in thee reproue that will.
For better are the blowes that friends do giue,
Then smoothed actions, flatt'rers do bestow,
Those to amendment do the wiser driue,
By th'others, fooles from ill to worse do grow,
There Syrens songs, do make thee sleepe in sin,
These rougher words, thy soule from ruine win.
8.
For like the noyse of the thornes vnder the pot, so is the laughter of the foole: this also is vanitie.
And what delight (indeed) can wise men take,
In foolish tattle of the lewder sort?
Like crackling bushes in the fire, they make
A blast, and blase foorth straight in their disport,
An outward show of mirth, which ends with smart,
And laugh with mouth, that haue a heauie hart.
The wise in ioy and myrth are temperate,
They ground their mirth on greater cause of ioy.
They are not so raysd vp with good estate,
Or beaten downe with any'aduerse annoy,
But that they can beare either state aswell,
As time or chaunce, can make them ebbe or swell.
Page  62
[verse 9] Sure wise men wax with wrongs nere mad, to see brybs so preuaile,
[verse 10] But th'end is al, who patient stayes, shal thriue best without faile.
9.
Surely oppressi∣on maketh a wise man mad, and the reward destroyeth the hart.
And yet it is (I graunt) a heauie thing,
And hardly is digested of the best,
To see how some the lawes to lust do wring,
And how thereby the weaker are opprest,
How wrong for right sometimes doth freely pas,
And no man will, or dare, say bad it was.
And to behold how bribes are busie still,
To blind the eyes that else would wisely see,
That Lay, and Clergie, great and small, most will
Giue, take, buy, sell, things that most holy bee,
Would make a man of sob'rest spright halfe mad,
And any good man be perplex'd and sad.
10.
The end of a thing, is better then the begin∣ning thereof, & the patient in spirit is bet∣ter then the proud in spirit.
But men that note Gods iudgemēts for these things,
And can (as sure they ought) his pleasure stay,
Shall see the plagues that sinne vpon them brings,
And shall according to the prouerbe say,
That that is onely good, and doth excell,
Which doth begin, and also endeth well.
And therefore will with patience long expect,
The issue which God hath decreed before,
And as he limits times, his will t'effect,
So till that time be silent euermore:
The rather since their agony and griefe,
Might wo increase, not yeeld one iot reliefe.
Page  63
[verse 11] Be thou therefore to anger slow, it fooles doth best befit,
[verse 12] Muse not why tunes are chang'd, it doth import but want of wit.
11.
Be not thou of an hasty spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosome of fooles.
Then be not thou with worlds peruerse euent
Disquieted, or moued vnto yre,
No though with malice men against thee bent,
With iust offence might kindle cholers fyre:
It is a passion that aboundant is
In fooles, and not reformes the thing amis.
If thou with reason be (as be thou may)
Offended with the euils that abound,
Thou mayst reproue them sure (I say not nay)
And hate the place whereas such sinnes are found,
For fooles they are, and dog-like bite the stone,
That blame offence, yet doer let alone.
12.
Say not thou, why is it that the former daies were bet∣ter then these? for thou dost not enquire wisely of this thing.
But yet (withall) beware thou do not blame
Thy God, in gouernment of present age,
By calling him t'account, why not the same
Most hatefull vices, which with vs do rage,
Did not in former times so much excell,
And we with them compare in doing well.
For it were folly, and offensiue much
To God and man, and signe of hatefull pride,
In weale or woe we may at nothing grutch,
For through our sinnes those scourges vs betide:
And God that sends the ill, can it amend,
Vpon his will our liking must depend.
Page  64
[verse 13] Wisedome with welth grees euer best, of all things vnder sunne.
[verse 14] They calme the mind, yet quiet heart, by wisedome best is wonne.
13.
Wisedome is good with an inheritance & excellent to them that see the sunne.
Sure well is he that wisedome hath, and grace
To vse it alwayes well, in weale and wo:
But who hath wealth withall, in better case
By farre (I do confesse) though few are so:
Few though there be, yet some such may you find,
Though many more, with worldly wealth are blind.
Wealth giueth meanes for exercise of good,
Wealth the temptations wants, to many a sin,
By wealth mens faults are hid, their foes withstood,
Wealth may performe such workes as fauour win:
Which wealth, if (by dissent, not care) we haue
And wisedome both, what can we farther craue?
14.
For man shall rest in the sha∣dow of wise∣dome, and in the shadow of siluer: but the excellencie of the knowledge of wisedome, giueth life to the possessors thereof.
This wisedome armed thus with worldly powers,
For pleasant shadow, may compared bee
Vnto an Arbour deckt with fragrant flowers,
Which sweetly from sunne beames protecteth thee,
From wind and raine, that can thee well defend,
And sweet repast vnto thy bodie lend.
For wisedome teacheth thee thy wealth to vse,
Vnto the needfull ends they were ordaynd,
And (as vnwise) you may them well accuse,
That will reiect the goods may well be gaynd:
But wisedome wealth can get, and spends it well,
And wisedome therefore chiefly doth excell.
Page  65
[verse 15] Behold Gods works: who can reforme his will? then be content
[verse 16] In weale or wo, both (sent from God) do serue the turne he ment.
15.
Behold the worke of God: for who can make straight that which he hath made crooked?
In wisedome therefore, set thy chiefe delight,
Come wealth, come woe, take all as God doth send,
Against the Lords decree it's vaine to fight,
He knowes thy need, and giues what thou shalt spend,
More then he hath decreed, thou shalt not haue,
Toyle while thou wilt, and moyle vnto thy graue.
Canst thou reuoke the times the which are past?
Canst thou recount, the dayes that are behind?
Canst thou pursew the chaffe that slyeth fast?
Canst thou proportion out the waight of wind?
Canst thou make straight the tree once crooked growne?
No nor thy state amend, but God alone.
16.
In the day of wealth be of good comfort, and in the day of affliction co∣sider: God also hath made this cōtrary to that, to the intent that man shold find nothing after him.
Then with thy state content thy quiet mind,
If wealth abound, with ioy then vse the same,
If lesse thy store, yet thinke not God vnkind,
And to thy portion do thy compasse frame:
In all estates a chearefull heart doth well,
What God intends for thee thou canst not tell.
God vseth (like as wise Phisitians do)
By want sometimes to purge our humors ill,
And after plentie giues to strengthen vs to
The worke whereto, imploy our powers he will,
By proofe of contraries, to teach vs how
To vse those gifts, as he doth best allow.
Page  66
[verse 17] In my short life, the iust (I saw) decay, and wicked thriue,
[verse 18] Muse not hereof too much, least it thee into dumps do driue.
17.
I haue seene all things in the dayes of my va∣nitie: there is a iust man that pe•••heth in his iustice, and there is a wic∣ked man that cōtinueth long in his malice.
As for such new incounters as befall,
To thee in crossing of thy quiet life,
Assure thy selfe, they are not new at all,
But in my dayes (and long before) were rife,
Euen full of vanities and care, I found
My life, as well as thy life to abound.
I saw both wise, and honest men full oft,
Insnared by the wicked, and destroyd,
Their counsels and their actions mockt and scoft,
Their innocencies, cause they were annoyd:
The force, the folly, rapine and the wrong,
The wicked vsd, protect their liues full long.
18.
e not thou iust ouermuch, neither make thy selfe ouer wise: wherfore shouldest thou be desolate?
What was the cause hereof thou maist inquire,
Sure first the hate, the ill to good do show,
Then Gods decree, whose iustice did require,
Their hidden sins, a publike shame should know,
Some ouerweening wits, do foolish proue,
And cause of these mishaps do fondly moue.
For excellence procureth enuy much,
And wise mens small offences haynous seeme,
And busie braines such tickle points may touch,
As vndiscreet you may their iudgement deeme,
Be thou not too precise, nor ouer wise,
But with a modest meane thy gifts disguise.
Page  67
[verse 19] Be not too curious things to know, least God correct thy pryde,
[verse 20] Yet learne things fit, and fearing God, no ill shall thee betyde.
19.
Be not thou wicked ouer∣much, neither be thou foo∣lish: wherefore shouldest thou perish not in thy time.
Yet do not thou extenuate so thy skill,
That thereby into scandall thou do fall,
The very wicked so contemne thee will,
And good and bad, will so condemne thee all,
None is so vile, that vice he will commend,
Although his deeds, to little better tend.
Ne do thou folly any whit affect,
For that doth ruine all that it doth vse,
Who will the foole or vndescreet protect,
Or trust to him, or vse him (may he chuse?)
Well may men laugh at him and make disport,
But neuer trust, in cause that doth import.
20.
It is good that thou lay hold on this: but yet withdraw not thy hand from that: for lie that feareth God shal come forth of them all.
In measure is (we say) a merry meane,
Twixt two extremes doth sacred vertue dwell,
Who will vnto true heauenly wisedome leane,
Must fly defect, and all excesse expell,
With serpents wisedome must his iudgement see,
With Turtles humble mind, yet clothed bee.
The loftie thought, presumption doth instruct,
The abiect mind dispaire doth soone perswade,
From wings of Lucifer, this quill is pluckt,
To hatefull serpents den, that leades the trade:
But he whom heauenly wisedome doth inspire,
From both those snares in safetie shall retire.
Page  68
[verse 21] The wise by wisedome safer liue, then Princes in their holds:
[verse 22] Yet none so perfect liues, their deed no sinne at all vnfolds.
21.
Wisedome shal strengthen the ise man, more then ten migh∣tie Princes that are in the citie.
For wisedome is (indeed) a heauenly gift,
Insusde to guide vs in earths pilgrimage;
Blest is his choice who therewith not vplift,
Doth peace procure, and worldly cares asswage,
Who trusteth in the comfort of her ayd,
In no affliction need to be affrayd.
She stronger is, and much of greater might,
Then any Princes power that euer was:
Yea Princes ten, combind gainst her to fight,
In force and prowesse shall her no way pas,
The strongest bulwarks that they can erect,
Doth art (by wisedome) soone to earth deiect.
22.
Surely there is no man 〈◊〉 in the earth, that doth good and ••nneth not.
This wisedome makes thee haue a secret peace,
Twixt God and thee, which if thou once attaine,
To feede the same, his grace will neuer ceace,
And that content for euer will remaine:
As for content the world afford thee can,
Its nothing worth, for vaine is euery man.
Let this therefore, be grounded in thy mind,
That man and all his workes vnperfect are,
That on the earth one man thou shalt not find,
That from true righteousnesse not strayeth farre,
Whose peruerse deeds, do oftentimes bewray
The wicked thoughts that in his bosome stay.
Page  69
[verse 23] Heare not all words of wrong, lest thou thy seruāts slāders heare,
[verse 24] Thou know'st thy self hast don the like, though it did not appeare.
23.
Giue not thine heart also to all the words that men speake, least thou doe heare thy ser∣uant cursing thee.
How much then lesse shouldst thou be moued much
By words of any one that thee offend:
Yea though euen very neere thy fame they touch,
And to thy great disgrace they seeme to tend:
Let passe like wind the blast of slanderous tong,
And thinke the best, sometimes euen so are wrong.
Yea though thou oft mightst heare, yet do not heare,
Or if thou do, seeme as thou diddest not,
Its better farre both deafe and dumbe t'appeare,
Then listening ouermuch, it were thy lot
To heare thy seruant, or some other speake
The thing, that being heard, thy hart would breake.
24.
For oftentimes also thine hart knoweth that thou likewise hast cursed o∣thers.
Thou mayst remember what thy selfe hast done,
In like case vnto others absent oft:
And what dislike therefore thou mightst haue wonne,
If that thy speech had not bene vttered soft,
(Or not conceald by such as heard the same)
Which will thee make another lesse to blame.
For it were meere iniustice, to condemne
Our vnderlings, for lauish speech of vs,
When we our betters farre, do more contemne,
Yet lothly would therefore be serued thus:
The rule of Charitie doth will thee do,
As thou thy selfe wouldst faine be done vnto.
Page  70
[verse 25] This haue I prou'd, & wisdom sought to know, which fled frōme,
[verse 26] It is too high and deepe, my reach cannot her secrets see.
25.
All this haue I proued by wisedome: I thought, I will be wise, but it went farre from me.
All this haue I found by experience true,
And so mayst thou, if that thou way it well,
Apply thy selfe the same then to ensue,
And let her lawes within thy actions dwell,
And of thy wisedome do not ouerweene,
For many times the wise are ouerseene.
My selfe by nature was inclynd to skill,
By education was instructed much,
A heauenly gift did more my knowledge fill,
And all the world supposd my wisedome such,
As few attaynd, and I supposd no lesse,
But found my folly great, I must confesse.
26.
It is farre of, what may it be? and it is a profound deep∣nesse who can find it?
For of three things (all worthy to be knowne)
The past, the present, and the future things,
Whose first in writs record (in part) is showne,
Whose last with deepe obscurenesse blindnesse brings,
In th'one I had but euen a very tast,
In seeking th'other out, I time did wast.
That vulgar knowledge which by moderne view,
I did obserue, to make my profit by
Did somewhat me instruct, and much more trew
Then passed things forgotten presently,
Or dreamd supposals of succeeding time,
Which for to fetch, to heauen my thoughts should clime.
Page  71
[verse 27] My hart & mind hath wisely searcht, both good & bad to know,
[verse 28] And worse thē death a womans snares, I found: God sheld thē fro.
27.
I haue com∣passed about both I & mine heart, to know and to enquire and to search wisedome and reason, and to know the wic∣kednesse of fol∣ly, and the foo∣lishnesse of madnesse.
That knowledge which I had, I did bestow
With heart and mind in searching round about,
The true effect of euery thing to know,
And of effects the causes out of doubt
(For happie they are held that can define
Of causes and effect, how they incline.)
And chiefly I obseru'd, whence good and ill
Haue their originall and nutriment,
What bounds they haue, and how the soule they kill,
And in the vse of them sought mans intent:
And so of mirth, of folly, and delight,
And what so seemd, most pleasant vnto sight.
28.
And I find more bitter then death, the woman whose heart is as nets and snares, and her hands as bands: he that is good before God shall be deliuered from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her.
And loe, I found all sinne to end with shame,
Yea euen the sinne which doth most men allure,
The lawlesse loue of women of defame,
Who bitterer plagues (then death) to vs procure,
Insnaring in their bands of beauties gift
The wretched soules, which yeeld vnto their drift.
A fatall furie of the flesh (alasse)
In idle braine begot, with plentie fed,
Whose smallest sparckles to a flame do passe,
If by the eye the fancie will be led,
But such as God doth loue, shall lust refraine,
Whilst wicked ones intrapped do remaine.
Page  72
[verse 29] The wicked fall, by her faire bayts, this I the preacher find,
[verse 30] Of thousand men scarce one proue good: of women none by kind.
29.
Behold •••th the Preacher, this haue I found seeking one by one to find the count.
Beleeue me well, I know it ouer well,
By many a one my selfe haue found it true,
I teach thee this, who best the same could tell,
And for the same with all my hart do rue,
And wish thee by my harme the like beware,
And for their new assaults thy selfe prepare.
For few or none, but do assaults abide
At first or last, and ouer many fall,
Thou doest not know thy strength, what may betide,
The wisest sort fall herein most of all:
In any case then trust not to thy strength,
Some dally with the fire, but burne at length.
30.
And yet my soule seeketh but I find it not: I haue found one man of a thousand: but a woman among them all haue I not found.
I must confesse, I would not men acquit,
From equall blame in this so grosse a sinne,
Beseeming not (in truth) their stronger wit,
To yeeld to them whom they from ill should winne,
And in this point, mongst thousands that I know,
One wise and perfect man, I scarce could show.
But of a world of women that this day,
Do prostrate their affections to their lust,
By my experience, sure I cannot say,
(Though others can perchance, and will I trust)
That one hath so reclaymd her life to good,
As that a new assault would be withstood.
Page  73
[verse 31] This only haue I found, that God did man most righteous make:
But men (for their originall grace) their owne inuentions take.
31.
Onely loe this haue I found, that God hath made man righteous, but they haue sought many inuentions.
So we and they, as wofull president
Of parents fall, to euill do incline,
He'is best at ease, that doth his sins repent,
And not of others sinnes too much define,
Nor yet his owne excuse: bad is the best,
This sinne, is but one sinne among the rest.
For though God made vs holy, pure and iust,
And gaue vs powre in righteousnesse to dwell,
Yet did our wils, so to our senses trust,
That it the vse of reason did expell:
Since which, a swarme of hatefull sinnes increase,
On thought, word, deed, and all our actions prease.

Chap. 8.

Page  74
[verse 1] Who is like the wise, who al things knows? his face with fauor shines
[verse 2] The wise his Princes hests obserues, and to Gods word inclines.
1.
Who is as the wise man, and who knoweth the interpreta∣tion of a thing? the wisedome of a man doth make his face to shine: & the strength of his face shall be changed.
IT stands him then vpon, who would withstand
This great calamitie of humane kind,
Another course of life to take in hand,
Then in the practise of the most we find,
And arm'd with wisedome gainst the flesh to fight,
Not yeelding cowardlike to lewd delight.
That is true wisedome worthy lasting fame,
That doth adorne with honor and with prayse,
Such as sincerely do imbrace the same,
That will transforme their life to better wayes,
And giue them grace with Prince and people still,
And in the end aduance their state it will.
2.
I aduertise thee to take heede 〈◊〉 the mouth of the king, and to the word of the oth of God
It teacheth man his dutie vnto God,
And how with ciuill men he should conuerse,
With neighbours how to haue a kind abode,
Or with a people that are most peruerse:
To know what doth beseeme in euery case,
And how to walke, to win our soueraignes grace.
It will aduise thee (as I also do)
To be attentiue to thy Prince behest,
To be obsequious also thereunto,
So farre as may accord with all the rest,
Of lawes of God, of nature, and of state,
And to attend his pleasure rare and late.
Page  75
[verse 3] In ill persist not, but giue place, Princes their pleasure craue:
[verse 4] His word of power who may withstand the thing he likes to haue?
3.
Hast not to go forth of his sight: stand not in an euil thing: for he will do whatsoeuer pleaseth him.
If so his liking did of thee require
A thing vnfit, not pleasing vnto thee,
I would not wish thee there withall retyre,
Or discontent in count'nance ought to bee,
But yeeld with patience rather to the same,
For to obedience, subiects ought to frame.
But if thy selfe by indiscretion haue
Offended him, persist not in thy wrong:
Of him it is no shame thy pardon craue,
For vnto Princes homage doth belong,
They haue the power of subiects to dispose,
Thy life and goods, to saue or else to loose.
4.
Where the word of the king is, there is power, and who shall say vnto him, what dost thou?
The Princes wrath is messenger of death,
His will a law, his words are firme decrees,
Their instruments are readie at a breath,
To pull the proudest rebels on their knees,
Such Maiestie and power in them is found,
With euery frowne a loyall hart they wound.
Who dare vnto account his soueraigne call,
Who to no power in earth inferiour is?
Who will not at his feet all prostrate fall,
Who hath the power to punish his amis?
As deputies to God, on earth they raigne,
And by his sword of Iustice state maintaine.
Page  76
[verse 5] Who keepes the law, is free from blame, the wise they times do know:
[verse 6] The wise, with iudgement chuseth time, for things, lest trouble grow.
5.
He that kee∣peth the com∣maundements shal know none euill thing, and the hart of the wise shal know the time and iudgement.
Whose lawes (the godly wise) both must and will
Indeuour most exactly to obserue,
In euery point and tittle to fulfill,
And wittingly in nothing much to swarue:
So shall he for himselfe, best safety find,
And leaue the better name to world behind.
And (for they hardly can discharge aright
Their duetie, that their natiue lawes not know,
And that their ignorance cannot acquight,
Who may, and will not learne, more wise to grow)
The wise will therefore learne their duties furst:
The good, refraine th'euill, they might and durst.
6.
For to euery purpose there is a time and iudgement, be∣cause the mise∣rie of man is great vpon him
And as in publike causes wise men vse,
To guide their actions warily and well:
And proper times and seasons euer chuse
For all they do, before therewith they mell:
(For proper times there are for euery thing,
Which good or ill successe with it doth bring.)
So in their priuate life they do obserue,
Expediencie of that they take in hand:
From care whereof, whilst some do rashly swarue,
(Because true wisedome they not vnderstand)
They into many mischiefes headlong fall,
Which afterwards too late they would recall.
Page  77
[verse 7] For what knowes he what shall succeed? he can not mend his fate,
[verse 8] In life, death, battell, sinne cannot protect the wickeds state.
7.
For he knowes not that which shal be: for who can tell him when it shalbe.
For it lies not (no doubt) in powre of man,
To iudge aright of sequels and euents,
Though (by obseruance of things past) we can
Sometimes right neere coniecture of intents,
As like to haue successe as we desire:
But none can iudge the truth that they require.
It is but chance not iudgement if they hit,
So many errors do incounter them:
Those future knowledges for God are fit,
And none but he, that priuileage can claime;
For as for Reuelations few are now,
And diuelish arts, Gods word will not allow.
8.
Man is not Lord ouer the spirit to retaine the spirit: nei∣ther hath he power in the day of death, nor deliuerance in battell, nei∣ther shall wic∣kednesse deli∣uer the posses∣sors thereof.
And how should he be able to foretell,
An others haps or actions, can you thinke,
That not foresaw, what to himselfe befell,
Nor knew his perill being at pits brinke?
Nor could deferre his death or destiny,
With all the care he did thereto apply?
That could not tell the place, the dart should light,
That he in battell flong against his foe?
That cannot saue himselfe amidst the fight,
But beares the brunt (perhaps) of ouerthroe?
No wicked slight or art can sinners saue,
But that they sure (in fine) their merits haue.
Page  78
[verse 9] All these I note, and find sometime, mans powre his ouerthrow.
[verse 10] These wicked die, yet worse succeed: the godly, none to know.
9.
All this haue I seen, and giuē mine heart to euery worke which is wrought vnder the sunne, and I saw a time that man ru∣leth ouer man to his owne hurt.
How farre (alas) doth all our skill come short
Of that great knowledge we pretend to haue?
My selfe haue tryed the same in euery sort
Of studie, to the which my selfe I gaue,
And yet there is no knowledge so obscure
Or easie, but I did the same inure.
Nay of the things, most common in my sight,
Which enery man can say, and witnesse true,
I groped at, as in obscurest night,
And could not see the reason how it grew:
That men (euen to themselues) most ruine bring,
And Magistrates their owne dependants wring.
10.
And likewise I saw the wicked buried, & they returned, and they that came from the holy place, were yet forgotten in the citie where they had done right: this also is vanitie.
For which the foolish world become so farre
From iust dislike of their iniust oppressions,
That liue and dead, they fear'd and praysed are,
And whose posterities get more possessions?
They flourish rather most by doing wrong,
As if the earth, did all to them belong.
But such as haue led long a holy life,
Deserued well of world and country all,
Haue bene pursued in life with hate and strife,
And euen at home forgot when death did call,
O vaine affection of the vulgar sort,
That maketh vice and vertue but a sport.
Page  79
[verse 11] Gods patience makes the wicked ones, more bold to heap vp sin,
[verse 12] Which long deferd, is plagud in fine: when iust men blessed bin.
11.
Because sen∣tence against an euill worke is not executed speedily, there∣fore the hart of the children of men is fully set on them to do euill.
These worldlings whilst they see the day deferd,
Of plague and iudgement of these wicked ones,
They do suppose their actions haue not erd,
But wisely were decreed for the nonce,
And so grew bold in practise of the same,
Till all the world, therewith grew out of frame.
These wicked ones themselues grow insolent,
And pride their minds in their presumpteous trade,
They are so farre from meaning to repent,
That wrong on wrong vpon the iust they lade,
Euen whilst they able are no more to beare,
So voide they are of any kind of feare.
12.
Though a sin∣ner do euill an hundreth times, and God prolongeth his dayes, yet I know that it shall be well with them that feare the Lord, and do reue∣ence before him.
But though they scape vnpunished awhile,
(For hundred yeares are but a while with God)
Though flatteringly them selues they do beguile,
And feele no smart of Gods correcting rod:
But rather find their dayes prolongd with peace,
As though their happinesse should neuer cease.
Yet sure I am, it one day shall be well
With such as in the feare of God do liue,
As in his holy lawes and Church do dwell,
And proofe of their beliefe in life do giue,
That they exempted farre from tyrants rage,
Shall liue and rest in peace an endlesse age.
Page  80
[verse 13] Who feares not God shall not escape: his daies as shadows pa;
[verse 14] Though wicked men triumph sometimes, & iust men waile alas.
13.
But it shall not be well to the wicked, neither shal he prolong his dayes, he shall be like a shadow, be∣cause he fea∣reth not before God.
When as contrariwise, the wicked one
Shall be dismounted from his seat of trust,
Dismayd and desolate, forlorne alone,
Pursu'd by heauen and earth, by iudgement iust:
Of God and man, forsaken and contemnd:
As he the innocent before condemnd.
The pompe and glory of his passed pride,
Like to a flowre, shall vanish and decay,
His life like ruines, downe shall headlong slide,
His fame like to a shadow vade away;
Because he feared not the God of might,
In iustice shall these woes vpon him light.
14.
There is a vani∣tie which is done vpon the earth▪ that ther be righteous men to whom it commeth ac∣cording to the worke of the wicked: and there be wic∣ked men to whom it com∣meth accor∣ding to the worke of the iust: I thought also that this is vanitie.
And yet in truth, it is a wondrous case,
To see the iust so many woes sustaine,
(Not that I thinke that pitie can haue place
With wicked ones, to make them wrong refraine:
But that the God of iustice doth permit
His seruants, to be subiect vnto it.)
For you shall lightly see, the better man
The more afflicted in his worldly state,
The vilest person (worst that find you can)
Most wealthy'and loued most, though worthy hate,
But it is vaine to search Gods mind herein,
Thereof to descant I will not begin.
Page  81
[verse 15] I best commend a ioyfull vse, of blessings falne to share,
[verse 16] For wisedome made me but behold, mans life more full of care.
15.
And I praysed ioy: for there is no goodnesse to man vnder the sunne, saue to eat and to drinke, and to reioyce: for this is adioined to his labour, the daies of his life, that God hath giuen him vnder the sunne
But drawing this discourse vnto an end,
Concluding it as I the former did,
I say, that in this life who doth intend,
Himselfe of many combers well to rid,
And to enioy the blisse that earth can giue,
Must cast off care, and seeke in peace to liue.
I meane those curious studies fore-reprou'd,
Which do but multiply a bootlesse care,
And ioy himselfe, when ioy may best be mou'd,
With vse of euery creature, and prepare
To take a plenteous part of them, as gaine
Of all his trauels to him shall remaine.
16.
When I apply∣ed mine heart to know wise∣dome, and to behold the bu∣sinesse that is done on earth, that neither day nor night the eies of man take sleepe.
For though it be a thing some wisemen vse,
And man by nature is thereto inclind,
And I my selfe the same did not refuse,
(Euen studies trauell to inrich my mind)
Who knew thereby what studie might attaine,
Or which a forward wit and will might gaine.
Who searched had mens actions curiously,
And all the accident that world doth yeeld:
Who in my selfe great part of them did try,
On others proofe did likewise knowledge build,
Both day and night applying thereunto
My busie braines, as many others do.
Page  82
[verse 17] I see therby Gods works profound, beyond mans reach to sound,
Be'he nere so wise: toile nere so much, their depth cannot be found.
17.
Then I beheld the whole works of God, that man can not find out the worke that is wrought vnder the sunne: for the which man laboureth to seeke it, and cannot find it: yea, & though the wise man thinke to know it, he cannot find it.
Yet (loe) I found that I much time had lost,
That all my studie was imployd in vaine,
That I in vaine my bookes had turnd and tost,
That my experience did small knowledge gaine,
That out the meanest creature God did make,
I might a new, full many a lesson take.
That all we know but meere supposall is,
That we know not the least of truth of them,
That in the principles of art we mis,
That we vniustly name of knowledge claime,
Who only truely know, we nothing know:
As wise men in the end, to see do grow.

Chap. 9.

Page  83
[verse 1] All this I know that wise & iust are Gods, whose loue showes not,
[verse 2] By hap they haue: wise, fooles, good, bad, are subiect to like lot.
1.
I haue surely giuen mine hart to all this, and to declare all this, that the iust, and the wise, and their workes are in the hand of God: and no man knoweth either loue or hatred of all that is before them.
IT resteth now my part to perfect that,
I in my former speeches haue begunne,
That I may hit the marke I aymed at,
And so my course vnto your comfort runne,
That I may see that some, haue profit wonne.
Which I will do by laying plaine to thee,
The proofes which both by good and bad I make,
Their weale, nor woe, no perfect markes to bee
Of loue or hate of God, from whom we take
All powre, and all successe: and vaine are they
That mens intentions by their issue way.
2.
Al things come a like to all: and the same condition is to the iust, and to the wicked, to the good and to the pure, & to the polluted, and to him that sacriiceth, and to him that sa∣crificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner, he that swea∣reth, as he that feareth an oth.
For much a like, you all mens states shall find,
And like euents to good and bad befall,
To wisest men, as men most grossely blind,
To rich, as poore, and wretchedst man of all,
For in this life you none can happie call.
Obserue the man that is of honest mind,
And marke the most deceitfull man aliue,
Looke on the Athiest most profane by kind,
And holy man, and you shall see them thriue,
Both oft a like, the foule blaspheming wight,
As he that prayes, and serues God day and night.
Page  84
[verse 3] All during life to folly sold: a like all go to graue.
[verse 4] In life is hope, liue dogs, more price (then once dead) Lyons haue.
3.
This is euill a∣mong all that is done vnder the sunne, that there is one cō∣dition to all, & also the heart of the sonnes of men is full of euill, and mad∣nesse is in their hearts whilest they liue, and after that they go to the dead.
And sure of all the things that I do know,
It is the thing that seemes most strange to me,
That maketh wise men most amazed grow,
And best men most discouraged to bee,
When they their states, as hard as others see.
And that like others is their death in show,
As subiect vnto paine as wicked men,
Forgotten, be they once in graue below,
Their vertues (as not done) vnthought of then:
So that their cares, and fooles vnquiet dayes,
Both madnesse seeme, both die deuoide of prayse.
4.
Surely who so euer is ioyned to al the liuing, there is hope: for it is better to a liuing dog, then to a dead Lyon.
Hence doth proceede (no doubt) the prouerbe old,
That liuing dogge, dead Lyon doth excell,
With princely beast of noble courage bold,
Then, euery barking curre dare ausly mell,
That liuing, durst not come within his smell.
The reason is right easie to be told,
Because he liuing could himselfe relieue:
Life doth in time new hopes and haps vnfold,
But death no hope or earthly hap doth giue;
Time worketh wonders (if our time we take)
Occasion (at our death) doth vs forsake.
Page  85
[verse 5] The liuing know that they must die, but dead things are forgot:
[verse 6] Their loue & hate is quēcht, the earth more fruit affords thē not.
5.
For the liuing know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing at all: neither haue they any more reward: for their remem∣brance is for∣gotten.
And so accordingly do wise men vse,
Whilst yet they liue (and liuing haue the powre
To worke their wils) they proper times do chuse,
To perfect their intent, least death deflowre
Their sweetest hopes, who all things doth deuowre.
For well they see and may (it is no newes)
The man that now triumphes, to morne to die,
That dead, the foole the wisest will abuse,
And that the wisest then do senslesse lie,
And what vnperfected they left behind,
Neglected, and themselues soone out of mind.
6.
Also their loue, and their ha∣tred, and their enuy is now perished, and they haue no more portion for euer, in all that is done vn∣der the sunne.
Their loue, their solace, and their chiefe delights,
Euen with their liues, expired and at end,
Their hate, their plots of high reuenge and spights,
And euery action that they did pretend,
Dead into graue with them each one descend.
Into that cabbin of eternall nights,
Where they no more the gladsome beames shall see,
Of shining sunne, the comfort of the wights
That in this mortall life yet lingring bee,
Those perturbations ryfe with humane kind,
Their now exchanged state no more shall find.
Page  86
[verse 7] With bread & wine, cheere then thy hart, the pledges of gods loue,
[verse 8] With comely'aray cloth thou thy corps, thou pleasant balmes maist proue.
7.
Go, eate thy bread with ioy, and drinke thy wine with a cheereful hart: for God now accepteh thy workes.
Thy part of earthly things, that lawfully
Thou mayst inioy, I therefore thee aduise,
Vse whilst thou mayest, for death comes speedily,
And crosses vnsuspected oft arise,
As euery mans experience daily tries.
Vse thou thy owne with plentie'and cheerefully,
Hurt not, but helpe thou others to thy powre,
And (if God gaue thee meanes aboundantly)
Do not thy selfe the same alone deuoure:
But as God gaue, so freely do thou giue,
Those almes best please, we vse whilst yet we liue.
8.
At all times let thy garments be white and let not oyle be lacking vpon thine head.
Thou needst not in thy dyet be precise,
As some perswade, and onely eat to liue,
Where choyse is set, to chuse in thee it lies,
All things were made for man, God all doth giue,
By bounty vs to thankfulnesse to driue.
Yea all the rich attyres thou canst deuise,
For different states of men ordayned were:
For Princes purples, for to please the eyes,
And all the precious gems that earth doth beare;
Yea sweet perfumes, for delicace ordaynd,
(If thou mayst haue them) need not be refraynd.
Page  87
[verse 9] Reioyce in thy chast spouses bed: since God her to thee gaue,
[verse 10] What so thou woldst atchiue dispatch, no works are don in graue.
9.
Reioyce with thy wise whom thou hast loued all the dayes of the life of thy vanitie, which God hath giuē thee vnder the sunne, all the dayes of thy vanitie: for this is thy portion in the life, and in thy trauell wherein thou labourest vnder the sunne.
If that thy eyes behold a beautie rare,
Which doth delight thy hart, and loue inflame,
If that in lawfull band she proue thy share,
And that vnto thy loue, her loue she frame,
Thou mayst with comfort ioy thee in the same.
A comfort sure, to mitigate the care,
Which worldly troubles may on thee inflict,
The sweetest, God or nature could prepare,
Or out of all earths beauties could be pickt,
So great as none can iudge that are vnkind,
And on a single life do set their mind.
10.
All that thine hand shall find to do, do it with all thy power: for ther is neither work, nor intention, nor knowledg, nor wisedom in the graue whi∣ther thou goest.
And (at a word for all) what else beside
In all the world, thou hast a mind vnto,
(So that in vse thereof a measure guide)
Thou art no whit restraind the same to do,
But do it quickly, least death all vndo.
For death diuerteth all, who can abide
The fury of his force, if once he smight?
To do (what thou woulst do) then take thy tide,
For in the darkesome graue of deadly night
No knowledge, wisedom, powre, there doth remaine,
All is forgot, all purposes are vaine.
Page  88
[verse 11] The worthy want, the wise, the strōg haue oft times guerdon smal.
[verse 12] None knows his houre, as birds in snare are caught, so mē do fall.
11.
I returned and saw vnder the sunne that the race is not to the swift, nor the battell to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor also riches to men of vnder∣standing, nei∣ther yet fauor to mē of know∣ledge: but time & chance commeth to them all.
By these obseruances I sought to win,
The happinesse which I did in part attaine,
But all gaine not the goale, the running bin,
Nor haue the spoyle that fight the field to gaine,
Nor to the wise doth alwayes wealth remaine.
Nay many needy sterne, and new begin
The world, whose wits and industries were good,
Their best indeuours stand on tickle pin,
And consterd are as they are vnderstood,
By such on whom the common wealth doth stay,
And time and chance in each thing beares a sway.
12.
For neither doth mā know his time, but as the fishes, which are ta∣ken in an euill net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the children of mē snared in the euill time when it falleth vpon them suddenly.
We must acknowledge it in very deed,
The ordinance of God it should be so,
For well I know, that none can take such heed,
But headlong he into the snare may go,
(Say yea who will) if God alone say no.
Like harmelesse fish, that in the waters breed,
And fearelesse fowle that in the ayre are free,
Whose innocencies serue to little steed,
When nets and snares by fraud extended bee:
So man, by time and chance intrapped is,
(If wicked will) though nothing his amis.
Page  89
[verse 13] This thing in wisdome I haue markt, which seemeth strāge to me,
[verse 14] A city weake of strength and men, by Monarke sieg'd to be.
13.
I haue also seene this wise∣dome vnder the sunne, and it is great vnto me.
Which being (as we see the Lords decree)
Improperly we attribute to chance,
His will in time, produceth that to thee
Which thou supposest, fortune did aduance,
So wide, mans wisedome from the truth doth glance.
True wisedome rather, sure will let thee see
How to apply thy state, to each euent,
With no aduerse incounter quaild to bee,
But all things take and vse, as God them sent,
And seeing this ingratefull peruerse age,
(By view of others wrongs) thy griefe asswage:
14.
A litle citie and few men in it, and a great king came a∣gainst it, and campassed it about, & buil∣ded fortes a∣gainst it.
As I my selfe haue done, who sometimes saw,
A weake vnfortified citie sieg'd,
By powrefull Prince, who armies great did draw
T'ingirt their wals, and libertie abridge,
That none could scape, though wings were nere so flidge.
The towne not populate to scape their iaw,
By any skirmishes of saly out,
His raised bulwarkes kept them so in awe,
And forside trenches compast so about,
As if the Eagle houering ouer pray,
At pleasure readie were his talents lay.
Page  90
[verse 15] Which one wise mā though poore relieu'd, yet was his worth forgot
[verse 16] Yet (say I) wisedome more auaild then force: yet boots it not.
15.
And there was found therein a poore and wise man, and he deliuered the citie by his wisedome: but none remem∣bred this poore man.
When yet I saw (a worthy thing to see)
A man of small account for wealth or state,
But yet (indeed) both bold and wise was hee,
Who raysd the siege, and so did foes abate,
That towne and people, thereby freedome gate.
But when they were miraculously free,
(Lo strange vngratitude but common sin)
This worthy man began neglect to bee,
And deeds forgot, as they had neuer bin:
Though all did tast the fruit of his desart,
Not one layd vp his vertues in his hart.
16.
Then said I, better is wise∣dome then strength: yet the wisedome of the poore is dispised, and his words are not heard.
Yet this, his worthy prowesse in my sight
Was such, as I could neuer but admire,
And makes me thinke that they in vaine do fight,
That haue all wealth and powre they can desire,
If pollicie they want, if cause require.
And them vnwise (I hold) that iudge a wight
By his apparance outwardly or pealth,
In poore mens words the rich haue small delight,
For they account them fooles that haue not wealth,
Yet at their need, their helpe perforce they vse,
Their owne turne seru'd, to helpe them they refuse.
Page  91
[verse 17] Yet wise mens words the good regard: though fooles aduise reiect.
[verse 18] And wisedome passeth powre of armes, & sin brings woes effect.
17.
The words of the wise are more heard in quietnesse, then the cry of him that ruleth a∣mong fooles.
But these my words I know that some will hold,
To be a partiall speech of litle wit,
For tales vnto the foolish wisely told,
Can scarce haue hearing, and small fauour git,
Vnlesse vnto their humors it do fit.
Vnto the wise I speake, of such I would
Haue credit, euen as they the truth do know,
I might grow hoarce with preaching if I should,
Seeke some to win to bend vnto my bow:
Few words among the wise, haue greater place,
Then long orations, with vnskilfull race.
18.
Better is wise∣dome then weapons of warre: but one sinner destroy∣eth much good
To such I say (as this example proues)
That wisedome is a thing of greater powre,
And that a solid reason sooner moues,
If well applyed, in conuenient howre,
Then Cannons shot, that batters on a towre.
And that one action more then well behoues,
(Mistaking or neglecting of his due)
All former wisedome of a man reproues,
And maketh many errors more insue:
For as one bitter herbe the broth doth spill,
So one misdeed may worke to many ill.

Chap. 10.

Page  92
[verse 1] Dead flies do sweetest oyles corrupt, so follies small the wise
[verse 2] Disgrace: but wise men things feresee, though foole insnard he lies.
1.
Dead flies cause to stinke and putrifie the oyntment of the Apotheca∣rie: so doth a little folly him that is in esti∣mation for wis∣dome and for glory.
THou therefore, who art once reputed wise,
Hadst need full warily thy selfe to guide,
For looke how much more high thy fame doth rise,
More sharper censure art thou like to bide,
If in a slender matter thou shouldst slide.
For looke how soone thou seest the drowned flyes,
In sweetest droogs Apothecaries make,
Corrupt them so, that men it straight despise,
Which they before, did for most precious take:
So be thou sure one vice shall staine thee more,
Then many vertuous deedes, thee praysd before.
2.
The heart of a wise man is as his right hand: but the hart of a foole is as his left hand.
Thou farther seest, that wisedome is the thing
In all assayes, best worthy of esteeme,
Who doth her followers vnto honour bring,
And makes their actions alwayes gracious seeme,
And men their words, like Oracles to deeme.
From all extremes she shields them with her wing,
They find reliefe euen readie at their hand,
When foolish folke (with euery trifle) wring,
And like left-handed helpes amazed stand,
Not knowing how to othes helpe to breed,
Nor yet themselues to hele in time of need.
Page  93
[verse 3] The foole to all men showes his wit, each thing doth him amaze,
[verse 4] The wise (though Prince offended be) his fitter time he stayes.
3.
And also when the foole goeth by the way, his heart faileth, and he telleth vnto all, that he is a foole.
If they in iudgement, once do go astray,
They headlong fall, and neuer see the same,
If once they misse the vsuall common way,
Vnto a better course they cannot frame,
But lie and perish to their lasting shame.
Their downefals they haue not the wit to stay,
Nor to conceale their fault from any one,
Nay they will blase their shame (say who will nay)
To euery one, though done a part alone,
Yea they will boast thereof, and it defend,
If that the standers by will hearing lend.
4.
If the spirit of him that ruleth rise vp against thee, leaue not thy place: for gentlenesse pa∣cifieth great sinnes.
Which if they should, and that their powre permit,
Be not dismayd, but vse thou wisedome then,
Giue them the honour, for their place is fit,
And then remember that they are but men,
And vse good words, as wisedome teacheth when.
For words well vsed, workes the grossest wits
Vnto a plient patience, more to heare,
And patience, fauour more in time begits;
And time forgetfulnesse, if thou forbeare,
And mild forbearance, makes thy fault the lesse,
And him his fault (if grace he haue) confesse.
Page  94
[verse 5] This euill on earth I oft haue seene, great rulers greatly fall,
[verse 6] The foole aduanst, the rich and wise reiected most of all.
5.
There is an euil that I haue seene vnder the sunne, as an error that pro∣ceedeth from the face of him that ruleth.
But yet this rule I find not alwayes true,
Nay rather often times it fayleth quight,
(A thing I cannot mend, though it I rue,
And is the thing I hold the greatest spight,
That euer may to common wealth alight.)
To see that those to whom all rule is due,
And should be guides to other men in good,
Should all the vices of the world insue,
And may not be by any meanes withstood;
By whose examples, many others fall
To ruine; as do shrubs with Cedar tall.
6.
Folly is set in great excellen∣cie, and the rich set in the low place.
How can it be in any other wise,
If folly sit in seat of excellence,
Like will to like, and as the bad arise,
Downe goes the good, and vertue'is banisht thence,
(For wicked ones in wicked seeke defence.)
Pure vertue naked in a beggers guise,
May wander for protection and for ayde,
For euery one her merits will despise,
Because like gifts, their natures haue denayd,
Thus topsie turuie euery thing will grow,
As cart, the horse: the sterne, ships way should show.
Page  95
[verse 7] Slaues by desart a cockhorse ride, right nobles lackie by,
[verse 8] But who layes snares, himselfe may fall: and pricks in hedges try.
7.
I haue seene seruants on horses, & Prin∣ces walking as seruants on the ground.
For what obsurder thing can you suppose,
Then what is oftentimes before your eye?
When you on cockhorse see a prauncing those,
Whose birth and qualities you may despise,
Whilst wise and noble both contemned lies.
Nay lackie-like in trotting, time do loose,
In seruing such as know not true desart,
A worser life there could be no way chose,
Or that could more torment an honest hart:
For where shall they expect their paines reward,
Which they to foole all readie see is shard.
8.
He that dig∣geth a pit, shall fall into it, and he that brea∣keth the hedge a Serpent shall bite him.
But for my part I can be well content,
To yeeld all honor where God honor giues,
But yet oppressors should in time repent,
For God in heauen a iudge for euer liues,
And to confusion wicked worldlings driues.
He doth preuent their fraudulent intent,
And makes them fall into the pit they cast,
Whilst they indeuour others to preuent,
The Serpents sting to martyr them as fast:
For fraud with fraud, is oftentimes repayd,
And wicked snard, in grin for others layd.
Page  96
[verse 9] Bounds changers, and wood stealers are, oft tane and punished:
[verse 10] By slight & force men may do much, but blunt wits cut like lead.
9.
He that remo∣ueth stones, shall hurt him∣selfe thereby, and he that cutteth wood, shall be in dan∣ger thereby.
If lawes of kingdomes chastisement procure,
For such as alter auncient bounds of land,
If that poore pilfring hedge-breakers be sure
To sit in stockes, if owners vnderstand,
And euery crime is punisht out of hand.
Shall wrong, or shall oppression still assure
The mightie ones, to tread the weaker downe,
Nay God the king of kings will not endure,
But in his wrath on them will fiercely frowne,
For though his patient suffring doth excell,
(Yet moued long) he striketh downe to hell.
10.
If the yron be blunt, and one hath not whet the edge, he must then put too more strength: but the excellencie to direct a thing is wise∣dome.
Let no man therefore so misuse his wit,
To hurt of neighbour, or to proper shame,
But let him do the thing he findeth fit,
And let him wisely his intentions frame,
So shall lesse toyle, more sweet insue the same.
For as the dulled toole craues force with it,
Of doubled strength to make it pierce aright,
Yet will (with all thy paines) scarce cut awhit,
Vnlesse thou ioyne thy skill vnto thy might:
So in all actions reason must be guide,
Else no good issue will the same betide.
Page  97
[verse 11] As serpents sting, if charmes do want; so babbling tongs do bight,
[verse 12] Himselfe he doth deuour: whilst words of wise men do delight.
11.
If the Serpent bite when he is not charmed, no better is a babbler.
And as in deeds, euen so in words beware
How thou dost guide thy tongue in any case,
Wherein to find a wise man, it is rare,
Licentious speech hath now so common place,
And slanderous tongues, do find such speciall grace.
Yet not the Serpents which in Lybia are,
Whilst they vncharmed lye in wait for man,
More daungerously do sting: or do prepare
More present poyson, then vile slander can,
If it haue hearing once, and credit lent,
It will destroy the saint most innocent.
12.
The words of the mouth of a wise man haue grace: but the lips of a foole deuoure him∣selfe.
The lauish tatling tongue on prating set,
Spares no man, nor regardeth what it sayth,
It cuts like to a razor which is whet,
And prickes himselfe which rashly with it playth,
And him that so it vseth, fond bewrayth.
But wise men speake when matter good they get,
With modestie, and vnto matter good,
Out of their lips no vaine vntruths they let,
They speake distinctly to be vnderstood,
And words accompany'd with matter graue,
For which of all they commendations haue.
Page  98
[verse 13] His speech begins with foolish talke, with wicked madnesse ends,
[verse 14] Increasing words of future things, strange questions he defends.
13.
The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishnesse, and the latter end of his mouth is wic∣kednesse.
Fooles if they once begin, can neuer end,
And with their will they all the words will haue,
They loue to heare themselues, and will defend
Their follies, euen before the wise and graue,
And thinke they (brauely) do themselues behaue.
They do begin their speech (if eare you lend)
With vaine and foolish talkes, or lying toyes,
But in the middle they to mischiefe bend,
In fine with madnesse ends he, and annoyes
The honest eare and soule, that heares him speake,
And them compell his senslesse tale to breake.
14.
For the foole multiplyeth words, saying▪ man knoweth not what shall be, and who can tell him what shall be after him.
From table talke and childish toyes, he growes
To highest points of learning and of skill,
In deepe points of diuinitie he showes,
That with best learned clarke compare he will,
And all the world with paradoxes fill.
Gods secrets he by inspiration knowes,
He prophecies of things yet long to come,
With super-naturall skill he ouerflowes,
And in each science seemeth to haue some,
When silly wretch, his knowledge is but small,
For in those points, the best knowe nought at all.
Page  99
[verse 15] He tyres himselfe in highest points, yet knowes not common way,
[verse 16] O wretched land, ruld by such child, whose peeres do feast by day.
15.
The labour of the foolish doth weary him: for he knoweth not to go into the citie.
Thus do the foolish vainely take in hand,
To vexe their braines, with things for them to hie,
They know that future things none vnderstand,
Yet they their faculties therein will try,
Such wise fooles (fondly wise) the world hath many.
It fares with them (if it be rightly scand)
As with the blind that would the seeing guide,
As if one wandring in an vncouth land,
Would those instruct, the way dwell hard beside:
They silly fooles, know not their next way home,
And yet their wits would ouer all things rome.
16.
Wo to thee, ô land, when the king is a child; and thy Princes eat in the morning,
Wo be to such, that by such ruled are,
But speciall wo be to thee land, where they
Do beare the Scepter, least they all do marre,
As ill as infants when they beare the sway,
Who not themselues, much lesse thy state can stay.
And doubled is thy woe and mischiefe farre,
If that thy Magistrates (who should aduise
Their Prince in highest points of peace or warre)
To banqueting and surfets early rise,
Neglecting common good, which first of all
With temperate braine, they should to counsell call.
Page  100
[verse 17] But blest ô land, where honor rules, where Nobles feed to liue.
[verse 18] By sloth the house decays, & rain through top of roofe doth driue.
17.
lessed art thou land, when thy king is the sonne of Nobles, and thy Princes eat in time, for strength and not for drun∣kennesse.
And thou thrice happy soyle, whose Prince descends
Of pedegree of Emp'rors and of Kings
Of auncient honor, which to vertue bends;
Whose rule both peace and plenty to thee brings,
Where through thy fame, mōgst forrē regions rings.
And happy Prince, whom God a Councell sends
Of noble Peeres and wise, whose watchfull eyes
Thy subiects from all forren foes defends,
And ciuill broyles that might at home arise,
Such do in temperate wise their plentie vse,
And feed for strength, and plenty not abuse.
18.
By slothfulnes the roofe of the house go∣eth to decay, & by the idlenes of the hand the house droppeth through.
They cause the Pesant, in sweet peace manure
The land, the treasury of wealths encrease:
Vnto the needy they do worke procure,
And see the poore, with wealthy liue in peace,
And all oppression in the land to cease.
Their waking eyes doth Princes state assure,
Doth to the people courage giue to toyle,
Gaines to themselues a fame shall aye indure,
Giues to the foe the most disgracefull foyle;
All this with paine and diligence is wonne,
Slouth ruines all, makes all to hauock ronne.
Page  101
[verse 19] Bread strēgthens hart, wine cheers the mind, but siluer al doth by,
[verse 20] Curse not thy king or Peeres in thought, lest birds the same descry.
19.
They prepare bread for laugh¦ter, and wine comforteth the liuing, but sil∣uer answereth to all.
They giue the safetie, for to vse thy owne,
And peace, of plentie that thou mayest feed,
Thou feedst by them, of best on earth hath growne,
Of fatlings, which thy flocks and heards do breed,
To recreate thy soule at time of need.
And for by gold and siluer wealth is showne,
They do inrich the land with purest quine,
By which thy trafficke farre and neere is knowne,
And Indian gems, and Arabian drugs are thine,
Gold gayneth all, and Ophire gold thou hast,
Then happie thou, if hap in wealth be plast.
20.
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought, neither curse the rich in thy bed chamber: for the heauen shall carry thy voice, and that which hath wings, shall de∣clare the mat∣ter.
Then slander not such Prince, that counsell graue,
By whom so many benefits we find,
Their many merits, many thankes do craue,
Each honest hart to reuerent loue they bind,
And base backbiters only are vnkind.
The lawes of God, and nature willed haue,
The Magistrate should reuerenced bee,
The lawes of man the bounds vnto thee gaue
Of words and deeds, but God the thought doth see,
In deed then, word, and thought them honor aye,
Least flying fowles of ayre, thy guilt bewray.

Chap. 11.

Page  102
[verse 1] Cast bread on waters, freely spend: ere long thou shalt it find.
[verse 2] To seuen & seuen, giue if they need: earths wants are great behind
1.
Cast thy bread vpō the waters: for after many days thou shalt find it.
NOw since no lesse discretion is requir'd
In vsing wealth, then getting of the same,
And that the bounteous mind is most admir'd,
Doth profit others most, and gaines best name,
I therefore wish thereto thy hart to frame.
I would not haue thy hand too quickly tyrde,
Nor too respectiue vnto whom to giue,
Some I haue seene for shame haue not desyrde
An almes, whom greatest need to craue might driue:
Though water powred in the sea seeme vaine,
Yet needlesse gift, a gratefull hart may gaine.
2.
Giue a portion to seuen, & also to eight: for thou knowest not what euill shall be vpon the earth.
Some giue in hope a gift to gaine thereby,
Such gifts, I rather bribes, then gifts do call,
Some feare to giue, least they themselues may try
Like want ere long: and so giue nought at all,
Some sometimes giue, but yet their gifts are small.
But I would haue thy almes giuen cheerefully
Vnaskt, sometimes if crau'd, to none denide,
Let none lacke (to thy powre) in need that lye,
And to preuent their need, some goods deuide,
For God all bountie is, and so should we
Dispose our goods, if like him we would be.
Page  103
[verse 3] If clouds be full, raine fals on earth: and trees in north & south.
[verse 4] Who sowes and reapes by rules of wind, but little land he plow'th.
3.
If the clodes be full, they wil powre forth raine vpon the earth: and if the tree do fall toward the South, or to∣ward the North, in the place that the tree falleth, there it shal be.
Yea looke how plenteously thou seest the raine,
Fro out the deaw-fild clouds on earth distill,
So long as any drops in them remaine,
Wherewith earths dryed cesterns vp to fill,
So in thy almes be thou as forward still.
And as each soile, some sap from heauen doth gaine,
And euery tree and shrub of deaw hath part,
So thinke thou not thy gift bestowd in vaine,
To whom or when so ere thou giuing art:
And if thy store be great, more mayst thou spend,
If lesse, yet some, vnto more needy lend.
4.
He that obser∣ueth the wind, shall not sow, and he that re∣gardeth the clouds shal not reape.
Take all occasions to be doing well,
Let euery season for it proper seeme,
The husbandmen that most in skill excell,
Though sometimes they to sow more fit do deeme,
Yet to be too precise, vnfit esteeme.
Who marketh alwaies where the wind doth dwell,
And feareth euery cloud that is in sky,
But little corne shall sow or reape to sell,
If alwaies he do guide his workes thereby:
So giue thou when thou maist, and thinke thy store
Increast thereby, no whit impaird the more.
Page  104
[verse 5] As child in wombe, so al things God makes grow vnknown to thee.
[verse 6] Thē morn & euen, sow thou thy seed: God knows which best shalbe
5.
As thou know∣est not which is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the wombe of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the worke of God that wor∣keth all.
Thinke this, that euen that God which gaue to thee
The present blessings that thou dost possesse,
Thy charitable workes, from heauen doth see.
And will thy labours in due season blesse,
If thou thy faith, by neighbours loue expresse.
And thinke that as the infants borne that bee,
Conceiued are, do grow, do liue, do feed,
And be by birth in time from prison free,
By meanes vnknowne, to mothers them that breed,
Se be assur'd, that God which it hath wrought,
Can wealth restore, by meanes to thee vnthought.
6.
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the eue∣ning let not thine hand rest: for thou know∣est not whether shall prosper, this or that, or whether both shall be a like good.
Both rath and late at euery time and tide,
Then do vnto thy power, some almes deed,
Without some others good, let no day slide,
So oft as thou canst find aman hath need,
And who this can performe, is blest indeed.
For man can not his worke so wisely guide,
To know to whom, and when to giue is best,
But who for pittie giues, and not for pride,
Though needlesly some fall among the rest,
Yet some (no doubt) is blessedly bestowd,
And in thy will of good, good worke is showd.
Page  105
[verse 7] Sure life is sweete; and all desire, long time to see the sunne.
[verse 8] Though long life last, yet death maks hast: & times do vainly run.
7.
Surely the light is a pleasant thing: and it is a good thing to the eyes to see the sunne.
And since (but whilst thou liu'st) thy goods are thine,
And what thou freely giu'st deserueth prayse,
Giue while thou mayst, so mayst thou find in fine,
Well sau'd, what well was spent in liuing dayes,
(For godly worke, with God aye present stayes.)
Long mayst thou liue, but must in end decline
To death, the end of euery liuing thing:
To yeeld to death, yet needst thou not repine,
If liuing thou to man, no good canst bring:
And hauing left some good by life to men,
More welcome death may be vnto thee then.
8.
Though a man liue many yeares, and in them all he re∣ioyce, yet he shal remember the dayes of darknesse, be∣cause they are many, all that commeth is vanitie.
For death thou knowest, vnto life is due,
And life doth but prepare a man to die,
Liues cares, a daily death in vs renue,
To worke in vs consent to death thereby,
Which else no flesh (with patience) sure would try.
The many dayes or yeares which do insue,
Of wariest gouernment to happiest wight,
Cannot perswade him but that this is true,
That lightsome day will turne to darksome night,
That times most long haue end and what doth vade,
Is little better then a very shade.
Page  106
[verse 9] Reioyce in youth, fulfill desire, yet know God iudgeth all,
[verse 10] To clense thy hart, & wicked flesh: graue age, vain youth doth cal.
9.
Reioyce ô young man in thy youth, and let thine hrt chere thee in the dayes of thy youth: and wake in the wayes of thine hrt, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know that for all these things, God will bring thee to iudge∣ment.
Delight he then in what so ere he please,
In youth, in beauty, strength, or wealthy store,
Let him delight himselfe, in vse of these,
And cheare his hart (as cause he hath) therefore
Yet let him thinke death knocketh at his dore.
And that they all, do vanish with their wayes,
That God alone remayneth euer ure,
That only vertue with vs longest stayes,
And can eternall blessednesse procure,
When to the iudgement of a God seuere,
Our workes must come, who all in mind doth beare.
10.
Therefore take away griefe out of thine heart, & cause euill to depart from thy flesh, for childhood and youth are vanitie.
Let him, and all the wise whilst yet they may,
Prepare themselues to beare with chearefull mind,
The fierce assaults, in death that for vs stay,
And but by faith can strong resistance find,
Since all our other workes come short behind.
Let vs abandon euery wicked way,
And lay our treasure vp in heauen aboue,
Youth is a flowre that springeth out in May,
But euery frost or blast doth soone remoue,
But heauen and heauenly ioyes will still remaine,
When youth and earthly works proue meerely vaine.

Chap. 12.

Page  107
[verse 1] Remember thy creator then, in these thy youthfull dayes,
Ere croked age all pleasure to thy lothed life denayes.
1.
Remember now thy crea∣tor in the daies of thy youth, whilst the euill dayes come not,
ANd since thou canst not shun deaths fatall day,
And as the tree doth fall so shall it rise,
(Whilst yet thou mayst) prepare a quiet way
Vnto thy soule, which in such danger lies,
If thou in time reliefe do not deuise.
The earth and earthly things, do helpe denay,
Heauen is the harbor, where thy soule doth dwell,
Let not thy hope on earth then longer stay,
But it and workes thereof from hart expell,
Delay no time in hope long life to haue,
Youth may, age must, ere long time go to graue.
Nor the yeares approach wherein thou shalt say, I haue no pleasure in them.
To heauen thy progresse thou dost wish to make,
Then cloth thy selfe accordingly therefore,
The clogs of worldly loue and lust forsake,
And thinke them burdens to thee euermore,
And in thy life, haue lights of vertue store.
Let thought of thy creator thee awake
From sinnes of youth, hart burdensome in age,
Remember God account of thee will take,
If thy repentance not his wrath asswage,
Yea leaue thou sinne, ere lust leaue tempting thee,
Thy abstinence else, can not vertue bee.
Page  108
[verse 2] Whilst sunne, moone, stars seeme light: and rayny clouds are farre,
[verse 3] Whilst keepers of thy house are strong, whose pillers stedfast are.
2.
Whles the sunne is not darke, nor the light, nor the moone, nor the starres, nor the clouds returne after the raine.
The feeble members which haue lost their might,
(Through which their senses did affection proue)
No maruell now, if they take lesse delight
In vaine prospects which they tofore did loue,
Since they the meanes do want doth liking moue.
The sunne, moone, stars (heauens ornamēt, earths light)
Can yeeld small comfort to the senslesse corse,
When all thy ioynts begin by day and night,
Do tyre thy life, and breed the soules remorse,
No maruell if thou then, proue continent,
But thou shouldst temp'rance euen in youth frequent.
3.
When the kee∣pers of the house shall trē∣ble, and the strong mē shall ow thēselues.
Before this glorious building do decay,
Wherein thy soule doth soiourne as a guest,
Thy comely body which erecteth aye,
The thought and eyes to heauen as mansion blest,
Grow feeble, and therein thou find no rest.
When trembling hand, his duety doth denay,
And brainefalne thighes, and legs bend vnder thee,
When lamed limbs on others strength must stay,
And crouches (in their steed) of force must bee,
What time thou twise a child, shalt weary grow,
That thou the strength of youth didst euer kuow.
Page  109
Ere teeth wax few, and windowes closd, deny thy eyes the light.
[verse 4] And dore shut vp, thy grinding iaws, to chaw haue lost their might.
4.
And the grin∣ders shal cease, because they are few, & they wax darke that looke out by the windowes.
Before the Cators of thy diet fayle,
Those Iuorie teeth which do thy food prepare,
Which lost or loose, their labours not auayle,
But broths and minst-meats must become thy share,
And sharpned knife, thy toothlesse gums must spare.
Before that darksome mists thy eyes assayle,
Whose watchfull sight thy Centinell should bee,
When (christall humor failing) they shall quayle,
And spectacles must teach them now to see,
Or closed windowes force thee take thy leaue
Of worlds vaine shades, which did the soule deceaue.
And the dores shall be shut out by the base sound of the grinding.
Before thy wanny cheekes sinke hollowed in,
(In which well formed words should fashion haue)
And corrall lips which haue their portall bin,
And plyant tongue which elocution gaue,
Now faltering signes, for interpretors do craue.
Whilst those white cliffes (the bounders which begin,
The repercussion causing sweet resound)
Stand firme on rocke of their iaw ioyning chin,
Through which they gracious passage somtimes found,
And form'd that powrefull gift of eloquence,
The root of sweet content and sharp offence.
Page  110
Ere sleeplesse braine, at birds voice start, and singing pipes be base.
[verse 5] And high assents, do make thee feard, and almonds bud on face.
5.
And he shall rise vp at the voice of the bird: and all the daughters of singing shall be abased.
Before thy dryed braynes doe rest denye
Vnto thy tyred bones, and carefull mind,
And comfortlesse the longsome night thou lye
In bed (thy graue) for ease tofore assignd,
And starts at each birds chirpe, or puffe of wind.
Before thy organe pypes with horcenesse dry,
Restraine the passage of thy breathing voyce,
Wherewith (resembling heauens true harmony)
Thy musicke notes vsed eares and hearts reioyce,
In liew whereof should hollow coffes succeede,
Which in corrupted loongs obstructions breed.
Also they shall be affraid of the hie thing, and feare shall be in the way, and the Al∣mond tree shall flourish.
Before thou tyr'd at euery step must stay,
And clamber small assents on hand and knee,
And stumbling at each straw lyes in the way,
A spectacle of feeble nature bee,
To all that doth thy fearefull fashion see.
Before the harbengers of age (I say)
Euen griely haires do blossome on thy chin,
(Which for most part declyning state bewray,
As Almond bud, showes sommer to begin)
Prepare thy selfe, for death the haruest due,
Which after spring time, must of course insue.
Page  111
Ere weaknesse make the grashopper, a burden seeme, and lust
Consume, for sure concupiscence, with age doth weare to dust.
5 (cont.).
And the Gras∣hopper shall be a burden▪
Before the childish toyes of infants lust,
Begin to want the wings of warmed blood,
And that thy body yeeld (as once it must)
To age, by which that humor is withstood,
To leaue the vse thereof I thinke it good.
For looke how of May deaw, and sommers dust,
The wanton Grashopper doth quickly grow,
And singes in haruest tide vntill he brust,
So doth lusts pleasure vanish ere you know,
Like to Ephemeris, that Tanaish flie,
Morne bred, noone borne, that very night to die.
And concu∣piscence shall be driuen a∣way.
Not those faire frutes which by Gemorra grow,
Which touched once, straight vnto dust do fall,
Are more deceitfull then this sinne in show,
Nor yet that fruit which first deceiu'd vs all,
Although regard thereof we haue but small.
Lust like a Torrent soone doth ouerflow,
If that accesse of nutriment abound,
But in a moment straight it waxeth low,
As by experience hath bene euer found:
Not Ammons (of faire Thamor) foule desyre
So fierce, but quencht, with loathing did retyre.
Page  112
Before in ages ed (thy graue) thou he, whilst thee they morne.
[verse 6] Thy siluer cord and golden ewre, and liues pure cesterne worne,
6.
For a mā goeth to the house of his age, and the mourners go about in the streete.
Then leaue that lothsome snare of humane kind,
The common cankor of the best concait,
Most powrefull passion that doth reason blind,
And to more brutish sins, th'alluring bait,
And thinke on death which doth on thee awaight.
Suppose each ringing knell puts thee in mind,
That thou art in the way vnto thy graue,
Take heed that death thee vnprepar'd not find,
But so in all thy life, thy selfe behaue,
As if thou were the man whose turne is next,
And wouldst not with a sudden death be vext.
Whiles the sil∣uer cord is not lengthened, nor the golden ewre broken, nor the pitcher broken at the well, nor the whele broken at the cesterne.
Before (I say) the vitall spirits faile,
Or that thy radick humors all be spent,
That cramps do siluer cords of raynes assaile,
And natures intercourse no more be sent
From liuer hart and braine as earst it went.
Before warme bloud with I sey fleame do quaile,
And pulslesse leaue thy ouer emptie vaine,
Before the (cesterne made for liues auaile)
Thy stomake now no sustenance retaine,
But all the wheles of nature lacking strength
To giue them motion, they do faile at length.
Page  113
[verse 7] And flesh to dust, thy spright to God returne that it did make:
[verse 8] For all is vaine (the preacher saith) and all will vs forsake.
7.
And dust re∣turne to the earth as it was, and the spirit returne to God that gaue it.
For then (be sure) thy dayes are neere an end,
And flesh dissolued turneth vnto dust,
Then yeeld thereto, before perforce thou bend,
And in thy strength of youth repose no trust,
Nor place thy ioy in earth or earthly lust.
Thy nobler part (thy soule) it did descend
From God, first mouer of all life and grace,
Who therefore doth chiefe interest pretend
In thee and it, and will thy soule imbrace,
Amidst the heauens of his eternall rest,
If faith and loue haue once thy way adrest.
8.
Vanitie of va∣nities, sayth the Preacher, all is vanitie.
Thus haue I (sayth this Preacher) proued true,
The proposition that I first did make,
That earthly things are vaine in vse and view,
That in them we, can not sound comfort take,
And that in th'end we must them all forsake.
That wisedome only, vertue should insue,
And vertue is the way to happinesse,
Which after death, doth life againe renue,
A life more happie then the world can gesse,
When we shall liue from lewd affections free,
And in that world no vaine delights shall bee.
Page  114
[verse 9] These things and more he spake, for more he knew the more he taught,
His people knowledge, for their good, in all his words he sought.
9.
And the more wise the Prea∣cher was, the more he taught the people knowledge,
Full many other learned workes beside
He wrote, for more he knew the more he taught,
Whereby themselues the godly sort might guide,
Vnto the wisedome which they wrongly sought,
And he with care and study dearely bought.
Three thousand morall rules in writ abide,
In prouerbs and in adages for skill,
So sound that they worlds censure may abide,
And to a ciuill life reduce thee will,
Without offence of lawes, and with content
Of such with whom thou daily shalt frequent.
And caused them to heare.
Of natures workes with supernaturall skill,
He many volumes did compose likewise,
Not curious workes as some profanely will,
Of Alcumy, or iudgements which arise
By heauenly motions, farre aboue the skies.
But he his knowledge hath contained still,
Within the lawfull bounds of Gods decree,
And therefore many volumes he did fill
With medcinable vse, of things which bee
Abstracted out, of tree, shrub, mettall, stone,
Of beast, fish, fowle, and creatures euery one.
Page  115
He sought by parables to giue, them precepts how to liue.
[verse 10] And with adorned words, to them he doubly grace did giue.
10.
And searched forth, and pre∣pared many parables.
His heauenly Muse with wings of zeale did fly
Aboue the common pitch of earthly men,
And so inflamed were his thoughts thereby,
With holy liking of his loue as then,
That he could not containe his gratefull pen.
In thousand songs and fiue his powers did try,
The prayses of his sacred soules delight,
In whom sweet peace and loue he did espy,
Which from him, loue of world did banish quight;
Among the which that song of songs by name,
Describes her beautie, did him so inflame.
The preacher sought to find out pleasant words, and an vpright writing, euen the words of truth.
But this his large discourse was chiefly ment,
To teach the world to know how farre they stray,
That do by earthly helpes a meane inuent
To leade their liues vnto a happie day,
Since nature wholy doth the same denay.
Which (for it crosseth carnall mens content,
And hardly may amongst most wise haue place)
By this most pleasant stile, about he went
To giue to naked truth a comely grace:
For hardly can corrupted man digest
Right wholesome food, vnlesse it well be drest.
Page  116
[verse 11] For wise words, are like goades and nailes which workmens hands do ding
[verse 12] Vaine bookes and reading shun, they wearinesse of flesh do bring.
11.
The words of the wise are like goades, & like nayles fa∣stened by the masters of the assemblies, which are giuē by one Pastor.
And wise mens sayings, spoken to the wise,
Well fraught with matter couched well by art,
Adornd with words, and figures (whence arise
Content vnto the eare, and moue the hart)
Most soone do worke impressions in each part.
And as they sooner pierce, so firmlier lies,
The mind resolued in such fownded ground,
Than any planke or post you can deuise,
With nayle (by hammers) forced nere to sound;
And such this princely Prophets words esteeme,
Which are more waighty far, thē thou woulst deeme.
12.
And of other things besides these my sonne take thou heed: for there is none end in making many bookes, and much reading is a wearinesse of the flesh.
And let this graue aduice of father mild,
Which louingly he wrote, I bring to thee,
Be neuer from thy hart so farre exild,
That with the world againe sedust thou bee,
Wherein is nought but wretchednesse you see.
And striue to practise as you knowledge build,
Else is your learning vnto little end,
These many bookes wherewith this world is fild,
Do slender profit to the readers lend,
Which stuft with words of superficiall show,
But little fruit by them to world doth grow.
Page  117
[verse 13] Heare th'end of all; feare God, & keepe his law, this is mans dew:
[verse 14] For God wil iudge ech work, & bring our secret thoghts to vew.
13.
Let vs heare the end of all: feare God and keepe his com∣maundements▪ for this is the whole dutie of a man.
The end of all true wisedome is in this,
To know the will of God, and it obserue;
To know his will, and yet to walke amis,
A double chastisement must needs deserue,
Then feare henceforth therefro so oft to swarue.
No seruile feare which I perswade it is,
But such as gratefull child to parent owes,
VVho though he feele the smart, the rod will kisse,
Because the fruit of fathers loue he knowes;
And this doth God require of man indeed,
That our obedience should from loue proceed.
14.
For God will bring euery worke vnto iudgment, with euery secret thing, whether it be good or euill.
The breach whereof will heauie iudgement call,
VVhen God the searcher of the heart and raines,
Shall vnto reckning with vs for them fall,
And pay our passed ioyes with lasting paines;
For sinfull worke no other guerdon gaines.
O happie then shall they be most of all,
VVhose heedfull liues, in holy workes were spent,
The gaine of this their trauell, is not small;
For blessed they the narrow path that went.
And though this narrow gate few enter in,
Yet who runs on this race, the prize shall win.
FINIS.
Page  [unnumbered]

Adue to worlds vaine delight.

YE worlds delights (blind guides to blisse) adue,
VVeake helpes, which fit a carnall vaine desire:
My soule can find but comfort small in you,
Though (as true blisse) profane sort you admire.
My soule doth will my thoughts from ye retire,
In faith to place my hope of firmer stay;
To gaine true blisse, lesse toyle it doth require,
Then worlds vaine pleasure doth, by farre away.
Your false and fickle grounds do well bewray,
Your liking, base effect of fond desire:
The earth (your seat) doth perfectnesse denay.
My soules true hope (inspir'd with heauenly fire)
There seekes to liue, where blisse is firme and true,
And by reformed life, would heauen pursue.
Page  [unnumbered]

Sundry Psalmes of Dauid translated into verse, as briefly and significantly as the scope of the text will suffer; by the same Author.

Psalme. 27.

1 THe Lord he is my sauing light, whom should I therefore feare?
2 He makes my foes to fall, whose teeth would me in sunder teare.
3 Though hosts of men besiege my soule, my heart shall neuer dread:
4 So that within his Court and sight, my life may still be lead.
5 For in his Church from trouble free, he shall me keepe in hold:
6 In spight of foes his wondrous prayse, my song shall still vnfold.
7 Haue mercie (Lord) therefore on me, and heare me when I cry;
8 Thou badst me looke with hope on thee, for helpe to thee I fly.
9 In wrath therefore hide not thy face, but be thou still my aide;
10 Though parents fayle, thou wilt assist, thy promise so hath said.
11 Teach me thy truth, and thy right path, least that the enemy
12 Preuaile against my life, whose tongues intrap me trecherously.
13 My heart would faint for feare, vnlesse my faith did build on thee,
14 My hope, my God, and comforts strength, who will deliuer mee.

Psalme. 71.

1 IN thee (ô Lord) I trust, therefore from shame deliuer mee;
2 Performe thy promise, saue thou me, who call for helpe to thee.
3 Be thou my rocke of strength and shield, whose powre is great & might.
4 Deliuer me from wicked men, and put my foes to flight.
5 For in thee onely from my youth, haue I my trust reposd;
6 Thou hast had care of me, whilst yet in wombe I was inclosd.
7 Thee will I praise, who art my helpe, when men at me do scorne;
8 My mouth thy mercies still records, who helpst the mind forlorne.
9 In time of age forsake me not, or when my strength doth faile,
10 Least that the counsels of my foes, against my soule preuaile.
11 Who say, my God hath me forgot; they therefore me pursue:
12 But be thou Lord at hand to me, who canst my strength renue.
13 Shame and reproch let be their share, which my destruction seeke;
14 But on thee alwayes will I waite, with humble hart and meeke.
15 My mouth thy mercies shall rehearse, whose measure doth excell▪
16 And in thy trust my steps shall walke, and tongue thy truth shall tell.
17 Euen from my youth thou hast me taught, thy wonders well I know
18 And whilst I liue, (if thou assist) I will thy iudgements show.
19 Thy iustice Lord I will exalt: whose workes are like to thine?
20 Who threw'st me downe, and raisd me vp, who else in dust had leine.
21 Thou canst mans honor soone increase, and shew thy chearefull faces
22 Vpon the Vyall will I sing thy prayse, ô God, of grace.
23 My lips shall ioy to talke of thee, who hast my safety wrought:
24 My freed soule, shall still confesse, who hath my safety bought.
Page  [unnumbered]

Psalme. 119.

1 BLessed are those whose wayes are right, and in Gods lawes do walke,
2 Whose heart obeyeth to his will, and lips thereof do talke.
3 Such do not worke iniquitie, but so their wayes direct,
4 That in their life, by straying steps thy lawes they not neglect.
5 O would to God, my deedes therefore, so straightly I might frame,
6 That with regard of thy precepts, I might be free from blame;
7 Then shold I prayse with vpright hart, thy righteous iudgemēts known,
8 Which whilst I study to obserue, Lord let thy helpe be showne.
PART. 2.
9 By looking to thy lawes, most soone a man may perfect grow:
10 Since then my heart hath sought the same, astray let me not go.
11 Thy promises in mind I beare, which me from sinne withdraw:
12 Thou gracious God and blessed guide, teach me thy perfect law▪
13 My tongue hath testifi'd thy prayse, and iustice thou doest vse:
14 To follow freely thy beheast, I'le worldly wealth refuse.
15 For of thee will I meditate, and studie whilst I liue;
16 And to obey thy iust precepts, my mind will wholly giue.
PART. 3.
17 Be gracious to thy seruant Lord, giue life and powre to mee;
18 Open my eyes, that of thy lawes, I may the wonders see.
19 I am a stranger vpon earth, hide not from me thy will:
20 My heart doth swell with hoat desire to know thy iudgements still.
21 Thou hast destroyd the proud, and curst are they which go astray:
22 Shame and contempt yet take from me, who keepe thy lawes alway.
23 Though Princes hate me for thy truth, yet will I thee obay:
24 Thy lawes shall be my studie still, and comfort night and day.
PART. 4.
25 My soule with sorrow is opprest, giue me thy promist aide:
26 Thou knowst my sinnes I do confesse, thy wrath makes me affraid.
27 But teach thou me thy truth, that I thy wonders may admire:
28 For shame of sinne sodaunts my hope, it dares not helpe desire.
29 If thou redresse my blinded steps, and teach to me thy will,
30 Thy ordinances will I keepe, and looke vpon them still.
31 Thou are the portion I do chuse, ô Lord confound me not;
32 But guide my steps to run that race, the which thy lawes alot.
PART. 5.
33 Teach thou thy statutes vnto me, that I may keepe them all;
34 Giue thou the knowledge of thy will, and turne my hart withall.
35 Direct me in thy path, ô Lord, therein is my delight:
36 Incline my mind vnto thy word, and sinne put thou to flight.
37 Turne thou my eyes from vanities, and do thou quicken mee:
38 Performe thy promise made to me, whose hope depends on thee.
39 Preuent the shame I feare, because thy iudgements all are iust:
40 Behold I would performe thy will, thy grace relieue me must.
Page  [unnumbered]PART. 6.
41 Then let th promise kindly made (O Lord) fulfilled be.
42 So shall I s••se my iust rebuke, and giue the praise to thee.
43 Take not away from me thy truth, for on thee I attend;
44 But let my lips speake of thy praise, vntill my life doe end.
45 My feete shall freely follow thee, vntill the truth I find.
46 I will not shame, to Kings thy truth to preach, with constant mind;
47 Yea all my solace shall be still, my loue of thee t'expresse:
48 My lifted handes vnto the heauens, thy glory shall confesse.
PART. 7.
49 Remember then thy promise made, wherein thy seruant trusts;
50 In trouble i doth comfort me, my soule thereafter lusts.
51 The wicked haue derided me, thy lawes yet haue I kept:
52 I cald to minde thy iudgements past, whereby in peace I slept.
53 Sorrow and feare afflicted me, to see how wicked men
54 Thy lawes transgresse; in pilgrims life yet sing I to thee then:
55 In darknesse and by night, thy name and lawes I keepe and feare;
56 Which blessing thou bestowe•• on me, thy will in mind to beare,
PART. 8.
57 O Lord thou art my portion, I thy law will still obserue;
58 My hearty prayers made to thee, and promise thine preserue.
59 I haue reform'd my wayes, and will to thy behests obay:
60 With speed I will my life amend, and make no more delay.
61 The wicked haue inticed me, but I will turne againe:
62 At midnight will I rise to pray, till iustice I attaine.
63 My company shall such be still, as do thy precepts know;
64 Thy mercie fils the earth ô Lord▪ to me thy pleasure show.
PART. 9.
65 According to thy word (ô Lord) thou graciously hast dealt;
66 Teach wisedome to thy seruant Lord, who in thy law hath dwelt:
67 Before I felt thy scourge, as then my eete did go astray,
68 But gracious God direct me now, that keepe thy lawes I may.
69 The proud against me worke deceipt, yet will I follow thee:
70 Their hart on folly feedes, thy lawes yet shall my comfort bee.
71 This fruit affliction brought to me, which made me learne thy law,
72 A greater treasure to my mind, then heretofore I saw.
PART. 10.
73 Thy hand hath fashioned me, therefore teach me thy holy will:
74 So shall thy seruants all reioyce; and I obey thee still.
75 Thy iudgements Lord (I graunt) are iust, I did thy wrath deserue;
76 Haue mercie yet and pardon me, thy promise cannot swarue.
77 Lord let me liue I thee beseech, thy law is my delight:
78 Bring thou to shame my foes, and driue the wicked out of sight;
79 And let thy seruants all behold, thy mercies showd to me,
80 Who walking in thy statutes iust, shall not ashamed be.
Page  [unnumbered]PART. 11.
81 My soule is almost faint for feare, yet on thy word 〈◊〉
82 My eyes are dim with looking sore, send me thy comfort iust.
83 My bones are withered with despaire, till thou thy promise pay:
84 My life is short, thy iustice on the wicked Lord beray▪
85 By fraud they seeke to take my life, contrary vnto right;
86 But thou art iust, vniust are they, therefore put them to flight.
87 They had almost consumed me, my faith yet did not faint:
88 Reuiue thou me, and with thy truth, my mouth I will acquaint▪
PART. 12.
89 O Lord thy word immutable in heauen doth still indure:
90 Thy truth from euer was, thou laidst the earths foundation sure.
91 All things continue at a stay, and do thy people serue:
92 Vnlesse thy word did comfort me, my faith with griefe would sterue.
93 I neuer therefore will forget, thy lawes which quicken me;
94 I am thy seruant, saue thou me, who vnto thee do flye.
95 The wicked seeke me to destroy, but in the will 〈◊〉 rust,
96 Thy truth endures for aye, but else all things returne to dust.
PART. 13.
97 So much I loue thy law ô Lord, I studie on it still:
98 Thy grace beyond my enimies doth me with true knowledge fill.
99 I better vnderstand thy will, then they which do me teach;
100 I better know thy lawes to keepe, then they which should them preach.
101 That I thy word might keepe; my feete refraine each eill way:
102 My iudgement grees vnto thy law, which taught me what to say.
103 Then hony combe vnto my tast, thy word is far more sweet,
104 Thereby thy will I learne, and falshood shun as most vnmeet.
PART. 14.
105 Thy word is light vnto my feete, and guides me in my way;
106 My hart hath sworne, I will performe thy 〈◊〉ight and day▪
107 My soule is sore opprest ô Lord▪ do thou me ioy now send;
108 Teach me thy will, to my request a gratefull earing 〈◊〉
109 Though I in daunger daily be, thy lawes I not forget,
110 But keepe them still, while me to snare, the prowd a bay haue se.
111 They are the portion I haue chose they are my harts delight;
112 My hart is vowd thy lawes to keepe, with all my power and ••ight.
PART. 15.
113 Thy word I loue, but do detest the vanities of minde▪
114 My shield thou art, my refuge safe, in whom I trust do finde.
115 Away from me ye wicked men, my God alone I serue;
116 He will performe my hope, his word from truth doth neuer swerue.
117 Support thou me, then am I safe, in thee is all my trust:
118 Thou hast supprest the proud, and such as follow worldly lust.
119 I loue thee Lord, because thou doest from earth the vaine remoue;
120 Yet do I feare thy iudgements Lord, which shall my sinnes reproue.
Page  [unnumbered]PART. 16.
121 Let me not then oppressed be, I iustice do obserue:
122 Plead thou my cause gainst wicked men, which frō thy will do swerue.
123 My eyes are dim with longing Lord to see thy promist ayde;
124 Teach me my God, and let thy seruant be with mercy payd.
125 I wait on thee, let me therefore of wisedome thine haue part:
126 Helpe Lord in time, for all the world do from thy lawes depart.
127 Yet do I thy precepts esteeme more then the richest gold:
128 Most iust are they, but such I hate as vnto sinne are sold.
PART. 17.
129 Thy testimonies I admire on them my soule doth muse:
130 The wayes thereto do shine so bright, the simple it may chuse.
131 The zeale I bare vnto thy law, did make my hast to moue▪
132 Looke on me then in mercy Lord, because thy law I loue.
133 Direct my deedes, so that no sinne may beare in me asway:
134 I keepe thy will▪ to wicked men let me not be a pray.
135 Thy shining face vnto me turne, thy statutes teach thou mee:
136 With teares my eyes do daily flow, because they trespasse thee.
PART. 18.
137 Thou righteous God, most iust indeed thy iudgements all are found;
138 To truth ad equitie alone, thy lawes thy seruants bound.
139 My zeale doth burne, because my foes thy lawes haue cleane forgot,
140 Thy word we finde most pure, and I haue chose it to my lot.
141 Though I be poore and in contempt, I do remember well,
142 Thy righteous precepts, which for aye, in glorious truth excell.
143 Anguish and eares vpon me come, thy law yet do I loue:
144 Teach me thy truth, that I may liue eternally aboue.
PART. 19.
145 Heare me ô Lord, to thee cry, thy ••atutes I will keepe.
146 Saue me, and graunt that in thy house, I may in safetie sleepe.
147 Before the 〈…〉 to thee I call, and wait thy wll:
148 By night I watch, to meditate and studie of thee still.
149 Heare me ô gracious God in time, and quicken thou my spright▪
150 They are at hand that hate thy law, and me pursue with spight.
151 Thy promises assure me Lord, that thou ar nigh at hand:
152 I knew 〈◊〉 since thy high decree, should firme for euer stand.
PART. 20.
153 Behold my sorrowes then and helpe: ••y pleasure I obay;
154 Plead thou 〈…〉 me, vpon thy word I stay▪
155 The wicked they are farre from helpe, which do not thee regard.
156 But for thy seruants we do know, thy mercy is prepard.
157 Many they are tha me pursue, yet will I follow thee:
158 I see the wicked scorne thy ord, and much it grieueth mee▪
159 Consider Lord my 〈◊〉 too thee; so quicke 〈◊〉▪ my 〈◊〉
160 For, from for aye, thy word of truth, and righteousnesse I finde.
Page  [unnumbered]PART. 21.
161 Princes of might do me pursue, yet onely thee I feare:
162 Thy word delights my hart, as if my richesse great it weare▪
163 Thy law I loue, but do abhorte all falshood and deceit.
164 Seauen times a day I praise thy name, and on thee alwayes wait.
165 The keepers of thy law, shall stand from danger alwayes free;
166 I keepe thy heasts, because I hope thy sauing health to see.
167 Yea for the loue I beare to them, I will them not transgresse.
168 Thou seest (ô Lord) in all my wayes, thy name I do confesse.
PART. 22.
169 Let then my plaint before thee come, and be thou still my guide:
170 Giue are vnto my sute, and let thy promise firme abide.
171 When thou hast me thy statutes taught, my lips shal speake thy praise;
172 My tongue shall tell thy word of truth, and walke thy righteos wayes.
173 Helpe with thy hand, for I entend, thy precepts to pursue:
174 Thy sauing helpe and law I seeke, Lord do my faith renue.
175 Let liue my soule, to praise thy name, thy mercie me vphold.
176 I feare thy law, then clense my sinnes, and bring me to thy fold.

Psalme. 121.

1 VNto the hils I lift my eye, from whence my helpe shall grow;
2 Euē to the Lord which fram'd the heauens, & made the deeps below.
3 He will not let my feete to slip, my watchman neither sleepes.
4 Behold the Lord of Israell still his flocke in safety keepes.
5 The Lord is my defence he doth about me shadow cast;
6 By day nor night, the Sunne nor Moone, my limbs shall burne or blast.
7 He shall preserue me from all ill, and me from sinne protect;
8 My going in and comming forth, he euer shall direct.

Psalme. 130.

1 FRom pit of deepe perplexities to thee for helpe I cry,
2 O Lord giue are vnto my pla••t, and 〈◊〉 me speedily.
3 If strictly thou my sinnes behold, ô Lord, what ••esh is iust?
4 But mercy proper is to thee, and thereto d we trust.
5 Vpon thy promise I attend, thy word is alwayes true,
6 With morning and with euening watch, I will my sute renue.
7 Thy seruant must depend on thee, in thee i mercie found,
8 Thou wilt redeeme their oules from death, thy grace doth so abound.

Lords Prayer.

OVr Father which in heauen art, Lord halowed be thy name.
Thy knigdome come thy will be done, in heauen and earth the same:
Giue vs this day our daily bread: our trespasses forgiue,
As we for other mens offence, do freely pardon giue:
Into temptation leade vs not, but liuer vs from ill.
For thine all kingdome, glory, powre, is now and euer will.
Page  [unnumbered]

SVNDRY CHRISTIAN PASSIONS, CONTAINED in two hundred Sonnets. Diuided into two equall parts: The first consisting chiefly of Meditations, Humi∣liations, and Prayers. The second of Comfort, Ioy, and Thankesgiuing.

By H. L.

Call vpon me in the day of trouble, so will I deliuer thee, and thou shalt glorifie me.

LONDON, Printed by Richard Field. 1597.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

To the rIght renoVVneD VertVoVs VIrgin ELIzabeth, VVorthy QVeene of happIe EngLanD, her hIghnesse falthfVL subleC, Henry Lok, VVIsheth Long Lyfe, VVIth eternaL bLIsse. IVne VII.

MY worthlesse pen
To eternize
In holy flame
VVhich doth dispise
Thee sacred dame
That should protect
VVhose Phoenix quil
And those hath dect
Heauens do distill
As come from thence,
Ioue long you saue,
For whose defence,
Venus would craue,
VVhich Pallas wils
Presumeth to deuise,
Your peerles vertuous fame:
Of zeale my hart doth rise,
A theame of vulgar frame,
The graces haue select,
The holy Muses hill;
Doth heauenly Crowne affect,
VVhich Romane Trophies fill:
Their happie influence,
You there your portion haue;
VVhose Scepters you dispence,
True English hearts he gaue:
And Dain doth that due,
Me yeeld alone to you.
Page  [unnumbered]

The obseruations of the square following.

1 A Saint Georges crosse of two collumbs, in discription of her Maiestie, beginning at A. and B. in the middle to be read downward, and crossing at C. and D. to be read either single or double.

2 A S. Andrews crosse, beginning at E. & read thwartwaies, and ending with F. containing the description of our happie age, by her highnesse.

3 Two Pillers in the right and left side of the square, in verse, reaching from E. and F. perpendicularly, containing the sum of the whole, the latter columbe hauing the words placed counterchangeably to rime to the whole square.

4 The first & last two verses, or the third and fourth, with seuenth and eighth are sense in them selues, containing also sense of the whole.

5 The whole square of 100. containing in it self fiue squares, the angles of each of them are sense particularly, and vnited depend each on other, beginning at the center.

6 The out-angles are to be read 8. seuerall waies in sense and verse.

7 The eight words placed also in the ends of the S. Georges crosse, are sense and verse, alluding to the whole crosse.

8 The two third words in the bend deaeter of the S. Andrews crosse, being the middle from the angles to the center, haue in their first letters T. and A. for the Author. and H. L. in their second▪ for his name, which to be true, the words of the angles in that square confirme.

9 The direction to her Maiestie in prose aboue, containeth onely of numerall letters, the yeare and day of the compo∣sition, as thus, DD. C LL LL LL LL. VV VV VV VV VV VV VV VV. IIIIIIIIIIIII. For, 1593. Iune V.

Page  [unnumbered]

A Square in verse of a hundred monasillables only: Describing the cause of Englands happinesse▪

  Haec  
        A B       F  
In                     oc
  God 5 hath pourd forth Rare Grace On this I••e And  
  Makes Cround 4 your rule Queene In the same so 4 still  
  Kings lawd THis 3 saint Faire that with truth 3 doth stand  
  Rule so long time 2 milde Prince ioy 2 land it will  
C
Forma
For proofe you showes 1 wise 1 of earths race whome There Quadrata
  Heauēs haue vp held Iust 1 choice 1 whome God thus sheilds  
  Your stocke of Kings 2 worlds rich of 2 spring and feare  
  States fame Known 3 farre Praise Isle which ALl 3 blisse yeilds  
  Hold God 4 there fore sure stay of all the 4 Bst  
Vinces Blst 5 is your raigne Here Builds sweet Peace true Rest 5 Sign••
  Fi•••  

The Square plainely set downe.

GOd hath powr'd forth rare grace on this Ile, and
Makes crown'd your rule, Queene in the same so still,
Kings laud this Saint faire, that with truth doth stand,
Rule so long time mild Prince, ioy land it will.
For proofe you showes, wise of earths race whom there
Heauens haue vpheld▪ lust choyce whom God thus shields,
Your stocke of kings (worlds rich ofspring and feare,
States fame knowne farre) praise Ile which all blisse yeelds.
Hold God therefore sure stay, and port the best;
Blest is your raigne, here builds sweet peace, true rest.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Christian Reader.

WHo so shall duly consider the whole progresse of mans estate from life to death, shall find it (gentle Reader) to be nothing else but a very pilgrimage through this earth to another world; for whether we obserue the common course of all flesh, which from the mothers wombe to the graue, is still trauelling with change of bodily con∣stitution, from youth to age, from health to sicknesse, & so from one estate to another. Or if we behold the particular incounters which each man findeth in himselfe, in the variable change of hopes and crossing of his purposes: in both it shall by a generall experiēce of all mens calamities be assuredly confirmed to be too true. But how much more may we find in the direction of our sules to the proper hauen of their habita∣tion (euen to heauen) a multitude of aduersaries lying in the way to hin∣der out tauell to that Promised land; how many afflictions of the minde, frailties of the flesh, bayts of the world, and snares of Satan, are bent a∣gainst vs, to slacken (if not cleane to diuert) our due course thitherwardes, in such sort as if God of his infinite mercie and prouidence did not often∣times preuent and stop our willes and powers, and bridle the malice of these aduersaries, we should all assuredly perish by the way. But now (such is his fatherly care and loue to vs in Christ) that he hath left vs a direction & ready way of safetie in the midst of all assaults or afflictions how perillous soeuer, euen praier; which being formed according to the rules prescri∣bed vnto vs by his Sonne, and with feruencie of faith offered vp vnto him, are of power to penetrate the heauens, purchase our safetie, pay our debts, and procure vs peace of heart in the midst of all earthly perils: yea (know∣ing our coldnesse herein, and feare of our owne guilt, deterring vs from his presence) he doth not onely licence vs to this boldnesse, but allurth vs by many sensible blessings felt in our owne consciences; and calleth vs by a supernaturall courage, sometimes with confidence to come vnto him, and euen to hope against hope in our most desperate necessities. He doth direct our tongues oftentimes here in before our mindes, and our mindes before our hearts; being himselfe readier to giue then we to aske, and gi∣uing with more regard of our good, then we can craue or conceiue: for all which he expecteth nothing else at our hands, but continually to flie vn∣to him, and to yeeld him due praise: to relie on him onely in the day of triall, and to encourage others thereto; for in this sort alone he Page  [unnumbered] will be honoured of vs. This our earthly pilgrimage being then so daun∣gerous to all flesh, & so readie a way prescribed vnto vs for our safer passage therein, e were very vnwise that would not furnish himselfe with such pro∣uisio (which costs so litle as our wils to haue it) & more vncharitable that would nor do his best to assist his cōpanion in his iourney, with both coūsell & cōfort of the same. For this cause (gentle Readers) I hauing (through gods great goodnes) felt in the direction and protection of my vnstable youth, a plentifull portion of the wonderfull care he hath ouer vs, & of the vnspeak∣able force of praier & thanksgiuing in all extremities: the more to stirre vp my selfe to a memorie thereof, haue thought good to set downe these ab∣rupt passions of my passed afflictions, as witnesses of the impedimēts most stopping me in my Christian pilgrimage, and testimonies of the meanes of my euasion hitherto, which may serue for presidents for my selfe in the like future occasions: and not be altogither vnprofitable for others to imitate. In which (as in a glasse) may be seene, the state of a renegerate soule, sicke with sinne, sometimes (Ague-like) shiuering with cold despaire, straight waies inflamed with feruencie of faith and hope. One while yeelding vnder the burden of sinne to eternall death, and presently incouraged to runne chearefully forward the appointed course of this his pilprimage; and like a practised traueller, vsed to the change of company, dyet, heat, cold, paine, pleasure, plentie, and want, not to amaze himselfe long with any change: but by a consideration of pleasures passed, or rest expected, patiently to passe ouer this world full of incombrances; from a sence and feeling whereof in some measure, no true child of God is any long time (as I sup∣pose) expempt. Now, although I doubt not but euen these reasons will carry the iudgement of the godly Christian Reader to a fauourable interpreta∣tion of my purpose herein, and to some delight in the tast thereof, to whom no person or occasion, style or phrase, will seeme vnseasonable, being im∣ployed to the glorifying of God, and profit of the Church, or proceeding from a zeale of that effect; yet the consideration that the greater number to whose handes this Treatise may happen to come, are either not so well affected, or so discreet and temperate as were to be wished, maketh me thinke it needfull to say something in declaration of my purpose herein: not in excuse of my exercising my selfe in such theames, which in deede ought to be the common action in some measure of all men, as oft as ne∣cessary affaires of this life wil permit them, neither in that I make common with others this my exercise, which seemeth in secret only to be practised by my selfe▪ for that I take it not to be alwaies a token of pride or vaine-glory, to make knowne for a common good to others, that which may breed a suspect of ambition in the Author among the prophane or cauelling mul∣titude; though how herein I am caried my selfe, I leaue to God the sear∣cher of hearts to iudge: only I would satisfie them first in the cause of my writing them in verse, then of the confused placing of them without spe∣ciall titles. To the first I was induced, for that I find many oftentimes (spe∣ciallie Page  [unnumbered] such as had most neede to praie and meditate) to reade bookes ra∣ther for the affection of words then liking of matter, and perhaps more to controll the compiling, then commend the contents, Such yet (so as they read) shal giue me al that I craue, & find I hope that good they loked not for, if not in all, yet in some among many of these Sonnets. As for the apt nature of Poetrie, to delight, to contriue significatiuely in fewe words much mat∣ter, to pearce and penetrate affections of men, with the aptnesse thereof, for helpe of memorie, I will not saie much: but for my deducing these passiōs and affections into Sonnets, it answereth best for the shortnesse, to the na∣ture, and common humor of men, who are either not long touched with so good motions, or by their worldly affaires not permitted to continue much reading. To the cause of my so preposterous placing of them, and deuision onely into three sorts, I confesse indeed I am perswaded their dis∣order doth best fit the nature of mankind, who commonly is delighted with contraries, and excercised with extreames; and also as they were by God ministred vnto my mind to set downe by sundrie Accidents: so I suppose my prouidence could not (by a formall placing of them) so soone hit the affection of euery reader, as Gods direction (by that which mē call chance) might often do. As they are therefore, I recommend them to thy courtesie in reading, and thee to Gods holy spirit in the perusing of them. If they may haue the same working in thee, that I praise God some of them had in me, they shall not be vtterly vnprofitable. If in matter they iumpe not to thy passions in all pointes, thinke that in the great Arsenall of Satans Armor he hath choise of weapons for sundrie assaults, and disposeth of them di∣uersly, according to the strength or weaknesse of the partie he besiegeth: which (being as different in particular persons as Gods gifts are to them) thou shalt doe well (to thy abilitie) to reforme or supply my defect therin If in manner of the verse or stile, they be (as I doubt not but they are) to be a∣mended much, I do not greatly seeke the praise of a curious Architector, neither (without neglect of more necessary duties) could I attaine to the required obseruances that way. And therefore craue that thy discretion may excuse my intention and abilitie And thus I hartily recommend thee to the Almightie.

Page  1

THE FIRST PART OF CHRISTIAN PASSIONS, containing a hundreth Sonets of medi∣tation, humiliation, and prayer.

PREFACE.

IT is not Lord the sound of many words,
The bowed knee or abstinence of man,
The filed phrase that eloquence affords,
Or Poets pen that heauens do pearce, or can:
By heauie cheere, of colour pale and wan,
By pined bodie of the Pharisay,
A mortall eye repentance oft doth scan,
Whose iudgement doth on outward shadows stay,
But thou (ô God) doest hearts intent bewray,
For from thy sight Lord nothing is conceald,
Thou formdst the frame fro out the verie clay,
To thee the thoughts of hearts are all reueald,
To thee therefore with hart and minde prostrate,
With teares I thus deplore my sinfull state.
Page  2

SONET. I.

HOw should my soule Lord clad in earthly mold,
(The prison where it readie is to pine
Where vile affections captiue it do hold,
And threaten naught, but ruine in the fine)
Vnto one thought of hope or helpe incline,
Or raise my eyes vnto the heauens bright?
How may it Lord take hold on mercies thine,
Or presse it selfe in presence of thy sight?
Or how canst thou therein at all delight,
If mercy be not spokesman in this case,
If merit of thy Sonne should not acquite
The common guilt of Adams sinfull rase?
Which since by faith alone man may attaine,
Grant me first grace not faithlesse to ramaine.

SON. II.

FRo out the darknesse of this sea of feare,
Where I in whale remaine deuourd of sin,
With true remorse of former life I reare
My heart to heauen, in hope some helpe to win:
I do confesse my fault, who did begin
To flie from thee, ô Lord, and leaue vndone
Thy seruice, which of right should first haue bin
Performd, by which so many should be wonne
To praise thy name: but feare alas begunne,
To represent to me my iourny long,
The dangers of the world my life should runne,
Which made me to my soule to offer wrong.
But since by show of death thou caldst me backe,
Thy gracious helpe at need let me not lacke.
Page  3

SON. III.

WIthin this arke where in my soule doth dwell,
My bodie floting on worldes troubled waue,
Which windes of fierce affections cause to swell,
And hardly can my power from sinking saue,
I crie to thee ô Lord, and comfort craue:
Close vp this fountaine of stil flowing sin,
Let me by faith againe once footing haue
On frutefull earth, and holie life begin;
Lighten the burden so vncleane within,
Of brutish vices raging in my minde,
Let cleane affects the greater partie win,
And so increase, that plentie I may finde
Of sacrifices pleasing in thy sight,
Of faith and loue, which are thy soules delight.

SON. IIII.

IN humble wise as fitteth best my state,
An abiect wretch deuoyd of all desert,
I here approch before thy mercy gate,
O Lord of life with broke and contrite hart:
I need not to reueale to thee my smart,
A lump of sin and shame I am I know,
Wounded so deepe with deadly poysned dart
Of serpents sting, which did from parents grow,
That now my humors so do ouerflow
With foule affections of my feeble minde,
As presseth downe my eyes on earth so low,
As dares not search the heauens, true helpe to finde.
Yet since thou hast made known to me my griefe,
Guide me by grace to fountaine of reliefe.
Page  4

SONET. V.

VNto thy princely wedding Lord are bed,
Of euerie sort some guests to feast with thee,
One that a spouse but late before had wed,
One oxen bought, one taken land to fee:
They from the banket therefore absent bee,
Regarding not thy messengers of grace,
In number of the like, Lord hold not mee,
But let me haue I craue the offred place:
Yet ere that I appeare before thy face,
A wedding garment first I must put on,
My owne vnrighteous cloathing is too base,
And marchandise of merits now are gone,
Then since thou cal'st, with faith do thou me cloth,
A lame blind begger Lord, do thou not loth.

SON. VI.

IN pride of youth when as vnbridled lust
Did force me forth, my follies to bewray,
I challenged as patrimony iust,
Each vaine affection, leading to decay:
And trusting to that treasure, post away
I wandred in the worlds alluring sight:
Not reason, vertue, shame, or feare could stay,
My appetite from tasting each delite,
Till want and wearinesse began me bite,
And so perforce to father I retire,
To whom I prostrate kneele (vnworthie wight)
To name of sonne not daring to aspire;
Receiue me yet, sweet sauiour, of thy grace,
Poore penitent, into a seruants place.
Page  5

SON. VII.

Lame of my limmes, and sencelesse of my state,
Neere fortie yeares Lord haue I groueling line,
Before Bethesda poole, yet still too late,
To wash me in the fountaine I encline,
Whence health wold come, when Angel giues the sine:
If any one to aide me readie were,
But helplesse thus, I readie am to pine,
My selfe vnable duly vp to reare.
Vouchsafe thou then me to this bath to beare,
By the assistance of thy heauenly grace,
Let not the force of foule affects me feare,
To prease forth first when Christ appeares in place,
Who is the fountaine, Angell, and the man,
That bath, that blisse, that cure my senses can.

SON. VIII.

THy thundring voice and Angell Lord of long,
Hath cald my soule from slumber where it lay,
The harmony of heauenly musickes song,
Hath made my wandring feete at last to stay:
Direct thou me also the readie way
Vnto thy church, that in thy holy place
Thy word and law I may in heart obay,
And worship thee before thy peoples face.
Grant me I say, such measure of thy grace,
That greedily by faith I swallow vp
Thy booke of truth, and so thy word imbrace,
That frutefully I taste saluations cup.
Thou who doest rule the earth, the sea and land:
In my defence, with power and glory stand.
Page  6

SON. IX.

AMong thy sheepe ô Lord I seemd to feed,
By Sacraments receiu'd into thy stocke,
By preached word I watred was indeed,
And works with fleece did seeme inritch my stocke:
But at my doore true faith did neuer knocke,
(Which should be shepheard of my soules defence)
But (thiefe like) fond affections reason mocke,
And by the window of my wilfull sence
Do enter to my heart, and steale from thence
Each motion of amendment which doth rise,
And shepheardlesse of grace, transported hence
By Sathan (rau'ning woolfe) in fearefull wise,
I call to thee (sweet Sauiour) shepheard true,
Teach me to know thy voice and thee insue.

SONET. X.

BEhold ô Lord the Citie thou hast built,
Ierusalem this fleshly frame of mine,
By sin (Assyrians sword) is almost spilt,
And like to yeeld to Rabsake in fine:
Yet lo (alas) my soule doth much repine,
To see proud Satan so blaspheme thy name,
To threaten ruine to this temple thine,
Since thou art praysd and honord in the same:
Thou able art the rage of lust to tame,
The force of pride and furie to subdue;
Against Senacherib thy Angell came,
And all his host in one night ouerthrew:
So let thy holie spirit me defend,
And to my plaints and praiers comfort send.
Page  7

SON. XI.

SInce with Goliah I am now to fight,
And lacke the slight of holie Dauids sling,
Arme thou me Lord with heauenly armor bright,
Which power of flesh & world to foile may bring:
Thy righteous brest-plate gird on me with truth,
Prepare my feet with Gospel of thy peace,
The shield of faith (which firie dartes beare forth,
Of wicked Satan, whose assaults not sease)
The helmet of saluation, and the sword
Of spirit, which is founded on thy law;
All these my praiers are, that thou afford,
To make me stedfast, spight of lyons claw,
Who roaring, daily seekes as wished pray,
My silly soule from thee to take away.

SON. XII.

NOw that thou hast prepard me to confesse,
Thy seruice Lord the which I vndertake,
I thee beseech, my purpose so to blesse,
That I a good account to thee may make:
A Nazarit I am, who do forsake
The delicacies of the worlds delight,
Whose thirst thy purest fountaine still shall slake,
With faith and truth, the which with sin shall fight:
I will not tast the wine of Satans slight,
Which doth confound all reason and all sence,
My vow shall be to serue thee day and night,
And trust in thee shall be my true defence,
Till death dissolue this promise made to thee,
Whose strength herein thy heauenly graces bee,
Page  8

SON. XIII.

I Seeeke ô Lord to shew thy powrefull hand,
Which hath conuerted this my sinfull hart,
Into a rod of strength, which still might stand
Strong in thy truth, who powrefull onely art:
But Iannes pride, and Iambres lustfull hart,
By light imposture of slie Satans might,
Two Serpents frame, which will not thence dpaert,
But seeke against thy powrefull hand to fight.
But let my faith their fury put to flight,
And vertue thine, deuour these imps of sin,
Let not these fleshly frutes appeare in sight
Of truth, which only can the conquest win.
Let faith shew forth the finger of thy hand,
And cleane consume, ech power doth it withstand.

SON. XIIII.

BEhold ô Lord a tree by high way side,
Vnfrutefull yet of any food for thee,
In high way side as yet I do abide,
Where passers to Ierusalem I see:
Though sommer grow, I cannot frutefull be,
Vnplanted by thy grace in garden thine:
I do confesse I am a wild fig tree,
For want of moisture which am like to pine,
Vnto my praiers Lord do thou incline,
Remoue me home into thy garden faire,
Let me behold the face of thy sunne shine,
Which may my withered leaues with life repaire:
So maist thou tast a frute of wholesome kinde,
And leaue a marke of mercy great behinde.
Page  9

SON. XV.

VVIthin thy garden Lord I planted was,
And watred well with thy most carefull hand,
But yet vfrutefull I remaind (alas)
And these thy blessings did not vnderstand.
In vaine I did employ possessed land,
Ten times three yeares thy seruants did replant
My stocke, and sought to bend my crooked wand,
And did supply ech aide I seem'd to want.
At length my frutes which daily grew more scant,
Wild thee resolue to haue me weeded out,
My foule affections were with folly brant,
My roote of faith was shakt with feare and doubt,
And lo I pine, sweet Sauiour water me,
Paul and Apollos worke, else lost will be.

SON. XVI.

A Wicked Pharisie I long haue bene,
Whom sight of mercies thine allure to thee,
A shamed Lord of my faire clothed sinne,
In secret night I seeke thy face to see:
That thou art God, thy wokes reueale to me,
That thou art mine, thy sonne doth me assure,
Vouchsafe, that I regenerate may be,
And that my praiers pardon may procure.
Purge by thy sprite and faith, faire fountaine pure,
The senses dull that cannot vnderstand,
The heauenly birth which shall in blisse endure,
Not subiect vnto Satans sinfull band.
And with thy sonne let worlds affections die,
My soule from hell, with him ascend on hie.
Page  10

SON. XVII.

FIue foolish virgins in my senses dwell,
And seeke to make me slumber ouer long,
They dreame, that all my deeds do fall out well,
Whereas indeed I headlong run to wrong:
To vanities their humors do belong,
And sin, who doth their fancie chiefly feed:
They cheined are to linkes of lust so strong,
That their best foile, brings forth but bitter weed;
They lacke the oyle which should be vsde indeed,
To lead them to the euerlasting light:
It growes not Lord in frute of humane seed,
Man sleeps all day and gropes his way at night,
Vnlesse thou lend thy hand and fill our lampes,
Our light goes forth with smothering sinful dāps▪

SON. XVIII.

OVt of the fountaine of eternall life,
I poore Samaritan here readie stand,
(To sinfull lustan old betrothed wife)
With pitcher readie in my trembling hand,
To wraw a draught of liquor most diuine,
To quench the thirst of my inflamed hart
With heauenly deaw: ere that my soule do pine,
And qualiie the rigor of my smart.
A Prophet true thou art I vnderstand,
Or rather father of all truth thou art,
A stranger I from faire Iudaea land,
With these thy blessings craue for to impart:
Then guide my hand, and teach my soule to tast
True faith, the fountaine where all blisse is plast.
Page  11

SON. XIX.

A Wicked soule sold to all fleshly sin,
Lord here I prostrate at thy feete do lie,
To gather crummes of grace, soules health to win,
Which Lord to giue me do thou not denie:
The precious oyle of penitence will I
Powre forth with teares, fro out my melting eyes,
To bath thy feete, and after will I drie
Them with my haires (which balms no treasure bies)
Though worldly loue (when he my fact espies)
Repine to see my soule so well inclind:
To my defence ô Lord vouchsafe to rise,
And fructifie this first frute of my minde;
Vouchsafe to sup with humble seruant thine,
And that of seruice, better choyse be mine.

SON. XX.

A Poore Arabian whom base Agar bare,
First borne of flesh, but last of promist grace,
Of bastard kind, bred vp with mothers care,
In wildernesse of world for a long space:
And famishing before my parents face,
Whose workes vnable were to lend me aide,
A bond man vnto sin as fleshly race,
To whom heauens heritage thy lawes denaide:
Amidst my wandring course by thee am staide,
And haue a promise, not to die but liue;
Thy couenant Lord abundantly is paide,
If grace (to feed by faith) thou doest me giue:
My bondage thus release, make thou me free,
My barren branch shall so bring frute for thee.
Page  12

SON. XXI.

A Marchant I, full long abroad haue straide,
By sea and land true happinesse to gaine,
The riches of the earth my eyes haue waide,
And see their profit to be light and vaine:
Such trifling trash my soule doth now disdaine,
And Iewels of more value I espye,
Among the rest, one doth all other staine,
Which with my wealth I wish that I might buye.
But this rare pearle is of a price so hie,
As all the earth cannot esteeme the same,
Much lesse to purchase it, can it come nie,
Yet doth the loue thereof my heart enflame:
Be thou the pledge (sweet Sauior) then for me,
That heauenly blisse shall so my riches be.

SON. XXII.

AMong the prease of many that draw neare,
Vnto the feast of grace in Temple thine,
I silly widow also doe appeare,
With humble heart ô Lord, who here encline,
And vnto thee a mite for offering mine,
Present as precious, to my poore estate,
For heards or flocks for store of corne and wine,
Without obedience Lord thou aye didst hate,
But broken hearts and soules which lye prostrate
Before thy throne of grace, and mercy craue,
Do mercie finde, though it be nere so late,
Thy promise hereof vs assurance gaue,
In trust whereof, obaying thy behest,
My praiers to thy praise, ô Lord are prest,
Page  13

SON. XXIII.

INto thy vineyard Lord (vnworthie) I
Desire to come, to trauell out the day,
Thou calledst me thereto, and didst espie
Me loytring idle, by the worlds high way:
At first to come my follies did me stay,
Whom cold and hunger now to worke compell,
Though halfe my daies be spent, say me not nay,
The other halfe to trie, employed well.
I do not hope my paines so deare to sell,
As they that beare the brunt of heat of day,
They merit most whose trauels most excell,
My slender seruice craues but single pay.
But (if thy bountie giue,) behold me prest,
With thanks thy grace to taste, amongst the rest.

SON. XXIIII.

AS thou art pure and iust in all thy waies,
(O Lord) so should thy offrings also bee:
The tongue vncleane, cannot set forth thy praise,
The wanton eye may not thy secrets see:
The lame of faith, the blind of skill not hee,
That thou alotst thy sacrifice to slay;
The heart that is found cleane in each degree,
Is fittest for thy church, wherein to stay,
Such is no flesh, ô Lord, the truth to say,
But as thou pleasest them to purifie,
By faith and by repentance euerie day,
Who then with Christ, may boldly thee come nie,
Behold me then, thus thy adopted chyld,
Let me not from thy temple be exyld.
Page  14

SON. XXV.

I Follow thee ô Lord but far behinde,
As Peter did, when he did see thee led
To prison, where the traitors did thee binde,
Amazed much with worldly feare and dred:
When as I saw the world all ouer spred
With hatred and disdaine vnto the iust,
My courage it was quayld, and quickly fled,
And had no liking to thy helpe to trust.
But Lord I know perforce I forward must,
If I intend to gaine the crowne I craue,
I must abandon flesh and fleshly lust,
And in thy promise all my hope must haue.
Grant thou me boldnesse then and constant will,
To perseuere in thy obedience still.

SON. XXVI.

OF parents first, two brothers borne that were,
The bodie and the soule did represent,
The elder Cain, who Henocks wals did reare,
The yonger Abell dwelt in silly tent:
First man with plough the virgins soile he rent,
The other seru'd and shoare the silly sheepe:
To worldly lustes of flesh the one was bent,
Thy heauenly lawes the other sought to keepe.
A deadly discord twixt them so did creepe,
The elder did the guiltlesse yonger slay;
That ancient hatred grounded is so deepe,
It striues in me (alas) vnto this day.
Accept my sacrifice, Lord me defend,
My powres vnto thy holie pleasure bend.
Page  15

SON. XXVII.

LIke pined chyld ô Lord from nurses brest,
Whom churlish stepdame ouer soone doth waine,
By wicked will alas I am opprest,
And crie to cruell flesh behold in vaine:
Who lets me languishing in sin remaine,
And sends no comfort to support my need,
My faults I know, I do confesse them plaine,
That folly doth my weake affections feed:
I see my ruine neare at hand in deed,
And cannot call for aide whose tong is dum,
My feete so feeble cannot helpe at need,
Although I see at hand thy vengeance come,
Vnlesse thou giue me grace to see and feare,
To pray in faith, and thou thy hand forbeare.

SON. XXVIII.

POlluted with the curelesse leprosie
Of sin, which is heriditarie now,
So lothsome growne, that I dare not come nie
Thy holy temple, where my heart doth bow:
I craue ô Lord, it please thee to allow
The high Priest Christ thy sonne to view my sore,
Whose holyhand may guide and teach me how
To cure this griefe it may returne no more.
I know ô Lord, thou hast of mercy store,
And onely thou doest pitie mans estate,
Which though my stubburne heart refusde before,
Repentance yet and faith coms not too late,
Whose sparrowes of repentance I present
An offering here through worldly desert sent.
Page  16

SON. XXIX.

A Virgine pure ô Lord by birth I was,
The daughter of thy church adopt by grace:
But lothsome lust (foule fiend) did me alas
Pursue, and sought with me his dwelling place.
As many vertues as did seeke my grace,
By weddings band to me to be vnight,
So many did this fiend, first night deface,
So oft I was depriu'd of my delight.
Seuen times a widow I with shame and spight
Am left, and liue now hopelesse of redresse:
Till thou with Raphaell send that medicine bright,
Of God to giue me grace, to sinne suppresse.
Thy sonne thus made, my spouse shall soone restore
Tobias sight, wealth comfort, lost before.

SON. XXX.

OF sinfull race of mans licentious seed,
Whilst heauenly ofspring with faire humane kinde,
Do ioyne affects, where wicked lusts do breed,
And so pollute the frutes of vertuous minde,
A bastard brood my selfe alas I finde,
Whose nature doth in tryannie consist,
Of grace and reason growne so dull and blinde,
That I in wrong with stubburnesse persist:
Who seeing father Nature ere he wist,
A sleepe with sotish wine of worldly loue,
To hide his shame by wisdome had no list,
Which iustly curse of God on me did moue.
A slaue to sin, therefore I did pursue
(Like Nymrod) grace of God, which now Irue.
Page  17

SON. XXXI.

AS oft as thou by grace wouldst drawe me backe
From sin, whereto I am by nature thrall,
So oft alas I finde my will to lacke,
And power to follow thee when thou doest call,
From sin to sin, I headlong thus do fall,
And quench repentance by a peruerse will,
I see my fall, but haue no feare at all,
And to my vomit dog-like turne I still.
My frailtie doth thy wrathfull cup fulfill,
With flowing measure of reuenge and wo:
When I returne a litle backe from ill,
To wallow in the myre againe I go.
No powre is in me Lord my life to mend,
Vnlesse thy hand from heau'n me comfort send.

SON. XXXII.

FAine would I fence this feeble flesh of mine,
From Satans furie, who me thus assailes,
Which doth besiege my soule, and meanes to pine
My conscience, which my sin so sore bewailes,
His busie braine to win me neuer failes,
And leaues no stratagem at all vntride:
My fainting hope I know not what it ailes,
But it doth feare the batt'ry to abide.
The safest way must be (what ere betide)
To set a watch to looke vnto my waies:
Lest pride, or lust, or wrath do let him slide
Into my hart, which yet vnyeelded staies:
But like a theefe he stealeth me vpon,
Watch thou me (Lord) ech houre: else I am gon.
Page  18

SON. XXXIII.

MY sinnes behold (ô Lord) are manifold,
VVhich do incamp my soule each houre about,
Still me intrenched with distrust they hold,
So that no frutes of faith can issue out:
Their fleshly champion is a soldiar stout,
VVho is assist by world and Satans aide,
And foule affections readie are in rout,
To further force to lust, but hardly staide.
The earthly treasures haue with pleasure paide,
The hatefull Army which doth hast to hell:
My natiue powre their passage not denaide
VVhich makes their pride and peruerse wil to swel.
I see no way to helpe to shun decaie,
But on thy graces rescue Lord to staie.

SON. XXXIIII.

THe greedinesse of this my corrupt minde,
VVhich tasteth not but of the earthly gaine,
And in thy glorie can no profit finde,
But seekes with symonie my soule to staine:
Makes me (alas) for carnall treasor vaine,
Like Elizeus seruant to desire,
A present of worldes pleasure mixt with paine,
As recompence of heauenly comforts hire.
I sorcerer like do also oft require,
(Like marchandise) thy graces for to buye,
Supposing morall vertues may aspire,
To saue my soule, and sin to mortifie.
But lo I see soules leprosie herein,
And craue that praiers may my pardon win.
Page  19

SON. XXXV.

VOyd of true life, and buried in the graue
Of wicked flesh (alas) I long haue bin,
No earthly comfort can my conscience haue,
VVhich was corrupted with all lothsome sin.
My sister (vertues) to despaire begin,
Of euer seeing once my lifes restore,
Ne is there any other way to win
True life indeed, which shall decay no more,
But prostrate Lord thy helpe for to implore,
And craue thy gracious presence at the last,
To aide the soule thy sonne hath lou'd before,
For time of grace with thee is neuer past.
Roll backe hard stone from heart, bid him arise,
VVho slaue to sin, in earthly coffin lies.

SON XXXVI.

MY bodie (Lord) the house which hath bene long
Possest with spirits, to ruine of the same,
VVhich forst me forward, vnto open wrong
Of conscience, by defacing of thy name,
Hath found some comfort, since thy message came
Vnto my soule, which in thy word was sent,
VVhose powerfull truth hath bound, & seeks to tame
The furious lust which to my ruine bent.
Grant Lord from heart I may indeed repent,
And therewith chase these fiends fro out of me,
Sweep cleane my house, fro out of which they went,
And garnished with graces let it be:
Let puissant faith henceforth possesse the place,
Lest sin returne with legions of disgrace.
Page  20

SON. XXXVII.

AMidst this famine of Sarepta soile,
Where I a widow dwell, poore and abiect,
Compeld by sin, with sweat of browes to toile,
To gather stickes, from cold me to protect:
Behold me Lord, a caitiue thus neglect,
Whom sin hath banished thy blessed land:
Who yet in heart thy Prophers do affect,
And with thy church to life and death wold stand.
I offer all my treasures here in hand,
That litle sparke of grace yet left behinde,
Increase it Lord, vnto a great fire-brand
Of faith which may a frutefull haruest finde.
My meale and Oyle, ô Lord do thou increase,
My selfe & sonne, shall praise thee so in pease.

SON. XXXVIII.

BOrne blinde I was, through sinfull Adams fall,
And neuer since could see with carnall eyes:
Ne know I where or how for helpe to call,
From out of sin to holie life to rise.
It pleased thee (ô Lord) that in this wise,
Thy powre and glorie might to man appeare,
Who gracelesse groueling in earths darknesse lies,
And wants the eyes of faith his soule to cheare:
But since thou sentst thy sonne my Sauiour deare,
To shine in light to those in darknesse weare:
To dym the worldly wisdome seeming cleare,
And sinfull soules frō hell to heauen to reare.
Touch thou my eyes with faith, wash me with grace,
In Sylo poole (thy word) which I embrace.
Page  21

SON. XXXIX.

HOw drunken are my humors all alasse,
With wine of vanitie and sensuall lust,
Which from one sin do to an other passe,
And after euill daily more do thrust.
Of force my faults (for shame) confesse I must;
My lauish vsage of thy graces sent,
My soules consent to action so vniust,
As death of Prophets teaching to repent:
Like Herod I about the matter went,
To please the follies of my flesh delight:
Incest'ous I, to sin so much was bent,
That offred mercie, pleased not my sight:
But Lord prepare my heart to see my sin,
That sorrow may, a way to mends bigin.

SON. XL.

THough with thy Saints ô Lord I choise haue made,
To spend my daies in praising of thy name,
And in the studie of thy word to wade,
To feed my faith with portion of the same:
Yet can I not my choice so rightly frame,
Amidst the spacious fields where truth doth grow,
But whilst to gather healthfull herbe I came,
A bitter bud I found of fearefull show
Which threatneth me with death and ouerthrow,
Vnto my soule, which feedeth greedely
On sin, the weed which Satan did bestow:
By poisoned tast thereof I pined lie,
But Christ thy sonne by faith me helth shall bring,
Discharge the law, and bruse this deadly sting.
Page  22

SON. XLI.

ACcording to the promise of thy word,
To giue the victorie (ô Lord) to those
That fight thy battels with a faithfull sword,
Against the world, flesh, diuell and thy foes:
I seeke ô Lord proud Iericho t'inclose,
Incouragde by thy graces from aboue,
My shooes of foule affects I pray thee lose,
Before on holy earth my path I moue;
Thy powerfull hand by prayers let me proue,
Which daily seu'n times I to thee direct:
Shake thou the walles of sin for my behoue,
And in this skirmish do thou me protect:
The frutes of flesh, pride, lust, and error all
So shall be wract, and sin not raise a wall.

SON. XLII.

AMidst the graues of death this many a yeare,
My soule (possessed with all sorts of sin)
Hath liu'd, and held that frutefull place so deare,
That from the same no counsell could me win:
To beate my selfe my follies neuer lin,
No reason can with chaines binde so my will,
But to vnlose my lust I do begin,
With helpe of furious fiend, who aides me still,
But since thy sonne appeareth me vntill,
I craue I may no more tormented bee,
Lest that my soule eternally he kill,
But from the force of Satan make me free;
These brutish sinnes in swine more fit to dwell,
Drowne in repentant seas, of teares which swell.
Page  23

SON. XLIII.

IN deadly sleepe ô Lord sin hath me cast,
Wherein secure I lye, and so remaine,
Raise me ô Lord out of this dreame at last,
And let me sight and light of heauen attaine:
The heauie humors which my iudgment staine,
And dazell so the reason of my minde,
Grant that they may their proper vse attaine,
And comfort in thy grace and promise finde.
All fleshly wisedome of it selfe is blinde,
Till thou by knowledge cleare their wandring sight:
Out of the snare of sin flesh cannot winde,
Vnlesse by faith they see thy Sonne so bright,
Him let me still, both see and eke admire,
And thee in him, ô Lord I thee desire.

SON XLIIII.

MY wicked flesh, ô Lord with sin full fraight,
Whose eye doth lust for euerie earthly thing,
By couetise allurde hath bit the baight,
That me to Satans seruitude will bring.
By violence I vertues right would wring,
Out of possession of the soule so weake,
Like vineyard which the wicked Achab king
Possest by tyrants power, which lawes do breake:
Let Prophets thine (Lord) to my soule so speake,
That in repentant sackcloth I may mone,
The murther of thy grace, which I did wreake,
Whilst to my natiue strength I trust alone;
And let my Sauiour so prolong my daies,
That henceforth I may turne from sinfull waies.
Page  42

SON. XLV.

IF thou vouchsafdst Lord of thy goodnesse rare,
To sanctifie with holie presence thine,
The Cana marriage, where thou didst not spare,
First miracle of water turnd to wine,
Then be thou present at this wedding mine,
Which twixt thy Church and me by faith is ment:
To see the want in me thy eyes encline,
(Whose wine of grace by wanton youth is spent)
But (being toucht with view thereof) repent,
And craue that water of earthes healthles well,
May issue forth from heart with sorrow rent,
And turnd to wine, may so with grace excell,
That all that see and tast this change in me,
May grant this worke, of thee alone to be.

SON. XLVI.

SInce it hath pleased thee (ô Lord) to send,
Now in my barren age of hope and grace,
Repentant childe from ruine to defend,
My name and soule to liue before thy face,
Thy blessings I do thankfully embrace,
And in thy feare will frame his tender yeare,
The worlds regard in me shall haue no place,
If once thy word and will my heart do heare.
And when thou calst, we both will then appeare,
Before thy Aulter in Moriath land,
To offer vp thy gift my sonne so deare,
Obedient childe to faithfull fathers hand:
Which sacrifice (not worthie gift for thee,)
With Christ my Sauiors suffrings quit let bee.
Page  15

SON. XLVII.

OF euerie creature vncleane to fore,
Whereof thy holy people might not tast,
Thou didst present Lord to Peter store,
Which were from heauen in sheet before him plast.
Which he at first refusde with mind most chast,
Not touching things polluted or defilde:
But afterward thy counsell he embrast,
And saw himselfe had bene before beguilde,
To thinke all sinners were for aye exilde
From presence of thy mercies, which abound,
Whom oft thou doest receiue as father milde,
If faith in Christ thy sonne in them be found.
By praiers faith, by faith, thy grace doth grow,
Cornelius blessing (Lord) on me bestow.

SON. XLVIII.

HOw hard it is (ô Lord) for man to frame
His minde (corrupt) to be preparde for thee,
With tongue vncleane to praise thy holie name,
With fleshly eies thy glorie for to see:
Homeward I bring thy blessings vnto me,
And make my soule their dwelling place to rest:
But so forgetfull of thy lawes we be,
That this my action Lord I see not blest,
Pride and contempt the waies haue so opprest,
That danger is the carriage ouerthrow:
Grant that thy grace, to staie it may be prest,
That so my soule thy sauing health may know,
For to my flesh vnsanctified to trust,
Were aie to hasten death by iudgement iust.
Page  26

SON. XLIX.

MY traitrous heart which long time hath rebeld,
Against thy spirit, which should feed me still,
A secret counsell in it selfe hath held,
To contrarie thy knowne reuealed will:
Whose mutinie my sences so do fill
With deeds repining to thy holie law,
That raging pride and lust lead me to ill,
Forgetting tokens of thy wrath they saw;
As Dathan and Abyram had no awe
Of Moyses and of Aron thine elect,
But sought a way thy people how to drawe,
And Prophets thine by pride for to reiect:
So doth my soule alas thy grace resist,
And in the follies of the flesh persist.

SON. L.

A Tenant most vntrue ô Lord to thee,
In vineyard of my bodie haue I bin:
To craue thy rent thy seruants came to me,
But nothing but intreatie bad they win:
My trauell therein was to nourish sin,
And wast the wine of thy abounding plant;
The more to call me backe thou didst begin,
The more to thee my gratitude did want.
Ne would my lacke of grace let me recant,
When thou thy onely Sonne to me didst send,
For sin and Satan did me so supplant,
That to his ruine I did also bend:
But Lord me lend In time repentant hart,
That from this vineyard I may not depart.
Page  27

SON. LI.

WHilst in the garden of this earthly soile,
My selfe to solace and to bath I bend,
And fain wold quench sins heat, which seems to boile
Amidst my secret thoughts, which shadow lend:
My sence and reason which should me defend,
As iudges chosen to the common weale,
Allur'd by lust, my ruine do pretend,
By force of sin, which shamelesse they reueale.
They secretly on my affections steale,
When modestie (my maides) I sent away,
To whom for helpe I thought I might appeale,
But grace yet strengthens me to say them nay;
Yet they accuse me Lord, and die I shall,
If Christ my Daniell be not iudge of all.

SON. LII.

I Iustly am accusde, and now am brought
By law and gilt of conscience (I confesse)
Before thy throne, conuict by deed and thought,
Of sinfull lust which did me so possesse,
That quickning graces thine I did suppresse
By fading loue of world procliue to ill,
Whose dome eternall death and nothing lesse,
My soule doth see, to threaten to me still.
But since that frailtie so the world doth fill,
That no one fleshly wight thereof is free,
For mercy Lord to thee repaire I will,
Who seest the hart, and canst best comfort me:
Quit me from death, grant I may fall no more,
But remnant of my daies thy grace implore.
Page  28

SON. LIII.

A Husbandman within thy Church by grace
I am ô Lord, and labour at the plough,
My hand holds fast, ne will I turne my face
From following thee, although the soile be rough:
The loue of world doth make it seeme more tough,
And burning lust doth scorch in heat of day:
Till fainting faith would seeke delightfull bough,
To shade my soule from danger of decay.
But yet (in hope of grace from thee) I stay,
And do not yeeld, although my courage quaile;
To rescue me be'prest, I do thee pray,
If sinfull death do seeke me to assaile.
Let me runne forth my race vnto the end,
Which (by thy helpe ô Lord) I do intend.

SON. LIIII.

ABase borne sonne to sin by kinde I am,
From natiue soile by want of grace exilde,
Of idle fances captaine I became:
Whilst I in Tob, my resting place did bilde,
With worldly vanities I was defilde,
Till home thou caldst me by thy heauenly word:
Who (trusting to my selfe) was soone beguilde,
When I sought workes to be a conquering sword,
Whose vowes did seeme a present to afford,
Of frute of victorie at my returne:
Which rashnesse hath a mischiefe great incurd,
Compelling me my owne deserts to burne.
And now I mourne, and better frute do craue,
The blessing of thy sonne Lord let me haue.
Page  29

SON. LV.

WHen thou vouchsafedst (Lord) to raise my state,
From base degree of common humane kinde,
And gau'st me knowledge, and a will to hate
Each wickednesse contrarie to thy minde,
By promise thou didst me most strictly binde,
To slaye each wicked seed which doth possesse,
My sinfull flesh (Amalekite most blinde)
Which vertue and thy grace seekes to suppresse,
But wretched I alas I do confesse,
Haue kept a part of that accursed spoile
Vndaunted, which thou seest nere the lesse,
And therefore wilt accurse my sinfull soile,
And take from me the kingdome thou didst giue,
Except thy mercy do my soule relieue.

SON. LVI.

THe onelie daughter Lord of my delight,
(Dina the vertue of my iudgment best,)
Is rauished alas by Satans might,
Whil'st I secure in Hiuits countrie rest,
In worldlie vanities a wandring guest,
Amongst the wicked I remainde a while,
Where (sillie) she, by foolish will addrest,
Gazde on those godlesse youths which her beguile:
For lustfull Sichem sonne to sin most vile,
Did lay a traine of loue, which led to shame:
Whose flattering speech did modestie exile,
And left a spot of guilt and foule defame.
But faith & zeale (the first frutes of my strength)
By grace shall venge my honour iust at length.
Page  30

SON. LVII.

THe silly babes (the motions of the minde,)
Which natiue vertue seeketh forth to bring,
Concupiscence (the midwife most vnkinde)
To deadly sin and Satan straight doth fling:
The mothers power suffiseth not to wring,
Out of this tyrants hands her dying childe,
Her mone to see, it is a piteous thing,
When reasons lawes so lewdly are defilde.
But if thy fauour Lord be reconcilde,
By loue vnto thy sonne, by him to mee:
Then though my hope of grace be neare exilde,
Yet thou a childe Of faith wilt let me see.
A coffin Lord of comfort for me make,
Where safe I may swim in the words wilde lake.

SON. LVIII.

VVHere shall I build ô Lord a quiet rest,
To bring forth birds of turtle Pigeons kinde?
My wearied wings do wander without rest,
And cannot gaine a harbour to my minde.
The Swallow Lord a setling place doth finde,
Within thy temple, free from Eagles claw,
Not moued with tempestuous stormes of winde,
Or dangers, which their kind doth stand in awe:
A place as fit for me, my faith once saw,
VVheras my soule might safely be inclosd,
Thy Church inuisible, to which I draw,
My life retirde, therein to be reposd.
Make frutefull Lord my barren heart therein,
Shield me from storme of still assailing sin.
Page  31

SON. LIX.

VVHilst in the vale of carnall sense I dwell,
(Foule Sodome sinke of sin and badge of shame)
Of whose polluted nature I do smell,
And aptly bend my selfe to them to frame:
Sent by thy mercie Lord, thy Angels came,
And did vouchsafe, a harbor to accept
Within my soule, which did professe thy name;
But Satan who a watch on me had kept,
When as these guests within my conscience slept,
Inuironed with lust my harbor weake,
For sorrow of this sin my soule it wept,
Whilst violently my bodies bands they breake.
But strike thou blinde their fury, them expell,
Take me Lord from the flame of burning hell.

SON. LX.

MY bodie Lord infected long with sin,
Whose running issue is almost past cure,
Which helpe my humane phisicke cannot win,
And without comfort cannot long endure,
By viewing mercies thine becommeth sure,
If but thy gracious hem, my hand may reach,
That loue in Christ my pardon shall procure,
And reunite in strength healths former breach.
Through presse of worldly lets, faith shall me teach,
To seeke my safetie in thy promise true,
Vouchsafe thou eke repentance so to preach,
That (I no more offending) health insue
Thy vertue Lord, (which bidding me be cleane)
To yeeld me health of soule is readie meane.
Page  32

SON. LXI.

NOw that I see ô Lord my open shame,
Conuict of sin and voyd of clothing pure,
Which couer might my soule which naked came
Of grace, and me from storme of world assure:
I do mistrust my selfe long to endure,
The heat and cold, which feare and frailtie bring,
And clothing of my owne workes to procure,
I finde in deed to be a frutelesse thing;
To hide my selfe vnder thy mercies wing,
I therefore hasten now, in hope of grace:
Grant I beseech, the world no more me wring,
Out of thy hands, but let me see thy face,
With faith and comfort, clothed by thy hand,
And Christ thy Sonne in my defence to stand.

SON. LXII.

VVHilst that the chosen chieftaines of thy word,
Do bend their power, by preaching to subdue
The fleshly Canaan, and put sin to sword,
And giue the soule to be possest a new
With righteous Israel, vnto whom of due,
Those earthly blessings rather do pertaine:
They send two spies my secret thoughts to vew,
The law and Gospell, which discouer plaine,
My fainting force, in feare for to remaine
Where yet repentant Rahab readie is
To lodge them safe, whilst Satan seekes in vaine,
To slaie these messengers of heauenly blis:
I craue therefore sweet Sauiour for a sine,
Faith bearing frutes, as pledge of safetie mine.
Page  33

SON. LXIII.

HOw oft ô Lord with more then tender care,
Hast thou by Prophets cald me to repent?
How great thy loue by sonne, which didst not spare,
To staie me backe from hell, whereto I went?
Who to that end from heauen to earth was sent,
Whose graces daily preached offred peace,
And sought to stop my course to ruine bent,
And me from guilt of death for to release:
Like as the henne, whose voice doth neuer cease,
To clocke her tender chickens vnder wings,
When furious foules on silly pray do prease,
And would deuour (alas) the helplesse things.
Such Lord thy care I feele, and loue of me,
That thrall to Satan wouldst not haue me be.

SON. LXIIII.

VVHilst with the wholesome food of heauēly truth,
(The Manna which thy written word doth giue)
Thou soughtst ô Lord to feed my wandring youth,
That it in plenteous peace by grace might liue,
By lust lo Satan sought my soule to driue,
To breake obedient bands vnto thy law,
Which my offences (I protest) do griue
My helplesse heart, the which delight did draw:
The memory of Egypts store I saw,
Of vanities (which carnall senses feed,)
Made me to wish, to fill againe my maw
With dishes such as to destruction lead:
Wherfore inwrath with quailes thou cloidst me so,
That plagu'd with sin, my error now I know.
Page  34

SON. LXV.

SInce thou hast raysd my poore abiected spright,
From threshing floore, where captiue I did stand,
And callest me thy battels for to fight,
Gainst sin (the Madianite which wasts thy land)
Giue me a token by thy mightie hand,
(O Lord) whereby my faith may be assurde,
And be to me a pledge of former band,
That victorie by me shall be procurde:
Let heauenly deaw by prayer be allurde,
To moysten this my freewill fleece of wooll,
Then dry the dregs thereof to sin inurde,
Whose heauy waight makes grace and vertue dull;
And offring mine (of prayers to thy name)
Accept, and with a holy zeale inflame.

SON. LXVI.

WHilst that in wealth and ease I did possesse
The Empire of thy many blessings sent,
I tooke in hand pure vertue to suppresse,
And pride with lust my powres they wholly bent,
To conquere reason, which thy grace had lent,
And quite forgetting worlds late floud for sin
To build a tower of trust, wherein I spent
The strength of flesh & bloud, high heauen to win:
As though in natures strength the force had bin,
To shield themselues from floud or heauenly fire;
But now confusion iust my soule is in,
Makes labouring flesh from folly such retire,
And craues alone within thy Church to dwell,
Whose wals of faith & truth may death expell.
Page  35

SON. LXVII.

THe Temple Lord of this my bodie base,
Where thou vouchsafdst to place my soule to dwell;
And promisedst to make thy chosen place,
Whence sacrifice of praises thou wouldst smell,
Behold against thy lawes doth now rebell,
By worldly vanities thereto allurde,
Where couetise and pride their packe doth sell
At such a price, as flesh and sin affoord:
But since ô Lord thy promise hath assurde
My soule, that thou art alwaies prest to heare
The plaints of penitents, which hath procurde
Thy Sonne himselfe in temple this t'appeare,
Whip forth, fling down, this worldly wicked pack,
Fro out my soule, repell thou Satan back.

SON. LXVIII.

WIthin thy house this bodie base of mine,
It pleased thee ô Lord my soule to plant,
A steward of the gifts the which were thine,
And nature fild with measure nothing scant,
Of bodie or of mind, no blessings want,
And fortunes fauours sharde with me no lesse,
In such proportion Lord I needs must grant,
As thou doest giue, when thou doest vse to blesse:
But wantonly I wested, I confesse,
Thy treasure put into my hands of trust,
And now alas (though late) I seeke redresse,
Wise steward-like to liue, when dye I must:
I cast my count, by Christ, my debt to pay,
And frutes of faith from hell my soule shall stay.
Page  36

SON. LXIX.

NOw that it pleaseth thee Lord of thy grace,
To plucke me forth of sinfull Sodoms lake,
Where I haue dwelt alas this life long space,
Since I of holie Abram leaue did take;
Vouchsafe I pray thee for thy mercies sake,
To graunt thy Church be refuge for my life,
The Zoar where I may my dwelling make,
Safe from reuenging Angels bloudie knife;
And though the frailtie of Lots lingring wife
Looke back, with loue, on sinfull worlds delight,
(Which common weaknesse to all flesh is rife)
Yet keepe me constant by thy heauenly might,
And let me not grow drunke with blessings thine,
To procreate sin on lustfull daughters mine.

SON. LXX.

WHilst in this worldly wildernesse about,
For want of faith I backe am forst to go,
(Affraid of sinnes which Giant-like are stout,
And foule affections, which like cruell foe
Of Esawes race, their might and powre bestow,
To stop my passage to the promist land)
I gin to faint, and to repine also,
Against the powre of thy most mightie hand,
For which the Serpent Satan now doth stand
In readinesse, my silly soule to sting,
And close me vp in deaths eternall band,
Vnlesse to me thy mercie succour bring.
That brasen Serpent Christ nayld on the tree,
Whose sight by faith alone is cure to mee.
Page  37

SON. LXXI.

WHat am I else Lord but a sinfull wretch,
In sin and in iniquitie begot,
In conscience guiltie of the common breach,
Of euerie law, that may my honor spot.
Thy blessings giu'n me, I regarded not:
Thy threatned iudgments I did not esteeme,
My vowes to thee I almost had forgot,
My sinnes no sinnes to hardned heart do seeme;
Like to my selfe I did thy power deeme,
Because thou didst forbeare thy rod a while,
I sought by Idols ayd to heauen to clime,
Whilst worlds delight my sences did beguile:
But helplesse now, alas I turne to thee,
To stay my race, let grace Lord succour mee.

SON. LXXII.

THou formedst me at first out of the clay,
Vnto the image of thy glorious frame,
(O Lord of might) thou shewdst to me the way,
To magnifie thy pure and holie name:
Like Potters vessell first my modell came,
Out of a rude vnformed lumpe of earth,
To holy vse it pleasd thee me reclaime,
Before my life tooke vse of carnall breath;
Thou fedst me in the common humane dearth
Of knowledge of thy will, with such a tast
Of pleasing frute, as fild my soule with mirth,
And readie makes me now, no more to wast
Thy offred mercies, which so blesse in me,
Of glorie that I may a vessell be.
Page  38

SON. LXXIII.

A Seruant Lord euen from my day of byrth,
I vowed was by parents vnto thee,
A Nazarit I liued on the earth,
And kept thy vowes as grace did strengthen mee,
Till Satan made me worlds deceipt to see,
And trapt my senses with forbiden lust,
As Eue did tast of the restrained tree,
So fond affections did me forward thrust,
A sinfull Philistine (of faith vniust)
To like, to loue, to craue, to wed, to wife,
Thy grace my strength to her reueale I must,
Till she to Satan sell my slumbring life:
A prisoner I, thus scornd and voyd of sight,
Sinnes house to ouerthrow, craue heauēly might.

SON. LXXIIII.

WHilst in the plentie of thy blessings sent,
I sought to solace Lord my selfe secure,
And gazing on worlds beautie long I went,
(In pridefull tower which did prospect procure)
I saw the baytes of sin, which did allure
My idle thoughts to follow wicked lust,
My kindled passions could not long endure,
But vnto furious flames breake forth they must,
I did pollute my soule, by fraude vniust,
And reft thy grace from his true wedded wife,
And that I might away all mendment thrust,
I did bereaue my knowledge of this life:
Whose bastard frutes slaie Lord, but let her liue,
That penitent we may thee prayses giue.
Page  39

SON. LXXV.

A Seruant sold to sin ô Lord I am,
Whom Satan (Syrian proud) doth sore assaile,
Nine hundted Chariors of desire there came,
Armed with lust, which sought for to preuaile
And to subdue by strength they cannot faile,
Vnlesse thou raise my fainting strength by grace,
Let constant faith the flying furie naile
To ground, where groueling is his resting place:
Then shall my soule with Debora imbrace,
In thankfull wise thy mercies I receiue,
And so pursue the fleshly Canaans race,
Till I the furie of the same bereaue.
And with my song thy seruants shall accord,
To yeeld due praise to thee the liuing Lord.

SON. LXXVI.

MY soule like silly Ioseph Lord was sold,
By fleshly brethren his, (vnkind alas,)
To vanities (the merchants) which behold
From far they saw to Egipt, which do passe.
A seruant vnto Ismaels seed it was,
And sold from sin to death, and so to hell,
Of humane frailtie Lord a looking glasse,
In which all foule affections long did dwell,
Yet lo alas when sin seekes most t' excell,
And haue my mind consent to traitrous lust,
With grace ô Lord, that enemy repell,
And heare my praiers, who in thee do trust;
Who though a space in bodies prison staies,
Yet Lord at length vouchsafe to heauen to raise.
Page  40

SON. XXVII.

SO blinde ô Lord haue my affections bin,
And so deceitfull hath bin Satans slight,
That to giue credit I did first begin,
To pride, and lust, as heauenly powers of might:
I offred all my sences with delight,
A sacrifice to feed those Idols vaine,
Of all the presents proffred day and night,
Nought vnconsumde I saw there did remaine;
Till that thy Prophets by thy word made plaine
The falshood, by the which I was deceiued,
How Satans kingdome made here of a gaine,
And wickednesse my hope and faith bereaued;
But now the sifted ashes of thy word,
Bewraies Bels Prists: slaies dragon without sword.

SON. LXXVIII.

A Wicked theefe that oft haue robd and slaine,
Thy graces of their frute, my selfe of blisse,
Now on the crosse of conscience I remaine,
To die the death the which eternall is:
I see no way to quit my selfe of this,
Vnlesse thou Lord whose kingdome is aboue,
Remember me, and cansell life amisse
Out of thy memorie, through Christ thy loue:
Who in my flesh with me like death did proue,
That guiltlesse he, might guilties ransome bee,
Loue to my soule it was, that did him moue,
The bands of death to bide to make vs free:
Blesse thou my tong, increase thou faith in mee,
This night to be in paradise with thee.
Page  41

SON. LXXIX.

IN bondage long to Satan haue I bin,
A maker of the bricke of Babell towre,
By birth, a thrall to grosse and filthie sin,
Whom lusts taskmasters doth attend ech houre,
Affection to the flesh doth cleane defloure
The memorie and loue of promist lands:
The fiend (euen Pharo) seeketh to deuoure
My soule, and chaine me to his dreadfulll bands:
But Lord receiue me safe into thy hands,
Protect me from the rigor of his might,
Quench thou the force of lusts inflamed brands,
In my defence giue me true faith to fight:
Send Moyses Lord, with powre of heauenly sword,
And Aaron to direct me by thy word.

SON. LXXX.

A Moabit I was of cursed kinde,
Vnkinde vnto thy Church Lord, and to thee,
Who sought by ayde of foolish Balaam blinde,
To captiuate the soule that should be free,
Incestuous frutes of that high climing tree,
Which doth subdue all reason and all grace,
A carnall kinsman by a neare degree
Vnto the soule, the which I haue in chase.
Whom I with lothsome sin sought to deface,
And bastardise with carnall fond affect,
Whose ofspring thou vnto the tenth mans race,
Didst once out of thy sanctuary reiect.
Yet now by faith made free of Iury land,
A suter here before thy throne do stand.
Page  42

SON. LXXXI.

LO how I groueling vnder burden lie,
Of sin, of shame, of feare Lord of thy sight,
My guilt so manifold dare not come nie
Thy throne of mercy, mirror of thy might:
With hidden and with ignorant sinnes I fight,
Dispairing and presumptuous faults also,
All fleshly frailtie on my backe doth light,
Originall and actuall with me go.
Against a streame of lusts my will would roe
To gaine the shoare of grace, the port of peace,
But flouds of foule affections ouerfloe,
And sinke I must, I see now no release:
Vnlesse my Sauior deare this burden take,
And faith a ship of safetie for me make.

SON. LXXXII.

FRom Iuda wandring Lord to Iericho,
From holie law of thine to carnall lust,
Whilst midst the prease of lewd affects I go,
I robbed am, of rayment pure and iust
And wounded lye Lord groueling in the dust,
Not any passer by can giue me aide,
In fleshly strength, or friendship is no trust,
By highway seene, to helpe me few haue staide:
But since my Sauior Christ on crosse hath paide
A ransome rich to cure my bleeding sore,
By faith to craue the frutes I'am not affraide,
In hope my health thereby for to restore:
Bind vp my wounds with balme, leade me to rest,
Giue me such gifts of grace as like thee best.
Page  43

SON. LXXXIII.

THis slender Citie (Lord) of strength behold,
Wherein I dwell, Bethulia my bower
Of flesh, whereto sin laies a battry bold,
And seeks with sword & dearth my soules deuower:
Suppresse thou hellish Holofernes power,
Who prides himselfe in praie, of children thine,
I haue no trust in mountaines, wals, nor tower,
For want of faithes (true fountaine) we shall pine,
Raise vp this female couragde heart of mine,
Strengthen my hand to reue this monsters hed,
Let me not tast deceiptfull follies wine,
Nor be polluted with worlds sinfull bed:
But constantly by faith fight in defence,
Of feeble flesh, and driue thy enemies thence.

SON. LXXXIIII.

NOt that my faith doth faint a whit is cause,
That I so instant am on thee to call,
O God of life, but yeelding to thy lawes,
Before thy sight, my soule these teares lets fall:
Which in thy bottle kept I know are all,
And quench the fury of thy burning ire,
Which sin enflamde, and qualifie it shall
The quarrell which hath set thy wrath on fire,
If feruently the childe due food desire
Of father, he will not giue him a stone,
If of the wicked, iustice man require
Importunely, some iustice will be showne:
More righteous iudge and father thou to mee,
Art Lord indeed, and far more kind wilt bee.
Page  44

SON. LXXXV.

THe many trials Lord that I haue found,
Since out of Egipt darknesse I am brought,
Might witnesse well how in thee still abound,
Powre, mercy, truth, wherby thy workes are wrought.
But foule dispaire against my faith hath fought,
Amidst the wildernesse wherein I stay,
And daintier food my fond affections sought,
Then Manna, which thou sentst me euerie day,
The desert Zyn, doth fountaine pure denay,
Of grace, wherewith to quench my fainting ghost,
Eternall death expects my soule as pray,
And lust assaults me with a hideous host.
Stretch forth hād Lord, smite thou my hart of stone
With rod of true repentance, griefe and mone.

SON. LXIII.

THou hast ô Lord of mercy, me enricht
With flocks of fauour, and of graces great,
Since I in Bethell first the pillar pitcht,
Of praises to thy name and mercies seat,
Yet fleshly Esawes foule affections threat,
A ruine to the frute faith forth should bring,
With pleasing humors him for to intreat,
I feare it be to soule a dangerous thing:
Shield me Lord vnder thy protecting wing
Of mercy, which may saue from Satans rage,
My heart and voyce shall still thy prayses sing,
If thou the malice of my foes asswage;
In Sychem shall my heart an alter reare,
The mightie God to loue, to serue, to feare.
Page  45

SON. LXXXVII.

THe talent which thou pleasedst Lord to giue,
To me thy seruant that I should bestow,
Whilst in thy seruice on the earth I liue,
My diligent increase thereof to show,
I haue abused Lord (too long) I know,
And feare thy comming to be nigh at hand,
I see for breach of dutie what I owe,
And of thy iudgments do in terror stand:
Thy grace hath left me in a forreine land,
Where vnexpert of vertue I do straie,
I shall be throwne to Satans thralfull band,
Voyd of thy heauenly ioy and blisse for aye,
Vnlesse thou helpe, for thou doest vse to giue,
Grace vnto grace, and faith from faithlesse driue.

SON. LXXXVIII.

SInce that it pleaseth thee thy selfe to show,
A iust reuenger Lord of Heath'nish sin,
And bring the pride of bold Philistines low,
Who thee defame, when holy Arke they win;
Now that to fetch it home I do begin,
And in the temple of my heart to place,
Grant so I may thy secrets see therein,
That plagues, for my presumption do not chase
It so from me, as they that fled the face
Of glorie thine, which therein did appeare:
Let faith and loue draw home by trustie trace,
The constant cart, whose carriage is so deare;
And let me order so this holie worke,
That dregs of sin not in my deeds may lurke.
Page  46

SON. LXXXIX.

IN famine great of grace, and comfortlesse,
Thy seruant Lord doth in Samaria dwell,
For Lord fierce Aram doth with sin oppresse
The citie where my soule to harbour fell:
I want the strength his armies to repell,
Of lust and of affections most vncleane,
My mind whose loue doth motherlike excell,
Her children (thoughts of mendment) sees so leane,
That forst by famine, she can find no meane
To feed them long, her faith so poore is growne,
That natiue pitie now secluding cleane,
Her greedie nature doth deuour her owne.
Beleeue in time this siege, Lord cause a feare
Of thee, this camp of cruell sin to reare.

SON. XC.

ON sweet and sauorie bread of wholesome kinde,
Which in thy word thou offrest store to mee,
To feed vpon the flesh doth lothing finde,
And leaues, to leane (ô Lord) alone on thee:
The leauen of the Pharisies will bee
The surfet of my soule, and death in fine,
Which coueting to tast forbidden tree,
To carnall rules and reasons doth incline:
So lauishly my lusts do tast the wine,
Which sowrest grapes of sin filles in my cup,
That lo my teeth now set on edge, I pine,
Not able wholesome food to swallow vp,
Vnlesse thou mend my tast, and hart doest frame,
To loue thy lawes, and praise thy holy name.
Page  47

SON. XCI.

OVt of thy flocke ô Lord through my defect,
A silly sheepe my selfe (behold) am lost,
To seeke me forth in time do not neglect,
Since I so precious price to thee haue cost.
By many by-paths Lord my feete haue crost,
And cannot find the way vnto thy fold,
Through many stormes of deep despaire thus tost,
To craue thy aide at last I now am bold:
If thou of silly groat that count doest hold,
That thou doest search the house to find the same,
No doubt my soule to sin by nature sold,
May mercy find, by calling on thy name:
The Saints in heauen conuertids gaine reioyce,
On earth thy praise is song, in heart and voice.

SON. XCII.

BEhold amidst worlds desert all alone,
Seduced by the frailtie of the sprite,
Accompany'd with fleshly comfort none,
My soule with sin compelled is to fight
Where suddenly alas before my sight,
I Satan see, me ready to assaile,
By two his seruants which are most of might,
Presumption and dispaire, which seldome faile,
The best perfections of mans strength to quaile,
By pride, or want of faith, or couetise,
By lust, or gluttony, or fained vaile
Of vertue, which doth mamy sinnes disguise:
But chase him Lord away by written word,
Which is more sharpe then his two edged sword.
Page  48

SON. XCIII.

THe dreame which thou to Pharo didst reueale,
Thou in my selfe hast made me see in deed,
The state (alas) of mans weake common weale,
Whereas affections of all sorts do feed;
The frutefull soyle of grace some whiles did breed,
Full faire effects in truth of heauenly kinde,
But many barren thoughts alas succeed,
And threaten famine to a vertuous minde.
Store of such yeares as yet I feare behinde,
Which Lord will starue the comfort of my faith,
Vnlesse thy mercy and thy wisedome finde,
A store house to laie vp what scripture saith:
In hope of which thy goodnesse, lo I liue,
Which of thy grace Lord do thou to me giue.

SON. XCIIII.

THe seed which thou the husbandman hast sowde
Within my soule (ô Lord) by Prophets hand,
Hath taken roote at last, by deaw bestowd
Form heauenly grace, which fructifies my land:
But lo I saw the worlds deceipt to stand
In readinesse to mingle tares therein,
Whilst sleeping, me in vanities he fand,
He made my frutes to ouerflow with sin:
But ere thy haruest to approach begin,
Vouchsafe to weed these frailties so away,
That when thy corne is to be gathered in,
I may be cleane, and in thy garner stay.
Burne Lord with chastisement my fleshly lust,
And clense my life by faith both pure and iust.
Page  49

SON. XCV.

WHat strength hath man? wherin may he repose
A power to stay him in a vertuous way?
To loue thy flocke thou Lord my soule hast chose,
Whom to obey my vowes and words did say:
But in my power alas there is no stay,
For light temptations made me cleane forget
My dutie to my Lord, and to denay
Him who thus long I haue too lightly set:
But now my heart with teares my cheekes doth wet,
In sorrow of my so inconstant faith,
Repentance hath my sin before me set,
And conscience now my error duly way'th:
Grant that thy word crow thrise & thrise to mee,
And warne me of my dutie vnto thee.

SON. XCVI.

THe malice of this monster auncient foe
Of man, and of the Church which thou didst plant,
Euen Satan Herod-like about doth goe,
To make my frutes of faith to grow more scant,
Whilst yet with weaknesse feeble youth doth pant,
And wanteth grace to strengthen their estate,
The motions of the mind doth straight recant,
To see soules safetie which sin faine would hate;
The counsels of affections do debate,
And do conclude to murder vertues breed:
Lust, pride and enuy, open wide the gate,
To furious flesh, that doth the wicked deed.
My soule (their mother) mourns ô Lord their end,
My future frutes of grace do thou defend.
Page  50

SON. XCVII.

SO foolish Lord haue my affections bin,
So carelesse of the blessing thou doest giue,
So prone my nature vnto euerie sin,
So thanklesse of thy grace by which I liue,
That violently thy loue away I driue,
And sell the patrimony to ensue,
I carry water in an open siue,
And change for lentil pottage birth-right due.
Too late (alas) my folly I do rue,
Who worlds delight preferred haue so long,
Reiecting heauenly knowledge treasure true,
Vnto my soule imposing open wrong,
Yet not so late ô Lord I pardon craue,
But yet one blessing thou for me wilt haue.

SON. XCVIII.

A Sinfull Syrian Lord my father was,
Exilde from Paradise by iust desart,
I wandred into Egipt, there alas
To finde in world some food to please my hart:
Where seruile bondage vnto sin and smart,
I suffered so long through Satans rage,
That heauenly aide I crau'd thence to depart,
Which only able was my griefe t' asswage:
From silly seruant and an abiect page,
Thou broughtst me forth to knowledge of thy truth
(The blessed land) and showdst me on a stage,
A patterne how to guide my wandring youth,
Such frutes therfore as faithfull soile doth yeeld,
I offer here first crop of blessed field.
Page  51

SON. XCIX.

I See (alas) proud Satan hath too long
Defrauded thee, ô Lord, of that is thine,
And loue of world hath drawne me vnto wrong,
Whose heart thy offrings to bestow repine:
My outward knees vnto thee do incline,
My tong doth promise present of my store,
I say these gracious gifts are none of mine,
But will them all thy Aulter laie before;
But vanities doth presse me euermore,
And want of faith to leaue some part behinde,
Although I see death readie at the dore,
My hollow heart and lewd deceipt to finde:
Grant that I may my soule, my power, my will,
Present ô Lord to serue thee onely still.

SON. C.

SInce thou by grace out of wilde Oliue stocke,
Hast pleasd me Lord within thy Church to plant,
And reckon me as of thy proper flocke,
Who else all pleasant frute by nature went,
Vouchsafe my thankfull frutes be not so scant,
As cause thee to reiect me backe againe,
Of former bountie Lord do not recant,
But let me in thy garden still remaine:
By mercy not by merit I attaine,
This blessing promised so long before,
Let not this gift of thine returne in vaine,
But let thy goodnesse multiply the more:
Make sweet the frutes which bitter are by kinde,
Increase thy grace in bodie and in minde.
Page  52

CONCLVSION.

MOurne thou no more my soule, thy plaint is heard,
The bill is canseld of the debt it owes,
The vaile is rent, which thee before debard,
And Christ his righteousnesse on thee bestowes;
Thus comfort to the patient alwaies growes,
If they attend the time God hath assignde,
Our strength to beare, our maker best he knowes,
And at a need is readie for to finde,
Our Sauiour is so mercifull and kinde,
Vnto our selues he will not leaue vs long,
He castes our faults through loue his back behinde,
And turnes our plaints into more pleasant song.
And when we are euen at the gates of hell,
His glorie, mercie, power, doth most excell.
Page  53

THE SECOND PART OF CHRISTIAN PAS∣sions, Containing a hundred Sonets of Comfort, Ioy, and thankes∣giuing.

PREFACE.

SOme men do mourne for suddeine ioy they say,
And some likewise in midst of sorrow sing,
Such diuers frutes do passion often bring,
As reason cannot course of Nature stay,
And happie sure he is (I not denay)
That both these motions hath from heart contrit,
When frailtie of his flesh appeares to sight,
And mercy calling him backe from decay.
Who can behold the flesh and spirit fight,
The doubtfull issue and danger of the thing,
The losse whereto our nature might vs fling,
And gaine which grace doth giue through Sauiors might,
And not delight, To glorifie his name,
And yet lament his proper natiue shame,
Page  54

SON. I.

AS through a mist, or in a cloud a farre,
I see a glimse of heauenly grace to shine,
And to reuiue the fainting faith of mine,
And spirits which with darknesse shadowed are.
The fleshly fog of sin did iudgment barre,
Of proper vse, of power, of reason sound,
(Which in first parents franckly did abound)
And better part of natures strength did marre;
But since my eyes of grace a sight haue found,
Of that eternall light which doth incline,
Fro out these fogs of feare I hope t'vntwine,
And force of fainting faith for to confound,
And on a ground More firme wil build my trust,
And that in Christ whose promises are iust.

SON. II.

CLeng'd are the cloudes and darknesse fled away,
And now in triumph doth my Sauiour ride,
Sin, hell, nor death, dare not his sight abide,
The world nor Satan can his progresse stay:
This piercing light of truth shall so bewray
Ech stratagem their practise doth deuise
Against my soule, that there shall not arise
One cloud of care to darken this my day.
But that my thoughts (like to the Pilate wise)
Shall looke about, lest that my heart should slide,
And by this sunne my course so constant guide,
That all their slightes shall not my soule disguise,
Which now espies The malice they me owe,
Which lōg they clothd with shade of plesāt show.
Page  55

SON. III.

WHen as my conscience layeth forth before
My thoughts, the sinnes which daily I commit,
I thinke my selfe an instrument vnfit,
To witnesse forth thy glory any more:
But when I see that sin was first the dore,
By which death entred and such hold did take,
That death did first our want apparant make;
And want first cause that man did ayd implore,
That praiers first thy mercies do awake,
That mercies do renue our dulled wit,
That ioyed heart should not vnthankfull sit,
And thanks to thee doth fleshly glory shake,
It straight doth slake The fear which bad me stay,
And bids me still proceed to praise and pray.

SON. IIII.

SInce to so holy vse I consecrate
The silly talent Lord thou lentst to me,
That it a trumpe vnto thy praise might be,
And witnesse of their woe that thou doest hate.
Doe thou ô Lord forget the abiect state
Of flesh and bloud, base mettle of my frame,
And since that thou hast sanctified the same,
Vouchsafe thy grace my weaknesse may abate:
Thou that my former wandring will didst tame,
And me prepare in minde to honour thee,
Canst giue me gifts the which thereto agree,
How ere my proper power be weake and lame,
So shall thy name Be precious in my sight
And in thy praise shall be my whole delight.
Page  56

SON. V.

VVOuld God I were as readie to confesse,
And yeeld thee praise sweet Sauiour day by day,
As to craue my wants I am forward ay,
And feruently at need to thee to presse,
To beg of thee alone, thou wilst no lesse,
Because thou onely able art to giue,
And with each needfull thing by which we liue,
Thou promisest our prayers thou wilt blesse;
But we with vse of them should not so stay,
And onely seeke to thee when need doth driue,
(Whose blessings running through an open siue,
No praise for recompence vnto thee pay)
But when we pray, We should thee laud also:
Our thankfull harts with bountie thine should go.

SON. VI.

I Haue begun ô Lord to run the race,
Where flesh and bloud against the world must fight,
On heauenly kingdome gazing with my sight,
Where is appointed scope of resting place:
Wingd with the will of zeale of heauenly grace,
I do indeuor alwayes to proceed,
In constant course vnto the arke indeed,
Where in thy mercies I behold thy face,
A feruent faith it doth my courage feed,
And make my heauie limbs become more light,
When in thy sonne I see thy glorie bright,
The pledge vnto my soule that hope shall speed,
This blessed seed Thou hast Lord sowne in me,
And all the frutes shal to thee offred be.
Page  57

SON. VII.

VVHere shall I finde fit words or proper phrase,
Wherewith to witnesse all the loue I owe?
Whose gratefull minde in thankfulnesse doth grow,
And to the world thy worthinesse would blase:
Vnfrutefully the greater ort do gase,
Vpon thy workes and blessings they receiue,
And carelesly thy honor they bereaue,
And suffer chance or wit thy same to rase,
Whilst vnacknowledged thy loue they leaue,
Forgetting all the gifts thou doest bestow,
Whose blinded nature so doth ouerflow,
That most vnkind to thee, themselues they show.
But since I know By grace thy blessing great,
My pen thy praises alwaies shall repeat.

SON. VIII.

THe more I seeke to dedicate my power,
In celebrating of thy honour great,
(Whose throne is fixed in thy mercies seat)
The more my dutie groweth euerie hower,
Some times with Eagles flight aloft I tower,
And seeme to see the glorie of thy sunne,
But ere my willing wings haue scarse begunne
To mount, they droop with clog of heauie shower:
Vpon the hill of truth I footing wonne,
By faith which laboureth with feruent heat,
Of worthie praises thine for to intreat,
But ere I haue begune my worke is donne,
So farre I runne In seeking to begin,
I cannot write, such maze my muse is in.
Page  58

SON. IX.

AS fareth with the man the which hath bin.
I perilll but of late to haue bene drownd,
Though afterward he do recouer ground,
Knowes not at first, the safetie he is in:
So when I thinke vpon the flouds of sin,
Wherein I was neare drenched ouer hed,
What time all hope of comfort cleane was fled,
And I into dispaire to sinke begin.
My fainting faith with feare euen well nigh dead,
My minde amazed it doth so confound,
That though thy mercies freely do abound,
In port of peace I am not free from dred,
But being led Fro out the perils sight,
I shall enioy more pleasure and delight.

SON. X.

SInce thou ô Lord hast giuen to me at last,
The victorie against the deadly foe,
Who like a Lyon roaring still doth goe,
My soule (poore Lot my kinsman deare) to wast
Since grace at length his pride hath now defast,
And by the hand of faith he is subdude,
And that my strength by thee is so renude,
That his affections almost are displast.
Since thy high Priest with present me pursude
Of bread and wine, the which he did bestow,
And with the same the blessing gaue also,
Whence life, whence libertie, whence health insude,
I haue indude▪ As proper vnto thee,
Thy Church, with tyth of faith thou gau'st to me.
Page  59

SON. XI.

IF he to whom his Lord did but remit
A silly debt was thankfull to him found,
And that the more the sinnes forgiuen abound,
The more he loues that pardond is of it,
Then sure it seemes it were good reason fit
That I whose soule was sold to death and hell,
Whose sinnes in multitude did so excell,
With idle braine should not ingratefull sit:
But as the flowing fauours daily swell,
So should my voice thy praises euer sound;
And since thou hast powrde oyle into my wound,
I should not spare thy mercies forth to tell:
And (so as well as thou shalt giue me grace)
I will thee laud, each season, time and place.

SON. XII.

NOw that I haue some safetie Lord attaind,
Fro out the laberinth wherein I was,
Since grace as guide therein to me did passe,
And loue was line which me my issue gaind;
Since that my wandring steps faith hath refraind,
And that thy word, was Sybils braunch to mee,
Through hell and death away to let me see,
To Elizian fields where blisse for aye remaind,
I must not Lord so much vnthankfull bee,
To breake the vowes which once I made alas,
But I will show thy mercies in a glas,
That by my words men may acknowledge thee,
The onely hee Hath any power to saue,
And raisd my soule fro out the verie graue.
Page  60

SON. XIII.

I Shame to see how large my promise are,
How slow my deeds that should performe the fame,
I know the constant meaning whence they came,
But will and power are falne at strife and iarre,
What soule begins to do, doth bodie marre,
What loue would build, distrust would ouerthrow,
A plenteous offring, zeale doth bid bestow,
But fainting faith likes not to set it farre;
My will at least his good intent shall show,
Which thou ô Lord cause vnto better frame,
A free will offring Lord thou wilt not blame,
Of such weake frutes as are on earth below,
Which yet shal grow More fruteful by thy grace,
And as they be, wilt in thy sonne imbrace,

SON. XIIII.

THe end whereto we all created were,
And in this world were plast to liue and dwell,
(If we with iudgment do obserue it well)
Was nothing else but God to serue and feare,
In which we badges of his glorie beare,
To yeeld him right the most our weaknesse may,
Which (to our strength) we ought not him denay,
Who out of earth to heauen this dust shall reare:
Which when within my selfe I deeply way,
I do condemne the dulnesse which befell
To me, whose gifts in nothing do excell,
By which I might his glorie great display,
On whom do stay, All things that being haue,
Who to each creature all things freely gaue.
Page  61

SON. XV.

AS is the treasure frutelesse which is hid,
And blisse no blisse a man doth not enioy,
(But rather is a meane to worke annoy,
To him that carefully preserue it did:)
So often times the wisest sort haue slid,
Into like error, whilst they do conseale
The gifts of grace, which God did them reueale,
And hide the talent which is them forbid:
As frutelesse is it to the common weale,
That men respectiuely become too coy,
And triflingly their time away do toy,
And without good to others let it steale,
I therefore deale To world, and do impart
These silly frutes, which grow on feeling hart.

SON. XVI.

THe pleasures of this new possessed land,
Fore-promised long since to children thine,
Whereto I haue arriued safe in fine,
And to enioy the same assured stand,
To paint with praises I would take in hand,
That so I might incourage many more,
To follow forth the conquest where is store
Of corne, of wine, and oyle, for faithfull band:
Our Iesus Christ himselfe is gone before,
And showes the clusters of the healthfull wine,
Whereof who tasts, shall not with famine pine,
Nor starue, when plentie is at Citie dore:
Ne need deplore The strength of Anaks race,
For he the power of hell will cleane deface.
Page  62

SON. XVII.

BEtwixt two strong extreames my thoughts do flie,
Twixt heat and cold, twixt heigth and depth below,
And both of them from one desire do flow,
The surest way to sauing health to trie,
Faith bids me mount vnto the heauens hie,
Vpon the merits of my sauior deare,
A guiltie conscience bids me not come neare,
Lest in consuming Iealousie I die;
A heart contrite doth will me to appeare,
With works of righteousnesse, true faith which show
Faith saies, that god my strēgth & power doth know,
And that I cannot finde saluation here,
But bids me cheere My soule, & nothing feare,
Loue in his sonne will make him me forbeare.

SON. XVIII.

FRom far I see the stars which guide the way,
From East to West, to finde my sauiour out,
I well might wander all the world about,
To seeke saluation and in one place stay:
I shining truth did not his house bewray,
Which in his word points forth his dwelling place,
By which directed, I will walke a pace,
Whilst yet I do enioy the light of day;
And when I come before his blessed face,
To offer vp my presents will not doubt,
Although their basenesse all the world should flout,
So that my faith I may him once imbrace,
Which giueth grace And makes accepted well,
Mean works, as much as those which more excell.
Page  63

SON. XIX.

NOw will I daunce ô Lord before the traine,
Of those which following thee seeke home to draw
Thy holy Arke, the treasor of thy law,
That it with vs may pledge of peace remaine,
I care not though the world my deede disdaine,
And thinke it not beseeming thing for me,
In such a worke an instrument to be,
Whose yeares they deeme more fit for other vaine:
For so I Lord thy sauing heath may see,
And scape the harme of cruell Satans paw,
Though all the scorners of the world me saw,
Yet would I not ashamed be of thee,
For being free, Of holie promist land,
I care not how my state on earth do stand.

SON. XX.

NO recompence ô Lord is fit for thee,
If duly thy desert we do regard,
Ne hast thou want or need of mans reward,
At whose command all creatures readie bee:
Yet if our thankfull minds thy goodnesse see,
Confessing whence to vs these blessings flow,
And in the vse of them obedience show,
Although alas it be in meane degree,
Thou yet doest frame thy loue to ours below,
And as thou findst the giuers heart preparde,
(Who to his power his present hath sparde)
So doest thou cansell debt which he did owe,
And doest bestow More graces then we craue,
For which naught els but thāks thou lokst to haue.
Page  64

SON. XXI.

HOw precious are the praiers of thy Saints,
Which able were thy threatned wrath to stay,
And make the sunne returne in pride of day,
When as Iosias heart for feare it faints,
Thy fauour vnto Abram vs aquaints,
Of how great force repentant heart is found,
When (hauing vowd vile Sodom to confound)
To staie at seruants sute thy wrath thou daints;
By prayer man hath powre euen death to wound,
By praier he may moue amount away,
A faithfull feruent prayer finds no nay,
If that the thing we craue be pure and sound,
Yea God hath bound Him selfe by them to man,
Whose worthie praise no tongue well vtter can.

SON. XXII.

THanks will I alwaies studie Lord to pay,
To thee, the giuer of all good and grace,
And thankfully thy mercies will imbrace,
And witnesse forth thy workes from day to day,
My heart, my mouth, my pen they neuer stay,
To take occasion freshly to renue,
The memorie of praises to thee due,
Lest natures weaknesse let them passe away
My frailtie (in this point) indeed I rue,
Who till I see new blessings in the place,
Forget the fauours late before my face,
And mercies thine, from which such bountie grew,
For it is true So dull our sences are,
That oft thy blessings do our iudgments marre.
Page  65

SON. XXIII.

WHere so I cast about my wandring eye,
By chance or choice, by hap, or else by will,
Before my sight some obiect is there still,
Wherein thy power and loue I do espye;
In view whereof, if I my thoughts do trye,
To raise my heart to Ioy, I matter finde,
And vnto thee my loue so firme to binde,
That tong nor pen should neuer idle lye;
Whose grace vnto thy creatures is so kinde,
As patrons of the same the world doth fill,
Who mad'st not onely, but doest still instill
Some feeling of the same vnto the minde,
Which is not blinde, Or too much obstinate,
Which later nature chiefly thou doest hate.

SON. XXIIII.

VVHilst I do studie fitly to begin,
To vtter forth some part of my intent,
Which to thy praise with zeale and loue is bent,
For freeing me from due reward of sin,
I finde a laberinth that I am in,
Of many merits which do me inclose,
Which as this holie motion in me rose,
Of diuerse subiects for to treat do win,
Among the rest my heart hath chiefly chose,
To giue thee thanks for comfort to me sent,
In staying me the wandring course I went,
And feeling faith, with knowledge where it growes,
And though I lose Therwith the worlds delight,
Yet will I ioy in hope of heauenly sight.
Page  66

SON. XXV.

SInce thou hast Lord vouchsaft to send me ayde,
By holie spirit thine in time of need,
(As Philip to the Eunuch came indeed)
Which in my wandring iourny me hath stayde;
Since he hath taught me what thy Prophets sayde,
And what humilitie was in thy Sonne,
(Whose patience like a lambe hath freedom wonne,
Vnto my soule, for which he raunsome payde)
I see no earthly things should stay vndone,
The duties which requirde of me I reed;
By faith vpon thy promises I feed,
And to thy Sacraments for strength I runne,
And thus begunne, I will continue still,
To learne thy lawes, and to obay thy will.

SON. XXVI.

HOw can I limit well my tong or pen,
Within what bownds may I my selfe inclose,
Who such a theame to write vpon haue chose,
Whereon the more I muse, more growth it then,
It fares with me herein, euen right as when
A hastie mind forgetteth what to speake,
When stāmering words the perfect sence do breake,
And makes vs not be vnderstood of men:
Such worthie matter in my mind there growes,
So plentifull, and I of skill so weake,
So pleasing to me, and so proper ake,
That in the choyce of them I iudgment lose,
And euen as those Want matter silent be,
So plentie of thy praise confoundeth me.
Page  67

SON XXVII.

NOw that thy mercies do so much abound,
As thou vouchsafest Lord with me to dwell,
And glorious Arke of hope which doth excell,
Drawne home by hungry faith my heart hath found,
Since power thereof, did sinfull Dagon wound,
And yet disdaineth not my humble state,
I freely open Lord, my lowly gate
Of lips and tong, which may thy praises sound,
Thy blessings seeme to flow to me of late,
Since in my soule thy word I did embrace,
My zeale refreshed is with heauenly grace,
My comfort, wealth that hell cannot rebate,
In such a rate Thy fauour do I finde,
As bindes me loue a father found so kinde.

SON. XXVIII.

WHat should I render thee my Sauiour deare,
For all the gifts thou doest on me bestowe?
Whose gracious measure so doth ouerflow,
As power of recompence cannot appeare,
I do imbrace thy gifts with ioyfull cheare,
And to thy alter speedily do runne,
To follow forth thy praise (but new begunne)
Till all thy people may thy mercies heare:
Thy glorious image shineth in thy Sonne,
Thy loue to man did his obedience show,
His loue and mercy vnto man hath wonne
The gifts of grace, whence faith and comfort grow,
Where through we know That we are thy elect,
And these our feeble frutes wilt not reiect.
Page  68

SON. XXIX.

THe powerfull pen the which records thy praise,
O Lord of life, hath many volumes made,
Thy wondrous works each leafe doth ouerlade,
Which aye increase as growing are my dayes,
Vnsearchable indeed are all thy wayes,
In multitude they number do exceed,
In glorie they do admiration breed,
Their goodnesse power of recompence denayes.
The hungry thou with plenteous hand doest feed,
Thy fauour to thy creatures doth not fade.
The more in view of all thy works I wade,
The more I finde my sense confound indeed,
But yet in steed Of Eccho to thy fame,
I will giue thanks and laud vnto thy name.

SON. XXX.

THis stately stage wherein we players stande,
To represent the part to vs assignde,
Was built by God, that he might pleasure finde,
In beautie of the works of his owne hand,
All creatures of the ayre, the sea and land,
Are players at his appointment of some thing,
Which to the world a proper vse may bring,
And may not breake assigned bownds or band:
Some do in ioy still forth his praises sing,
Some mourne & make their mone with heauy mind,
Some shew the frutes of nature weake and blind,
Some shew how grace base sin away doth fling,
God (like a King) Beholds, Christ doth attire
The plaiers with the shape, their states require.
Page  69

SON. XXXI.

WHo so beholds with constant fixed eye,
The fauour and perfection of my choyce,
He cannot chuse but must in heart reioyce,
That mortall sight may heauenly blisse espie,
All earthly beautie he will straight defie,
As thing too base to occupie his braine,
Whose fading pleasures so are payd with paine,
That they true tast of pleasure do denie:
But who so can this perfect sight attaine,
Cannot containe, but yeeld with cheerfull voyce,
An Eccho to the Angels heauenly noyse,
Who to his praise do singing still remaine:
They then are vaine Who fix their sight so low,
That such a glorious God they will not know.

SON. XXXII.

O Heauenly beautie of loue the fountaine true,
Whose shining beames do penetrate my soule,
With such a zeale as former thoughts controll,
And drawes heart, powre, and will thee to insue,
Thou mak'st my fainting sight for to renue,
And dazeling eyes new strength thus to attaine,
To whom alone perfection faire is due,
Thou mak'st earths bewteous shadow seeme but vain,
Thy works of glorie, and of powre remain,
Ingrauen in thankfull hearts which them inroll;
Thy loue and mercy made thee pay the toll,
Which to our dying soules true life did gain,
Thy loue doth wain, My thoughts frō baser loue,
And mak'st my heart and mind to soare aboue.
Page  70

SON. XXXIII.

IF beautie be as men on earth suppose,
The comely shape and colours which agree,
In true proportion to the thing we see,
Which grace and fauour both do neuer lose;
If white and red be borrowd from the Rose,
If bright and shining to the sunne compar'd,
If high and straight to goodlinesse w'award,
And beautie haue such base descriptions chose,
Then let the wise this beautie true regard,
Where all perfections in one subiect be,
Surpassing frute of the forbidden tree,
Which (but to tast) man suffred deaths reward,
Which is prepard, And offred to our sight,
In Christ to loue and feed vs day and night.

SON. XXXIIII.

HOw may this be, that men of searching mind,
Whose curious eyes in beautie do delight,
(The pleasing obiect of their fancies sight)
In outward shape and colour, comfort find:
And yet the better beautie leaue behind,
Vnsought, or vnregarded of at all,
Compard to which, none can it beautie call,
Vnlesse a buzzard whom affections blind,
This earthly forme of flesh it is so small
Of worth to charme the sence of noble spright,
As is a starre before faire Phoebus bright,
Whose glory doth their borrowed beauti apall:
Thus wise men fall, Whom camall eies do guide,
Whose iudgement may not vertues sight abide.
Page  71

SON. XXXV.

O Heauenly loue, with God thou dwelst for aye,
Thou passest faith and hope in dignitie,
Thou keepst the law, thy feet step not awrie,
In all mens danger, thou the surest stay;
To our request, thou neuer sayest nay,
Ne wrath, ne enuy, moue thee ere a whit:
Thou multitude of sinnes in man doest quit,
Thou law and Gospell both dost ouer sway:
Thou doest with God aloft in heauens sit,
With God in counsell thou art alwaies by,
Thou causest Christ mans weaknesse to supply,
And makest vs receiue the frute of it,
And euery whit Of goodnesse that we haue,
Loue made him send, who loue therfore doth craue.

SON. XXXVI.

THe shining face of my faire Phoebus deare,
Whose glorie doth eclipse each other light,
Presents himselfe vnto worlds open sight,
Their blinded eyes with ioyfull view to cheare:
But sluggish so the greater sort appeare,
That (sleeping in selfe-loue and mind secure)
The cleare aspect of truth they not indure,
Nor of their blindnesse willingly would heare;
But so my sences do his beautie allure,
To gaze vpon his louely fauour bright,
That therein onely haue I may delight,
Where is all happinesse, I do assure,
He doth procure A plentifull increase,
Vnto my soule, of perfect loue and peace.
Page  72

SON. XXXVII.

AVaunt base thoughts, incomber me no more,
By laying forth these earthly wants of mine,
As though thou wouldst perswade me to repine,
Because of wealth I haue not needlesse store:
If thou didst know thy nakednesse before,
He cloth'd thy soule, and fed thy fainting minde,
(With righteousnesse and faith in Sauiour kinde)
Thou wouldst that former state much more deplore;
And then confesse, the comfort thou doest finde,
By peace of conscience, in this flesh of thine,
Is greatest riches truly to define,
(So that contentment be not left behinde)
These gifts me binde▪ To praise his holy name,
And place chief wealth in knowledge of the same.

SON. XXXVIII.

I Will not feare with feruency of zeale,
To follow forth this faire affect of mine,
(To loue of thee which doth my soule incline)
O Sauiour deare, who sure my griefe wilt heale:
Vnto thy proffred kindnesse I appeale,
Who of thy selfe didst call me vnto thee,
And promisedst I should thy darling bee,
Made free within thy Church and common weale,
Disparagement there is not now in mee,
Ne shall distrust forbid me to be thine;
But faith shall flie aloft to thee in fine,
Where all thy treasures safely I may see,
And happie hee Bestows his loue so well,
Whose hope is payd with pleasures that excell.
Page  73

SON. XXXIX.

LOue then I will, and loue thee Lord alone,
For fellowship in loue there may not bee,
Loue for thy loue (ô Lord) shall be thy ee,
For other recompence thou crauest none;
My vowes and deeds they shall be alwaies one,
All dedicated to adorne thy name;
My heart, my soule, my strength shall do the same;
Thy loue shall be my faiths true corner stone;
The loue of thee shall my affections frame,
To follow that may pleasing be to thee,
My eyes no beautie but in thee shall see,
And thy regard my wandring will shall tame,
Yea I will blame, And scorne each other thing,
Saue what shall me vnto thy fauour bring.

SON. XL.

FAine would I praise thee Lord with such a zeale,
And feruencie, as might my loue expresse;
Faine would my loue yeeld vnto thee no lesse
Due praise, then thou didst loue to me reueale;
But wanting power thereto, I yet appeale
To that thy goodnesse, which thee first did moue,
In fragill flesh of mine the strength to proue,
Whose weaknes thou by heauēly powre didst heale:
Mans wit in words comes short in this behoue,
To recompence (nay onely to confesse)
The many waies thou doest our bodies blesse,
Much more our soules, which freely thou didst loue,
Thy trustie doue, Thy holy spright of grace,
Makes yet our weaknesse stand before thy face.
Page  74

SON. XLI.

O Perfect Sunne, whereof this shadow is
A slender light, though it some beautie show,
On whom thy influence thou doest bestow;
Whose constant course still shines in endlesse blisse:
To scan thy glorie, wit of man doth misse;
How far thy mercies beames abroad extend,
Tong cannot speake, nor wit can comprehend,
And humane frailtie is bewrayd in this;
The fire, ayre, water, earth they wholly bend,
The host of heauen, and creatures belowe,
To pay their dutie vnto thee they owe,
Which didst their being and their vertue send,
And I intend With them (in what I may)
To witnesse forth thy laud and praise for aye.

SON. XLII.

WHat present should I bring of worthie prise,
To witnesse well the loue to thee I owe,
I nothing haue but what thou didst bestow,
Ne likest thou the toyes of mans deuise;
I would not spare my powre in any wise,
No treasure seemes to me for thee too deare:
The pleasures of the world the which are here,
Too base they are, how ere wit them disguise:
To yeeld thee faith, it doth the best appeare,
But mine is very weake (alas) I know,
To yeeld thee praise, doth make a decent show;
But to thy merit neither doth come neare,
With garment cleare, Yet clothd of righteous son,
My selfe to offer vnto thee, I run.
Page  75

SON XLIII.

WHo so beholds the works (ô Lord) of thine,
The stretched heauēs, the seat where thou doest dwel
The earth thy footstoole, which dares not rebell,
Which all vnto thy will do still incline,
The Sunne and Moone by day and night which shine,
The changing flouds, the firme and frutefull land,
The Planets which do firme for euer stand,
All which gainst thy behest dare not repine:
The host of Angels in thy heauenly band,
Th'infernall fiends with Lucifar which fell,
The fish, the foule, the beast agreeing well,
And all obedient to thy heauenly hand,
May vnderstand, Thy glorie, loue, and powre,
Without whose help, mā could not liue an howre.

SON. XLIIII.

AS doth the Moone by daily change of hew,
By growing, or decreasing, beautie show,
The influence, the greater lights bestow,
Whose absence, or whose presence, her renue:
So must all flesh confesse, and thinke most true,
The faith or feare they haue for to proceed,
From heauenly grace, which heauēly gifts doth feed,
Without whose face, blind darknesse doth insue;
Mans proper powre is so obcurde indeed,
With shades which rise frō earthly thoughts below,
That nothing but blinde ignorance would grow,
Vnlesse this sunne did shining comfort breed,
Which serues in steed Of fire vnto the same,
Fro whence this light of faith receiues his flame.
Page  76

SON. XLV.

IF Saba Queene, a iourney tooke in hand,
From South to North, wise Salomon to heare;
If humane wisedome was to her so deare,
That she did visit thus his holy land,
Then do I muse why men do idle stand,
In pride of youth, when wit and meanes abound,
Their tender braines to feed with wisedome sound,
Far passing that this Queene for trauell found.
This error is the scarre of Adams wound,
Who sought his knowledge not in fountain cleare,
To whom forbidden skill did best appeare,
Neglecting graces him inclosing round,
But on the sound And written word I build,
Not Salomon such Oracles could yeeld.

SON. XLVI.

HOw fond a thing it is which men do vse,
To beat their braines, and so torment their hart,
In compassing the thing which breeds their smart,
And do not know what is the thing they chuse;
They childishly the name of loue abuse,
And would define the nature of the same,
By passions which belong to hatreds name,
Wherein to pine with pleasure they do chuse.
Who euer saw that figs on thorne-tree came,
Or thistels roses beare by any art?
With pain, with grief, with shame, with losse impart
Their passions, which they for their loue do frame,
With iudgment lame; Loue is a heauenly thing,
Where being plast, it perfect loue doth bring.
Page  77

SON. XLVII.

LEt earthly things in earth their loue repose,
For flesh and bloud on faith they cannot feed,
It is a frute indeed of heauenly seed,
Which who disgesteth well life cannot lose;
The soule fro out of other matter growes,
And vnto other matter turnes againe,
Immortally to liue in ioy or paine,
As grace to sundry vses it hath chose.
Then is it time my thoughts at length to waine,
From laying vp my treasure for my need,
Where mothes and canker do so common breed,
As in the world whose wealth is meerely vaine,
If I attaine, But faith layd vp in store,
In Christ my Sauious, I desire no more.

SON. XLVIII.

FYe fainting faith disswade me not so much,
From following of my louely heauenly choyce,
To thinke on whom, I cannot but reioyce,
Whose name or memorie my heart doth touch,
What trauell ere befall, I will not grutch,
Through fire and water I will him pursue,
Whose sight my fainting soule doth straight renue,
His loue and mercy both to me are such:
If I should dye for him it were but due,
By him I liue, and follow will his voyce,
Regarding lightly fame or common noyse,
Which threaten paine and trauell to insue,
There are but few That passe the narrow way,
But crowne of honor doth their trauell pay.
Page  78

SON. XLIX.

I Find my heart is bent for to amend,
And follow thee, forsaking wicked way,
From wickednesse my fotsteps for to stay,
And to thy will my works henceforth to bend:
But yet the cause which makes me this intend,
I finde is rather feare, then loue of right.
Yet free-will offrings do thee more delight,
And to such works thou doest thy blessing send.
It is not ill to set before my sight,
Thy heauie plagues for sin from day to day;
But I had rather forth thy fauours lay,
And for their loue in quarrell thine to fight,
Which if I might By feruent zeale attaine,
Then should I hope the victorie to gaine.

SON. L.

NO sooner loue intirely me possest,
But see how iealousie doth me assaile,
She seekes with deepe distrust my faith to quaile,
And to remoue from conscience, quiet guest,
She telleth me my Lord doth sin detest,
And that my deeds they too vnworthie are,
That from his fauour they will me debarre,
Whose loue is fixed only on the best:
Feare had begun to worke in me so farre,
That to amaze my minde it could not faile,
Till to my loue my state I did bewaile,
Who shining sweetly like the morning starre,
Did stay their iarre, And bid my soule to rest
In Christ, by whom I surely shall be blest.
Page  79

SON. LI.

HE is vnworthie to receiue a gift
From any man, that him mistrusts before;
I will not ought of thee Lord doubt therefore,
Although no reason can my hope vp lift,
I know in deed it is slye Satans drift,
To laie before me this my vile estate,
Which (being sinfull) thou of force must hate,
And I reiected be without all shift,
But when I with my selfe thy works debate,
Which haue examples of thy mercies store,
His reasons are of force with me no more,
Because that faith sets open wide the gate,
To me of late, Which leades to treasure thine,
Where (in thy sonne) thou doest in mercy shine.

SON. LII.

FAine would I follow thee through sea and land,
My louely Sauiour whom farre off I see,
Zeale makes my mind with speed to hast to thee,
But natiue weaknesse makes me doubtfull stand:
If to my ayde thou gau'st not forth thy hand,
And by thy word incourdgdst me to row,
I should so shun afflictions which do flow,
That feare should bend my faith like feeble wand;
But by thy offred grace now strong I grow,
And through the troubles of the world will be
Bold to proceed, and faith shall succour me,
To witnesse forth the thankfulnesse Iowe;
Thou doest bestow On me both power & will,
And with them both, I will thee honour still.
Page  82

SON. LIII.

AS do the starres amidst the firmament,
With borrowed light beare record vnto thee,
(O Lord of might) in which we men do see,
The image of thy power to them but lent,
So when our weake indeuors Lord are bent,
To publish forth thy praises, which excell;
These silly sparkes of light which in vs dwell,
Do shew thy grace which vs this motion sent.
Although therefore no speech or tong can tell,
How infinite thy glorie ought to bee,
(Which passeth humane sence by high degree,
As wisest men to grant, they do compell)
Yet thou lik'st well, We show herein our will,
Which I haue vowd vnto thy seruice still.

SON. LIIII.

CAll me ô Lord, for lo I do attend
To follow thee where so thou doest direct,
I know thou wilt not my intent reiect,
Who gladly would proceed where so thou send,
I doubtfull stand, which way my course to bend,
Because I finde such ignorance of skill,
To follow forth according to my will,
A frutefull course the which I did intend,
As thou with forward zeale my minde didst fill,
So shew me Lord whereto I am select,
And I shall carefully the same effect,
And feruently thereto go forward still,
Depend I will, Vpon occasion fit,
That faithfully I may accomplish it.
Page  83

SON. LV.

LIke silly babes, such must thy seruants bee,
In innocencie and obedience still,
Vnto thy holy lawes (ô Lord) and will,
From wrath, pride, malice, lust, and enuy free:
With Serpents eyes of wisedome must they see,
And stop their eares, which Sathan would deceaue,
With charmes of pleasure, which a scar do leaue,
And onely lend obedient eare to thee:
Yet with simplicitie of doue receaue
The yoke of law, whose rule they must fulfill,
And suffer patiently, the word to kill
The force of sin, which would soules health bereaue,
Such thou wilt heaue, And hold in heauēly arme,
And with protecting hand, defend from harme.

SON. LVI.

WHo so could like to Steu'n behold and see,
The throne triumphant where our Sauior sits
In Maiestie aloft, as best him fits,
A Iudge and Sauiour to his Saints to be,
Coëquall with his father in degree,
Possessor of the place for vs prepard:
Who readie stands our weake works to reward,
And from the fury of the world to free;
He were but base, if ought he did regard
This transitorie honour, which so flits,
Which to attaine so much doth tyre our wits,
And yet so niggardly to man is shard,
And afterward Doth leaue a sting behinde,
Of care of conscience, and of griefe of minde.
Page  84

SON. LVII.

VVHo seeketh not with all his powre and might,
To eternize vnto himselfe his state?
That chance or time may not his blisse rebate,
Or death it selfe may not dissolue it quight?
Thus some therefore for honour fiercely fight,
And some for wealth do trauell far and nigh,
Some worldly wisedome with great studie buy,
To make them famous seeme in vaine worlds sight:
Which is the readiest way they do espye,
To keep their name from death, which so they hate,
Yea all suppose, posteritie the gate,
T'immortalize this flesh, whose floure must dye:
But all go wry, wealth, honor, wit haue end,
And children passe, faith onely life doth lend.

SON. LVIII.

VVHat wealth may be to this alone comparde,
To be co-heire with Christ of fathers loue?
To haue our earthly thoughts so raysd aboue,
That world and worldly things we not regard?
To see by faith a kingdome rich preparde
For vs, which shall eternally remaine,
(Made free from worldly cares and troubles vaine)
Which is for children his, a due reward?
Who can discouragde be with earthly paine,
Or tedious combats which the flesh doth proue?
Since care of vs our Partner Christ did moue,
To share our griefes, his ioy for vs to gaine:
Which thoughts should waine Our wils frō base desire,
And vs incourage higher to aspire.
Page  85

SON. LIX.

IF Paradise were such a pleasant soyle,
Where all things flourisht first and prosper daye,
Wherein who liued, neuer could decaye,
Till sin by Satans slight gaue man the foyle:
Which blessings afterward did cleane recoyle,
And left man naked in reproach and shame,
To dust to turne againe from whence he came,
On baren earth to liue with sweat and toyle;
Then is our state much better then that same,
Our Paradise a place of blisse to staye;
Our Sauiour (Abrams bosome) doth displaye,
Wherein our soules shall rest most free from blame,
Where he our name Hath writ in booke of life,
To be exempt from feare of care, or strife.

SON. LX.

VVHat is felicitie whereof men wright?
Which to attaine, our studies still are bent,
VVhich to procure, such time & paine is spent,
By endlesse trauell therein day and night:
Sure if it be nought else but firme delight,
And that delight consist in peace of minde,
Then here on earth this treasure none shall finde,
VVhose pleasures quickly vanish out of sight:
The earth doth chaunge, as seas do rise with tyde,
And stormes insue the calme before that went:
This happinesse but for a time is lent,
And payd oft times with penance more vnkinde
By fortune blinde. True blisse consists herein,
To loue the Lord, and to abandon sin.
Page  86

SON. LXI.

HOw many priuiledges great and rare,
Do we enioy, that do thy name professe?
Euen many more by far (I do confesse)
Then we obserue, or how to vse be ware:
To giue thy onely Sonne thou didst not spare,
Vs to redeeme from deaths eternall wound;
The sting of hell and sin he did confound,
And way to heauen for vs he did prepare.
Yea so his mercies do to vs abound,
That all the worldly creatures more and lesse,
Yea heauenly Angels do themselues addresse,
To serue mans needfull vse are readie found:
He doth propound, In Christ all these to man,
And hauing him, no want annoy vs can.

SON. LXII.

BY many gifts (ô Lord) thou doest declare
Thy mercies vnto man, whom thou wilt saue,
The vse of all the which in Christ we haue,
By hand of faith, that precious blessing rare,
That doth his righteousnesse for vs prepare,
Our stubburnnesse with his obedience hide,
His patience doth our grosse impatience guide,
His temperance with our intemperance share,
His continence our frailtie lets not slide:
(For changing nature ours, his strength it gaue)
Our pride it hides, and hopes which faithlesse waue,
And shades our hart with loue, which still shall bide;
Thus euery tide, It readie is at hand,
For our defence a buckler safe to stand.
Page  87

SON. LXIII.

HOw should the quiet mind in peace and rest,
Possessed of the thing it most desirde,
(A thing so precious, none durst haue aspirde
To gaine, vnlesse the giuer had him blest)
How may it morne, how may she be opprest,
Who hath the bridegrome alwaies in her sight:
Who in her loue doth take so great delight,
As by his bountie hourely is exprest?
The dolefull darknesse fitteth blinded night,
The shining Sunne hath cloudes of care retirde;
With heauenly heate my heart it hath inspirde,
Since in thy sunne I saw thy fauour bright,
The which did fight, As champiō strong for mee,
From cloudes of darknesse and from sin to free.

SON. LXIIII.

WHo so of perfect temprature is framde,
Must needs delight in heauenly harmony:
His sences so shall be renewd thereby,
As sauage beasts by Orpheus harpe were tamde;
Yong Dauids harpe, Sauls furious spirit shamde,
And Dolfins did Aryons musicke heare.
Such sympathie in all things doth appeare,
That neuer musicke was by wisedome blamde:
But he that could conceiue with iudgement cleare,
The sweet records that heauenly motions cry,
Their constant course that neuer swarues awry,
But by discords, whose concords after cheare,
Would hold so deare, The mouer of the same,
That loue of him should base affections tame.
Page  88

SON. LXV.

GReat is thy powre, and more then we conceiue,
Thy glorie more then can discerned be;
Mans greatest gift is this, that he may see,
Or know, that vertue thine doth his bereaue:
His dazeling eyes each shadow doth deceaue,
His iudgement builded on inconstant ground,
His strength but weaknesse in it selfe is found,
His glorie, greater glorie must receiue
From thee, in whom all glorie doth abound:
What maiestie dare man compare with thee,
To whom all creatures bow obedient knee?
Whose contemplations thou doest cleane confound,
Vpon this ground. True blisse & wisdome stand,
To know, our wisedome floweth from thy hand.

SON. LXVI.

AS but vaine hope it is for man to trust,
To thing not promised, or not in powre
Of speaker to performe at pointed howre,
Which is the case of flesh and bloud vniust:
So call that hope, no wise man can or must,
Which is performance of expected thing;
When as possession doth assurance bring,
Of thing whereafter we tofore did lust:
The Saints in heauen in ioyfull rest do sing,
Whom hope nor feare do raise or yet deuower,
But men on earth haue hope a resting tower,
To shield them from despightfull Satans sting:
Faith is the wing Makes me to hope ascend,
And truth in Christ will make my hope haue end.
Page  89

SON LXVII.

GReat are the gifts ô Lord thou doest bestow
On sinfull man, by thy abounding grace,
Who when they want, doest neuer hide thy face,
But still a patron of thy bountie show:
Which makes vs both thy powre and mercy know,
And so with shame and sorow to repent,
Our thanklesse natures so vnkindly bent,
So slacke to pay the praises which we owe:
But when I do consider thou hast sent
Thy Sonne himselfe for to supply our place,
Whose patience did the death on crosse imbrace,
Those to acquite, who did with faith assent:
All speeches spent, Seeme then to me in vaine,
And onely I admyring do remaine.

SON. LXVIII.

I Haue bene blind, and yet I thought I saw,
And now I see, yet feare that I am blind;
No blindnesse like to that is of the mind,
Which doth the soule to deadly danger draw:
My carelesse steps did stumble at a straw,
And yet supposd my walke had bene so ware,
That to haue err'd had bene a matter rare,
When euery thought did violate thy law:
But since to search my felfe I do prepare,
So darke of sight my soule and sence I find,
That if thy Christ (my loue) were not more kind,
Eternall death I see should be my share.
But now I dare In spight of wicked foe,
A better course with constant courage goe.
Page  90

SON. LXIX.

WHy should he faint or thinke his burden great,
That hath a partner to support the same?
Why coward-like should he his honour shame,
That hath a champion readie at intreat,
Who can and doth death and confusion threat,
To all impediments which stop our way?
On whom repose our trust we boldly may,
He being iudge, and plast in mercies seat?
He sees our thoughts, and knows what we would say,
He doth our mouthes to fit petitions frame,
He hides our errors if our faith be lame,
And he himselfe doth also for vs pray,
We need but stay, And trust to his good will,
And we are sure he will our want fulfill.

SON. LXX.

ALthough the world do seek to stop my way,
By many stumbling blocks of feare and doubt,
And bid me seeke a farther way about,
And on the staffe of carnall strength to stay;
Though sin, though hell, though death do me denay,
That any powre shall bridle their intent,
But would compell me walke as worldlings went,
The headlong path of pleasure to decay,
Yet will I not this purpose mine repent,
So long as faith will be my souldier stout,
To ouerthrow this fearefull thronging rout;
Whom to subdue, this grace was to me sent,
No shall be spent In vaine this paine of mine,
Hope against hope, shall win the field in fine.
Page  91

SON. LXXI.

IT were vnfit a concubine to keepe,
Or that her children should possession haue,
Among the frutes which lawfull wedding gaue,
By vetuous spowse which in the soule doth leepe;
And yet behold how shamefully do creepe,
Into possession of my powre and will,
These thoughts and works which motions are to ill,
And trench themselues in fleshly fortresse deepe:
Whose base societie will with vices fill,
The holy brood which grace would spotlesse saue;
In such a boubt my yong affections waue,
That they consent I should them foster still,
But that would spill More vertuous heritage:
Therefore exilde these be, though hell do rage.

SON. LXXII.

SOmetimes my nature seemeth to repine,
To see the pleasure and the plenteous store,
The wicked do enioy for euermore,
Abounding in their corne, their oyle and wine:
But when I see my weakenesse so encline,
To the abuse of portion I possesse,
My heart with ioy, full often doth confesse,
Thy loue doth much in earthly scarstie shine;
These things are good and bad, as thou doest blesse,
Which I dare not directly craue therefore,
Such danger followes them euen at the dore,
That plentie lightly doth the oule oppresse;
And as I guesse, Contentednesse doth grow,
In gratefull mind, though state be neare so low.
Page  92

SON. LXXIII.

IF he vnworthie be the sweet to tast,
That shuns the sowre (as we in prouerbe say)
To honor, pleasure, profit, in the way
Great perill, paine, and cost, so often plast;
If as vnworthie health, he be disgrast,
That will refuse a bitter purge to take,
When he doth know it will his feauer slake:
So do temptations proue the mind more chast,
If we with courage do the combat make,
And to the end immoueable do stay:
The more that Satan doth his spight display,
The more the pride and powre of him we shake,
And he will quake, And sin shall haue a fall,
And faith in Christ shall triumph ouer all.

SON. LXXIIII.

TO shun the rocks of dangers, which appeare
Amidst the troubled waues of worldly life,
Which in each company are alwaies rife,
Which with soules perill most men buy full deare,
I feare almost to keep my course so neare,
The conuersation of such tickle tides,
And thinke him blest, that banished abides
In desert, where of sin he may not heare:
But when I note where so a man him hides,
That still affections breed an inward strife,
That nature beares about the bloudie knife,
And to the death the proper soule it guides:
That fancie slides Away, and I prepare,
In combats of the world to fight my share.
Page  93

SON. LXXV.

WEre it not straunge, that members of the same
One liuig bodie, and one parents childe,
Should by the other daily be defilde?
And of vnseemly thing should haue no shame?
And yet we which of Christ do beare the name,
And children of his father vs do call,
At discord with this parent daily fall,
And Christ our eldest brother do defame;
It seemeth well we be but bastards all,
Though stock be true, we be but Oliues wilde,
Who thinks vs better, he is but beguilde,
Our frutes are bitter, and increase but small,
And who so shall Examine well his works,
Shall see, that gall in purest thoughts there lurks.

SON. LXXVI.

IT is no light or curious conceipt,
O Lord thou knowst, that maketh me to straine
My feeble powres, which blindfold did remaine,
Vpon thy seruice now at length to waight;
But onely shame to see mans nature fraight,
So full of pregnant speech to litle vse,
Or rather oftentimes to thy abuse,
Whilst to deceiue, they laie a golden baight;
And do not rather thinke it fit to chuse,
By praises thine, true praise themselues to gaine,
And leaue those fond inuentions, which do staine
Their name, and cause them better works refuse:
Which doth abuse The gifts thou doest bestow,
And oftentimes thy high contempt do show.
Page  94

SON. LXXVII.

FOr common matter common speech may serue,
But for this theame both wit and words do want,
For he that heauen and earth and all did plant,
The frutes of all he iustly doth deserue:
No maruell then though oft my pen do swarue,
In middle of the matter I intend,
Since oft so high, my thoughts seeke to ascend,
As want of wisedome makes my will to starue:
But thou ô Lord who clouen tongs didst send,
Vnto thy seruants, when their skils were cant,
And such a zeale vnto thy praise that brant,
As made them fearelesse speake, and neuer bend,
Vnto the end, One iot from thy behest,
Shall guide my stile, as fits thy glory best.

SON. LXXVIII.

HOw happily my riches haue I found?
Which I no sooner sought, but it is wonne,
Which to attaine, my will had scarce begunne,
But I did finde it readie to abound:
The silly faith I had was setled sound
In Christ, although for feare it oft did pant,
Which I did wish more constantly to plant,
That it might all temptations so confound.
With feruency this little sparkle brant,
Till it inflamde my zeale, and so did runne
Vnto the fountaine of true light (the sunne)
Whose gracious soyle to feed it was not scant
Men finde more want, The more they couet still,
But more man couets this, it more doth fill.
Page  95

SON. LXXXIX.

WHen desolate I was of worldly ayde,
Vnable to releeue my selfe at need,
Thou hadst a care my fainting soule to feed,
Because my faith vpon thy fauour stayde:
My dying hope thou hast with mercy payde,
And as thou didst releeue thy seruant deare,
Elias whom the Rauens in desert cheare;
So am I comforted, whom sin affrayde.
The cries of little Rauens thine eare doth heare,
And slakst their hunger kindly (Lord) indeed,
When parents do forsake deformed breed,
That so thy prouidence might more appeare,
Which shineth cleare, In blessings euery day,
To me, much more then I can duly way.

SON. LXXX.

AMidst this pilgrimage where wandring I,
Do trace the steps which flesh and bloud doth tred,
My comfort is, that aye mine eyes are led,
By gracious obiect which in faith I spy;
Whose brightnesse guides my steps, which else awry
Were like to slide, through Satans subtil slight,
Gainst whom his holy Angels alwaies fight,
And suffer not my strength too farre to try:
By day his word and works are in my sight,
Like to a cloud to comfort me in dread;
By fire through deserts, and the sea so red,
His hand doth gouerne me in dangerous night,,
His fauour bright, Conducting this my way,
An host of stops shall not my iourney stay.
Page  96

SON. LXXXI.

I See a storme me thinks approach a farre,
In darkned skie, which threatens woe at hand;
Vnto my tackle I had need to stand,
Lest sudden puffs my purposd course debarre:
These tempting thoughts full oft forerunners are,
Of fierce affections, which do moue the minde,
VVhich if resistance not in time they finde,
The strongest tackling they do stretch or marre;
I closely therefore will my conscience binde,
And arme my vessell with couragious band,
Of skilfull saylers, which do know the land,
VVhose harbors for my safetie are most kinde:
And in my minde Shall faith the Pylot bee,
VVhose skill shall make me wished port to see.

SON. LXXXII.

HOw is it that my course so soone would stay,
Before I haue begun the thing I thought?
If ease or pleasure I herein had sought,
I had not then made choyse of such a way:
More facill is the course vnto decay,
More fauour with the world it will attaine;
But I mislike the ioy requit with paine,
And faining words, not meaning as they say:
Men breake their sleeps some silly pelfe to gaine;
With losse of life small honour some haue bought,
Yea Philosophers pleasure set at nought,
To win a name of vertue to remaine▪
Then I will waine My selfe from earthly rest,
With heauenly crowne and honour to be blest.
Page  97

SON LXXXIII.

VVHen I begin to faint in my conceipt,
To see the little powre I haue to good;
How sin hath vertue in me still withstood,
And frailtie on my flesh doth alwaies waight;
I am confounded and amazed straight,
And readily could turne and flie the field,
And all my trauell to the tempter yeeld,
Before I would aduenture more to fight:
But when I duly note whereon I build,
My faith, which watered is with Christ his bloud,
Of force sufficient to withstand the floud,
And me from perill and destruction shield,
I easily welde Each burden on me layd,
And of my safetie nothing am affrayd.

SON. LXXXIIII.

THe chastisements which often do befall,
Vnto the most belou'd of God, and blest,
Doth breed vnto their soules both peace and rest,
And home from wandring thoughts their mind doth call,
And sure are tokens not of fauour small,
Who father-like doth vs in time correct,
Who else the care of him would soone reiect,
And haue no heed vnto our wayes at all.
The good Phisition that would life protect,
Cuts of a limbe sometimes as it seemes best,
And yet the patient doth the same disgest,
Or any payne that worketh good effect:
Should God neglect Vs then to exercise
With rods, wherby to make vs grow more wise.
Page  68

SON. LXXXV.

HOw should my feare or sorrow long remaine,
(Although the world did swell, and ouerflow
With danger, which nought else but death do show)
When I by death do finde a present gaine?
Faith me assures that all assaults are vaine,
That seeke to seuer me from heauenly blis:
The loue of Christ assureth me of this,
That I with him shall safely still remaine.
What though of earthly pleasures I do misse?
And though the care of them vnpleasing grow,
Yet this by good experience I do know,
All things turne to the best to children his:
I therefore kis, The crosse with ioyfull cheare,
Because in chastisement doth loue appeare.

SON. LXXXVI.

ALthough those Gibeonites, the natiue borne
Of sinfull flesh, haue slily me beguilde,
When as I thought all lust to haue exilde,
By showing faynd repentance raggd and torne:
Though flesh and bloud vnto this league haue sworne,
Not asking counsell of the Lord at all,
By which into a snare my soule did fall,
And deepe hypocrisie my powre did scorne;
Yet meane I them vnto account to call,
And since they haue my holy thoughts defilde,
Accursed I will hold them, and as vilde,
Will hate their ofsprings all, both great and small,
And be they shall, But bondmen to my soule,
Who daily may their proud attemps controwle.
Page  99

SON. LXXXVII.

WHen I began a conquest of my will
To make, and yeeld it vnto reasons law,
My reason to the rule of God to draw,
And by that rule to guide my actions still,
It had bene wisedome first the flesh to kill,
Who breeds affections, which do still withstand
The building of the worke I haue in hand,
And thornes are in my sides to worke me ill,
But now my error I do vnderstannd,
And must (by feare of wrath) keepe them in aw,
And by the chastisements of sinne they saw,
Make them to yeeld vnto obedient band,
Then shall my land With faithfull souldiers be
Replenished, and armed strengthen me.

SON. LXXXVIII.

NOt euery one that with his lips doth pray,
Or praise thy name is gratefull in thy sight,
Thy searching eyes haue not so much delight,
In those that cry, Lord, Lord, each houre of day,
But such as in thy bounds obedient stay,
And make thy will a law vnto their mind,
That in thy promises do comfort find,
And follow not the worlds deceitfull way,
To such thou showest thy selfe a father kind,
And doest coroborat their heart with might,
Against all powers wherewith they daily fight,
Their sores thou tak'st to cure, and doest vp bind,
Angels assignd, Do them inuiron round,
And to their comfort, mercies do abound.
Page  100

SON. LXXXIX.

HOw should I quicken vp my selfe indeed,
To true and faithfull loue euen as I ought?
Vnlesse I call to mind whence I was brought,
And by whose aide, who did this kindnesse breed,
Which when I only waigh, my heart doth bleed,
To see that bountie of a God so kind,
And note the dulnesse of my nature blind,
That should forget the Lord, who me doth feed.
When I was almost lost, he me did find;
When I forgat him cleane, on me he thought,
When I was sold to sinne then he me bought;
When I was wounded, he my sores bid bind;
Yea when I pind, He gaue me plenteous store,
Which gifts I will record for euermore.

SON. XC.

VVHy should I faint or feare, or doubt at all,
How fierce so euer fleshly combat show?
Since I so sure a succour readie know,
To shield me safe, what euer do befall?
If he haue such regard of sparrowes small,
As none of them (till God appoint) do dye,
If to our haires which fall, he haue an eye,
That none of them vnnumbred perish shall:
Why should I thinke him deafe when I do cry?
As though he had no care of vs below,
As though he would not needfull things bestow,
Although our patience he delight to try,
Who can deny, But flowres that grow in field,
In glory staine the beautie pride doth yeeld.
Page  101

SON. XCI.

HOw do Gods blessings to his Saints abound,
Whose gifts of grace, although they be but small
At first, yet more and more increase they shall,
As seed well watred in a frutefull ground,
The proofe whereof I (sinfull) wretch haue found,
Whose faith nigh famished, he now hath fed
From heauen, with great increase of fish and bread,
Which strengthen dying soule with comfort sound,
His word for table he did open spred,
His seruants for to feed me, he did call,
Their dole so free, I find more fragments fall,
Then in my basket, sences home haue led,
Yet he hath bed To such more to bestow,
As greatest store of former treasure show.

SON. XCII.

I Know not Lord how to discharge aright,
The dutie that for graces great I owe,
No need thou hast of me at all I know,
Yet in thy seruice shall be my delight,
To publish forth thy praises day and night,
To serue thy Saints with gifts I shall possesse,
Thy wondrous workes by all meanes to confesse,
I will imploy my substance, wit, and might.
The remnant of my life shall well expresse,
That (dead to sin) in Christ to life I grow,
Which shall to world, my mind regenerate show,
Although that I, cannot sinne cleane suppresse,
And will addresse My thoughts to thee alone,
Because on earth true ioy or blisse is none.
Page  102

SON. XCIII.

IF I did hope by pen to patterne out
The many merits of thy Maiestie,
(Which of thy mercies we do daily trie)
And endlesse matter I should go about,
But I (alas) my strength so much do doubt,
That nothing lesse then such a thought I haue,
To point foorth others to a thought I craue,
Whose confidence in skill is much more stout.
Yet dare I say that nature neuer gaue
The power to flesh and bloud to looke so hye,
Nor gifts of grace, full few there are apply,
To giue him laud aright, that did them saue.
How to behaue My selfe herein I learne,
And wish my will might others likewise warne.

SON. XCIIII.

VVHat tongue or pen can shew it selfe vnkind,
Vnto a father full of mercy so,
Who freely doth such benefits besto,
And of our case hath such a carefull mind?
Before we were, a way he forth did find,
Whereby to purchase vs in heauen a place,
When natiue strength our glory should deface,
A remedie therefore his loue assignd:
He giues vs knowledge of the same by grace,
Which offered is to them the which will go
Vnto the word where sauing health doth grow,
And faith through which our Sauiour we imbrace,
And being base By birth, and thrall to hell,
He vs adopts in childrens roome to dwell.
Page  103

SON. XCV.

VVHy should this worldly care haue now such power
To quench the comfort which the soule shall find
In this our God, who is to vs so kind,
The memorie of which should feare deuoure?
If faith were watred well with heauenly shower
Of grace, and knowledge of our happie state,
It would the force of all assaults abate,
And be a bulwarke strong, at trials hower.
If we the world and flesh did truly hate,
And made his will a law vnto our mind,
If doubt of power or will, did not vs blind,
Which to distrust, sets open wide the gate,
Then would this rate Of worldly care be lesse,
And he our faith with fauour more would blesse.

SON. XCVI.

HOw loath this flesh of mine remaineth still,
To part from sinne his old companion deare,
Of death or of a change, he would not heare,
But would imbrace him aye with his good will,
The very thought of death his thought doth kill,
The very feare thereof his sorrow brings,
So sweet the pleasures seeme of earthly things,
That nought else can our fond affections fill.
But who is wise, fro out the snare he wrings,
Before perforce, death doth approch him neare,
That abstinence no vertue doth appeare,
When want of power subdues affections stings,
But who so flings, From them when they pursue,
To him pure name of vertue indeed is due.
Page  104

SON. XCVII.

VVHo so would liue, of force he first must die,
Death is the doore which leadeth vnto life,
Life which shall be deuoyd of change and strife,
Whose comfort shall our teares of sorrow drie;
The way is straight the which man must go by:
If to the heauens he purpose to ascend,
His grosse corruption must to graue descend,
And dead the power of sinne therein must lye,
If he to be regenerate intend,
First must he mortifie the motions rife,
Of lust, which kill the soule with cruell knife,
And eke his ruine presently pretend,
For God will send A happie change indeed,
As haruest paies with plentie plow-mans seed.

SON. XCVIII.

VVHen I with griefe sometimes to mind do call,
The wofull losse that sinne to man hath brought,
And want which to all creatures it hath wrought,
By Satans slight, and Adams fearefull fall;
I find no comfort in worlds vse at all,
But wish to be dissolu'd with Christ to dwell,
From whom all blessings flow and do excell,
In thought whereof my comfort is not small:
Yea I do grow by thinking hereof well,
Into a doubt, if that in truth I ought
More sorrow parents fall, which death hath brought,
Or ioy the life through Christ to me befell;
Yet truth to tell, I find the change so good,
Our state is better now then when we stood.
Page  105

SON. XCIX.

IF I can speake and like a coward crake,
If I can tell the thing the which is best,
If I in muster seeme to battell prest,
And yet shrinke backe when I should triall make,
If I indeuour others to awake,
Fro out the deadly slumber they are in,
And yet my selfe cannot reuolt from sin,
But in the pride thereof do pleasure take,
By all my trauell I no gaine shall win,
Although my paine might proue to others blest,
But (as the Symbals sound doth to the rest)
I mght haps morne, when others mirth begin,
The feast but thin, Would be vnto my share,
Though many dishes to the guests I bare.

SON. C.

FOrtune and chance, blind guides to blisse farewell,
Vpon your leasures I no more attend,
I not regard what good or ill you send,
Nor in your tents of pleasures wish to dwell,
A greater blisse then ere through you befell,
Ye made me to neglect I now do see,
Whose hope from feare could nere continue free,
But aye distrust did gainst my faith rebell:
The earths delight the which ye promist me,
Could not my soule from sorrow ought defend,
Your sweete with sower was mixed in the end,
So vaine and variable both they be,
Then happie he That seeketh blessed rest,
In Christ alone, and doth the world detest.
Page  106

CONCLVSION.

VVOrds may well want, both inke and paper faile,
Wits may grow dull, and will may weary grow,
And worlds affaires may make my pen more slow,
But yet my heart and courage shall not quaile,
Though cares and troubles do my peace assaile,
And driue me to delay thy prayse awhile,
Yet all the world shall not from thoughts exile,
Thy mercies Lord by which my plaints preuaile.
And though the world with face should gratefull smile,
And me her pedlers packe of pleasures show,
No heartie loue on her I would bestow,
Because I know she seekes me to beguile,
Ne will defile My happie peace of mind,
For all the solace I in earth may find.
FINIS.
Page  107

SVNDRY AFFECTIONATE SONETS OF A FEELING CONSCIENCE.

PREFACE.

VVHere hast thou rangd my retchles soul so long?
How too securely hast thou luld my mind?
In so long space, no cause or meanes to find,
To (once againe) renue thy vowed song.
Be not too bold, thinke not thy perill past;
May be, thy iourney is but new begun,
Pleasures do vanish, dangers fly as fast
To stop thy course, if slowly thou do runne.
Thy vowes are made, they may not be vndonne,
And cause thou hast (if blessings not thee blind)
To keepe thy promise to a God so kind,
By whom alone, thou freedomes rest hast wonne:
To him (nay to thy selfe) then do not wrong,
To whom thy hart, powre, will, by vow belong.
Page  108

SON. I.

OF thee and of thy prayse (Lord) will I sing,
Who rid'st on winged Chariot of the skie,
Whose throne is plast aboue the thrones most hie,
Whose will doth forme & change ech formed thing:
To thee the offerings, of thy bounties gift;
To thee the due, of my attaynd desire
I will present, and with a voice vplift
Contend to cause the world thy name admire.
Thy prayses do not mortall praise require,
For lo (alas) they no way can come nye
Vnto the holy hymnes thy Saints apply,
And Angels sing, inflam'd with heauenly fire:
Yet shall my soule, such zealous present bring,
As shall record my loue to heauens high king.

SON. II.

EXild be mortall cares, raysd be my song,
To treat (with stile condigne) thy honor still,
O mighty Ioue, who heauen and earth dost fill
With myrror of thy power: to thee belong
All powers and wils, of body and of mind,
Thou mak'st and blessest with thy prouidence,
Thy bountie to the needy is so kind,
As nought but mercieand loue proceedeth thence:
At our right hand a readie safe defence,
If Satans practise once assaile vs will,
Thou holy motions dost in vs distill,
And dost illuminate our dulled sence:
Thou dost redeeme, fro out the enemies throng
The innocent, whom worldlings vse to wrong.
Page  109

SON. III.

VVRo out what dreame, what sleepe, what charmed rest
Rouse I my selfe? who too too long haue stayd,
(With worldly cares and vanities dismayd)
And cleane forgot almost soules solace blest?
My greedy nature, quaffed ouer much,
Restrained poyson (potions of delight)
New libertie did former dyet grutch,
Though life the one, death other show'd to sight;
Nature, gainst grace; prouoketh still this fight,
World to our wils doth yeeld accursed ayd,
Satan our senses dulles, that not affrayd,
We worke our wracke with greedy force and might:
But waken me (ô Lord) I thee request,
With pleasure, paine, welth, wo, as likes thee best.

SON. IIII.

WHat is thy measure full? dost thou suppose
Of strength, of perfectnesse, of plenteous store,
Of frutes of faith profest; that now no more
Thou carest, albeit thy tree true beautie lose?
It can not be, whilst life and sap remaine,
That barren branch, so holy plant should beare:
A faire greene tree of goodly leaues were vaine,
Vnlesse that kindly frute also there were.
Words are but leaues, works fruits that should be there,
Shew that thou liu'st, by charitie therefore;
True holinesse doth teach a righteous lore,
Whereby to neighbors good, our thoughts we reare;
Vaine is our knowledge and our holy showes,
If in our life the fruite of loue not growes.
Page  110

SON. V.

HOw can I hope for all my forward speed,
My fresh incounters of the riuals first,
My bold intent and zeale, which venter dirst
To runne so hard a race, and long indeed,
To win the prize? if past the greater paine,
I faint or do begin, my speed delay,
Or trusting ouer much the goale to gaine,
Let euery leaden heele, leade me the way.
In race of soule to heauen, light many a stay,
And fainting body doth for pleasnre thurst:
The world strowes golden fruits (of tast accurst)
Which toucht with loue, we lose to soules decay:
Then let me still runne on, so haue I need,
For constancie, stands most the soule in steed.

SON. VI.

ALl will not serue, the more I would beware,
The more I headlong fall and drowne in sinne:
So farre vnlike the victorie to winne,
That to his building morter I prepare.
One thing I say, an other thing I do,
One show of worke I haue, an other deed:
I runne cleane from the marke I looke vnto,
With one hand quench the fire, with'other feed.
One error doth a hundred errors breed,
If one I cut, to grow do ten begin.
This fleshly laberinth that I am in,
Is of the sinnefull race of Hydras seed,
But yet my trauell still I will not spare;
Because I know, God hath on me a care.
Page  111

SON. VII.

FAine would I bring some fruit of sauorie tast,
For offering of freewill and of my zeale;
But I do feare my weakenesse to reueale,
(Like new wine in a crazed vessell plast)
The vessell yet (not liquor) being mine,
And it fild in by master of the store,
I hope he will not at my gift repine,
But (if it faile) will it replenish more.
My weakenesse, I do oftentimes deplore,
And for reliefe, to him I do appeale:
Yet ioy, the bounty, that he daind to deale,
And halting hast, to those that go before.
In hope that my (nay his gifts) shall be grast,
Through loue vnto his sonne, whom he imbrast.

SON. VIII.

I Maruell much sometimes to see my will,
Contraried by my selfe with harts consent;
To see me crosse the course my purpose ment,
And yet th'euent thereof proue better still.
I am by nature vnto euill prone,
And that pursue, with forward fleshly ayd:
Straight way my mind is chāgd (by means vnknown)
And heart consents, my former will be stayd.
The cause hereof, and issues I haue wayd,
And find them strange, yet bending in intent
Vnto my good (sometimes though ill I ment)
And fayld of plots, my greatest wisedome layd:
Which doth my soule, in fine with comfort fill,
To see Gods prouidence, my purpose spill.
Page  112

SON. IX.

I Now begin to doubt my present state,
For that I feele no conflict in my mind:
A settled concord, needs must be vnkind,
Twixt flesh and spright, which should ech other hate,
They neere agree, but to their common woe,
And that through sin which luld them both a sleepe,
A warfare in this bodie would I goe,
Lest fraud, or treason in through rest should creepe.
The practises of Sathan are so deepe,
Armed with flesh and lust (whom prone we find)
That hardly can the soule his freedome keepe,
But that these fiendes would him with frailty bind.
Vnlesse with heauenly weapons at debate,
With them we stand, and fight, both rare and late.

SON. X.

VVHen I remember, with what speed in post
The Iewes (return'd from bondage) tooke in hand
Their Temple to restore, and armed stand,
In breach of wals to build, what enemies crost.
When I their bountie note, in offering store,
All freely giuen, and more then they could vse,
How true their treasures were that would no more,
Their workmens faith (accounts whilst Kings refuse.)
How these our latter times (which we accuse
Of ignorance, through fraud of Balaams band)
Did yet powre forth the plenty of the land,
To holy vse, which other did abuse.
I sorrow much to see true zeale cleane lost,
And pure religion shakt for sauing cost.
Page  113

SON. XI.

VVHat loue is this whereof the world doth tell,
Which they to God professe and men admire?
Loue hath his lawes, and doth effects require
Of charitie (to neighbour) to excell.
For as the members of one bodie bee
Partakers of the passion others haue,
And speedily concurre to helpe we see,
Because (thereby) the bodies good they craue.
So if their loue to God they freely gaue,
And held him head; their zeale would burne like fire
To serue his Saints, the needy to attire,
And home the stray to call, the lost to saue.
For how can they th'inuisible God loue well,
Whē they neglect their neighbors, neer that dwel?

SON. XII.

VVHo so will serue the Lord, he must bestow
The whole (not part) of body or of mind:
If in his heart dislike hereof he find,
His soule not yet, regenerate we may know.
Betwixt two stooles no sitting safe there is,
And kingdomes so deuided cannot stand:
We must imbrace and loue or that, or this;
And not looke backe, if plough be once in hand.
If Gods we be, we Beliall must withstand,
We cannot him well serue and Baall blind,
To Balak (Balams kindnesse of such kind)
Did draw him to accurse the blessed land,
Whereby his Asse, did masters blindnesse show;
And still bewrays, weak faith, where this shal grow.
Page  114

SON. XIII.

GIue all to him, that all did giue to thee:
More then his due, thou hast not to bestow:
By yeelding all, thou thankfulnesse mayst show,
The more thy store, the more his gifts would bee.
A chearefull giuer God doth best accept,
Though he doth giue that gift thou dost present;
His blessings must be vsde and not be kept,
(Like fruitlesse tallents) not to profit spent.
Thy soule and bodie both, since God hath lent,
The vse of them (entire) to him should grow,
What is our power and strength, he well doth know:
And giues the will; which (vsde) he is content.
But for to share a part, that scorneth hee
Who knows our thoughts & secret hart doth see.

SON. XIIII.

BVt will you know (indeed) the surest way,
To make the child of God a loathing find
Of sinne (which doth infect both heart and mind)
And vs the grace of God doth so denay?
Let man but see the fierce and angry face,
Of God for sinne which in his word is found;
Let him behold a man deuoid of grace,
Whom euery thought & deed to death doth wound.
Let him (if euer grace did so abound
In him, as he found God a father kind)
But call to mind, how much it should him bind,
And how saluation standeth on that ground.
Then will he in his conscience surely say,
I'will dwell no more in sinne, nor mends delay.
Page  115

SON. XV.

SOmetimes cleane tyr'd, or sham'd of sinne at last,
(If not for loue of good, or feare of hell)
I seeke to stay affections which rebell,
And how to quench their heat my wits I cast:
I find euen whilst the thought is in my head,
A liking thought thereof doth me possesse:
From thoughts to liking are my humors led,
And liking longs againe to worke no lesse.
My laberinth felt, I seeke in vaine t'expresse,
An idle thought can not such thoughts expell:
I thinke to exercise my time so well
In some good work, as may vaine thoughts suppresse;
But I do tyre, ere litle time be past:
Prayer alone withstands the greatest blast.

SON. XVI.

ME thinkes sometime, I muse and much admire,
The dulnesse of the Iewes, who daily saw
The powrefull workes of Christ, which well might draw
A stony heart, to loue of him t'aspire:
Much more I maruell that the words he spake,
Seem'd parables, and darke vnto his owne
Disciples; who his scholers he did make,
To whom all secrets, should by time be knowne;
But when I find the wonders on vs showne,
Vnnoted or acknowledged, by awe
Vnto his will, or word, or holy law,
And common ignorance by most men showne.
It makes me feare, we want the holy fire
Of faith, loue, zeale, which dutie would require.
Page  116

SON. XVII.

VVHat vaine lip-labour is it men do vse
To speake of God, his name in word confesse?
When as in life no dutie they expresse
Of godlinesse, but fleshly freedome chuse:
Not euery one that cryeth often Lord,
Shall enter to possesse eternall rest:
Vaine ostentation was (we see) abhord
In Pharise, whose speech and showes were best.
Hypocrisie the Lord did aye detest,
And chiefly that in them, his name should blesse,
As Anany, with Saphira no lesse
Do witnesse by their death, at hand adrest:
Let vs therefore this babbling forme refuse,
Of boasting holinesse, which doth abuse.

SON. XVIII.

I Goe about full oft (like Iewes most blind)
To offer vp, to God a sacrifice
Propitiatorie, gratefull to his eies,
Thereby remission for my sinnes to find:
But lose my labour whilst I cleane forget,
First with my neighbour to be reconcild,
A heape of rankor doth my conscience let,
From looking for remorse in father mild.
The mercies on the which my hopes should build,
My owne malicious purpose me denies,
For how should I that grace to gaine deuise,
Which from my neighbours sutes I haue exild?
At Temple dore my offering stayes behind,
Henceforth therefore, till malice leaue my mind.
Page  117

SON. XIX.

O Happie Simon of Syren, art thou,
Who chosen wert that office to supply,
To beare part of the crosse, on which should die
Thy Sauiour, (worlds new life and comfort true:)
Not wood I meane so much, which thou didst beare,
But that remorse, which thereby I suppose,
(Through shame and sorrow, pittie, care, and feare)
Which for his innocencie in thee rose.
Such crosses and full many more then those,
(Euen for my sinnes and for my selfe) wish I
As many as on fleshly strength might lye,
Or grace would aide, ere faith did comfort lose:
That for his seruant so he would me vow,
And try and vse me as he best knowes how.

SON. XX.

VVHat are our senses drownd and past recure?
Are rest and ease (the needfull aides of man,
Without vicisitude of which none can
Continue long) become by peace impure?
Shall blessings proue our curse, desire our bane?
Shall wish attaine his will? will worke our wo?
Shall profit be our losse? losse turne to gaine?
Shall Gods great goodnesse be requited so?
Should fathers kindnesse make a child a fo?
(O God forbid) our vowes were other, whan
Our tyred soules, our prayers first began
To send, as suters to our God to go.
His loue to vs did our desires procure,
Let our desires his growing loue allure.
Page  118

SON. XXI.

WHen I do see the mercies manifold,
Which God doth vse t'extend to his elect,
Whose actions alwaies he doth so direct,
That loue and fauour in him they behold:
How things restrained vnto them are free,
And all things holy to the holy are,
How priuiledgd in euery thing they bee,
And nothing from his loue can them debarre.
My mind from common comforts flyeth farre,
And findes (on earth) no true ioy in effect;
On God alone, I place my harts affect:
Where peace is perfect, without strife or iarre,
And through these worldly cares I wander (bold,
Secure) in courage, more then can be told.

SON. XXII.

COme to the Councell of your common weale,
Ye senses mine (which haue confederate bin
With world and Satan to infect with sin
My soule, whose harbour in your house befell)
Thinke ye your safety great, when he is thrall?
That ye can scape, if soule once captiue bee?
That plagues she feeles, shall not on ye befall?
And ye with her, bring endlesse woe to mee?
What earthly beauty can eyes brightnesse see?
What melodie heare eares? what liked smell?
What vnloathd tast, or feelings please so well,
That are not often noysome vnto yee?
Then (since such hazard great, short ioy ye win)
To watch with me, gainst common foes begin.
Page  119

SON. XXIII.

IN midst of plentie, and of happiest state,
Wherein by nature all men do delight,
Me thinkes I see, most cause of feare and fright,
Most perils, and most dangerous growne debate:
A masking rout of treacherous bayted hookes,
Cast forth by Sathan for to choke the mind,
By euery sense, where so the thought but lookes,
To draw vs to destruction wretches blind:
It was graue prouidence of Iob I find,
(Fearing the charmes and dangers like to light
On feasting children) praying day and night,
To mollifie the wrath of God most kind.
Which would to God were vsd by vs likewise,
So should lesse euill of our mirth arise.

SON. XXIIII.

HOw little comfort do I find (alas)
In these vaine pleasures, which my flesh desireth?
The vse of them full soone me cloyes and tireth,
And solace gone as thing that neuer was:
I striue sometimes to tast the same content,
In mirth and company that others find;
Yet seldome tast the blisse I not repent,
And leaues no bitter sting or griefe behind:
In fine I find the bodie is too blind
To iudge of happinesse, since it admireth
A shadow, which from memory retyreth,
And therefore chuse hencefoorth to feed my mind,
With some such solace, as that will not passe,
And I with comfort see, in faithfull glasse.
Page  120

SON. XXV.

VVEll, if I find no greater be my powre,
But yeeld and reele with euery puffe that blo'wth,
And that my nature still such frailtie show'th,
As that my constant purpose fayles each howre:
If I can not approch, or see the tree
Of fruit forbid, but needes I must it tast;
If lust vnlawfull so abound in mee,
That headlong I must needs to ruine hast:
The readiest way to keepe my conscience chast,
Must be to shun occasions, where do grow
The roots, whence fruits of deadly poyson flow,
And therein only thinke my safegard plast:
For (if I see) I hunger to deuowre
The bayt (soules bane) and dwell in sinfull bowre.

SON. XXVI.

WHo toucheth pitch shall therewith be defilde,
(The prouerbe saith, and practise sheweth plaine)
The purest conscience custome soone will staine,
And wisest wits, by boldnesse be beguilde:
We therefore warily had need to walke,
And stop temptations when they first do rise;
For euill deedes insue of euill talke,
And euill company polutes the wise.
We know that Sathan alwayes wachfull lies,
By many meanes, vs to his will to gaine;
If we a little yeeld, it is in vaine
For safe retreat to hope, or to deuise:
Vnlesse Gods grace the bulwarke stronger build,
By which hels powre is quencht, and he exilde.
Page  121

SON. XXVII.

HE that to do no euill doth intend,
He must do nought that may thereto belong;
He that is purposed to do no wrong,
To thought our speech of ill he must not bend:
Sinne is a theefe, and searcheth euery part,
And powre of man, to find a harbor fit;
He can disguise his purpose well by art,
And in a trap vs vnawares can git.
If we but kindly talke (to practise wit)
He soone can frame the mind to pleasing song:
The mind, the bodie soone can draw along,
To yeeld consent vnto, and practise it:
In fine he can vs teach sinne to defend,
And (noozeld once therein) to find no end.

SON. XXVIII.

WHen I looke backe vpon the slipperie way,
Wherein my youth with other worldlings past,
I halfe amazed do remaine, agast
To see the ruine whereunto it lay:
So many by-pathes, crooked and vniust,
So many stops and stayes, and wayes impure;
So little hold of helpe whereto to trust,
So many blockes my perill to procure:
Such flattering traines to ruine to allure,
As had not grace the gracelesse stayd at last,
I had my selfe to hell, euen headlong cast,
There to remaine without remead or cure:
I then (compeld) with thankes to God do say,
That in mans proper strength there is no stay.
Page  122

SON. XXIX.

AMong the many fierce assaults we haue,
To me impatience, seemes most strong of all,
Which makes vs from our best defence to fall,
Of wisedome, reason, faith, which all do waue:
Our temp'rance thereby we do quickly loose,
Humilitie and loue we oft do shake,
From law and reason we our eares do close,
And bit in teeth (like stubborne coltes) we take:
Of heauenly promist aide, no count we make:
Of our deserts, we take no heed at all;
For vengeance we with fury only call,
Or with dispaire, we comfortlesse do quake,
When we (like Dauid) should, lewd Simei saue,
In feare least God, forth his commission gaue.

SON. XXX.

VVHo seeketh ayde his frailties to withstand,
He may be sure he shall not deadly fall;
Who but for grace, to God doth truly call,
He shall find comfort doubtlesse out of hand:
To see his sinnes, to feare their vengeance due,
To call for grace, to seeke the same amend;
Of Gods elections, tokens are so true,
That such (as his) he doubtlesse will defend.
If that his humbled heart, his soule do bend
To will of good, though fruit there be but small;
He cannot fruitlesse said to be at all,
Because his merits Christ to him doth lend:
And he as free shall be of promist land,
As those in whō more righteous worke he fand.
Page  123

SON. XXXI.

IT is not causelesse, Christ did vse compare
Mans mind vnto the soile that tilled is;
They both fulwell indeed agree in this,
Vntilled, they vnfruitfull are and bare:
Such seede as is bestow'd, they do receaue,
And both yeeld fruit as God doth giue increase;
Some seed is spilt, some Sathan doth bereaue,
Some prosper, and produce a plentious peace:
And as deuouring fowles do neuer cease,
Ne wormes, ne swine, to seeke do neuer mis,
Each one to spoyle a part, whilst plow-man his
Due recompence of paines cannot possesse;
So doth the soule, though tild with studious care,
Gret store of weeds bring forth, good fruits ful rare.

SON. XXXII.

IF wo there was by Christ pronounst indeed,
Against Corasin and Bethsaiday,
Because vnpenitent they sluggish lay,
And to his preaching gaue not carefull heed;
Then woe and double woe I feare (alas)
Belongs to vs, who scornefully reiect
The same word preached, which vnheard doth pas,
Or vnobayd (at least) through foule neglect:
Our liues, our double hearts doth well detect,
Our want of charitie, selfe loue bewray;
Our pride, our lust, our couetous denay,
That eares haue heard, or hart doth grace affect:
Then woe is me that woe our selues we breed,
And that for feare of woe, or harts not bleed.
Page  124

SON. XXXIII.

IT should not seeme, that we do sinne detest,
As we professe, and make the world to thinke;
When we not only at foule faults do winke,
But rather at the doers make a iest:
How could a thing displeasing, mirth produce?
Or heartie laughter grow, by hearts displeasure?
To laugh at others fall, doth shew an vse
Of our like guilt, who sinne so slightly measure,
The mouth doth speake from harts abounding treasure,
The heart delights, when mind consent doth bring;
The mind (polluted once by bodies sting)
Infects whole man, on whom sinne then hath seasure,
And when (thus) sinne hath built a place of rest,
He makes vs euery euill to disgest.

SON. XXXIIII.

THe fatall haps, and iudgements which befall
On others and on vs, remorse should breed,
For warnings of our selues they stand in steed,
And vs vnto repentant feare do call:
They are not alwayes worst, who do sustaine
The greatest plagues, ne yet the others free
Of guilt (how be it vnpunisht they remaine)
But rather for the more part worse they bee:
Christs holy iudgement teacheth this to mee,
By fall of Sylo towre (the which indeed)
Slue not the worst; and euen the best had need,
Their due deserts in others doome to see.
Let one mans wo, be warning then to all,
And life reformd, amend, sinnes great and small.
Page  125

SON. XXXV.

I Often times endeuour to prepare
My mind, to beare with patience natures due,
Death which (though fearefull) must perforce insue,
And which no humane flesh did euer spare:
I therefore when I see the many woes
That others do sustaine by liuing long;
The sicknesse, want, dishonor, spight of foes,
Which most men must sustaine by right or wrong.
The hazards which on earth to vs belong,
The doubtfull hopes and feares which aye renue;
Ten thousand fained pleasures (for one true)
And care to compasse them we haue among:
I grow to graunt, that life is but a snare,
Death, way to life, a life deuoyd of care.

SON. XXXVI.

VVHo sees the seed that in the ground is cast,
Cleane frō all weeds, without both chaffe & straw,
Yet afterward when haruest neare doth draw,
Shall see the weeds increase therein so fast:
Who sees the trauell to receiue againe,
The corne from chaffe, and stubble cleansed made,
May see corruption in the soule remaine,
Which so with drosse, the slender crop doth lade.
And in the soule may see like daily trade,
(By natures weakenesse, which vs keepes in awe)
So much; that though we heare and feare the law
And Gospell, and in them a while do wade:
We bring few fruits (and them most bad) at last,
Which Sathan, world, & flesh, with sin haue blast.
Page  126

SON. XXXVII.

THough lawfull many things indeed I find,
To such as do them with a conscience pure;
Yet like I not my selfe, for to inure
To things, not pleasing to the weaker mind;
And many lawfull things there are beside,
Which be not yet expedient to be done;
A Christians actions, must the tutch abide
Of such, as by example will be wonne.
For why, the ignorant do blindfold runne
The trade that others tread, as way most sure,
And memory of ill, doth more indure
Then good, wherefore we warily should shunne
The action which may chance insnare the blind,
Although the wise from hazard safely wind.

SON. XXXVIII.

VAine are the brags, and faith but fruitlesse is,
Of such who bost of vertue and holinesse,
When as profaned speech doth yet expresse
A hollow heart, by tongue that talkes amisse.
The tongue declares th'abundance of the hart,
And by our speech we vse t'expresse our mind,
A truly touched soule, with wound doth smart,
When vaine or fruitlesse speech to rise they find:
But nature (forst) will foone returne to kind,
And who his seemelesse speech will not suppresse,
Vaine and deceitfull must his brags confesse,
And that delight in sinne is yet behind:
Who therefore hath no care at all of this,
His knowledge, zeale, and life receiues no blis.
Page  127

SON. XXXIX.

I Often others heare lament, and say
They cannot see, the fruit they do expect
By prayer; and my selfe feele like effect,
Because indeed, I vnprepared pray.
Not that my knees with reuerence do not bow,
Or that my tongue, it doth not craue reliefe;
Or that my heart, my words doth not allow;
But charitie doth want, and firme beliefe,
Which to true praiers are assistants chiefe,
Both which (for most part) man doth vse neglect,
For want of either of which we are reiect,
And to our weaknesse addeth double griefe:
Who doth till reconcilement, offring stay,
His faithfull lawfull prayers find no nay.

SON. XL.

THe season of the yeare, the natiue kind
Of euery creature to produce some thing,
Into my conscience doth this motion bring,
To God and nature not to be vnkind:
Two soyles I haue, and both vnfruitfull be,
Through weedes (of sin) which both them ouer grow:
The body barren and the soule I see,
Of vertuous fruits, which God and world I owe.
Vouchsafe yet Lord (Phauonean breath) to blow,
With heauenly grace inspiring so my mind,
That soule regenerate, in body find
Reformed life, true life in me to show:
For fleshly fruits (too rife) to hell do fling,
Soules blessed seed, ascends on Angels wing.
Page  128

SON. XLI.

ALl men by nature greedy are to know,
And (knowing much) the more they do contend;
(To draw vnto true knowledge perfect end)
By practise to the world, some fruits to show:
What knowledge is there then in heauen or earth,
(For one of wisedome great) so high and fit,
To trauell in, euen from the day of birth,
As that is gathered out of holy writ?
Therein is matter for each kind of wit,
Strange, ancient, pleasing, subtle, for to spend
The finest wits, and make them stoope and bend,
Whilst weakest braines, find skill and ioy in it.
Though high it reach, it beareth fruit below,
Which (tasted once) makes stomack strōger grow.

SON. XLII.

STrange are (in truth) the fruits that man doth win,
And plentifull by vse of studie indeed,
Which appetite and matter still doth breed,
If but to gather them we do begin:
But heauenly studie much more copious is,
Contayning all that humane art doth teach:
And (not alone it feeds our minds with this)
But soules true solace it doth farther reach:
It doctrine supernaturall doth preach,
And doth diuinely sow the sacred seed
Which shall our soules with lasting comfort feed,
And worldly skill, of ignorance appeach:
That is the studie we should neuer lin
To spell, reade, conster, and to practise in.
Page  129

SON. XLIII.

DOwne let vs fling these battlements begonne
Of sinne, which in our soules so fast are built,
At first, or not at all it must be spilt,
Or else his fort (once made) the field is wonne.
If we neglect our watch, and not preuent
His practises, but euen a little while:
Our trauell afterward is vainely spent,
And he our best attempts will soone beguile:
If we at lusts assaults but seeme to smile,
(Though lowly first he creepe, yet straight on stilt)
He will vpstart, and make vs yeeld to gilt,
And we our selues soules slaughter be the while,
Because we stay not sinne till it be donne,
But (rather) after it do fondly runne.

SON. XLIIII.

THere is great ods we see and must confesse,
Betwixt the speakers and the doers faith,
Words well, but deeds much better man bewraith,
And both conioynd, do dutie best expresse.
One promiseth to come (as was requir'd)
To feast; the other it denyeth, but went:
The first he did neglect what was desir'd,
The latters deedes, do shew he did relent:
He had the prayse and feast, who did repent,
His words, his blame, who breaking promise stayth
Whose life doth not comfirme what tongue it sayth,
(For all his brags) in end shall sure be shent,
But who doth tongue and hart to God addresse,
His deeds (be sure) with grace he still will blesse.
Page  130

SON. XLV.

HAue we not cause to blush full oft for shame,
To see how we neglect our neighbours need?
How slow to helpe, where we might stand in steed,
How slight excuses we do vse to frame:
When yet our Sauiour seemeth to respect,
The silly Oxe which in the ditch doth lye,
Whose aide a stranger ought not to neglect,
If (but by chance) he saw it passing by:
But if our brother readie were to dye,
(For very want necessities to feed)
We let him sterue, and take of him no need,
Yea (though he craue) we sticke not to deny,
As though it vs suffisd, to beare the name
Of Christians, yet in life deny the same.

SON. XLVI.

NOt onely doth the Lord, repute as good,
The deedes which he in vs himselfe hath wrought;
(Yea though our wils gainst him in thē haue fought,
And he perforce (by grace) our powers withstood,)
But if we euill do, by stubborne will,
And seeke indeed no good at all thereby;
But euen our lewd affections to fulfill,
(So that all grace in vs do seeme to dye)
Yet euen in them, this good we shall espy,
(If we his children be whom Christ hath bought)
That he permits vs not to fall for nought,
But that our frailtie and our wits we try:
And so more earnestly vnto him pray,
And find that pretious fruit a Christian may.
Page  131

SON. XLVII.

VVE had not need in idlenesse to spend
The dayes (both few and euill) which we haue;
The reason, powre, strēgth, helth which God vs gaue,
To some good end (no doubt) he did vs lend.
Full many businesses shall we find,
Enuironing our life on euery side,
Which if they were retayned still in mind,
In watch and trauell they should cause vs bide.
The worldly cares of all men well are tride,
The daunger of the soule I seeke to saue,
A world of lusts attend vs to the graue,
And Sathan lyes in waite to leade vs wide
From heauen, wherto true wisedome wils vs bend;
Thinke then if man haue need watch to the end.

SON. XLVIII.

SInce it hath pleasd the Lord to send such store
Of blessings to the bodie, that it may,
In peace and plentie spend one ioyfull day,
(Which many want, and it long'd for before:)
I not repin'd that it the same should vse,
But feard the frailty of the flesh (alas)
Which made my soule, for safest way to chuse,
(With Iob) in feare and care my time to pas:
For sacrifice, my soule there offered was,
Thy holy spirit, the Priest, my will did slay;
His zeale inflam'd the thoughts which prostrate lay,
And quencht thy wrath with teares like fluent glas,
So that (though Sathan readie was at dore
Me to accuse, and try) I feare no more.
Page  132

SON. XLIX.

VVHat miracle so great hath euer bin
So farre from reasons, or from natures bounds?
What thing Gods glory and his prayse resounds,
More then his mercie in forgiuing sinne?
If things contrary to their natiue kind,
(To ioyne accord, producing strange effects)
Do admiration breed in euery mind,
What thing so much Gods glory then detects,
As this, to see, how daily he protects
And blesseth vs in whom all vice abounds?
How he doth hide our faults which so him wounds,
Supplies the want which proper powre neglects.
Then (since distrust his miracles keepe backe)
Let vs be sure, that we true faith not lacke.

SON. L.

AS those whose skill with colours life-like draw
The portraitures of men, with shadowes rare,
Yet shapes deformed, they ne will nor dare
To shew to others, as themselues them saw:
So when I make suruay (by rule of truth)
Of all my actions, and my soules estate,
I am asham'd to see the scapes of youth,
And feare to looke on that I lou'd of late:
And as I do my selfe euen for them hate,
So feare I others could no more me spare,
If I should shew my selfe naked and bare,
Who with these fowle affects held no debate;
Yet since they are but breaches of the law,
The Gospell will me shrowd from Sathans paw.
Page  133

SON. LI.

AMong the many trauels of the iust,
The last, which holy Iob (alas) sustaind;
I thinke his soule and bodie most it paind,
And like thereto, vs likewise martyr must,
When we (vpon vs) feele Gods heauy curse
For sinne, from which no one of vs is free;
That comforters should seeke to make vs worse,
And friends like foes, should our tormenters bee.
To hud-blind vs, when most we need to see,
By colouring sinne, which ought to be explaind,
Or amplifying errors which are faind,
To make our soules and bodies disagree:
All these he felt by friends he most should trust,
To hell by pride, or by dispaire to thrust.

SON. LII.

SLow is our God (indeed) and very slo
To wrath, and that the wicked dearly find;
His children sooner feele correction kind,
And so repent; whilst sinfull forward go.
Slow though he be, yet sure his iudgements are:
They are deferd, they are not cleane forgot;
He tries our natures, letting raines so farre
Lose to our wils, till we regard him not:
But when we furiously to hell do trot,
He stayes our steps, and wils doth gently bind,
Whiles he the reprobates the more doth blind,
Till they (through sinne) do fall to Sathans lot:
By Gods correcting hand and patience so,
The one to sinne inclines, the other fro.
Page  134

SON. LIII.

VVHen I consider of the holy band,
Of loue and mercie with the Iewes was made,
The heauenly and earthly blessings which did lade,
Their soules and bodies, whilst in grace they stand.
When I examine cause of this their change,
And note in soule and bodie wofull fall;
How exiles (comfortlesse) the earth they range
Depriu'd of knowledge, glory, hope and all:
When I (as cause hereof) to mind do call,
Their stubborne, faithlesse, and ingratefull trade,
(With which the Prophets did them oft vpbrayd,
And causes were of wrath from heauen not small)
Me thinkes I see like iudgement neare at hand,
For trespasse like to punish this our land.

SON. LIIII.

O That we could be rauished awhile,
Fro out these fleshly fogs, and seas of sin,
Which grosse affections daily drench vs in,
And do the tast of perfect sense beguile:
That so whilst selfe-loue slept, true loue might show;
That pride might so put on an humble mind,
That patience might in steed of rankor grow,
And naked truth, from craft might freedome find:
That vertue had some harbor safe assignd,
And reason had his scope, and did begin
(Of these fowle siends) a victorie to win,
And them in bondage to the soule to bind:
Then should we see how farre they do exile
Our perfect blisse, whilst thus they vs defile.
Page  135

SON. LV.

LIke master like the seruants proue (say we)
We therefore are (of like) of Sathans traine,
His auncient lesson which did parents staine,
We learne as yet, and lie as fast as he.
False are his rules, himselfe an old deceiuer,
Vntrue he is, vntruth he first did teach;
God being truth, nought can so soone disseuer,
And no one sin to more offence doth reach:
Sathan himselfe can not Gods lawes appeach
To be vniust, nor say, we iust remaine,
But by new names doth his fraile scholers gaine,
To follow follies which affections preach,
Lust, wrath, & couetise, pride cald we see,
Loue, value, thrift, and clenlinesse to bee.

SON. LVI.

VVE may reioyce, but yet in Christ alone;
Alone in him, is cause of true ioy found,
All other ioy is but indeed vnsound,
Perfection or continuance elsewhere none:
If man with Salomon the hap might haue
To tast each earthly pleasure he desir'd,
He would but giue that prayse the other gaue,
That (once possest) their pleasure straight retir'd:
From earth to heauenly knowledge he aspir'd,
And humaine wisedome he did throughly sound;
In which he saw calamities abound,
And did neglect as vaine, things most admir'd.
In this alone, contented ioy is showne,
To loue, feare, serue, this Christ our corner stone.
Page  136

SON. LVII.

VVIse Moses and graue Talions law seuere,
Do well agree to reason naturall:
And God in like sort, lets his iudgements fall;
So that our sinnes their proper vengeance beare,
As eye for eye, and tooth for tooth was due:
So nature doth our faults for most part pay,
With pennance by it selfe which doth insue,
As we shall find if we our actions way:
And God himselfe doth on th'adultrer lay,
On wrathfull, couetous, and proud men all,
Shame, bloud, want, scorne, vnlesse in time they call
For grace, which onely can their ruine stay:
Whereby we see, whom men keepe not in feare,
God makes (by nature) badge of trespasse weare.

SON. LVIII.

IT seemeth strange since death so common is,
That daily we experience thereof haue;
By rich, and poore, wise, fooles, that go to graue,
That we so little heed do take of this:
Since nought so much contrarie to our will,
Doth flesh befall, or art doth seeke to shun;
That yet we headlong hast to ruine still,
Of soule and bodie, which to hell would run.
Scarce we so soone to liue haue but begun,
But (drenched in affections fearefull waue)
We seeke to slay the soule, we wish to saue;
And no outrage in bodie leaue vndone:
So that if God did not (of mercie his)
Perforce our wils restraine, we heauen should mis.
Page  137

SON. LIX.

VVHo would not craue to haue his wounds be heald?
Who can be heald that will not shew his griefe?
Who (senslesse of his paine) would know reliefe?
Who can giue cure, whilst truth is not reueald?
Who can be iudge of ill, that knowes no good?
Who can know good, that shuns to learne the same?
Who can it learne, that selfe-loue hath withstood?
Who can condemne himself, that knowes no blame?
Knowledge must first our minds more lowly frame;
Through lowlinesse will feare and sorrow grow;
Feare will seeke forth a pledge for debt we owe,
And pledge and portion find in Christ his name:
Thus knowledge of our state, and pride repeald,
Is way to sauing health, by Scripture seald.

SON. LX.

THe weapon which I did vnwieldy find,
Of natiue strength, and powre of flesh and bloud,
(With like whereof Goliah me withstood)
And I for changed sling (left once behind)
By Gods good grace (who courage gaue and strength)
Is now become a sword more fit for mee,
Who (practisd in his battels now at length)
The vse thereof, find not vnfit to bee:
For since to him it dedicate I see,
And I refreshed am with holy food,
My courage makes me hope I weare it shood,
And cause my soules great foe therewith to flee▪
For humane arts and knowledge of the mind,
Do serue the Saints, though worldlings they do
Page  138

SON. LXI.

IT is not rest from trauell and from paine
Alone, that in the Sabboth is requir'd,
Not abstinence from meat, that was desir'd
So much, when Ionas did his fast ordaine.
As rest from sinne and inward meditation
Of Gods great workes, and mercies which abound;
As feeding of our soules with recreation
Of heauenly doctrine, in the scriptures found:
As by prostrating humbly on the ground,
Our stubborne hearts, puft vp and almost fir'd
With wicked lusts, (with vanitie attir'd)
Festerd with all affections most vnsound;
A Sabboth or a fast so spent, is gaine,
Whē flesh beat down, the sprite doth raisd remaine.

SON. LXII.

VVHat is the cause that men so much eschue
The reading of the sacred written word?
For nought else sure but that (like two edg'd sword)
It separates and shewes the faults from true:
No sentence in it read or truly wayd,
(Or by the preacher vtterd) turnes in vaine,
But woundes the soule with sorrow; which affrayd,
(If Gods it be) to grace it cals againe:
But such as Sathans be, to heare refraine,
The heauy iudgements that they haue incurd;
And (faithlesse) thinke, God can ne will afford
To them, the blisse that children his attaine.
It is a signe therefore, grace neuer grew,
In such as shun to heare, and learne anew.
Page  139

SON. LXIII.

WHen I do heare sweet musicks pleasant sound,
By which the Angels records are exprest,
(Who sing to God due prayses without rest)
Me thinkes to pray with them my selfe am bound.
When I the concord sounds of true consent
Do note, which by their different voice is bred,
It makes my hart to melt to see man bent,
By discord to dissolue the blisse, that led
To heauenly comfort, which the Angels fed;
And is of Christian loue perfection best;
Whose vnitie in Christ hath made them blest,
To liue in him when law had left vs dead:
The Saints therfore on earth should aye be found,
With thankfull, ioyfull, hearts of loue t'abound.

SON. LXIIII.

AS doth the fire, with imbers ouer-spred,
And powder in the Cannon rammed hard,
(By which his furies but awhile debard,
When they breake forth) procure more feare & dred:
As aire in cloud, or earth restrained long,
Doth by his nature in the end preuaile:
And (in reuenge of his so suffered wrong)
Doth earth-quake breed, or thūdring firebolts haile:
So when increasing sins, afresh assaile
Our God of mercie, then is he prepard,
Our insolencies fiercely to reward
With double ruine, which he will not faile
To terrifie those that in sinne are dead,
Whilst his to liue (reseru'd) thereby are lead.
Page  140

SON. LXV.

VVHen I do see a man of loftie mind,
Delighting in the pompe he doth possesse;
A ruine or a shame at hand I gesse,
For which effect God doth his iudgement blind:
For as most daintily we vse to feed,
The beasts to slaughter that we haue ordaind:
So surfet of delights, a feare should breed,
Least sowrer pennance afterward remaind:
The proofe hereof hath still the godly waynd,
From pride or too much trust in happinesse;
Which do not still Gods fauour firme expresse,
But vsd as trials are, of conscience faynd,
We therefore cause of care in plenty find,
To moue vs pray, and watch the end behind.

SON. LXVI.

AS doth the morning comfort to vs bring,
By giuing light to guide vs in our wayes,
As sun-shine beames his beautie then displayes,
To solace, feed, refresh each earthly thing:
So should (me thinkes) a thankfull heart thereby,
Be mou'd, to waigh the fruits by them we haue,
And by that light a greater light espy,
Who these (for bodies good) vnto vs gaue.
Like light vnto his soule forthwith to craue,
Whereby it sleeping (void of holy rayes
Of grace) in sinne doth spend away the dayes,
Which Christ our Sauiour died, the same to saue,
Vnto thee Lord, (Creator, powrefull king)
With birds by break of day they prayse shold sing.
Page  141

SON. LXVII.

I List not iudge nor censure other men;
As I do iudge, so iudge me others will,
And God himselfe that part can best fulfill:
With others faults I will not meddle then,
Vnlesse so farre as dutie doth desire,
Which is with loue to warne them of the way,
Whose weaknesse doth our louing aide require,
To stay their steps wherein they are astray:
But I must iudge my selfe (doth scripture say)
And that I will, but not by natiue skill:
The law and Gospell they shall try me still,
And their true touch, shall my estate bewray:
My conscience witnesse more then thousands ten,
My hart confesse my faults with tongue and pen.

SON. LXVIII.

I See sometimes a mischiefe me beset,
Which doth amaze me much, and griefe procure:
I haue a hope or hap I wish t'endure,
But it doth vanish straight, and I do fret.
I craue sometimes of God with feruencie,
A thing (me thinkes) which might worke to my ioy,
My prayers yet he seemeth to denie,
And by the contrary doth worke my'annoy:
I find at length the thing I scorn'd (as coy)
Fall to my profit, and doth me assure,
That God by this his goodnesse, doth allure
Me to depend on him, and not to toy,
(By natiue reason guided,) but to let
His prouidence haue praise, and honor get.
Page  142

SON. LXIX.

HOw should I vse my time henceforth the best?
The little that remaines ought well be spent:
Too much lost time, cause haue I to repent,
Best mends must be, well to imploy the rest.
To pray and prayse the Lord, is fit for me,
To craue things needfull, and his mercies tell;
My spirituall wants and carnall plenties be,
As many yet his blessings which excell:
But multitude of words please not so well,
He knowes the heart which righteously is bent;
All holy actions are as prayers ment,
And he is praysd, when sinne we do repell:
Then if my life, the world and flesh detest,
I pray and prayse, and shall find actions blest.

SON. LXX.

Good words are praisd, but deeds are much more rare:
One shadow is, the other substance right,
Of Christian faith (which God and man delight)
Without which fruits our barren tree is bare:
Once well done, is more comfort to the soule,
More profit to the world, to God more prayse,
Then many learned words which sinne controule,
Or all lip-labour that vaine glorie sayes.
Who in a holy life doth spend his dayes,
And still maintaine gainst sinne a valiant fight,
He preacheth best, his words are most of might,
He shall conuert men most from sinfull wayes:
Such shall haue honor most (affirme I dare)
With God and man, and lesse of worldly care.
Page  143

SON. LXXI.

SInce we by baptisme, seruants are profest
To Christ, whose name we (as an honor) beare,
It is good reason, we his liuery weare,
And not go ranging vainely with the rest:
Since we do feed (by bountie of his hand)
On precious food, which he doth giue and dresse,
(Who at the well of life doth ready stand
Vs to refresh, if thirst do vs oppresse.)
We are too slow our selues to him t'addresse,
To craue and vse these gifts in loue and feare:
His righteous liuery we do rather teare,
Then whom we serue by vse thereof expresse:
Little he got that was such bidden guest,
And how can thanklesse seruants then be blest?

SON. LXXII.

SInce shame of men much more then godly feare,
Restraineth vs from sinne, as proofe doth preach;
Since more we after name of vertue reach,
Then to the truth thereof we loue do beare:
It were a part of wisedome to deuise,
To vse our nature (of it selfe so vaine)
From so base custome (euen for shame) to rise
To actions good, which might true honor gaine.
The best remede I therefore find remaine,
To purchase prayse, and vertues habit teach,
Is to professe in speech the same, whose breach
In life we should refraine, least we should staine
Our name, which would at length our liking reare,
To loue of God indeed, and sinnes forbeare.
Page  144

SON. LXXIII.

THe difference is right great (a man may see)
Twixt heauen and earth, twixt soule and body ours,
Twixt God & man, heauens powre & earthly towres;
As great the difference, in their vse must bee,
By high, ambitious, and by wrathfull sword,
Are earthly, transitory kingdomes gaynd;
Humilitie with patient deed and word,
To heauenly crowne and honour doth attaine:
Man will his conquest with vaine glory staine;
Heauens kingdom former pride forthwith deuowrs,
It equals all estates, sects, skils, and powres,
And makes the bodie well vnite remaine,
Whereof the head is Christ, the members we,
And held coheires of heauen with him we be.

SON. LXXIIII.

FOr vs who do by nature still incline
Vnto the worst, and do the best forget,
Who do all passed benefits lightly set,
And so vnthankfully gainst God repine:
It were great wisedome dayly to obserue,
Such sundry haps as do to vs befall,
By which to learne, how much God doth deserue;
Who those, and passed benefits gaue vs all.
And since there is not any blisse so small,
But for the which, we ought acknowledge debt,
On each occasion we should gladly get,
A meanes our minds to thankfulnesse to call.
For nought God craues, newe can giue in fine,
But drinke with thankes his cup of sauing wine.
Page  145

SON. LXXV.

THe parable of seed well sowne on ground,
Which did according (as the soyle did sarue)
Some neuer bud, some bloome, some straightway starue,
Some grow, & in his crop so much abound:
Doth well describe (as Christ full well applyes)
The nature of the word, the which is sent
By written Gospell and by preachers cryes,
Into the heart, which (hearing) it doth rent:
And (as well tild) sometimes begins relent,
And yeeldeth blessed fruit and prayse desarue;
As God the showres of grace doth freely carue,
And diligence in weeding it is spent:
For many times such sinfull tares are found,
As good had bin the seed in sea had drownd.

SON. LXXVI.

I Cannot chuse (but yet deuoyd of pride)
To note the happie and the glorious time
Wherein we liue, and flourish in the prime
Of knowledge, which those former dayes not tride:
For all preheminences which are read,
(Forespoke of latter age by Prophets all)
As happily were perform'd, as promised,
When Christ those mysteries did on earth vnfold,
And those accomplish which were long foretold:
The same, yea more by farre (we dust and slime
Vnworthy wayers of thee, high we clime)
Enioy, through preached truth more worth thē gold.
But woe is me, this grace is vs denyde,
We (to our selues) haue not the same applyde.
Page  146

SON. LXXVII.

IF thou do feele thy fleshly thoughts repine,
When thou doest beare the crosses God doth send,
And that thou vnder burden of them bend,
And out of due obedience wouldst vntwine:
Remember when as yet a child thou wast,
Thou sufferedst patiently thy parents rod,
Because thou knewst his hatred could not last,
Though he thee punisht, doing thing forbod:
And wilt not thou, much more yeeld vnto God
Obedience, who thy good doth still intend?
Whose fatherly protection doth defend
Thee from his wrath, when sinne had made thee od:
The father to thy soule he is in fine,
His wrath asswag'd, his loue doth soone incline.

SON. LXXVIII.

TRue is it sure, and none will it denay,
That faith inableth man to be more fit
For heauenly knowledge, then a humane wit:
To which, hid secrets God will not bewray.
But what is faith, and how it may be knowne,
How best attaynd; in that most men mistake:
In iudgement of the same would care be showne,
And of true faith from false, this difference make;
If worldly strength and wisedome man forsake,
If he by humble prayers seeke for it,
If of Gods promises he doubt no whit
In Christ, but for his strength that rocke he take,
It builded is on ground which still shall stay,
From fleshly bondage free, at latter day.
Page  147

SON. LXXIX.

VVHat high presumption is there growne of late,
In abiect shrubs of Sathans darnell seed?
That (bramble-like) sinne thus aspires indeed,
To top the Cedar, that his pride doth hate?
I graunt the fault, in suffering him so long,
In humble shape to creepe and clime so hie;
Sinne (poyson-like) with age becomes more strong,
And Crokadell-like doth slay with teares in eie:
But since therefore no other shift I spy,
I like and will my loftie top abate,
My prostate soule, may so restraine the state
Of his increasing powre, whereby that I,
In building of Gods house may serue some steed,
And sinne confounded lie, like lothsome weed.

SON. LXXX.

VVHo sees in common view of humaine kind,
The exild captiue-state of sinfull man,
Sold vnto death (which only ransome can,
Appease the wrath for fall of parents blind)
May (if he be of faithfull number) proue
A greater comfort then he can expresse,
To see himselfe, whose sinnes these plagues do moue,
Freed from th'eternall death, whilst nerethelesse,
The wicked reprobate, who not confesse
Their fall, nor feele the fauours Christians wan,
Headlong proceed, in path first parents ran,
And to the double death, themselues addresse:
But happier he ten thousand times shall find,
His weakest state, then their great gifts of mind.
Page  148

SON. LXXXI.

VVho giues may take, we ought not to repine,
Both wealth, and ease, yea life also by right,
God giueth all, all things are in his might,
And he can send and will, good end in fine:
Why should we then grudge any thing to beare,
That he doth send? or nigardly bestow
Our liues or goods? since to that vse they were
Giuen vs, as nature teacheth vs to know.
The great increase of fruite the same doth show,
Which from one graine produced is in sight,
(Which as thing cast away appeares to light,
Till he (by blessing his) doe make it grow)
Which should our hearts to faith in him incline,
And not distrusting seeke for farther signe.

SON. LXXXII.

OVr blinded natures that cannot foresee
Th'effect of nature, or what may succeed
Of actions ours, this error forth doth breed,
That we th'euent, by chance suppose to bee▪
To vs they may in deed by hap befall,
(As things beyond our skill or powre to stay)
But (as Gods works) chance can we not them call,
Or fortunes deed, or hap as we vse say:
God doth foresee, and guide each thing the way
It shall proceede, and he doth giue the speed,
That doth insue, and present are indeed,
Things past and future, as they stand or stray:
Him as true cause of all things wee agree
To be, and from all chance or fortune free.
Page  149

SON. LXXXIII.

IT is a thing we lightly do neglect,
And yet a thing (me thinkes) we most should feare,
As which within our conscience still doth beare
A witnesse of our guilt, and foule infect:
When we by fame do find our spotted name,
(The greatest plague a man on earth may find,
The hardest witnesse of our worthy shame,
And sorest censurer of deed or mind)
Yet so selfe-loue doth iudgement often blind,
Or ignorance our natiue reason bleare,
That what is said or thought, by whom or where,
We little care, but let it passe as wind;
Though prouerbe truely say, by fames affect,
Gods iudgement lightly doth a truth detect.

SON. LXXXIIII.

IF common fame be lightly, likely found,
And fame for ill be such vnhappinesse,
Then this (me thinkes) a man must needs confesse,
That ill report (from persons good) doth wound.
If by report, much more if poore opprest,
If innocents, if they to God complaine,
If vengeance they do call, to haue redrest,
The griefes and agonies they do sustaine:
If God (as so he hath) hath witnest plaine,
That he will heare their cries whom men oppresse,
And will his care of them herein expresse,
That their complaints and cryes turne not in vaine;
What yron age is this, that such a sound
Of cryes against oppression doth abound?
Page  150

SON. LXXXV.

MY younger thoughts do wish me to withstand
The graue aduise, which grace with loue doth lend
Their rash decrees to tyranny do bend:
These wish me (wisely) note the cause in hand;
The safe possession of a crowne in peace,
By abstinence a while, and patience vsd:
Sinnes power to shew, the others vrge, ne cease
To say, that pleasures should not be refusd:
The worser part my soule had almost chusd,
And for the pleasures which an houre doth send,
(And to eternall bondage after tend)
I bin by law and reason both accusd:
But since thy goodnesse Lord gaue blessed land,
Keepe in thy lawes my fleshly subiects band.

SON. LXXXVI.

ALas, how watchfull and how diligent
We are to further euery fond desire:
How slow againe to thing God doth require,
And how against the haire, good motions went.
Full many more solicitors we find,
To satisfie each trifle flesh doth craue,
Then to the things good conscience would vs bind,
And which (as duties) God in lawe vs gaue:
The wit, will, memorie we readie haue
To blow the bellowes of affections fire;
The soule may drenched perish in the mire
Of fleshly thoughts, ere any seeke to saue,
Or spare one minute (which is fondly spent)
To succour it, though it to good were bent.
Page  151

SON. LXXXVII.

WE haue bene babes, babes yet by nature we,
Vnskilfull, ignorant of heauenly law,
And babe-like should be then in feare and awe
To God, by whom create and rulde we be:
Weake food best fits weake stomacks (as is sayd)
And charitie would wish true weaknesse beare;
Like strength to all Gods wisedome hath denayd,
But by long sucking t'were fit we stronger weare:
Nothing to beare away, though much we heare,
To speake of faith, which forth no fruites can draw,
To feed with greedinesse the bodies maw,
And yet no spirituall strength to let appeare,
Is signe the soule is dead, in thee or mee:
For liuing trees, by kindly fruit we see.

SON. LXXXVIII.

NOt euery action which to happie end
A man doth bring, is token as I find
Of goodnesse in the doer, though our mind
And common sense some reason so pretend:
The deed which meriteth (for vertue) prayse,
Must be premeditate in will before,
Indeuour'd lawfully, and which bewrayes,
No priuate obiect or respect we bore;
And God himselfe things iudgeth euer more,
Not by effects, as men of wisedome blind,
But by intentions faithfull, honest, kind,
Of such as doing them his aide implore:
He issue doth to actions different send,
As he to greater good (euer ill) will bend.
Page  152

SON. XCIX.

IF God should measure vs as we deserue,
(For each offence, requiting equally)
His iustice we, with horror should espie,
From which excuse (to shield vs) could not serue:
But iustice his by holy bound restraind,
Of mercie, which doth waighour weake estate,
A proper counterpoise for vs hath gaind,
Whilst iustis wrath, Christs mercy doth abate;
His Sonne our Sauiour, doth set ope a gate
To safetie, by the pardon he did bye,
With bloud most innocent, lest we should die,
Guilty of sin, which iustice needs must hate.
Thus we (by faith) cannot be sayd to swarue,
Our faults are his, of merits his we carue.

SON. XC.

IT is a custome that deserueth blame,
And ouer common with vs now adayes,
That euery man his fault on other layes,
And some excuse for euery euill frame,
And rather then we will the burden beare:
We lay on God (whose prouidence rules all)
The cause of what, our wicked natures were
Producers of, with wilfull bitter gall.
Thus from one sin to other we do fall,
And haires herein our nature vs bewrayes,
Of parent first, who his offence denaies,
And rather God, wife, serpent guilty call,
Then to confesse his proper free will lame,
And by repentance praise Gods holy name.
Page  153

SON. XCI.

HOw can he be the author held of ill,
Who goodnesse is it selfe, and onely true?
To whom alone perfection still is due,
And all the world, with goodly workes doth fill?
It is not God, it is our selues alas,
That doth produce these foule affects of sin,
Our sickly nature, first infected was,
And lacking tast of truth, delights therein:
Our deeds in vs, how fowle so'ere they haue bin,
What good soeuer of them doth insue,
That part is Gods, our corrupt nature drue,
The worser part; and flesh, death snares did spin,
And euen our deeds, the which our soules do kill,
Are good to God, and worke his glorie still.

SON. XCII.

DOth any man desire his life to mend,
And that of sin he might a lothing finde?
Let him but on his actions looke behinde
Forepast, and see where to they most did bend:
Let him on others looke with equall view,
And note deformitie of lothfull sin,
Let reason (not affections) tell him true,
The brickle state himselfe to fore was in;
As doctrine, that to penitence doth win,
And true repentance, one of honest mind,
When he in other sees affects so blind,
As he in reason thinks could not haue bin:
Such as him selfe ashameth to defend,
And to be guiltlese off, he would pretend.
Page  154

SON. XCIII.

I Haue desir'd, and held as chiefe delight,
To lead my life, where mirth did alwaies dwell,
From soule, so sorrow thinking to repell,
In feast and sport so past I day and night:
But if (as oft there did) a dismall chance
Befall, whereby I found some cause of griefe,
I was amaz'd, dispair'd, and as in trance,
No comfort found, or meanes to giue reliefe:
My former ioyes prouoked sorrow chiefe,
I loathd the thoughts before did please so well,
My meditations then of death befell,
And of worlds pleasures, which were vaine & chiefe,
Which made me chāge my former humor quight,
For teares, cares, sorrows, still to be in sight.

SON. XCIIII.

SInce we are found (if we our selues do know)
To be a barren ground and good for nought,
Vnlesse by husbandrie we will be brought,
To aptnesse for some good whereon to growe:
Since preachers are the husbandmen ordaind,
And preaching of the Prophets is the seed,
By whose indeuors onely frute is gaind,
Of holy life, the which our faith doth feed;
Me thikes it should a greater aptnesse breed,
In tennants to this soule, which Christ hath bought,
To haue it so manurde and daily wrought,
As it might grow to betterd state indeed,
And yeeld some crop of goodnesse, which might show
The thankfull hearts, which we to God do owe.
Page  155

SON. XCV.

WHen I behold the trauell and the payne,
Which wicked men in euill actions bide,
What hazards they assay to goe aside,
When with more ease, they vertue might attaine:
How theeues and murtherers such boldnesse vse,
Such watchfull painefull meanes their wills to win,
As euen religious men do oft refuse,
To tast of like, though they would faine begin.
I finde too true, that we are sold to sin,
And that the bodie doth the spirit guide,
That reason yeelds to sense, and sense doth hide
Lust in his liking, which doth forward slide
From ill to worse and neuer doth refraine
Sin, which may sin; nor paine, which paine may gain.

SON. XCI.

SInce nothing is more certaine then to dye,
Nor more vncertaine, then the time and howre,
Which how to know, is not in Phisickes powre:
Yet nature teacheth it, to be but nie;
For that death stealeth on vs like a thiefe,
And nothing liuing is exempt therefro,
His malice to preuent, is wisedome chiefe,
That vnprouided he not take vs so:
As that on sodaine he appeare a foe,
And vs compulsiuely he do deuowre,
That God by him in wrath doe seme to lowre,
And that to death, (not life) we seeme to goe;
Soe let vs liue that death we dare defie,
Since heauens eternall life, we gaine thereby.
Page  156

SON. XCVII.

GReat are the graces God in man doth show,
All tending chiefly to soules proper gaine,
That by some meanes at length he might attaine
To higher thoughts, from earthly base and low:
Yet since no benefits we do receaue,
Can so assure vs of his loue indeed,
That loue of world, and earth they can bereaue,
And make our minds on heauenly ioy to feed;
Much lesse a new desire in vs can breed,
To win the heauens by losse of life so vaine,
This common way by death he made remaine,
Ineuitable to all humane seed;
By force those heauenly ioyes to make vs know,
Which after death in lasting life shall grow.

SON. XCVIII.

MIght Elizeus wish allow'd be,
And prayer blest, which Salomon did make,
And canst thou then thy trauell vndertake,
For worthier prize then they haue showne to thee?
Sure heauenly wisedome earthly wisedome teacheth;
Such wisedome findeth grace with God and man,
Who seeks these first, God plenteously him reacheth
All other earthly gifts, he wisht or can:
That will I seeke, that will I studie than,
No plenty shall my thirst therafter slake,
With Elizeus will I alwayes wake,
And watch the Prophets wayes, and manner whan
My Sauiour doth ascend, that I may see
His glory, and he his grace redouble'in mee.
Page  157

SON. XCIX.

LOng do the wicked runne a lawlesse race,
Vncrost and vncontrolled in their will;
Their appetites at pleasure they do fill,
And thinke themselues to be in happie case:
But stay a while, and let me see the end,
(Which crowneth euery good and perfect deed)
And you shall find their slipperie way to bend
To ruine, if in time they take not heed:
For earthly ease securitie doth breed,
Securitie, the soule doth lightly kill,
It breeds forgetfulnesse of God, and still
Doth quench the spright and body pampering feed;
Who therefore doth delights too much imbrace,
Among the blest, may hap to lose his place.

SON. C.

LIke as the sunne whose heat so needfull is,
Produceth daily different effects,
According to the nature of obiects,
Which hardneth that, yet molifieth this:
So doth the Gospell preached, euen the same;
It makes some to repent and melt in teares,
Some stubborne hearts repine, and cauils frame
To quarrell at, and scorne such needlesse feares:
The lowly heart, in ioy and hope it reares,
The haughty mind, as low assoone deiects,
In zealous hearts it neighbour-loue reflects,
Whiles other conscience, spight and rankor beares:
The natiue powre it keepes of perfect blisse,
And holy heat consuming all amisse.
Page  158

EPIL.

TEmpt me no more to dwell in Cedar tents,
Pauilions of Princes and of pride,
My tickle strength is dayly like to slide,
And makes my bodie do what soule repents:
My yeares forwarne me to forbeare annoy,
In liked things which do the senses feed,
In costly colours, gems, or games to ioy,
Or stately troopes, or honors fruitlesse seed.
For passed vanities my heart doth bleed,
And vowed hath the resting time I bide,
(If God in constancie my heart shall guide)
Some ryper fruits on former soyle to breed;
Which graunt me Lord, that so thy seruant I,
May in thy Courts remaine, and flesh defye.
Page  159

AN INTRODVCTION TO PECVLIAR PRAYERS.

TO thee (ô Lord) who only knowst my sin,
And only able art, my state redresse,
To thee alone my plaints directed bin,
To thee my guilt alone I do confesse:
In hope thy gracious aide at need to win,
Who giuest me grace, these prayers to addresse:
My words can not expresse, My inward griefe,
My deedes declare too well my true disease,
Yet doubt I not to craue of thee reliefe,
Because thy Sonne did first thy wrath appease:
These are my wants, and many more then these,
But of them all, vnfaithfulnesse is chiefe:
Yet as repentant thiefe, On crosse found grace,
Vouchsafe my plaints with mercie to imbrace.
Page  160

SON. CI. Craues grace to pray.

O Powrefull God in Christ our father deare,
Who mad'st and rul'st all things euen by thy will,
Whose truth and loue, the heauens and earth do fill,
Vouchsafe my will to frame, and prayers heare,
Touch thou my heart, my blinded iudgement cleare,
That sorrow for my sinnes may teares distill:
Let true repentance kill. All carnall lust,
Let purpose to amend, my soule direct,
To craue thy aide, who only canst protect
Mans feeble strength from thoughts, words, deeds vniust:
Fraile is mans powre and will, his substance dust,
His purest actions, hourely it detect;
Yet do thou not reiect, Thy worke in me,
Who craue a will to pray, and faithfull be.

SON. CII. Salutation of the Church.

HAile sacred seat of Gods eternall peace,
Where all his blessings kept in treasure are,
Twixt soule and bodie, which accords the iarre,
And causest cumbers of discord to cease;
From wandring worldly thoughts, thou doest release
My doubtfull hope, which sought for help from farre:
In Sathans fiercest warre A bulwarke strong,
In natures hote assault a sure defence,
An Arke of safety for our feeble sence,
A watchmans towre to those to thee belong,
A harmony of heauenly musicks song:
Kind shepherd to the soule, which strayes not thence,
For still with sweet insence Thy lights do flame,
And Christ thy Priest & Captaine gards the same.
Page  161

SON. CIII. For constancie.

ALas ô Lord, how fraile the flesh I find;
How readie to reuolt vnto distrust;
How willing to seeke helpe in flesh vniust;
Vngratefull fruit of gracelesse humane kind,
Which harboreth such monsters in the mind,
As soule and bodie both needs ruine must:
Like wauering sand or dust, With winds which moue,
From good to ill, from ill to worse we fall,
We haue not sooner grace for helpe to call,
And budding faith thy mercies for to proue,
But weary long to seeke our ioyes aboue,
We quench this spright, and haue no helpe at all:
The perill is not small, (Lord) I am in,
Inflame the faith, and zeale thou didst begin.

SON. CIIII. For faith.

SInce thus myselfe I find to be vncleane,
Vnfit to bide before Gods iustice throne,
Who recompence for sinne accepteth none,
But to the rigor of desert doth leane,
To fly to thee my Sauiour Christ I meane,
Who paydst my debt sufficiently alone:
I need but make my mone To thee I know,
For thou art readie to relieue my want,
Thy fathers loue, and thy obedience brant
With zeale, thy mercies on vs to bestow:
Whereof since faith the vse to vs must show,
And as it is more feruent or more scant,
More powrefull is to dant Deaths bitter sting,
craunt faith may prayers frame, & comfort bring.
Page  162

SON. CV. For grace to iudge of good & euill.

AMidst these dangerous dayes wherein I liue,
Poore silly Orphane distitute of skill,
By parents fall forlorne, by nature ill,
Craue grace of thee ô Lord: and therwith giue,
Powre to my weaknesse sin away to driue,
That so I may thee serue and honour still:
Reforme my feeble will, And it incline,
To haue henceforth a wise and solide tast,
Of truth and falshod; let my choyse be plast
On perfect patterne drawne with vertuous line:
With serpents wisedome let my iudgment shine,
To shun the snares whereto my lust would hast:
Vouchsafe my sute be grast, With help from thee,
Thy word the lampe of light vnto me bee.

SON. CVI. For innocencie in euill.

SInce so simplicitie, thy word doth prayse
(O Lord) as that thy Sonne example gaue
By all his life, and workes that he did craue,
His seruants wherein to direct their wayes,
Like to the babe on mothers breast that stayes,
And sylly Lambes, and doues which no guile haue.
Since he is prest to faue, And to imbrace
The lame, blind, naked, leaporous, reiect;
Since to yeeld health to all, and such protect
As simply do with faith approch the place,
When he in mercies seat doth shew his face,
And prayers heare, and needfull suites effect:
Lord do me not neglect, Poore, silly, blind,
Who meritelesse, yet mercy hope to find.
Page  163

SON. CVII. Shame of sinne.

HOw could I Lord but be asham'd indeed,
To lift my eyes to thee, to craue for ayde;
When I of thought, word, deed, haue sins displayd,
With multitude of monstrous of springs breed,
The true portrait of Adams carnall seed,
Which made him hide himselfe when he it wayd:
I therefore am affrayd, And shun to show
Vnto the world, the shamefull brood I beare,
Which thoughts do hatch, and vile affections reare;
Too hatefull for a Christian soule to know,
And do so hastily to hugenesse grow,
As vaine it is a figge-tree leafe to weare:
I know no other where My shame to hide,
But with thy merits; or thy wrath to bide.

SON. CVIII. Against defection.

VVHen I (ô Lord) vnto my mind do call,
The fearefull records of the Patriarkes best,
In whom great gifts of grace did seeme to rest,
And yet to foule and fearefull sinnes did fall;
I do deplore the frailty of vs all,
And feare defection euen in those are blest.
And since I am the least, O Lord (alas)
Of many, that in word professe thy name,
And I some feeling tast haue of the same,
Which doth not forward to perfection pas;
It makes me see (as in a looking glasse)
The feeble strength of this my present frame,
Which clogd with sin is lame, And wold look back
To hell (from which I fly) if grace should lack.
Page  164

SON. CIX. Not to trust in flesh.

WHat trust may I, ô Lord, on flesh repose?
Whose mould is earth, whose substance is but dust,
His thoughts vncleane, his actions all vniust,
As is the stocke of parents, whence it growes;
Whome fraud, vntruth, pride, lust, distrust inclose,
By which (by nature) rul'd wee are and must:
I know the feeble trust, I may expect,
And safety which on such a frame is found;
Where weake foundation is the sand vnsound,
Which may ••t byde the brunt of stormie day,
When as temptations shall their powre display,
Or yet afflictions vs enuiron round:
Vpon a surer ground, Faith must me build,
And Christ my sauiour so my soule may shield.

SON. CX. Praye for humilitie.

SInce thou ô Lord and Sauiour doest confesse
Thy selfe a true Phiition, vnto those
Who with humilitie their griefes disclose,
And vnto thee for ayd, by prayers presse;
Vouchsafe thou so my heart to thee addresse,
That on thy helpe alone my faith repose.
Vouchsafe my sight vnlose, Make me to see
The naked show of natures powre and shame;
Let me behold my workes, weake, lewd, and lame;
And let my heart with sorrow pierced be,
And pressed downe, procure such mone in me,
As may in fine repentance truely frame:
That humbly so thy name, I may adore,
And faithfully in fine thy helpe implore,
Page  165

SON. CXI. For Comfort in affliction.

LEaue me not Lord, most humbly I thee craue,
In this distresse, whereto my sinsme bring,
VVhich headlong vnto hell, my soule would fling,
And make me thinke, there were no powre could aue
My wretched state from deaths eternall graue,
Which poysoned is by Satans deadly sting▪
But teach thou me to sing, O Lord thy praise,
Amids thy saints which see thy mercies still,
With ioy and comfort do my courage fill:
Once Lord my soule, which yet in terror staies,
Make me to bend vnto thy will my waies,
And frame my powers vnto thy holy will:
The powre of Satan kill, And so increase
My soule with comfort of thy lasting peace.

SON. CXII. I prosperity not to forsake God.

THe more ô Lord I see before my face,
The daily blessings, which thow doest bestow
On me vnworthie wretch, who well do know,
How farre affections vile in me haue place:
The more I see, iust cause to call for grace,
Lest for abuse of them thou vengance sow;
For then most soone we grow, For to forget
The giuer, when the giftes we once haue gaind,
Ingratitude our natures so hath staind,
Thy greatest blessing we most lightly set,
So far we are from paying praise for debt,
VVe do forget the nurse vs fed and wainde:
As Israell not refraind, Thee most t'offend,
VVhen most thou them didst feed & comfort send.
Page  166

SON. CXIII. Mans Sorrow for sin.

I Must commend the thing the world doth hate,
And like the thing that flesh and bloud detest;
The cares and griefes by which I was opprest,
Which made me see and know my wretched state:
Wisdome is dearely bought, but not too late;
Who tasts true frute of care, knowes cumfort best:
Make me then Lord disgest each bitter pill,
Which for correction of my sin is sent:
Purge thou thereby, my drosse, make me repent
Each lewd affect offensiue to thy will:
A new and better nature Lord in still,
Which to thy seruice alwaies may be bent:
With sorrow often rent, My hardoned heart,
And let repentance purchase cure of smart.

SON. CXIIII. For true feare.

FEare is a frailtie knowne to humane kind,
Which witnesseth a guilt where it doth dwell:
Since Adams fall, his ofspring knew it well,
And euery man in conscience doth it find;
It takes possession in atroubled mind,
And (if grace want) dispaire driues downe to hell:
Yet these thy praises tell, O Lord they shall,
Who danted for their frailties, do require
Grace to resist their lustes, and doe aspire
For strength of true perfection for to call,
And haue a feare of sin (though neare so small)
For loue of right, as well as shunning ire,
Kindle their loue with fire, Sprinkle it with feare,
That incense of obedient smoke it reare.
Page  167

SON. CXV. Sorow for coldnesse of compassion.

I Feele ô Lord, and sorrow for the same,
The slender feeling, and compassion small,
The which I haue of neighbours case at all;
Which to assist their states my heart should frame,
Who with my lips, professe a Christian name,
But stop my eares when they for help do call,
So easily we fall, And do forgett,
The lesson which our Maister Christ vs gaue,
Who vs with mourners to lament would haue,
And on our brothers good, chiefe care should set:
But selfe-loue and cold charitie, doth let
No frute of faith proceed, though neighbour craue:
Yet thou didst freely saue Me wretch cleane lost,
Whose life the blud of thy deare Sonne hath cost.

SON. CXVI. For Patience.

WHen I ô Lord in troubles sore opprest,
My heauie state with carefull thoughts do way,
Which hope of happie issue doth denay,
Ad frailtie of the flesh can scarse digest;
I onely find here in at length some rest,
When on thy mercy promised I stay;
And when from day to day, I see with shame,
My new offences, which do trespasse thee,
And note how long thy iudgements spared me,
Which iustly might burst forth in vengeance flame;
Ye when my Sauiours sufferings show the same,
Which ought a rule to his elect to be:
I craue that I might see, Like fruites of grace,
So that impatience hold in me no place.
Page  168

SON. CXVII. For continuance of Gods word.

THe greatest plague that I see cause to feare,
To such as I, who haue so carelesse bin,
By reading and by preaching, for to win
True knowledg, which our harts to thee might reare
Is, lest thy Prophets sound should so forbeare
To preach thy word, that we should dwell in sin:
And wallowing therein, We should delight
In ignorance (the headlong path to hell)
And wickedly in carnall tents to dwell;
And so surcease with sinne, or lust to fight:
Grant therfore (Lord) thy sword may alwaies smight
My soule, till sinne it from me cleane expell:
Let Prophets alwaies tell To vs thy will,
And keepe vs vnder thy obedience still.

SON. CXVIII. For grace to bring forth fruits.

ALthough (ô Lord) I do as truth confesse,
No powre in humane art that can thee please;
That all polluted are with first disease
Of sinne originall, which did transgresse
By parents fall, and workes in vs no lesse,
On whom by iust succession sindoth cease:
Yet since Christ doth appease The penance due,
By bearing burden on his backe for me,
And faith herein sufficeth me to free;
Which faith must fruitfull be if it be true,
And workes of grace regenerate insue,
Which perfect pledge of safetie ought to bee:
I craue (ô Lord) of thee, From day to day,
To guide my steps vnto a righteous way.
Page  169

SON. CXIX. Aide in conflict with sin.

VVEake are my Chāpions Lord which fight with sin;
I meane my will, and powre which take in hand,
The furie of their assaults for to withstand,
And victory of him do hope to win:
Some signe it is of courage, to begin
To fight, but cowards part to leaue the land.
I faine would come in band, And leige would make
With thee my Sauiour, ere I be assayld:
No other comfort euer man auayld,
But trust in thee, when troubles them did take;
Thou helpst thy flocke, thou dost not them forsake,
If so their faith in thee be nothing quayld:
No sillable is fayld Of all thy word,
Thy truth sub dues the force of wrathfull sword.

SON. CXX. Comfort in affliction.

VVHy do we not reioyce, whilst Christ we haue
Our bridgrome, wedded sure to faithfull band?
His owne free liking made our merit stand,
And by his word, his loue to vs he gaue;
First pledge wherof was Baptisme, which forth draue
Our feare, and lent a gracious helping hand.
And that in sacred land We might be free,
And there possession haue of endlesse rest,
His Testament he made, and with the blest,
Our heritage (by faith) he made vs see:
He signd the writ with his assurance best,
Of bread and wine, which might a Simboll bee,
His corps nayld on the tree, For our discharge
From sin, hell, death, which sets our soule at large.
Page  170

CONCLVSION.

THough long (my soule) thou banished hast bin,
From place of thy repose, by tyrants might;
By world and worldly cares, by flesh, wherein
Thy wandring thoghts haue dazeld iudgemēts sight:
Learne yet at length to guide thy course aright,
Vnto that end which must begin thy rest;
Learne once for shame, so constantly to fight
Against affections, which please fancie best,
That all vnfruitfull thoughts thou maist detest,
And hold those common pleasures, combers great,
Whose issue, age and time with ruine threat,
VVhen death vnlookt for, seemes a fearefull guest,
Retire thy selfe, as wise Barzilla did,
From worldly cares, thy purer thoughts to rid.
Page  [unnumbered]

A TABLE DIRECTING BY PART of the first verse of each, to the

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]
A Booke. Sonet.
A Base borne 1. 54
According to thy 1. 41
A husband man 1. 53
Although the world 2. 70
Although these 2. 86
Amidst the graues 1. 42
A marchant 1. 21
Among the prease 1. 22
Among thy sheepe 1. 9
Amidst this famine 1. 37
A Moabite 1. 80
Amidst this pilgrimage 2. 80
A poore Arabian 1. 20
A tenant 1. 50
As thou art pure 1. 24
As oft as thou 1. 31
A sinfull Syrian 1. 98
A seruant Lord 1. 73
A seuant sold 1. 75
As through a mist 2. 1
As fareth with 2. 9
As is the treasure 2. 15
As but vaine 2. 66
As doth the starres 2. 53
As doth the Moone 2. 44
A virgin pure 1. 29
Auant base thoughts 2. 37
A wicked Pharisie 1. 16
A wicked theefe 1. 78
A wicked soule 1. 19
B    
BEhold ô Lord the city 1. 10
Behold ô Lord a tree 1. 14
Behold amidst worlds 1. 92
Betwixt two strong 2. 17
By many gifts 2. 62
Borne blind I was 1. 38
C    
CAll me ô Lord 2. 58
Cleansd are the 2. 2
F    
FAine would I fence 1. 32
Faine would follow 2. 52
Faine would I prayse 2. 40
Fiue foolish virgins 1. 17
Fe fainting faith 2. 48
For common matter 2. 77
Fortune and chaunce 2. 100
For out of darknesse 1. 2
From luda wandring 8. 82
From farre I see 2. 18
G    
GReat are the 2. 67
Great is thy 2. 65
H    
HE is vnworthy 2. 21
How should my 1. 1
How hard it is 1. 48
How oft ô Lord 1. 63
How drunken are 1. 39
How precious 2. 21
How can I limit 2. 26
How may this be 2. 34
How fond a thing 2. 46
How many priuiledges 2. 61
How should the quiet 2. 63
How happily 2. 78
How is it that 2. 82
How loth this 2. 96
How should my 2. 85
How should I 2. 89
How do Gods blessings 2. 91
I    
I Follow thee 1. 25
I seeke ô Lord 1. 13
I will not feare 2. 38
I iustly am 1. 52
I see alas 1. 99
I finde my heart 2. 49
I haue bene blind 2. 68
I haue begun 2. 6
I see a storme 2. 81
I shame to see 2. 13
I know not 2. 2
In humble wise 1. 4
Into thy vineyard 2. 23
In bondage long 1. 79
In famine great 1. 89
In deadly sleepe 1. 43
In pride of youth 1. 6
If thou vouchsafest 1. 45
If he to whom 2. 11
If Saba Queene 2. 45
If beautie be 2. 33
If Paradise 2. 59
If he vnworthie be 2. 73
If I did hope 2. 93
If I can speake 2. 99
It is not Lord 1. Pref.
It were vnfit 2. 71
It is no light 2. 76
L    
LAme of my limbs 1. 7
Let earthly things 2. 47
Like pined child 1. 27
Like silly babes 2. 55
Lo how I groueling 1. 81
Loue then I will 2. 39
M    
MY body Lord the house 1. 36
My body Lord infect. 1. 60
My soule like 1. 76
My sinnes behold 1. 33
My wicked flesh 1. 44
Mourne thou no more 1. 101
My traiterous heart 1. 49
N    
NO recompence 2. 20
No sooner loue 2. 50
Not that my faith 1. 84
Not euery one 2. 88
Now that thou hast 1. 12
Now that I see 1. 61
Now that it pleaseth 1. 69
Now that I haue 2. 12
Now will I daunce 2. 19
Now that thy mercies 2. 27
O    
O Heauenly beautie 2. 32
O heauenly loue 2. 35
O perfect sonne 2. 41
Of sinfull race 1. 30
Of euery creature 1. 47
Of parents first 1. 26
Of sweet and sauorie 1. 90
Out of the fountaine 1. 18
Out of thy 1. 92
P    
POlluted with 1. 28
S    
SInce it hath 1. 46
Since with Goliath 1. 11
Since thou hast raisd 1. 65
Since thou by grace 1. 100
Since that it pleaseth 1. 88
Since to so holy 2. 3
Since thou ô Lord 2. 10
Since hou hast 2. 25
So blind ô Lord. 1. 77
So foolish Lord 1. 97
Some men do mourne 2. Pref.
Sometimes my nature 2. 72
T    
THe temple Lord 1. 67
The selly babes 1. 57
The greedinesse 1. 34
The many trials 1. 85
The dreame which thou 1. 93
The seede which thou 1. 94
The malice of 1. 96
The talents which 1. 87
The onely daughter 1. 56
The more I seeke 2. 8
The end whereto 2. 14
The pleasures of 2. 16
The powerfull pen 2. 29
The shining face 2. 36
The chastisemnts 2. 84
The thundring voyce 1. 8
The slender Citie 1. 83
This stately stage 2. 30
Thou formest me 1. 72
Though with thy Saints 1. 40
Thou hast ô Lord 1. 86
Thankes will I 2. 22
To shun the rockes 2. 74
V    
VNto thy Princely 1. 5
Voide of true life 1. 35
W    
VVEre it not straunge 2. 75
Where shall I build 1. 58
Where shall I finde 2. 9
What am I else 1. 71
Whilst in this world 1. 70
Whilst with the wholesome 1. 64
Whilst in the garden 1. 51
Where so I cast about 2. 23
When thou vouchsafest 1. 55
Whilst in the vaile 1. 59
Whilst that the chosen 1. 62
Whilst that in wealth 1. 66
What strength hath 1. 95
When I begin 2. 83
When as my 2. 3
What toung or pen 2. 94
What should I render 2. 28
What present 2. 42
What wealth 2. 57
What is felicitie 2. 60
When I began 2. 87
When I with griefe 2. 95
When desolate I was 2. 79
Who so beholds 2. 43
Whilst in the plentie 1. 74
Whilst I do studie 2. 24
Why should he faint 2. 69
Why should this 2. 95
Why should I 2. 90
Within this Arke 1. 3
Within thy garden 1. 15
Within thy house 1. 68
Who so behold 2. 31
Who so could 2. 56
Who seeketh not 2. 57
Who so of perfect 2. 64
Who so would liue 2. 97
Would God 2. 5
Words may well want 2. Conclus.

A TABLE OF FEELING AFFEC∣tions, being the third Centenarie of Sonets.

Page  [unnumbered]
  Sonet.
ALl will not serue 6
All men by naure 41
Alas how watchfll 86
Alas ô Lord 103
Although ô Lord 118
Amidst the daungerous dayes 05
Among the many fires 129
Among the many trials 51
As those with skill 50
As doth the fire 64
As doth the morning sunne 66
But will you know 14
Come to the counsell 22
Doth any man desire 92
Downe let vs fling 43
Exilde be mortall cares 2
Faine would I bring 2
For vs who do 74
Fro out what dreame 3
Feae is a frailtie 114
Giue all to him 13
Good wordes are praysd 70
Great are the graces 97
Heale sacred seate 102
Haue we not cause 45
He that to do no euill 27
How can I hope 5
How little comfort 24
How should I vse my time 69
How can he be 91
How could I Lord 107
I cannot chuse 76
If woe there was 32
I feele ô Lord 115
I go about 18
I list not iudge 67
If thou do feede 77
If common fame 84
If God should measure vs 89
I haue desied 93
I mauell much 8
I must commend 113
I now begin 9
In midst of plentie 23
I oftentimes 53
I often heare 93
I see sometimes 68
It is not causelesse 31
I should not seeme 33
It seemeth straunge 58
It is not rest 61
It is a thing 83
It is a custome 90
Leaue me not Lord 111
Like maister like 55
Kike as the sunne 100
Long do the wicked run 99
Me thinkes sometimes 16
My yonger thoughts 85
Might Elizeus wish 98
Not onely doth the Lord 46
Not euery action 88
Of thee and of thy prayse 1
O happie Symon of Syren 19
O that we could 54
O powerfull God 101
Our blinded natures 82
Since it hath pleased the Lord 48
Since we by Baptisme 71
Since shame of men 72
Since we are found 94
Since thus my selfe 104
Since nothing else 96
Since thou ô Lord 110
Since so simplicitie 106
Slow is our God indeed 52
Straunge are in truth 42
Sometimes cleane tired 15
Tempt me no more of feeling affections. Epilogue
To thee ô Lord who Introdu∣ction to Prayer.
The fatall haps 34
Though lawfull many things 37
The season of the yeare 40
There is great odds indeed 44
The weapons which I 60
The difference is 73
The parable of seede 75
Though long Preface to prayer.
The more ô Lord 112
The greatest plague 117
Tue is it sure 78
Vaine are the bragges 38
What vane lip labour 17
What is thy measure full 4
What are our senses drownd 20
When I remember 10
What loue is this 11
Who so will serue 12
When I do see the 21
Well if I finde 25
Who toucheth pitch 26
When I looke backe 28
Who seeketh aide 30
Who sowes the seede 36
We had not need in idlenesse 47
What miracle so great 49
When I consider of 53
We may reioyce 56
Wise Moses and graue 57
Who would not craue 59
What is the cause 62
When I do heare 63
When I do seamen 65
What high presumption 79
Who sees in common 80
Who giues may take 81
We haue bene babes 87
When I behold the trauell 95
When I ô Lord 108
What trust may I 109
When I ô Lord 116
Weake are my champions 119
Why do we not 120
Where hast Preface to affections,

FINIS.
Page  [unnumbered]

Sonnets of the Author to diuers, collected by the Printer. And first to the Lords of her Maiesties priuie councell.

To the right H. and most reuerend father in God, my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his grace.

IF Dauid did in passion iust arise,
When he recorded his exiled state,
Compar'd with happier Swallowes, which deuise
To build their nests so neare the Temple gate:
May I not mourne, to see the world alate,
So swarme with bookes, which euery where do fly,
Whose subiects as most base might merit hate,
(Though curious braynes their wits therein apply)
When better matters buried long do ly,
For lacke of fauourers or protectors grace?
May I not take occasion thus to try
My pen, and craue that you the same imbrace?
Yes sure, world knowes, you can, and will protect
The cause, why God and Prince did you erect.

To the Right Ho. Knight, Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper of the great Scale of England.

VVHat fame reports (by mouth of good and wise)
It is not flattery to record the same.
The publike eccho of your prayse doth rise,
That you by iustice ballance iudgement frame:
Then may you not, my pen of boldnesse blame,
If it present to your impartiall eye,
This holy worke, to shield it with your name,
Which may among prophane in daungerly.
Wise Salomon, childs parent true did try,
And Daniell false accusers fraud bewray,
By searching hearts affects, and words, whereby
Ones fained loue, the others guilt to way:
So iudge this worke, and him shall it depraue;
So I desire, you iustice prayse shall haue.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the right Hon. the Lord Burghley, Lord high Treasurer of England, one of the most Noble order of the Garter, &c.

IF Romaines held Sibillaes workes so deare,
Because they from Deuining spright did grow;
More precious present then, receiue you here,
Which God on king, king did on world bestow.
Our Sibill you, our Salomon we know,
And so your words and workes the world doth prise:
To vertue you, your selfe a father show;
Hence honor yours, hence countries good doth rise:
Then this (no fiction that man doth deuise,
But built on best experience life can bring)
With patience reade, and do it not despise;
Y•• wise experience can confirme each thing:
It is not rated as Sibillaes were,
But (priz'd by you) it will the value reare.

To the Ri. Ho. the Earle of Esse, Great Master of the Horse to her Highnesse, and one of the most Noble order of the &c.

NOt Neptunes child, or Triton I you name,
Not Mars, not Perseus, though a Pere to all;
Such word I would find out or newly frame,
By sea and land might you triumphant call,
Yet were such word for your desert too small:
You Englands ioy, you en'mies terror are;
You vices scourge, you vertues fenced wall:
To Church a shield, to Antichrist a barre.
I need not feare my words should stretch to farre,
Your deedes out-fly the swiftest soaring pen,
You praise of peace, th'vndaunted powre of warre,
Of heauens elect, the happieloue of men:
Not knowing then, How to expresse my mind;
Let silence craue, this gift may fauour find.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Ri. Ho. the Lord Charles Howard of 〈…〉 Admirall of England, one of the most Noble order of the garter, &c.

VVHen as wise Salomons most happie raigne,
Is registred in bookes of holy writ;
His greatnesse seemes increase of honour gaine,
By store of worthy Peeres his state which fit,
Whose excellence of courage and of wit,
His Impery'causd with wealth and peace abound,
Whose heads and hands, did neuer idle sit,
But seeking commons good, through world around,
By sea and land their swords free passage found,
Which subiects safetie bred, and feare to foe;
Like fame vnto our Prince, you cause to sound;
Both farre and neare, whilst you victorious goe:
For which her trust, our loue to you is due,
As pledge whereof, I this present to you.

To the Right Ho. the Lord Cobham, Lord Chamberlaine of her Maiesties houshold, Lord Warden of the Sink ports, and of the Noble order of the Gater. &c.

GIftes are not measur'd by the outward show,
Nor by the price, of Peeres of Noble kind;
They shadowes are, the harts intent to know,
And simple figures of a faithfull mind:
Then since your vertues high, all hearts do bind,
To striue to testifie their grate intent,
Vouchsafe suppose, my powre cannot yet find
A present fit as will and heart was bent:
And what king (writing once) thought time well spent,
That reade you once, as thing of some regard:
His mind ment well, that it vnto you sent,
Time not spent ill, in view thereof is spard:
If it more worth, I more loue could expresse,
My due regard of you should yeeld no lesse:
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Ho. the Lord North, Treasurer of her Maiesties houshould.

I May not say, I shun to shew my want
Before your selfe, whom I true noble hold,
Since I to others haue not made them scant,
And may of meaner men be well controld:
This common guilt of mine, makes me more bold
To prosecute the error I begunne,
Who craue your fauour not my faults vnfold,
Although my folly ouer-rashly runne:
If with the best they haue a pardon wonne,
They may the boldlier passe the common view:
What Princes like, the people hold well done,
And fame in passage doth her force renew:
Which good or bad, your censure is to make,
When now first flight it in the world doth take.

To the Right Honorable the Lord of Buckhurst.

AS you of right impart, with Peeres in sway
Of common weale, wherein by you we rest:
So hold I fit to yeeld you euery way
That due, the which my powre affoordeth best.
But when I call to mind, your pen so blest
With flowing liquor of the Muses spring;
I feare your daintie eare can ill digest
The harsh tun'd notes, which on my pipe I sing.
Yet since the ditties of so wise a king,
Can not so lose their grace, by my rude hand,
But that your wisedome can conforme the thing,
Vnto the modell doth in margent stand:
I you beseech, blame not (though you not prayse)
This worke, my gift; which on your fauour stayes.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honor. Knight Sir William Knowles, Controller of her Maiesties houshold.

OF auncient vertues, honor'd ofsprings race
Of true religions, you blest progeny:
(On which two pillers vertue built your grace,
And court by gracing you, is grast thereby)
Of such (since this worke treates) such worke do I
Well fitting hold, for you to reade and shield,
Whose wisedome, honor, vertue, doth apply
To true religion, on the which you build:
My selfe too weake so heauy a taske to wield,
(As was the treating of so high a stile)
At first attempt began to fly the field,
Till some (which lik't the theame) bid pause awhile,
And not dismay, the title would suffise,
To daunt the vaine, and to allure the wise.

To the Right honorable knight Sir Iohn Fortescue Chauncellor of the Exchequor.

HE who in dutie much to you doth owe,
In power is little able to present,
For pledge of gratefull mind, is forst bestow
These ill limd lines, best signes of hearts intent:
The scope whereof by Salomon was bent,
To teach the way to perfect happinesse,
By me transformed thus, and to you sent,
To shew that I do wish to you no lesse:
To wish well, is small cost I do confesse,
But such a heart as truly it intends,
Is better worth esteeme, then many gesse;
And for all other wants makes halfe amends.
Such is my heart, such be therfore your mind,
Then shall my mite, a millions welcome find.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honourable Sir Robert Cecill Knight, principall Secretary to her Maiestie.

TO you (my hopes sweet life, nurse to my muse,
Kind foster father of deseruing sprights)
This Poem comes, which you will not refuse
(I trust) because of blessednes it wrights:
Your aged youth so waind from vaine delights,
Your growing iudgment farre beyond your yeares,
Your painefull daies, your many watchfull nights,
Wherein your care of Common good appears,
Assureth him that of your fame once hears,
That you some heauenly obiect do aspire;
The sweet conceit whereof your soule so chears,
That earths bred vanities, you not admire:
Such is this theame, such was first writers mind,
For whose sakes, I do craue, it fauour find.

To other Lords, Ladies, and aproued friends. To the Right Honourable, the Earle of Oxford Lord, great Chamberlaine of England.

IF Endors widdow-h••d, had powre to raise,
A perfect bodie of true temperature,
I would coniure you by your wonted prayse,
Awhile my song to heare, and trueth indure,
Your passed noble proofe doth well assure
Your blouds, your minds, your bodis excellence,
If their due reuerence may this paines procure,
Your pacience (with my boldnesse) will dispence:
I onely craue high wisdoms true defence,
Not at my suit, but for works proper sake,
Which treats of true felicities essence,
As wisest king most happiest proofe did make;
Whereof your owne experience much might say,
Would you vouchsafe your knowledge to bewray.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the right Honorable the Earle of Northumberland.

VVHo would intreat of earthly happinesse,
He need but take a patterne of your state,
Borne noble, learned bred; whose acts expresse,
That honor cannot vertues force abate,
In home-kind loue, abroad vnmenast hate,
In bodies value and in spright of mind:
You haue no cause to blame your aduerse fate,
Which such a great aspect, hath you assignd:
Yet that you yet, more happinesse might find,
The common loue your countrey you doth owe,
To offer you, this meanes thereto doth bind
My will, which in this lowly gift I show:
Which yet accept, for worthy Princes sake,
Who of each point a perfect proofe did make.

To the Right Ho. the Earle of Shrewsburie.

VVEll placed vertue in high honors seat,
Well bending honour to a Christians state,
Vouchsafe my pen your pardon may intreat,
Who this my vowed seruice offer late:
Your shining glory did my hope abate,
When first to seeke your sight my fancie ment;
Your fame for vertue, yet did animate
My pen, which vnto you this present sent:
Your true nobilitie, which seemeth bent
To foster innocents from powrefull foe,
Doth promise me, wisht fruit of hearts intent,
If vnder your protection it doth goe:
The rather since of honor I do wright,
And happinesse which is your soules delight.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the right Honourable, the Earle of Cumberland.

THe Crowned honor iustly which befell
To valiant Iosua, and wise Calebs race,
(Whose faith to fainting people did foretell,
The fruitfull spoyle of proud resisters place:)
Their natiue vertues which you haue by grace,
(Whose sword doth fight the battels of the iust,
Which makes our Hemis-phere your fame imbrace,
And feebled hearts on your stout courage trust;)
My confidence in you excuse they must,
Who do my Poems muster in your traine,
Whose theame hath bin by wisest king discust,
And in your practise do of proofe remaine,
Which leade the way vnto the holy land,
For which (whilst here you liue) you fighting stand.

To the Right honorable the Earle of Sussex.

THe skilfull Pilots that the Ocean haunt,
In stormes are found to be of merry cheare,
Whom fairest calmes, with feare & dread do daunt,
Because a signe of change doth seeme appeare.
The expert souldiers vsed to the warre,
In time of peace do arme them for the fight,
And carefull Christians will foresee from farre,
The fierce temptations may in pleasure light:
Then since no settled rule there can be here,
Whereby to know the issues growing are,
But change of times may comfort, clips, or cleare,
And so our present state amend or marre:
Learne here (braue Chāpion, noble, vertuous, wise)
To beare all brunts that may in life arise.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Ho. the Earle of Southampton.

AMongst most noble, noble euery way,
Among the wise, wise in a high degree;
Among the vertuous, vertuous may I say;
You worthy seeme, right worthy Lord to mee.
By bloud, by value, noble we you see,
By nature, and by learnings trauell wise,
By loue of good, ils hate, you vertuous bee:
Hence publike honor, priuate loue doth rise,
Which hath inuited me thus to deuise,
To shew my selfe not slacke to honour you,
By this meane gift (since powre more fit denies)
Which let me craue be read, and held for true:
Of honor, wisedome, vertue, I delate,
Which (you pursuing) will aduance your state,

To the Right Honorable the Lord Zouch.

VVHat haue I done? that I would take in hand,
To picke forth Patrons should my work defend,
When such a Lordly troope of Nobles stand
As in the choyce of them I find no end?
But hauing thus begun, I do intend,
To fawne on those, whose fauours I haue found;
Amongst the which I trust you helpe will lend,
Because the building is on such a ground:
I know your learned skill, and iudgement sound,
Which might deter it to approch your sight;
But whereas loue (they say) doth once abound,
There feare and all suspect is banisht quight:
Your vertues loue, your honor force me yeeld
To you, on whose kind fauour I do build.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honorable, the Lord Willougbie of Ersbie.

MIght I forget the Comforts of my prime;
Might I neglect the matter which I wright;
Might I not know the hopes of present time,
Forgetting you, I might my selfe acquight:
But parentes fauours, once my youths delight,
Your selfe apatterne of a happie peere,
Whose proofes of vertue publike are to sight,
Might me vpbraid with peeuish silence here,
If I should hold so meane a gift too deare,
For one (whose ancient) debter yet I rest;
For whom my Poeme doth so fit appeare,
Since you our age recordes among the best:
Then thinke not, I by slight would kindnes gaine,
But hold this due, If honest I remaine.

To the Right Honourable, the Lord Burrowes.

I Not intend, by present of a booke,
Which for the title most men will allowe,
For equall praise (with first true author looke)
Because I newly it transformed now:
Nor for my owne presume I it to'avow,
(Vnworthie herald of that princes says)
Which duely to deliuer few know how,
And I (of all) most weake by many ways:
Yet since your high praisd bountie not denays,
A grate acceptance of a kindly gift,
Vpon that hope my present boldnesse stays,
Who in my purpose haue no other drift,
But let you see, earths vaine, heauens perfect blis,
Which with my heart I wish you tast in this.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honorable the Lord Mountioy.

TO you the noble light of happie Ile,
In whose most vertuous breast the holy fire
Vnquenched liues, when all the world the while,
Nigh drowned lyes in dreames of vaine desire;
Whose holy zeale the godly do admire,
Whose worthie constancie the wise commend,
For whom heauens glorie waights, as vertuous hire,
To whom the hearts of men with honour bend,
Who do pure vertue to your powre defend:
Whom vaine delights of earth cannot defile,
Whom (to protect religion) God did send,
Vouchsafe to listen to my song a while,
Which right true tidings to the world doth bring
Of what obserued was, by wisest king.

To the Right Honorable, the Lord of Hunsdon.

OF good king Dauids holy'and carefull bent,
Of wise and happie Salomons desire,
Their liuely patterns, here I do present,
To you braue Lord as kind deserts require:
Your gifts of nature rare, I not admire,
(Since heire you were vnto so noble a father,
Whose wisdome to true honour did aspire)
But gifts of grace which by your life I gather,
And for the which you reuerenc't are the rather,
As heire to both those kings in common care,
Of God and realme, gainst which most lewd deprauer
Is forth his poysoned tongue for shame to spare.
As for that good to me by you hath flowne,
Was but one frute of many vertues knowne.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right reuerend father in God To by Bishop of Duresme.

IF double cumber of the publike care,
Of Paules and Peters sword and keyes may rest,
I would intreat you some small time to spare,
To view the face of your inuited gest:
Of all men you haue cause to vse him best,
Because you more then halfe the father are;
To you therefore, I haue him first addrest,
To haue his grace ere he proceed too farre:
Your count'nance may his progresse mend or marre,
Because (as of you first his life did grow)
So must his course be guided by your starre,
Which him first hope of heauenly light did show:
Vouchsafe then to bestow, one reading more,
To welcome him, or thrust him out of dore.

To the graue and learned Sir Iohn Popham Knight, Lord chiefe Iustice of England.

O Would I might without my hearts deepe griefe,
(For common crosses, following men opprest)
Record your worth, whence many find reliefe,
Which makes you iustly chiefe of all the rest:
Your carefull thought and bodies paine addrest,
To reconcilement of contentious mind;
Your vniuersall loue to truth profest,
By which the desolate do fauour find,
Doth (as me seemes) in common dutie bind
My pen to chalenge you, truths true defence,
Though dull my Poem be, my sight not blind,
That sought to take his priuiledge from thence:
You (chiefe of Iudges) best of truth can treat;
To you therefore, I truth of truths repeat.
Page  [unnumbered]

To Sir Edmond Anderson Knight, Lord chiefe Iustice of the Common pleas.

YOur eares so daily exercisd to heare
The plaints, and the petitions sutors make;
Make you most fit of many to appeare,
My selfe and workes, protection both to take:
Not for my selfe, but for the Commons sake,
I presse it thus into your presence now,
Whose theame may hap some drowsie heads awake,
To chalenge, if I dare this worke auow:
But if that you, whose wisedome best knowes how,
That lawfull make to speake, what Scripture taught,
I know the common sort dare but allow
My publishing, what from wise king I brought:
Then you the common shield to guiltlesse wight,
Vouchsafe this worke find fauour in your sight.

To Sir William Perriam Knight, Lord chiefe Barron of the Exchequor.

THou kind accorder of the dreamt discord,
Twixt law and conscience, Gods and mans decree,
By whom oppression'and brib'rie are abhord,
The common poysons of lands peace that bee:
I not vnfitly do direct to thee
These monuments, of wisest kings experience,
Them to allow, if you them worthy see;
Me to reproue, if I haue made offence:
I no man craue to stand in wrongs defence,
I may (as all men do) some weaknesse show,
If great my fault, spare not; if small, dispence;
Because it did not of meere malice grow:
This will you do vncrau'd; that done, I pleasd,
Both God and man, submission hath appeasd.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the valorous Knight, Sir William Russell, Lord Deputie of Ireland.

IF iustly Dauid did by law ordaine,
That they an equall part of spoyle should haue,
Who (when he fought) behind did still remaine,
The carriage from the spoyle of foes to saue:
Doth not your merits by more reason craue,
To be recorded in my Kalender?
By whose blest worke, God of his goodnesse gaue
Part of our peace, amidst such threatned warre?
In worthy vertues, most mens peere you are,
In true religious zeale, by none exceld;
Your noble house (like to a blazing starre)
Hath showne, wherein true honour euer dweld:
Then share with worthies all in blessed fame,
And reade this worke, which treateth of the same.

To the valorous Knight, Sir Walter Rawleigh, Lord Warden of the Stannerie, and Captaine of the Guard.

OF happinesse when as I hapt to write,
Me thoughts did make a period (Sir) in you,
Who being sworne to Mars, and Pallas knight,
They both with equall honor did endew,
And therefore might become a censurer trew,
Of greatest blessings men propound or find;
Vouchsafe you then this tract thereof to vew,
As if that Salomon had it assignd:
Whose interest in you expects your kind
And grate acceptance of his graue aduise,
From whom (though many other men were blind)
He chalengeth a doome right godly and wise:
But as for me his messenger, suffiseth
The prayse, too truly speake what he deuiseth.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the valorous Knight Sir Iohn Norris, Lord Generall of her Maiesties forces in Ireland.

AMong the blessed worthies of our time,
Your flickering fame aloft I do espy,
Whose toylesome trauell, such a pitch doth clime,
As euery auncient worthy came not ny.
The moderne Marses did your vertues try,
Whilst you, the proud Iberian forces quayld
In Britany, and in Netherland, whereby
With equall armes they seldome haue preuayld:
The trecherous practise, wherewith they assayld
Th'inconstant humors of the Irish foes,
Your pollicies haue stayd, when force hath fayld,
Whereby your merits measure daily growes:
So that I must of due, make roome for you,
Though twise nine worthies shold be coynd anew.

To the valorous Knight Sir Francis Veare.

MY pen was stayd, but purpose chang'd anew,
So soone as I amidst the noble traine
Of worthy knights, did cast a thought on you,
Who yet (vnsu'd to) did for grace remaine:
If you I win, I shall not litle gaine,
Because both much you can, and much you will
For wisedome, vertue, honor, sure sustaine,
Which haue bene your supporters hereto still:
I need not then perswasiue lines to fill,
The matter will suffise to moue your mind,
If that my hand the beauty of it spill;
Then let my loue of good, your fauour find,
Whose wisedome can, whose goodnes may excuse
The faults, which want (not malice) made me muse.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the worthy Knight Sir Iohn Stanhop Treasurer of the Chamber to her Maiestie.

NO common thing it is to find (I graunt)
Humilitie and honour both in one:
Who loueth vertue, of them both may vaunt,
True honor still hath mild and vertuous showne;
Then since this worke of vertue treats alone,
(For sure true wisedome doth pure vertue teach)
It shall offensiue be (I trust) to none,
Their words of fauour for truths shield to reach.
Much lesse a shame, what mighty king did preach,
The same to suffer passe them vncontrold;
But now adayes, men euery worke appeach,
As barren, borrow'd, base, or ouer bold:
This makes me craue by you, wise, noble, good,
My wrong deprauers malice be withstood.

To the worthy knight Sir Edward Dyer, Chauncellor of the most Honorable order of the Garter.

NOt last nor least, for common good desarts
I you repute, though fortune point your place:
Your loue to vertue winneth many harts,
And vertues followers do your loue imbrace.
I know my argument requires no grace;
Because grace it doth send, it brings delight:
For both all sue, all loue their pleasing face,
Yet vainely world, for both of them doth fight.
To make more plaine the way for euery wight,
This princely moderator paines did take,
Which (to your equals) men of learned sight,
A full accord (if well iudg'd worke) will make:
You then kind Courtier & sound scholler knowne,
Accept, reade, and protect these as your owne.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the worthy Knight Sir Henry Killegrew.

THe natiue dutie which of right I owe,
To you good Knight (for many fauours past,
To me and mine) do will me now bestow
Some token of my thankfull mind at last:
Which I more fitly no way yet can show,
Then by presenting of this volume small,
Which from repentant heart of king did flow,
And may a warning be vnto vs all,
Who daily into new temptations fall,
And daily need assistance gainst the same,
In such respect this worke you well may call,
An Antidote a happie life to frame:
Whereto since hitherto your vertues bend,
You will accept (I trust) the gift I send.

To the vertuous gentleman Robert Bowes Esquire, Em∣bassador for her Maiestie in Scotland.

AS Painters vse their Tables set to show
Of euery sight, ere they perfected bee,
By others better skill the truth to know,
Of faults which they themselues could hardly see:
And as best drugs on meanest shrub and tree,
By skilfull Simplers gathred are sometime;
As gold in sand, as pearles in shell-fish wee
Do find, and amber in the sea shore slime:
So vnder this ill-couched ragged rime,
Which to your clearer sight I do present,
It may appeare how high his thoughts did clime,
That first to frame the same his studie bent;
And I excusd, who only do bestow,
What I to you, by auncient promise owe.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the vertuous Gentleman Fulke Greuill Esquire.

VVHo can of learning treat, and you forget?
Who may of vertue talke, and you neglect?
Who would true fame, from your due praises let?
Who should not (knowing you) your loue affect?
I therefore forced am in this respect,
To offer publikely for you, to reed
The thing the which vncrau'd you would protect,
If (by malignors blame) it stood in need:
In diuerse, diuersly this worke will breed
I know, an humor in the censurers braine,
The wisest, on the best contents will feed,
The curious (for some scapes) count all but vaine:
But of the better sort true prayse must grow,
The prayse of some is meere disprayse I know.

To the reuerend Doctor Andrews, professor in Diuinitie.

I Would not flatter Court, the Church much lesse,
But honouring both, I would them homage yeeld,
In Courts I liu'd, in Church (I do confesse)
I wish to die, and on that hope to build:
Then maruell not, I also seeke to shield
My bold attempt, with fauour of your wing,
Since your diuine conceit, can easliest wield
The burden; which this waighty theame can bring.
I meant in English dittie only sing,
The tragike notes, of humane well away,
But waightie matter of so wise a king,
Compeld me yet a greater part to play:
Wherewith (halfe fainting) for your aide I craue,
Well meaning mind, from feared blame to saue.
Page  [unnumbered]

To his especiall friend Richard Carew of Anthony Esquire.

AS parents of their children fond appeare,
Oft times because with trauell them they bare,
Which makes them prise thē sometimes ouer deare,
When other see small cause for them to care.
As such likewise are often times to spare,
In care of children that themselues haue none,
So is it like (with this my worke to fare)
With many readers, when they are alone,
Who senslesse of my trauell like a stone,
(As neuer hauing yet so tride their braine)
Will thinke I cocker this my brood, as one
Growne proud, that I some issue do attaine:
But you whose painfull pen hath shown your skill,
Can iudge my part, and it well conster will.

To his louing brother in law Robert Moyle of Bake Esquire, and Anne his wife.

IF like the world a while I seeme to you,
Forgetfull and vnkind for kindnesse showne,
Thinke it not strange their natures I ensue,
Where most I liue, whose proofe is dearly knowne.
The world to me vnkind and carelesse growne,
Conuerts my nature to her temperature;
My youth (with loue of her puft vp and blowne)
Is cause that I now iustly this endure:
Yet worlds delights, nor cares nere alter'd sure,
So farre my mind, that I ingrate did proue:
Heauens faith, earths friendship, doth my soule inure
To take far greater paines where once I loue:
You then (by bloud and friendships holy vow)
Right deare take this, and for loues seale allow.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Gentlemen Courtiers in generall.

REiect me not, (ye Peares of gentle spright)
Because I do appeare in plaine array;
Sometimes for change, the curious do delight
In meane attyres, and homely food we say;
They are not limbd the best, that go most gay,
Nor soundest meats that most the tast do please;
With Shepheards russets, shield from cold ye May,
With hungry meales, preuent oft times disease:
Such home-wouen robes, such wholesome dyet these,
(Euen these rude lines, of my compiled frame)
Do offer you, your iudgements to appease,
As may him nourish that doth vse the same:
Not mine (but wisest Salomons) recait,
To gaine the blessed state we all await.

To the Right Ho. the Lady Marquesse of Northampton.

THe part which I haue taken now in hand,
To represent on stage to common sight,
With my true nature seemes at strife to stand,
And on an actor farre vnfit to light:
Accustom'd more on vainer theames to write
Then with the taske which now I do pretend;
Which being to be view'd by iudgements bright,
Makes me to seeke your fauour it defend:
Vouchsafe a gracious glose thereto to lend,
I then beseech you (worthy Patronesse)
To whose applause, full many more will bend,
Because they know you vertue do professe:
And vertue is this theame, and that diuine,
With grace consent then, to my sute incline.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honourable the Countesse of Darby.

WHen this my bold attempt to mind I call,
VVho Phaëton like would Phebus Chariot guide;
From doubtfull thoughts into dispaire I fall,
How such cleare light, my weake sight may abide:
From one presumption, vnto more I slide,
And giue the raigne so much to rash desire,
That I make publike what I ought to hide,
And seeke my sanctuary in that heauenly fire,
VVhose Image of perfection I admire,
In our rare Goddesse, wisdomes clearest light,
VVhose grate aspect, my many wants require,
To clense the clouds, which blind my iudgmēts sight:
And such faire starres, as you (who influence haue
Of her bright Beames) to giue some light I craue.

To the Right Honorable the Countesse of Cumberland.

AS one whose rashnesse once hath made him bold,
To breake the bands of vsed modestie,
If of his error he shold hap be told,
VVill hardly yeeld that he hath gone awrye,
So worthie Lady, I confesse that I,
Vnworthie scribe, of such a heauenly stile,
Now that I needs my boldnesse must espie,
VVould couer from iust blame my selfe a while;
VVith borrowed grace, therefore I seeke beguile
The cōmon sights, who least would spare my name;
If worthie you therefore but kindly smile,
I know that many more will do the same,
For wisest sort on vertuous do depend,
And vertuous ones will vertues cause defend.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honorable the Countesse of Warwicke.

IN Courtly life to keepe a conscience pure,
In youngest yeares to shew a matrons stay;
In honours type, a lowly mind t'inure,
No doubt a hart regenerate doth bewray:
Such you are held, of such as rightly way
The practise of your life, to your great praise,
Whose vertues all temptations ouersway,
And your rare gifts, vnto the heauens raise:
No common thing it is, in these our dayes,
To see such starres in our darke firmament;
Your worth, your soueraignes influence wel bewraies,
Which so transformes, where so her vigor went:
Your birth, your mariage, natures gifts most rare,
With gift of grace herein may not compare.

To the Right Honorable the Countesse of Pembrooke.

OF all the Nymphes of fruitfull Braitaines race,
Of all the troopes in our Dianaes traine,
You seeme not least, the Muses Trophes grace,
In whom true honour spotlesse doth remaine:
Your name, your match, your vertues, honour gaine,
But not the least, that pregnancie of spright,
Whereby you equall honour do attaine,
To that extinguisht Lampe of heauenly light,
Who now no doubt doth shine midst Angels bright;
VVhile you faire starre, make cleare our darkned sky,
He heauens; earthes comfort you are and delight,
Whose (more then mortall) gifts you do apply,
To serue their giuer, and your guiders grace,
Whose share in this my worke, hath greatest place.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Right Honorable the Countesse of Essex.

THese Oracles, by holy spright distild
Into the hart of wisest happie king,
To you most vertuous Ladie here are wild,
As heire to parent worthie in euerie thing:
His carefull trauell countries peace did bring,
His solide wisedome vertue did pursue,
His bountie to the poore the world doth sing,
Whose honour him suruiueth, crownd in you:
So nobles (if to God they yeeld his due)
So people ought to Nobles render fame,
So shall succeeding ages still renue
By old records, his euer reuerent name,
Wherein your double blessed spousall bed,
Shall wreath an Oliue garland on his head.

To the Right Honourable Ladie, the Ladie Scroope.

THe bountie which your vertues do pretend,
The vertues which your wisdome hath imbrast,
The wisdome which both grace and nature lend,
The gracious nature which so well is plast,
Doth witnesse well the heauens your beauty grast,
With borrowed wisdome not of humane kind,
Which so hath fostred vertues mild and chast,
As benigne beautie might a dwelling find;
Fit to receiue such presents as in mind,
Are consecrated to that sacred shrine,
VVhereon (as vestall Virgin) you assignd,
Do worthie waight, whose eye vouchsafe incline,
To take in worth, reade, iudge of, and defend,
This worke, weake record of my hearts intend.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Honourable Ladie, the Ladie Rich.

THe perfect beautie, which doth most reclaime,
The purest thoughts from base and vaine desire,
Not seene, nor leuied is by common aime
Of eies, whom coullers vse to set on fire:
The rare seene beautie men on earth admire,
Doth rather dazell then content the sight,
For grace and wisdome soonest do retire,
A wandring heart to feed on true delight:
Seldome all gifts do in one subiect light,
But all are crownd, with double honour then,
And shine the more, adornd with vertue bright,
But (with Religion grast) adord of men:
These gifts of nature, since they meet with grace,
In you, haue powre more then faire Venus face,

To the Right Honourable, the Ladie of Hunsdon

OF soule and bodie both since men consist,
Of diuers humors since our bodies be;
Since sundry affects do one selfe thought resist,
Since body, soule, thought, will, are all in me,
Thinke you not strange these passions new to see,
VVhich to my wonted humors different seeme,
They both are frute of one and selfe same tree,
The first for yonger hold, this elder deeme:
If you of my indeuors well esteeme,
VVhom well the world doth know can iudge the best,
VVhose course of life a happie pitch doth cleeme,
In verteous proues wherein your fame is blest:
Then shall I haue a part of my desire,
VVho for my trauell craue but likings hire.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Honourable gentlewomen Mistresse Elizabeth and Anne Russels.

THe double giftes of nature and of grace,
Redoubled in you both with equall share,
(VVhilst beautie shineth in the modest face,
And learning in your mindes with vertue rare)
Do well expresse, of what discent ye are,
Of heauens immortall seed, of blessed kind,
Of earths twise honord stock, which ye declare,
In noble parts composd of eithers mind;
Them both in you (rare gems) we blessed find,
Ye both by them are honord happily:
Then both, vouchfafe what I to both assignd
To read, and to conceiue of graciously:
So ye (like to your kind) the world shall know,
And to your selues (frō hence) some fruit shal grow.

To the Honourable Gentlewoman Mistresse Elizabeth Bridges.

SInce I haue growne so bold, to take in hand
A theame so farre indeed vnfit for me,
As by the reading you will vnderstand,
Whereto my style in no sort doth agree;
I cannot chuse but feare, lest you should see
Some signe of high presumption in my mind,
Which cause of iust reproch to me might be,
And for my sake the worke lesse fauour find:
Vnto you therfore haue I this assignd,
To craue for me remission at your hand,
VVhose vertues show, you cannot be vnkind,
If kindnesse may with modest vertues stand:
And of and for true vertue do I pleade,
Which to desired blisse and honour leade.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Honorable Lady, the Lady Southwell.

TO you the vowed seruice of my mind,
(Faire Mistresse of the purest thoughts I bred)
As youths conceit could best inuention find,
I dedicated with affection fed.
My elder thoughts with your high honor led,
Haue often stroue to shew continued zeale,
But was discourag'd through mistrust and dred
Of my defects, which did my will conceale:
Yet now compeld my weaknesse to reueale
Vnto a world of worthy witnesses;
I craue to be excusd, if I appeale
To you for grace, to whom I guilt confesse;
And hope you will for auncient seruice sake,
Excuse my wants, and this in worth will take.

To the Honorable Lady the Lady Cecill.

IN counter-poise of your right high desart,
My dutie made my gratefull mind consent,
To straine my braine to equall with my hart,
In finding forth for you some fit present:
Which to performe, thus will and powre (first bent)
Was checkt by iust regard of your esteeme:
Which me preuented of my hopes intent,
Since for your worth, vain things not pleasing seeme:
Yet (least a meere excuse you that might deeme,
To cloke a thanklesse heart with idle hand)
With more then natiue strength a pitch I cleeme
To treat of blisse, which I not vnderstand:
But Gods inspiring grace (to king once tought)
I here as pawne of dutie, haue you brought.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Honorable Ladie, the Ladie Hobbye.

LEst that this change of style at first might breed
A doubt in you, whose worke it were and gift;
I thinke it fit your searching thoughts to feed,
With truth who writ it, and therein his drift:
When scorne of hap, did force my hope to shift,
The place wherein felicitie I sought,
As tyr'd on earth, to heauen my thoughts I lift,
Which in me this strange Metamorphos wrought:
But so vnperfect fruit, of what it ought,
Mixt with the dregs of old imprinted phrase,
Require a fauour in the Readers thought,
With kind construction frailties forth to raze:
To you my wants, to me your vertues tryde,
Giues me good hope, this sute is not denyde.

To the vertuous Lady the Lady Layton.

SInce stranger like, to Court but newly come,
This home-bred child, may hap for to be vsde,
Inquired of by most, censured by some
Which cannot iudge, yet will not be refusde:
Where wants are pride into, and soone accused,
If shape, attire, grace, skill, be not the best;
Where curious conceits will seeme abused,
If euery word, phrase, period, bide not test:
Least that this worke too rashly be supprest,
Vntried, halfe vnderstood, disgraced quight,
I needfull thinke it be to some addrest,
VVho can and will protect from causelesse spight:
Which that you will vouchsafe, I nothing feare,
Since to the matter, you such zeale do beare.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the vertuous Lady, the Lady Woollie.

FArre fet, deare bought, doth fit a Lady best;
Such you deserue, such would my will bestow:
Good things are rare, rare things esteem'd you know;
Rare should yours be, as you rare of the rest:
Such hold this gift, fetcht from a forraine land,
Which wisest King, as pretious did prouide,
Who viewing all the earth, hath nought espide,
Whose worth (herewith cōpar'd) may longer stand:
The price (I dare assure) is very deare,
As puchasd by your merit and my care,
Whose trauell would a better gift prepare,
If any better worthy might appeare:
Then this accept, as I the same intend,
Which dutie to the dead would will me send.

To the vertuous Lady, the Lady Carey.

IF any thing might in this worke appeare,
Worthy the reading, fit for to content,
I should then hold it best bestowed here,
Where most my time in frame thereof was spent:
By view of your rare vertues I was bent,
To meditate of heauen and heauenly thing
By comfort of your counsell forward went,
My halting muse, this heauenly note to sing.
And now that time doth forth this haruest bring,
Which must (till need) be layed vp in store,
(As medicine meet to cure cares deadliest sting,
And to restore healths comfort, weake before)
You (Lady) who of right best int'rest haue,
Must here receiue, and keepe, what first ye gaue.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the vertuous Lady the Lady D:

IF kinred be the neerenesse of the blood,
Or likenesse of the mind in kind consent;
Or if it be like pronenesse vnto good,
Or mutuall liking by two parties ment:
If kindnesse be in truth a firme intent,
With open heart to testifie good-will;
If true good will, be to contentment bent,
If true contentment cannot be in ill;
I know you will repute this token still,
A pledge of kinsmans loue in ech degree;
Which though it do your treasure litle fill,
Yet way to perfect wealth will let you see.
My selfe in kindnesse wish and hope in you,
Profit of mind and soules content t'insue.

To the vertuous Gentlewoman Mistresse E. Bowes.

AMong the many profits which do rise
Vnto the faithfull, which the truth do loue,
A greater comfort can I not deuise,
Then is the sweet societie they proue,
When each doth seeke for others best behoue,
To strengthen that which flesh and bloud doth shake,
Their weakned soules (I meane) which sorows moue,
Through feare of sin, and guilty thoughts, to quake.
Whereof by you since I experience make,
Whose mild and kind accord, with neighbours woe,
Doth cause them oft the crosse with patience take,
And forward still in hope and courage goe:
I were vngrate, if I should not indeuer
To nourish that (your grace) I honord euer.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Honorable Ladies and Gentlewomen, attendants in the Court.

YE worthy Nymphes of chast Dyanaes traine,
Who with our Soueraignes presence blessed bee,
Whereby ye perfect beauty shall attaine,
If ye affect the gifts in her you see:
Scorne not to yeeld your mild aspects to mee,
Who with you do attend her high behest;
It can no whit disparage your degree,
To looke on that is liked of the best:
This worke for style inferiour to the rest,
Which many worthier wits to you present,
Craues welcome yet, as some (no common guest)
Whom best to greet your greatest care is spent.
For kings words these, do guide to blisse you craue,
The fruit of fauour which you striue to haue.

To all other his Honorable and beloued friends in generall.

WHat shall I do? proceed or stay my pen?
To either side, great reason vrg'd my mind;
Vnto most powrefull would I yeeld, but then
Defect of powre, makes hand to stay behind:
Of well deseruing friends I many find,
Of worthy persons (vnsaluted) more;
Those I neglect may hold my heart vnkind,
And some my iudgement partiall hold therefore:
Yet (as I find) so they must graunt the store,
Of happy Englands well deseruing state,
Exceeds the bounds my worke prescribd before,
And doth restraine my mind to stricter rate:
But if one word may shew a world of loues,
Vse this and me, to all your best behoues.
Page  [unnumbered]