Salve Deus Rex Judæorum. - Poem by Aemilia Lanyer
Sith Cynthia is ascended to that rest
Of endlesse joy and true Eternitie,
That glorious place that cannot be exprest
By any wight clad in mortalitie,
In her almightie love so highly blest,
And crown'd with everlasting Sov'raigntie;
Where Saints and Angells do attend her Throne,
And she gives glorie unto God alone.
To thee great Countesse now I will applie
My Pen, to write thy never dying fame;
That when to Heav'n thy blessed Soule shall flie,.
These lines on earth record thy reverend name:
And to this taske I meane my Muse to tie,
Though wanting skill I shall but purchase blame:
Pardon (deere Ladie) want of womans wit
To pen thy praise, when few can equall it.
And pardon (Madame) though I do not write
Those praisefull lines of that delightfull place,
As you commaunded me in that faire night,
When shining Phoebe gave so great a grace,
Presenting Paradice to your sweet sight,
Unfolding all the beauty of her face
With pleasant groves, hills, walks and stately trees,
Which pleasures with retired minds agrees.
Whose Eagles eyes behold the glorious Sunne
Of th'all-creating Providence, reflecting
His blessed beames on all by him, begunne;
Increasing, strengthning, guiding and directing
All worldly creatures their due course to runne,
Unto His powrefull pleasure all subjecting:
And thou (deere Ladie) by his speciall grace,
In these his creatures dost behold his face.
Whose all-reviving beautie, yeelds such joyes
To thy sad Soule, plunged in waves of woe,
That worldly pleasures seemes to thee as toyes,
Onely thou seek'st Eternitie to know,
Respecting not the infinite annoyes
That Satan to thy well-staid mind can show;
Ne can he quench in thee, the Spirit of Grace,
Nor draw thee from beholding Heavens bright face.
Thy Mind so perfect by thy Maker fram'd,
No vaine delights can harbour in thy heart,
With his sweet love, thou art so much inflam'd,
As of the world thou seem'st to have no part;
So, love him still, thou need'st not be asham'd,
Tis He that made thee, what thou wert, and art:
Tis He that dries all teares from Orphans eies,
And heares from heav'n the wofull widdows cries.
Tis He that doth behold thy inward cares,
And will regard the sorrowes of thy Soule;
Tis He that guides thy feet from Sathans snares,
And in his Wisedome, doth thy waies controule:
He through afflictions, still thy Minde prepares,
And all thy glorious Trialls will enroule:
That when darke daies of terror shall appeare,
Thou as the Sunne shalt shine; or much more cleare.
The Heav'ns shall perish as a garment olde,
Or as a vesture by the maker chang'd,
And shall depart, as when a skrowle is rolde;
Yet thou from him shalt never be estrang'd,
When He shall come in glory, that was solde
For all our sinnes; we happily are chang'd,
Who for our faults put on his righteousnesse,
Although full oft his Lawes we doe transgresse.
Long mai'st thou joy in this almightie love,
Long may thy Soule be pleasing in his sight,
Long mai'st thou have true comforts from above,
Long mai'st thou set on him thy whole delight,
And patiently endure when he doth prove,
Knowing that He will surely do thee right:
Thy patience, faith, long suffring, and thy love,
He will reward with comforts from above.
With Majestie and Honour is He clad,
And deck'd with light, as with a garment faire;
He joyes the Meeke, and makes the Mightie sad,
Pulls downe the Prowd, and doth the Humble reare:
Who sees this Bridegroome, never can be sad;
None lives that can his wondrous workes declare:
Yea, looke how farre the Est is from the West,
So farre he sets our sinnes that have transgrest.
He rides upon the wings of all the windes,
And spreads the heav'ns with his all powrefull hand;
Oh! who can loose when the Almightie bindes?
Or in his angry presence dares to stand?
He searcheth out the secrets of all mindes;
All those that feare him, shall possesse the Land:
He is exceeding glorious to behold,
Antient of Times; so faire, and yet so old.
He of the watry Cloudes his Chariot frames,
And makes his blessed Angels powrefull Spirits
Rewarding all according to their merits;
The Righteous for an heritage he claimes,
And registers the wrongs of humble spirits:
Hills melt like wax, in presence of the Lord,
So do all sinners, in his sight abhorr'd.
He in the waters laies his chamber beames,
And cloudes of darkenesse compasse him about,
Consuming fire shall goe before in streames,
And burne up all his en'mies round about:
Yet on these Judgements worldlings never dreames,
Nor of these daungers never stand in doubt:
While he shall rest within his holy Hill,
That lives and dies according to his Will.
But woe to them that double-hearted bee,
Who with their tongues the righteous Soules doe slay;
Bending their bowes to shoot at all they see,
With upright hearts their Maker to obay;
And secretly doe let their arrowes flee,
To wound true hearted people any way:
The Lord wil roote them out that speake prowd things,
Deceitfull tongues are but false Slanders wings.
Froward are the ungodly from their berth,
No sooner borne, but they doe goe astray;
The Lord will roote them out from off the earth,
And give them to their en'mies for a pray,
As venemous as Serpents is their breath,
With poysned lies to hurt in what they may
The Innocent: who as a Dove shall flie
Unto the Lord, that he his cause may trie
The righteous Lord doth righteousnesse allow,
His countenance will behold the thing that's just;
Unto the Meane he makes the Mightie bow,
And raiseth up the Poore out of the dust:
Yet makes no count to us, nor when, nor how,
But powres his grace on all, that puts their trust
In him: that never will their hopes betray,
Nor lets them perish that for mercie pray.
He shall within his Tabernacle dwell,
Whose life is uncorrupt before the Lord,
Who no untrueths of Innocents doth tell,
Nor wrongs his neighbour, nor in deed, nor word,
Nor in his pride with malice seems to swell,
Nor whets his tongue more sharper than a sword,
To wound the reputation of the Just;
Nor seekes to lay their glorie in the Dust.
That great Jehova King of heav'n and earth,
Will raine downe fire and brimstone from above,
Upon the wicked monsters in their berth
That storme and rage at those whom he doth love:
Snares, stormes, and tempests he will raine,
Because he will himselfe almightie prove:
And this shall be their portion they shall drinke,
That thinkes the Lord is blind when he doth winke.
Pardon (good Madame) though I have digrest
From what I doe intend to write of thee,.
To set his glorie forth whom thou lov'st best,
Whose wondrous works no mortall eie can see;
His speciall care on those whom he hath blest
From wicked worldlings, how he sets them free:
And how such people he doth overthrow
In all their waies, that they his powre may know.
The meditation of this Monarchs love,
Drawes thee from caring what this world can yield;
Of joyes and griefes both equall thou dost prove,
They have no force, to force thee from the field:
Thy constant faith like to the Turtle Dove
Continues combat, and will never yield
To base affliction; or prowd pomps desire,
That sets the weakest mindes so much on fire.
Thou from the Court to the Countrie art retir'd,
Leaving the world, before the world leaves thee:
That great Enchantresse of weake mindes admir'd,
Whose all-bewitching charmes so pleasing be
To worldly wantons; and too much desir'd
Of those that care not for Eternitie:
But yeeld themselves as preys to Lust and Sinne,
Loosing their hopes of Heav'n Hell paines to winne.
But thou, the wonder of our wanton age
Leav'st all delights to serve a heav'nly King:
Who is more wise? or who can be more sage,
Than she that doth Affection subject bring;
Not forcing for the world, or Satans rage,
But shrowding under the Almighties wing;
Spending her yeares, moneths, daies,
In doing service to the heav'nly powres.
Thou faire example, live without compare,
With Honours triumphs seated in thy breast;
Pale Envy never can thy name empaire,
When in thy heart thou harbour'st such a guest:
Malice must live for ever in dispaire;
There's no revenge where Virtue still doth rest:
All hearts must needs do homage unto thee,
In whom all eies such rare perfection see.
That outward Beautie which the world commends,
Is not the subject I will write upon,
Whose date expir'd, that tyrant Time soone ends,
Those gawdie colours soone are spent and gone: unaccompanied
But those faire Virtues which on thee attends with virtue.
Are alwaies fresh, they never are but one:
They make thy Beautie fairer to behold,
Than was that Queenes for whom prowd Troy
As for those matchlesse colours Red and White,
Or perfit features in a fading face,
Or due proportion pleasing to the sight;
All these doe draw but dangers and disgrace:
A mind enrich'd with Virtue, shines more bright,
Addes everlasting Beauty, gives true grace,
Frames an immortall Goddesse on the earth,
Who though she dies, yet Fame gives her new berth.
That pride of Nature which adornes the faire,
Like blasing Comets to allure all eies,
Is but the thred, that weaves their web of Care,
Who glories most, where most their danger lies;
For greatest perills do attend the faire,
When men do seeke, attempt, plot and devise,
How they may overthrow the chastest Dame,
Whose Beautie is the White whereat they aime.
Twas Beautie bred in Troy the ten yeares strife,
And carried Hellen from her lawfull Lord;
Twas Beautie made chaste Lucrece loose her life,
For which prowd Tarquins fact was so abhorr'd:
Beautie the cause Antonius wrong'd his wife,
Which could not be decided but by sword:
Great Cleopatraes Beautie and defects
Did worke Octaviaes wrongs, and his neglects.
What fruit did yeeld that faire forbidden tree,
But blood, dishonour, infamie, and shame?
Poore blinded Queene, could'st thou no better see,
But entertaine disgrace, in stead of fame?
Doe these designes with Majestie agree?
To staine thy blood, and blot thy royall name.
That heart that gave consent unto this ill,
Did give consent that thou thy selfe should'st kill.
Faire Rosamund, the wonder of her time,
Had bin much fairer, had shee not bin faire;
Beautie betraid her thoughts, aloft to clime,
To build strong castles in uncertaine aire,
Where th'infection of a wanton crime
Did worke her fall; first poyson, then despaire,
With double death did kill her perjur'd soule,
When heavenly Justice did her sinne controule.
Holy Matilda in a haplesse houre Of Matilda.
Was borne to sorow and to discontent,
Beauty the cause that turn'd her Sweet to Sowre,
While Chastity sought Folly to prevent.
Lustfull King John refus'd, did use his powre,
By Fire and Sword, to compasse his content:
But Friends disgrace, nor Fathers banishment,
Nor Death it selfe, could purchase her consent.
Here Beauty in the height of all perfection,
Crown'd this faire Creatures everlasting fame,
Whose noble minde did scorne the base subjection
Of Feares, or Favours, to impaire her Name:
By heavenly grace, she had such true direction,
To die with Honour, not to live in Shame;
And drinke that poyson with a cheerefull heart,
That could all Heavenly grace to her impart.
This Grace great Lady, doth possesse thy Soule,
And makes thee pleasing in thy Makers sight;
This Grace doth all imperfect Thoughts controule, the Introduction
Directing thee to serve thy God aright; to the passion
Still reckoning him, the Husband of thy Soule, of Christ.
Which is most pretious in his glorious sight:
Because the Worlds delights shee doth denie
For him, who for her sake vouchsaf'd to die.
And dying made her Dowager of all;
Nay more, Co-heire of that eternall blisse
That Angels lost, and We by Adams fall;
Meere Cast-awaies, rais'd by a Judas kisse,
Christs bloody sweat, the Vineger, and Gall,
The Speare, Sponge, Nailes, his buffeting with Fists,
His bitter Passion, Agony, and Death,
Did gaine us Heaven when He did loose his breath.
These high deserts invites my lowely Muse
To write of Him, and pardon crave of thee,
For Time so spent, I need make no excuse, before
Knowing it doth with thy faire Minde agree the Passion.
So well, as thou no Labour wilt refuse,
That to thy holy Love may pleasing be:
His Death and Passion I desire to write,
And thee to reade, the blessed Soules delight.
But my deare Muse, now whither wouldst thou flie,
Above the pitch of thy appointed straine?
With Icarus thou seekest now to trie,
Not waxen wings, but thy poore barren Braine,
Which farre too weake, these siely lines descrie;
Yet cannot this thy forward Mind restraine,
But thy poore Infant Verse must soare aloft,
Not fearing threat'ning dangers, happening oft.
Thinke when the eye of Wisdom shall discover
Thy weakling Muse to flie, that scarce could creepe,
And in the Ayre above the Clowdes to hover,
When better ‘twere mued up, and fast asleepe;
They'l thinke with Phaeton, thou canst neare recover,
But helplesse with that poore yong Lad to weepe:
The little World of thy weake Wit on fire,
Where thou wilt perish in thine owne desire.
But yet the Weaker thou doest seeme to be
In Sexe, or Sence, the more his Glory shines,
That doth infuze such powerfull Grace in thee,
To shew thy Love in these few humble Lines;
The Widowes Myte, with this may well agree,
Her little All more worth than golden mynes,
Beeing more deerer to our loving Lord,
Than all the wealth that Kingdoms could affoard.
Therefore I humbly for his Grace will pray,
That he will give me Power and Strength to Write,
That what I have begun, so end I may,
As his great Glory may appeare more bright;
Yea in these Lines I may no further stray,
Than his most holy Spirit shall give me Light:
That blindest Weakenesse be not over-bold,
The manner of his Passion to unfold.
In other Phrases than may well agree
With his pure Doctrine, and most holy Writ,
That Heavens cleare eye, and all the World may see,
I seeke his Glory, rather than to get
The Vulgars breath, the seed of Vanitie,
Nor Fames lowd Trumpet care I to admit;
But rather strive in plainest Words to showe,
The Matter which I seeke to undergoe.
A Matter farre beyond my barren skill,
To shew with any Life this map of Death,
This Storie; that whole Worlds with Bookes would fill,
In these few Lines, will put me out of breath,
To run so swiftly up this mightie Hill,
I may behold it with the eye of Faith;
But to present this pure unspotted Lambe,
I must confesse, I farre unworthy am.
Yet if he please t'illuminate my Spirit,
And give me Wisdom from his holy Hill,
That I may Write part of his glorious Merit,
If he vouchsafe to guide my Hand and Quill,
To shew his Death, by which we doe inherit
Those endlesse Joyes that all our hearts doe fill;
Then will I tell of that sad blacke fac'd Night,
Whose mourning Mantle covered Heavenly Light.
That very Night our Saviour was betrayed, Here begins
Oh night! exceeding all the nights of sorow
When our most blessed Lord, although dismayed,.
Yet would not he one Minutes respite borrow,
But to Mount Olives went, though sore afraid,
To welcome Night, and entertaine the Morrow;
And as he oft unto that place did goe,
So did he now, to meete his long nurst woe.
He told his deere Disciples that they all
Should be offended by him, that selfe night,
His Griefe was great, and theirs could not be small,
To part from him who was their sole Delight;
Saint Peter thought his Faith could never fall,
No mote could happen in so cleare a sight:
Which made him say, though all men
Yet would he never, though his life were ended.
But his deare Lord made answere, That before
The Cocke did crowe, he should deny him thrice;
This could not choose but grieve him very sore,
That his hot Love should proove more cold than Ice,
Denying him he did so much adore;
No imperfection in himselfe he spies,
But faith againe, with him hee'l surely die,
Rather than his deare Master once denie.
And all the rest (did likewise say the same)
Of his Disciples, at that instant time;
But yet poore Peter, he was most too blame,
That thought above them all, by Faith to clime;
His forward speech inflicted sinne and shame,
When Wisdoms eyes did looke and checke his crime:
Who did foresee, and told it him before,
Yet would he needs averre it more and more.
Now went our Lord unto that holy place,
Sweet Gethsemaine hallowed by his presence,
That blessed Garden, which did now embrace
His holy corps, yet could make no defence
Against those Vipers, objects of disgrace,
Which sought that pure eternall Love to quench:
Here his Disciples willed he to stay,
Whilst he went further, where he meant to pray.
None were admitted with their Lord to goe,
But Peter, and the sonnes of Zebed'us,
To them good Jesus opened all his woe,
He gave them leave his sorows to discusse,
His deepest griefes, he did not scorne to showe
These three deere friends, so much he did intrust:
Beeing sorowfull, and overcharg'd with griefe,
He told it them, yet look'd for no reliefe.
Sweet Lord, how couldst thou thus to flesh and blood
Communicate thy griefe? tell of thy woes?
Thou knew'st they had no powre to doe thee good,
But were the cause thou must endure these blowes,
Beeing the Scorpions bred in Adams mud,
Whose poys'ned sinnes did worke among thy foes,
To re-ore-charge thy over-burd'ned soule,
Although the sorowes now they doe condole.
Yet didst thou tell them of thy troubled state,
Of thy Soules heavinesse unto the death,
So full of Love, so free wert thou from hate,
To bid them stay, whose sinnes did stop thy breath,
When thou wert entring at so straite a gate,
Yea entring even into the doore of Death,
Thou bidst them tarry there, and watch with thee,
Who from thy pretious blood-shed were not free.
Bidding them tarry, thou didst further goe,
To meet affliction in such gracefull sort,
As might moove pitie both in friend and foe,
Thy sorowes such, as none could them comport,
Such great Indurements who did ever know,
When to th' Almighty thou didst make resort?
And falling on thy face didst humbly pray,
If ‘twere his Will that Cup might passe away.
Saying, Not my will, but thy will Lord be done.
When as thou prayedst an Angel did appeare
From Heaven, to comfort thee Gods onely Sonne,
That thou thy Suffrings might'st the better beare,
Beeing in an agony, thy glasse neere run,
Thou prayedst more earnestly, in so great feare,
That pretious sweat came trickling to the ground,
Like drops of blood thy sences to confound.
Loe here his Will, not thy Will, Lord was done,
And thou content to undergoe all paines,
Sweet Lambe of God, his deare beloved Sonne,
By this great purchase, what to thee remaines?
Of Heaven and Earth thou hast a Kingdom wonne,
Thy Glory beeing equall with thy Gaines,
In ratifying Gods promise on the Earth,
Made many hundred yeares before thy birth.
But now returning to thy sleeping Friends,
That could not watch one houre for love of thee,
Even those three Friends, which on thy Grace depends,
Yet shut those Eies that should their Maker see;
What colour, what excuse, or what amends,
From thy Displeasure now can set them free?
Yet thy pure Pietie bids them Watch and Pray,
Lest in Temptation they be led away.
Although the Spirit was willing to obay,
Yet what great weakenesse in the Flesh was found!
They slept in Ease, whilst thou in Paine didst pray;
Loe, they in Sleepe, and thou in Sorow drown'd:
Yet Gods right Hand was unto thee a stay,
When horror, griefe, and sorow did abound:
His Angel did appeare from Heaven to thee,
To yeeld thee comfort in Extremitie.
But what could comfort then thy troubled Minde,
When Heaven and Earth were both against thee bent?
And thou no hope, no ease, no rest could'st finde,
But must restore that Life, which was but lent;
Was ever Creature in the World so kinde,
But he that from Eternitie was sent?
To satisfie for many Worlds of Sinne,
Whose matchlesse Torments did but then begin.
If one Mans sinne doth challendge Death and Hell,
With all the Torments that belong thereto:
If for one sinne such Plagues on David fell,
As grieved him, and did his Seed undoe:
If Salomon, for that he did not well,
Falling from Grace, did loose his Kingdome too:
Ten Tribes beeing taken from his wilfull Sonne
And Sinne the Cause that they were all undone.
What could thy Innocency now expect,
When all the Sinnes that ever were committed,
Were laid to thee, whom no man could detect?
Yet farre thou wert of Man from beeing pittied,
The Judge so just could yeeld thee no respect,
Nor would one jot of penance be remitted;
But greater horror to thy Soule must rise,
Than Heart can thinke, or any Wit devise.
Now drawes the houre of thy affliction neere,
And ugly Death presents himselfe before thee;
Thou now must leave those Friends thou held'st so deere,
Yea those Disciples, who did most adore thee;
Yet in thy countenance doth no Wrath appeare,
Although betrayd to those that did abhorre thee:
Thou did'st vouchsafe to visit them againe,
Who had no apprehension of thy paine.
Their eyes were heavie, and their hearts asleepe,
Nor knew they well what answere then to make thee;
Yet thou as Watchman, had'st a care to keepe
Those few from sinne, that shortly would forsake thee;
But now thou bidst them henceforth Rest and Sleepe,
Thy houre is come, and they at hand to take thee:
The Sonne of God to Sinners made a pray,
Oh hatefull houre! oh blest! oh cursed day!
Loe here thy great Humility was found,
Beeing King of Heaven, and Monarch of the Earth,
Yet well content to have thy Glory drownd,
By beeing counted of so meane a berth;
Grace, Love, and Mercy did so much abound,
Thou entertaindst the Crosse, even to the death:
And nam'dst thy selfe, the sonne of Man to be,
To purge our pride by thy Humilitie.
But now thy friends whom thou didst call to goe,
Heavy Spectators of thy haplesse case,
See thy Betrayer, whom too well they knowe,
One of the twelve, now object of disgrace,
A trothlesse traytor, and a mortall foe,
With fained kindnesse seekes thee to imbrace;
And gives a kisse, whereby he may deceive thee,
That in the hands of Sinners he might leave thee.
Now muster forth with Swords, with Staves, with Bils,
High Priests and Scribes, and Elders of the Land,
Seeking by force to have their wicked Wils,
Which thou didst never purpose to withstand;
Now thou mak'st haste unto the worst of Ils,
And who they seeke, thou gently doest demand;
This didst thou Lord, t'amaze these Fooles the more,
T'inquire of that, thou knew'st so well before.
When loe these Monsters did not shame to tell,
His name they sought, and found, yet could not know
Jesus of Nazareth, at whose feet they fell,
When Heavenly Wisdome did descend so lowe
To speake to them: they knew they did not well,
Their great amazement made them backeward goe:
Nay, though he said unto them, I am he,
They could not know him, whom their eyes did see.
How blinde were they could not discerne the Light!
How dull! if not to understand the truth,
How weake! if meekenesse overcame their might;
How stony hearted, if not mov'd to ruth:
How void of Pitie, and how full of Spight,
Gainst him that was the Lord of Light and Truth:
Here insolent Boldnesse checkt by Love and Grace,
Retires, and falls before our Makers face.
For when he spake to this accursed crew,
And mildely made them know that it was he:
Presents himselfe, that they might take a view;
And what they doubted they might cleerely see;
Nay more, to re-assure that it was true,
He said: I say unto you, I am hee.
If him they sought, he's willing to obay,
Onely desires the rest might goe their way.
Thus with a heart prepared to endure
The greatest wrongs Impietie could devise,
He was content to stoope unto their Lure,
Although his Greatnesse might doe otherwise:
Here Grace was seised on with hands impure,
And Virtue now must be supprest by Vice,
Pure Innocencie made a prey to Sinne,
Thus did his Torments and our Joyes beginne.
Here faire Obedience shined in his breast,
And did suppresse all feare of future paine;
Love was his Leader unto this unrest,
Whil'st Righteousnesse doth carry up his Traine;
Mercy made way to make us highly blest,
When Patience beat downe Sorrow, Feare and Paine:
Justice sate looking with an angry brow,
On blessed misery appeering now.
More glorious than all the Conquerors
Than ever liv'd within this Earthly round,
More powrefull than all Kings, or Governours
That ever yet within this World were found;
More valiant than the greatest Souldiers
That ever fought, to have their glory crown'd:
For which of them, that ever yet tooke breath,
Sought t'indure the doome of Heaven and Earth?
But our sweet Saviour whom these Jewes did name;
Yet could their learned Ignorance apprehend
No light of grace, to free themselves from blame:
Zeale, Lawes, Religion, now they doe pretend
Against the truth, untruths they seeke to frame:
Now al their powres, their wits, their strengths,
Against one siely, weake, unarmed man,
Who no resistance makes, though much he can,
To free himselfe from these unlearned men,
Who call'd him Saviour in his blessed name;
Yet farre from knowing him their Saviour then,
That came to save both them and theirs from blame;
Though they retire and fall, they come agen
To make a surer purchase of their shame:
With lights and torches now they find the way,
To take the Shepheard whilst the sheep doe stray.
Why should unlawfull actions use the Light?
Inniquitie in Darkenesse seekes to dwell;
Sinne rides his circuit in the dead of Night,
Teaching all soules the ready waies to hell;
Sathan coms arm'd with all the powres of Spight,
Heartens his Champions, makes them rude and fell;
Like rav'ning wolves, to shed his guiltlesse blood,
Who thought no harme, but di'd to doe them good.
Here Falshood beares the shew of formall Right,
Base Treacherie hath gote a guard of men;
Tyranny attends, with all his strength and might,
To leade this siely Lamb to Lyons denne;
Yet he unmoov'd in this most wretched plight,
Goes on to meete them, knowes the houre, and when:
The powre of darkenesse must expresse Gods ire,
Therefore to save these few was his desire.
These few that wait on Poverty and Shame,
And offer to be sharers in his Ils;
These few that will be spreaders of his Fame,
He will not leave to Tyrants wicked wils
But still desires to free them from all blame,
Yet Feare goes forward, Anger Patience kils:
A Saint is mooved to revenge a wrong,
And Mildnesse doth what doth to Wrath belong.
For Peter griev'd at what might then befall,
Yet knew not what to doe, nor what to thinke,
Thought something must be done; now, if at all,
To free his Master, that he might not drinke
This poys'ned draught, farre bitterer than gall,
For now he sees him at the very brinke
Of griesly Death, who gins to shew his face,
Clad in all colours of a deepe disgrace.
And now those hands, that never us'd to fight,
Or drawe a weapon in his owne defence,
Too forward is, to doe his Master right,
Since of his wrongs, hee feeles so true a sence:
But ah poore Peter! now thou wantest might,
And hee's resolv'd, with them he will goe hence:
To draw thy sword in such a helpelesse cause,
Offends thy Lord, and is against the Lawes.
So much he hates Revenge, so farre from Hate,
That he vouchsafes to heale, whom thou dost wound;
His paths are Peace, with none he holdes Debate,
His Patience stands upon so sure a ground,
To counsell thee, although it comes too late:
Nay, to his foes, his mercies so abound,
That he in pitty doth thy will restraine,
And heales the hurt, and takes away the paine.
For willingly he will endure this wrong,
Although his pray'rs might have obtain'd such grace,
As to dissolve their plots though ne'r so strong,
And bring these wicked Actors in worse case
Than Ægypts King on whom Gods plagues did throng,
But that foregoing Scriptures must take place:
If God by prayers had an army sent
Of powrefull Angels, who could them prevent?
Yet mightie JESUS meekely ask'd, Why they
With Swords and Staves doe come as to a Thiefe?
Hee teaching in the Temple day by day
None did offend, or give him cause of griefe.
Now all are forward, glad is he that may
Give most offence, and yeeld him least reliefe:
His hatefull foes are ready now to take him,
And all his deere Disciples do forsake him.
Those deare Disciples that he most did love,
And were attendant at his becke and call,
When triall of affliction came to prove,
They first left him, who now must leave them all:
For they were earth, and he came from above,
Which made them apt to flie, and fit to fall:
Though they protest they never will forsake him,
They do like men, when dangers overtake them.
And he alone is bound to loose us all,
Whom with unhallowed hands they led along,
To wicked Caiphas in the Judgement Hall,
Who studies onely how to doe him wrong;
High Priests and Elders, People great and small,
With all reprochfull words about him throng:
False Witnesses are now call'd in apace,
Whose trothlesse tongues must make pale
The beauty of the World, Heavens chiefest Glory;
The mirrour of Martyrs, Crowne of holy Saints;
Love of th'Almighty, blessed Angels story;
Water of Life, which none that drinks it, faints;
Guide of the Just, where all our Light we borrow;
Mercy of Mercies; Hearer of Complaints;
Triumpher over Death; Ransomer of Sinne;
Falsly accused: now his paines begin.
Their tongues doe serve him as a Passing bell,
For what they say is certainly beleeved;
So sound a tale unto the Judge they tell,
That he of Life must shortly be bereaved;
Their share of Heaven, they doe not care to sell,
So his afflicted Heart be throughly grieved:
They tell his Words, though farre from his intent,
And what his Speeches were, not what he meant.
That he Gods holy Temple could destroy,
And in three daies could build it up againe;
This seem'd to them a vaine and idle toy,
It would not sinke into their sinful braine:
Christs blessed body, al true Christians joy,
Should die, and in three dayes revive againe:
This did the Lord of Heaven and earth endure,
Unjustly to be charg'd by tongues impure.
And now they all doe give attentive eare,
To heare the answere, which he will not make;
The people wonder how he can forbeare,
And these great wrongs so patiently can take;
But yet he answers not, nor doth he care,
Much more he will endure for our sake:
Nor can their wisdoms any way discover,
Who he should be that proov'd so true a Lover.
To entertaine the sharpest pangs of death,
And fight a combate in the depth of hell,
For wretched Worldlings made of dust and earth,
Whose hard'ned hearts, with pride and mallice swell;
In midst of bloody sweat, and dying breath,
He had compassion on these tyrants fell:
And purchast them a place in Heav'n for ever,
When they his Soule and Body sought to sever.
Sinnes ugly mists, so blinded had their eyes,
That at Noone dayes they could discerne no Light;
These were those fooles, that thought themselves so wise,
The Jewish wolves, that did our Saviour bite;
For now they use all meanes they can devise,
To beate downe truth, and goe against all right:
Yea now they take Gods holy name in vaine,
To know the truth, which truth they doe prophane.
The chiefest Hel-hounds of this hatefull crew,
Rose up to aske what answere he could make,
Against those false accusers in his view;
That by his speech, they might advantage take:
He held his peace, yet knew they said not true,
No answere would his holy wisdome make,
Till he was charged in his glorious name,
Whose pleasure ‘twas he should endure this shame.
Then with so mild a Majestie he spake,
As they might easly know from whence he came,
His harmelesse tongue doth no exceptions take,
Nor Priests, nor People, meanes he now to blame;
But answers Folly, for true Wisdomes sake,
Beeing charged deeply by his powrefull name,
To tell if Christ the Sonne of God he be,
Who for our sinnes must die, to set us free.
To thee O Caiphas doth he answere give,
That thou hast said, what thou desir'st to know,
And yet thy malice will not let him live,
So much thou art unto thy selfe a foe;
He speaketh truth, but thou wilt not beleeve,
Nor canst thou apprehend it to be so:
Though he expresse his Glory unto thee,
Thy Owly eies are blind, and cannot see.
Thou rend'st thy° cloathes, in stead of thy false heart,
And on the guiltlesse lai'st thy guilty crime;
For thou blasphem'st, and he must feele the smart:
To sentence death, thou think'st it now high time;
No witnesse now thou need'st, for this fowle part,
Thou to the height of wickednesse canst clime:
And give occasion to the ruder sort,
To make afflictions, sorrows, follies sport.
Now when the dawne of day gins to appeare,
And all your wicked counsels have an end,
To end his Life, that holds you all so deere,
For to that purpose did your studies bend;
Proud Pontius Pilate must the matter heare,
To your untroths his eares he now must lend:
Sweet Jesus bound, to him you led away,
Of his most pretious blood to make your pray.
Which, when that wicked Caytife did perceive,
By whose lewd meanes he came to this distresse;
He brought the price of blood he did receive,
Thinking thereby to make his fault seeme lesse,
And with these Priests and Elders did it leave,
Confest his fault, wherein he did transgresse:
But when he saw Repentance unrespected,
He hang'd himselfe; of God and Man rejected.
By this Example, what can be expected
From wicked Man, which on the Earth doth live?
But faithlesse dealing, feare of God neglected;
Who for their private gaine cares not to sell
The Innocent Blood of Gods most deere elected,
As did that caytife wretch, now damn'd in Hell:
If in Christs Schoole, he tooke so great a fall,
What will they doe, that come not there at all.
Now Pontius Pilate is to judge the Cause
Of faultlesse Jesus, who before him stands;
Who neither hath offended Prince, nor Lawes,
Although he now be brought in woefull bands:
O noble Governour, make thou yet a pause,
Doe not in innocent blood imbrue thy hands;
But heare the words of thy most worthy wife,
Who sends to thee, to beg her Saviours life.
Let barb'rous crueltie farre depart from thee,
And in true Justice take afflictions part;
Open thine eies, that thou the truth mai'st see,
Doe not the thing that goes against thy heart,
Condemne not him that must thy Saviour be;
But view his holy Life, his good desert.
Let not us Women glory in Mens fall,
Who had power given to over-rule us all.
Till now your indiscretion sets us free, Eves Apologie.
And makes our former fault much lesse appeare;
Our Mother Eve, who tasted of the Tree,
Giving to Adam what shee held most deare,
Was simply good, and had no powre to see,
The after-comming harme did not appeare:
The subtile Serpent that our Sex betraide,
Before our fall so sure a plot had laide.
That undiscerning Ignorance perceav'd
No guile, or craft that was by him intended;
For had she knowne, of what we were bereav'd,
To his request she had not condiscended.
But she (poore soule) by cunning was deceav'd,
No hurt therein her harmelesse Heart intended:
For she alleadg'd Gods word, which he denies,
That they should die, but even as Gods, be wise.
But surely Adam can not be excusde,
Her fault though great, yet hee was most too blame;
What Weaknesse offerd, Strength might have refusde,
Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame:
Although the Serpents craft had her abusde,
Gods holy word ought all his actions frame,
For he was Lord and King of all the earth,
Before poore Eve had either life or breath.
Who being fram'd by Gods eternall hand,
The perfect'st man that ever breath'd on earth;
And from Gods mouth receiv'd that strait command,
The breach whereof he knew was present death:
Yea having powre to rule both Sea and Land,
Yet with one Apple wonne to loose that breath
Which God had breathed in his beauteous face,
Bringing us all in danger and disgrace.
And then to lay the fault on Patience backe,
That we (poore women) must endure it all;
We know right well he did discretion lacke,
Beeing not perswaded thereunto at all;
If Eve did erre, it was for knowledge sake,
The fruit beeing faire perswaded him to fall:
No subtill Serpents falshood did betray him,
If he would eate it, who had powre to stay him?
Not Eve, whose fault was onely too much love,
Which made her give this present to her Deare,
That what shee tasted, he likewise might prove,
Whereby his knowledge might become more cleare;
He never sought her weakenesse to reprove,
With those sharpe words, which he of God did heare:
Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he tooke
From Eves faire hand, as from a learned Booke.
If any Evill did in her remaine,
Beeing made of him, he was the ground of all;
If one of many Worlds could lay a staine
Upon our Sexe, and worke so great a fall
To wretched Man, by Satans subtill traine;
What will so fowle a fault amongst you all?
Her weakenesse did the Serpents words obay;
But you in malice Gods deare Sonne betray.
Whom, if unjustly you condemne to die,
Her sinne was small, to what you doe commit;
All mortall sinnes that doe for vengeance crie,
Are not to be compared unto it:
If many worlds would altogether trie,
By all their sinnes the wrath of God to get;
This sinne of yours, surmounts them all as farre
As doth the Sunne, another little starre,
Then let us have our Libertie againe,
And challendge to your selves no Sov'raigntie;
You came not in the world without our paine,
Make that a barre against your crueltie;
Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine
Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?
If one weake woman simply did offend,
This sinne of yours, hath no excuse, nor end.
To which (poore soules) we never gave consent,
Witnesse thy wife (O Pilate) speakes for all;
Who did but dreame, and yet a message sent,
That thou should'st have nothing to doe at all
With that just man; which, if thy heart relent,
Why wilt thou be a reprobate with Saul?
To seeke the death of him that is so good,
For thy soules health to shed his dearest blood.
Yea, so thou mai'st these sinful people please,
Thou art content against all truth and right,
To seale this act, that may procure thine ease
With blood, and wrong, with tyrannie, and might;
The multitude thou seekest to appease,
By base dejection of this heavenly Light:
Demanding which of these that thou should'st loose,
Whether the Thiefe, or Christ King of the Jewes.
Base Barrabas the Thiefe, they all desire,
And thou more base than he, perform'st their will;
Yet when thy thoughts backe to themselves retire,
Thou art unwilling to commit this ill:
Oh that thou couldst unto such grace aspire,
That thy polluted lips might never kill
That Honour, which right Judgement ever graceth,
To purchase shame, which all true worth defaceth.
Art thou a Judge, and asketh what to do
With one, in whom no fault there can be found?
The death of Christ wilt thou consent unto,
Finding no cause, no reason, nor no ground?
Shall he be scourg'd, and crucified too?
And must his miseries by thy meanes abound?
Yet not asham'd to aske what he hath done,
When thine owne conscience seeks this sinne
Three times thou ask'st, What evill hath he done?
And saist, thou find'st in him no cause of death,
Yet wilt thou chasten Gods beloved Sonne,
Although to thee no word of ill he saith:
For Wrath must end, what Malice hath begunne,
And thou must yield to stop his guiltlesse breath.
This rude tumultuous rowt doth presse so sore,
That thou condemnest him thou shouldst adore.
Yet Pilate, this can yeeld thee no content,
To exercise thine owne authoritie,
But unto Herod he must needes be sent,
To reconcile thy selfe by tyrannie:
Was this the greatest good in Justice meant,
When thou perceiv'st no fault in him to be?
If thou must make thy peace by Virtues fall,
Much better ‘twere not to be friends at all.
Yet neither thy sterne browe, nor his great place,
Can draw an answer from the Holy One:
His false accusers, nor his great disgrace,
Nor Herods scoffes; to him they are all one:
He neither cares, nor feares his owne ill case,
Though being despis'd and mockt of every one:
King Herods gladnesse gives him little ease,
Neither his anger seekes he to appease.
Yet this is strange, that base Impietie
Should yeeld those robes of honour, which were due;
Pure white, to shew his great Integritie,
His innocency, that all the world might view;
Perfections height in lowest penury,
Such glorious poverty as they never knew:
Purple and Scarlet well might him beseeme,
Whose pretious blood must all the world redeeme.
And that Imperiall Crowne of Thornes he wore,
Was much more pretious than the Diadem
Of any King that ever liv'd before,
Or since his time, their honour's but a dreame
To his eternall glory, beeing so poore,
To make a purchasse of that heavenly Realme;
Where God with all his Angels lives in peace,
No griefes, nor sorrowes, but all joyes increase.
Those royall robes, which they in scorne did give,
To make him odious to the common sort,
Yeeld light of Grace to those whose soules shall live
Within the harbour of this heavenly port;
Much doe they joy, and much more doe they grieve,
His death, their life, should make his foes such sport:
With sharpest thornes to pricke his blessed face,
Our joyfull sorrow, and his greater grace.
Three feares at once possessed Pilates heart;
The first, Christs innocencie, which so plaine appeares;
The next, That he which now must feele this smart,
Is Gods deare Sonne, for any thing he heares:
But that which proov'd the deepest wounding dart,
Is Peoples threat'nings, which he so much feares,
That he to Cæsar could not be a friend,
Unlesse he sent sweet JESUS to his end.
Now Pilate thou art proov'd a painted wall,
A golden Sepulcher with rotten bones;
From right to wrong, from equitie to fall:
If none upbraid thee, yet the very stones
His blood, his teares, his sighes, his bitter groanes:
All these will witnesse at the latter day,
When water cannot wash thy sinne away.
Canst thou be innocent, that gainst all right,
Wilt yeeld to what thy conscience doth withstand?
Beeing a man of knowledge, powre, and might,
To let the wicked carrie such a hand,
Before thy face to blindfold Heav'ns bright light,
And thou to yeeld to what they did demand?
Washing thy hands, thy conscience cannot cleare,
But to all worlds this staine must needs appeare.
For loe, the Guiltie doth accuse the Just,
And faultie Judge condemnes the Innocent;
And wilfull Jewes to exercise their lust,
With whips and taunts against their Lord are bent;
He basely us'd, blasphemed, scorn'd, and curst,
Our heavenly King to death for us they sent:
Reproches, slanders, spittings in his face,
Spight doing all her worst in his disgrace.
And now this long expected houre drawes neere,
When blessed Saints with Angels doe condole;
His holy march, soft pace, and heavy cheere,
In humble sort to yeeld his glorious soule,
By his deserts the fowlest sinnes to cleare;
And in th'eternall booke of heaven to enroule
A satisfaction till the generall doome,
Of all sinnes past, and all that are to come.
They that had seene this pitifull Procession,
From Pilates Palace to Mount Calvarie,
Might thinke he answer'd for some great transgression,
Beeing in such odious sort condemn'd to die;
He plainely shewed that his own profession
Was virtue, patience, grace, love, piety;
And how by suffering he could conquer more
Than all the Kings that ever liv'd before.
First went the Crier with open mouth proclayming
The heavy sentence of Iniquitie,
The Hangman next, by his base office clayming
His right in Hell, where sinners never die,
Carrying the nayles, the people still blaspheming
Their maker, using all impiety;
The Thieves attending him on either side,
The Serjeants watching, while the women cri'd. The teares
Thrice happy women that obtaind such grace daughters
From him whose worth the world could not containe.
Immediately to turne about his face,
As not remembring his great griefe and paine,
To comfort you, whose teares powr'd forth apace
On Flora's bankes, like shewers of Aprils raine:
Your cries inforced mercie, grace, and love
From him, whom greatest Princes could not moove:
To speake on word, nor once to lift his eyes
Unto proud Pilate, no nor Herod, king;
By all the Questions that they could devise,
Could make him answere to no manner of thing;
Yet these poore women, by their pitious cries
Did moove their Lord, their Lover, and their King,
To take compassion, turne about, and speake
To them whose hearts were ready now to breake.
Most blessed daughters of Jerusalem,
Who found such favour in your Saviors sight,
To turne his face when you did pitie him;
Your tearefull eyes, beheld his eies more bright;
Your Faith and Love unto such grace did clime,
To have reflection from this Heav'nly Light:
Your Eagles eyes did gaze against this Sunne,
Your hearts did thinke, he dead, the world were done.
When spightfull men with torments did oppresse
Th'afflicted body of this innocent Dove,
Poore women seeing how much they did transgresse,
By teares, by sighes, by cries intreat,
What may be done among the thickest presse,
They labour still these tyrants hearts to move;
In pitie and compassion to forbeare
Their whipping, spurning, tearing of his haire.
But all in vaine, their malice hath no end,
Their hearts more hard than flint, or marble stone;
Now to his griefe, his greatnesse they attend,
When he (God knowes) had rather be alone;
They are his guard, yet seeke all meanes to offend:
Well may he grieve, well may he sigh and groane,
Under the burthen of a heavy crosse,
He faintly goes to make their gaine his losse.
His woefull Mother wayting on her Sonne,
All comfortlesse in depth of sorow drowned;
Her griefes extreame, although but new begun,
To see his bleeding body oft shee swouned;
How could shee choose but thinke her selfe undone,
He dying, with whose glory shee was crowned?
None ever lost so great a losse as shee,
Beeing Sonne, and Father of Eternitie.
Her teares did wash away his pretious blood,
That sinners might not tread it under feet
To worship him, and that it did her good
Upon her knees, although in open street,
Knowing he was the Jessie floure and bud,
That must be gath'red when it smell'd most sweet:
Her Sonne, her Husband, Father, Saviour, King,
Whose death killd Death, and tooke away his sting.
Most blessed Virgin, in whose faultlesse fruit,
All Nations of the earth must needes rejoyce,
No Creature having sence though ne'r so brute,
But joyes and trembles when they heare his voyce;
His wisedome strikes the wisest persons mute,
Faire chosen vessell, happy in his choyce:
Deere Mother of our Lord, whose reverend name,
All people Blessed call, and spread thy fame.
For the Almightie magnified thee,
And looked downe upon thy meane estate;
Thy lowly mind, and unstain'd Chastitie
Did pleade for Love at great Jehovaes gate,
Who sending swift-wing'd Gabriel unto thee,
His holy will and pleasure to relate;
To thee most beauteous Queene of Woman-kind,
The Angell did unfold his Makers mind.
He thus beganne, Haile Mary full of grace,
Thou freely art beloved of the Lord, of the Virgin
He is with thee, behold thy happy case; Marie.
What endlesse comfort did these words afford
To thee that saw'st an Angell in the place
Proclaime thy Virtues worth, and to record
Thee blessed among women: that thy praise
Should last so many worlds beyond thy daies.
Loe, this high message to thy troubled spirit,
He doth deliver in the plainest sence;
Sayes, Thou shouldst beare a Sonne that shal inherit
His Father Davids throne, free from offence,
Call's him that Holy thing, by whose pure merit
We must be sav'd, tels what he is, of whence;
His worth, his greatnesse, what his name must be,
Who should be call'd the Sonne of the most High.
He cheeres thy troubled soule, bids thee not feare;
When thy pure thoughts could hardly apprehend
This salutation, when he did appeare;
Nor couldst thou judge, whereto those words
His pure aspect did moove thy modest cheere
To muse, yet joy that God vouchsaf'd to send
His glorious Angel; who did thee assure
To beare a child, although a Virgin pure.
Nay more, thy Sonne should Rule and Raigne
Yea, of his Kingdom there should be no end;
Over the house of Jacob, Heavens great Giver
Would give him powre, and to that end did send
His faithfull servant Gabriel to deliver
To thy chast eares no word that might offend:
But that this blessed Infant borne of thee,
Thy Sonne, The onely Sonne of God should be.
When on the knees of thy submissive heart
Thou humbly didst demand, How that should be?
Thy virgin thoughts did thinke, none could impart
This great good hap, and blessing unto thee;
Farre from desire of any man thou art,
Knowing not one, thou art from all men free:
When he, to answere this thy chaste desire,
Gives thee more cause to wonder and admire.
That thou a blessed Virgin shoulst remaine,
Yea that the holy Ghost should come on thee
A maiden Mother, subject to no paine,
For highest powre should overshadow thee:
Could thy faire eyes from teares of joy refraine,
When God look'd downe upon thy poore degree?
Making thee Servant, Mother, Wife, and Nurse
To Heavens bright King, that freed us from the curse.
Thus beeing crown'd with glory from above,
Grace and Perfection resting in thy breast,
Thy humble answer doth approove thy Love,
And all these sayings in thy heart doe rest:
Thy Child a Lambe, and thou a Turtle dove,
Above all other women highly blest;
To find such favour in his glorious sight,
In whom thy heart and soule doe most delight.
What wonder in the world more strange could seeme,
Than that a Virgin could conceive and beare
Within her wombe a Sonne, That should redeeme
All Nations on the earth, and should repaire
Our old decaies: who in such high esteeme,
Should prize all mortals, living in his feare;
As not to shun Death, Povertie, and Shame,
To save their soules, and spread his glorious Name.
And partly to fulfil his Fathers pleasure,
Whose powrefull hand allowes it not for strange,
If he vouchsafe the riches of his treasure,
Pure Righteousnesse to take such il exchange;
On all Iniquitie to make a seisure,
Giving his snow-white Weed for ours in change;
Our mortall garment in a skarlet Die,
Too base a roabe for Immortalitie.
Most happy news, that ever yet was brought,
When Poverty and Riches met together,
The wealth of Heaven, in our fraile clothing wrought
Salvation by his happy comming hither:
Mighty Messias, who so deerely bought
Us Slaves to sinne, farre lighter than a feather:
Toss'd to and fro with every wicked wind,
The world, the flesh, or Devill gives to blind.
Who on his shoulders our blacke sinnes doth beare
To that most blessed, yet accursed Crosse;
Where fastning them, he rids us of our feare,
Yea for our gaine he is content with losse,
Our ragged clothing scornes he not to weare,
Though foule, rent, torne, disgracefull, rough
Spunne by that monster Sinne, and weav'd by Shame,
Which grace it selfe, disgrac'd with impure blame.
How canst thou choose (faire Virgin) then but mourne,
When this sweet of-spring of thy body dies,
When thy faire eies beholds his bodie torne,
The peoples fury, heares the womens cries;
His holy name prophan'd, He made a scorne,
Abusde with all their hatefull slaunderous lies:
Bleeding and fainting in such wondrous sort,
As scarce his feeble limbes can him support.
Now Simon of Cyrene passeth them by,
Whom they compell sweet JESUS Crosse to beare
To Golgatha, there doe they meane to trie
All cruell meanes to worke in him dispaire:
That odious place, where dead mens skulls did lie,
There must our Lord for present death prepare:
His sacred blood must grace that loathsome field,
To purge more filth, than that foule place could yield.
For now arriv'd unto this hatefull place,
In which his Crosse erected needes must bee,
False hearts, and willing hands come on apace,
All prest to ill, and all desire to see:
Gracelesse themselves, still seeking to disgrace;
Bidding him, If the Sonne of God he bee,
To save himselfe, if he could others save,
With all th'opprobrious words that might deprave.
His harmelesse hands unto the Crosse they nailde,
And feet that never trode in sinners trace,
Betweene two theeves, unpitied, unbewailde,
Save of some few possessors of his grace,
With sharpest pangs and terrors thus appailde,
Sterne Death makes way, that Life might give him place:
His eyes with teares, his body full of wounds,
Death last of paines his sorrows all confounds.
His joynts dis-joynted, and his legges hang downe,
His alablaster breast, his bloody side,
His members torne, and on his head a Crowne
Of sharpest Thorns, to satisfie for pride:
Anguish and Paine doe all his Sences drowne,
While they his holy garments do divide:
His bowells drie, his heart full fraught with griefe,
Crying to him that yeelds him no reliefe.
This with the eie of Faith thou maist behold,
Deere Spouse of Christ, and more than I can write;
And here both Griefe and Joy thou maist unfold,
To view thy Love in this most heavy plight,
Bowing his head, his bloodlesse body cold;
Those eies waxe dimme that gave us all our light,
His count'nance pale, yet still continues sweet,
His blessed blood watring his pierced feet.
O glorious miracle without compare!
Last, but not least which was by him effected;
Uniting death, life, misery, joy and care,
By his sharpe passion in his deere elected:
Who doth the Badges of like Liveries weare,
Shall find how deere they are of him respected.
No joy, griefe, paine, life, death, was like to his,
Whose infinitie dolours wrought eternall blisse.
What creature on the earth did then remaine,
On whom the horror of this shamefull deed all creatures
Did not inflict some violent touch, or straine, at that
To see the Lord of all the world to bleed? instant when
His dying breath did rend huge rockes in twaine, Christ died.
The heavens betooke them to their mourning weed:
The Sunne grew darke, and scorn'd to give
Who durst ecclipse a glory farre more bright.
The Moone and Starres did hide themselves for shame,
The earth did tremble in her loyall feare,
The Temple vaile did rent to spread his fame,
The Monuments did open every where;
Dead Saints did rise forth of their graves, and came
To divers people that remained there
Within that holy City; whose offence,
Did put their Maker to this large expence.
Things reasonable, and reasonlesse possest
The terrible impression of this fact;
For his oppression made them all opprest,
When with his blood he seal'd so faire an act,
In restlesse miserie to procure our rest;
His glorious deedes that dreadfull prison sackt:
When Death, Hell, Divells, using all their powre,
Were overcome in that most blessed houre.
Being dead, he killed Death, and did survive
That prowd insulting Tyrant: in whose place
He sends bright Immortalitie to revive
Those whom his yron armes did long embrace;
Who from their loathsome graves brings them alive
In glory to behold their Saviours face:
Who tooke the keys of all Deaths powre away,
Opening to those that would his name obay.
O wonder, more than man can comprehend,
Our Joy and Griefe both at one instant fram'd,
Compounded: Contrarieties contend
Each to exceed, yet neither to be blam'd.
Our Griefe to see our Saviours wretched end,
Our Joy to know both Death and Hell he tam'd:
That we may say, O Death, where is thy sting?
Hell, yeeld thy victory to thy conq'ring King.
Can stony hearts refraine from shedding teares,
To view the life and death of this sweet Saint?
His austere course in yong and tender yeares,
When great indurements could not make him faint:
His wants, his paines, his torments, and his feares,
All which he undertooke without constraint,
To shew that infinite Goodnesse must restore,
What infinite Justice looked for, and more.
Yet, had he beene but of a meane degree,
His suffrings had beene small to what they were;
Meane minds will shew of what meane mouldes
they bee; 1235
Small griefes seeme great, yet Use doth make them beare:
But ah! tis hard to stirre a sturdy tree;
Great dangers hardly puts great minds in feare:
They will conceale their griefes which mightie grow
In their stout hearts untill they overflow.
If then an earthly Prince may ill endure
The least of those afflictions which he bare,
How could this all-commaunding King procure
Such grievous torments with his mind to square,
Legions of Angells being at his Lure?
He might have liv'd in pleasure without care:
None can conceive the bitter paines he felt,
When God and man must suffer without guilt.
Take all the Suffrings Thoughts can thinke upon,
In ev'ry man that this huge world hath bred;
Let all those Paines and Suffrings meet in one,
Yet are they not a Mite to that he did
Endure for us: Oh let us thinke thereon,
That God should have his pretious blood so shed:
His Greatnesse clothed in our fraile attire,
And pay so deare a ransome for the hire.
Loe, here was glorie, miserie, life and death,
An union of contraries did accord;
Gladnesse and sadnesse here had one berth,
This wonder wrought the Passion of our Lord,
He suffring for all the sinnes of all th'earth,
No satisfaction could the world afford:
But this rich Jewell, which from God was sent,
To call all those that would in time repent.
Which I present (deare Lady) to your view,
Upon the Crosse depriv'd of life or breath,
To judge if ever Lover were so true,
To yeeld himselfe unto such shamefull death:
Now blessed Joseph doth both beg and sue,
To have his body who possest his faith,
And thinkes, if he this small request obtaines,
He wins more wealth than in the world remaines.
Thus honourable Joseph is possest,
Of what his heart and soule so much desired,
And now he goes to give that body rest,
That all his life, with griefes and paines was tired;
He finds a Tombe, a Tombe most rarely blest,
In which was never creature yet interred;
There this most pretious body he incloses,
Imbalmd and deckt with Lillies and with Roses.
Loe here the Beautie of Heav'n and Earth is laid,
The purest coulers underneath the Sunne,
But in this place he cannot long be staid,
Glory must end what horror hath begun;
For he the furie of the Heavens obay'd,
And now he must possesse what he hath wonne:
The Maries doe with pretious balmes attend,
But beeing come, they find it to no end.
For he is rize from Death t'Eternall Life,
And now those pretious oyntments he desires
Are brought unto him, by his faithfull Wife
The holy Church; who in those rich attires,
Of Patience, Love, Long suffring, Voide of strife,
Humbly presents those oyntments he requires:
The oyles of Mercie, Charitie, and Faith,
Shee onely gives that which no other hath.
These pretious balmes doe heale his grievous wounds,
And water of Compunction washeth cleane
The soares of sinnes, which in our Soules abounds;
So faire it heales, no skarre is ever seene;
Yet all the glory unto Christ redounds, Canticles.
His pretious blood is that which must redeeme;
Those well may make us lovely in his sight,
But cannot save without his powrefull might.
This is that Bridegroome that appeares so faire,
So sweet, so lovely in his Spouses sight,
That unto Snowe we may his face compare,
His cheekes like skarlet, and his eyes so bright
As purest Doves that in the rivers are,
Washed with milke, to give the more delight;
His head is likened to the finest gold,
His curled lockes so beauteous to behold;
Blacke as a Raven in her blackest hew;
His lips like skarlet threeds, yet much more sweet
Than is the sweetest hony dropping dew,
Or hony combes, where all the Bees doe meet;
Yea, he is constant, and his words are true,
His cheekes are beds of spices, flowers sweet;
His lips like Lillies, dropping downe pure mirrhe,
Whose love, before all worlds we doe preferre.
Ah! give me leave (good Lady) now to leave
This taske of Beauty which I tooke in hand,
I cannot wade so deepe, I may deceave of Cumberland.
My selfe, before I can attaine the land;
Therefore (good Madame) in your heart I leave
His perfect picture, where it still shall stand,
Deepely engraved in that holy shrine,
Environed with Love and Thoughts divine.
There may you see him as a God in glory,
And as a man in miserable case;
There may you reade his true and perfect storie,
His bleeding body there you may embrace,
And kisse his dying cheekes with teares of sorrow,
With joyfull griefe, you may intreat for grace;
And all your prayers, and your almes-deeds
May bring to stop his cruell wounds that bleeds.
Oft times hath he made triall of your love,
And in your Faith hath tooke no small delight,
By Crosses and Afflictions he doth prove,
Yet still your heart remaineth firme and right;
Your love so strong, as nothing can remove,
Your thoughts beeing placed on him both day
Your constant soule doth lodge betweene her brests,
This Sweet of sweets, in which all glory rests.
Sometime h'appeares to thee in Shepheards weed,
And so presents himselfe before thine eyes,
A good old man; that goes his flocke to feed;
Thy colour changes, and thy heart doth rise;
Thou call'st, he comes, thou find'st tis he indeed,
Thy Soule conceaves that he is truely wise:
Nay more, desires that he may be the Booke,
Whereon thine eyes continually may looke.
Sometime imprison'd, naked, poore, and bare,
Full of diseases, impotent, and lame,
Blind, deafe, and dumbe, he comes unto his faire,
To see if yet shee will remaine the same;
Nay sicke and wounded, now thou do'st prepare
To cherish him in thy dear Lovers name:
Yea thou bestow'st all paines, all cost, all care,
That may relieve him, and his health repaire.
These workes of mercy are so sweete, so deare
To him that is the Lord of Life and Love,
That all thy prayers he vouchsafes to heare,
And sends his holy Spirit from above;
Thy eyes are op'ned, and thou seest so cleare,
No worldly thing can thy faire mind remove;
Thy faith, thy prayers, and his speciall grace
Doth open Heav'n, where thou behold'st his face.
These are those Keyes Saint Peter did possesse,
Which with a Spirituall powre are giv'n to thee,
To heale the soules of those that doe transgresse,
By thy faire virtues; which, if once they see,
Unto the like they doe their minds addresse,
Such as thou art, such they desire to be:
If they be blind, thou giv'st to them their sight;
If deafe or lame, they heare, and goe upright.
Yea, if possest with any evill spirits,
Such powre thy faire examples have obtain'd
To cast them out, applying Christs pure merits,
By which they are bound, and of all hurt restrain'd:
If strangely taken, wanting sence or wits,
Thy faith appli'd unto their soules so pain'd,
Healeth all griefes, and makes them grow so strong,
As no defects can hang upon them long.
Thou beeing thus rich, no riches do'st respect,
Nor do'st thou care for any outward showe;
The proud that doe faire Virtues rules neglect,
Desiring place, thou sittest them belowe:
All wealth and honour thou do'st quite reject,
If thou perceiv'st that once it prooves a foe
To virtue, learning, and the powres divine,
Thou mai'st convert, but never wilt incline
To fowle disorder, or licentiousnesse
But in thy modest vaile do'st sweetly cover
The staines of other sinnes, to make themselves,
That by this meanes thou mai'st in time recover
Those weake lost sheepe that did so long transgresse,
Presenting them unto thy deerest Lover;
That when he brings them backe unto his fold,
In their conversion then he may behold
Thy beauty shining brighter than the Sunne,
Thine honour more than ever Monarke gaind,
Thy wealth exceeding his that Kingdomes wonne,
Thy Love unto his Spouse, thy Faith unfaind,
Thy Constancy in what thou hast begun,
Till thou his heavenly Kingdom have obtaind;
Respecting worldly wealth to be but drosse,
Which, if abuz'd, doth proove the owners losse.
Great Cleopatra's love to Anthony,
Can no way be compared unto thine;
Shee left her Love in his extremitie,
When greatest need should cause her to combine
Her force with his, to get the Victory:
Her Love was earthly, and thy Love Divine;
Her Love was onely to support her pride,
Humilitie thy Love and Thee doth guide.
That glorious part of Death, which last shee plai'd,
T'appease the ghost of her deceased Love,
Had never needed, if shee could have stai'd
When his extreames made triall, and did prove
Her leaden love unconstant, and afraid:
Their wicked warres the wrath of God might move
To take revenge for chast Octavia's wrongs,
Because shee enjoyes what unto her belongs.
No Cleopatra, though thou wert as faire
As any Creature in Antonius eyes;
Yea though thou wert as rich, as wise, as rare,
As any Pen could write, or Wit devise;
Yet with this Lady canst thou not compare,
Whose inward virtues all thy worth denies:
Yet thou a blacke Egyptian do'st appeare;
Thou false, shee true; and to her Love more deere.
Shee sacrificeth to her deerest Love,
With flowres of Faith, and garlands of Good deeds;
Shee flies not from him when afflictions prove,
Shee beares his crosse, and stops his wounds that bleeds;
Shee love and lives chaste as the Turtle dove,
Shee attends upon him, and his flocke shee feeds;
Yea for one touch of death which thou did'st trie,
A thousand deaths shee every day doth die.
Her virtuous life exceeds thy worthy death,
Yea, she hath richer ornaments of state,
Shining more glorious than in dying breath
Thou didst; when either pride, or cruell fate,
Did worke thee to prevent a double death;
To stay the malice, scorne, and cruell hate
Of Rome; that joy'd to see thy pride pull'd downe,
Whose Beauty wrought the hazard of her Crowne.
Good Madame, though your modestie be such,
Not to acknowledge what we know and find;
And that you thinke these prayses overmuch,
Which doe expresse the beautie of your mind;
Yet pardon me although I give a touch
Unto their eyes, that else would be so blind,
As not to see thy store, and their owne wants
From whose faire seeds of Virtue spring
And knowe, when first into this world I came,
This charge was giv'n me by th'Eternall powres,
Th'everlasting Trophie of thy fame,
To build and decke it with the sweetest flowres
That virtue yeelds; Then Madame, doe not blame
Me, when I shew the World but what is yours,
And decke you with that crowne which is your due,
That of Heav'ns beauty Earth may take a view.
Though famous women elder times have knowne,
Whose glorious actions did appeare so bright,
That powrefull men by them were overthrowne,
And all their armies overcome in fight;
The Scythian women by their powre alone,
Put king Darius unto shamefull flight:
All Asia yeelded to their conq'ring hand,
Great Alexander could not their powre withstand.
Whose worth, though writ in lines of blood and fire,
Is not to be compared unto thine;
Their powre was small to overcome Desire,
Or to direct their wayes by Virtues line:
Were they alive, they would thy Life admire,
And unto thee their honours would resigne:
For thou a greater conquest do'st obtaine,
Than they who have so many thousands slaine.
Wise Deborah that judged Israel,
Nor valiant Judeth cannot equall thee,
Unto the first, God did his will reveale,
And gave her powre to set his people free;
Yea Judeth had the powre likewise to queale
Proud Holifernes, that the just might see
What small defence vaine pride, and greatnesse hath
Against the weapons of Gods word and faith.
But thou farre greater warre do'st still maintaine,
Against that many headed monster Sinne,
Whose mortall sting hath many thousand slaine,
And every day fresh combates doe begin;
Yet cannot all his venome lay one staine
Upon thy Soule, thou do'st the conquest winne,
Though all the world he daily doth devoure,
Yet over thee he never could get powre.
For that one worthy deed by Deb'rah done,
Thou hast performed many in thy time;
For that one Conquest that faire Judeth wonne,
By which shee did the steps of honour clime;
Thou hast the Conquest of all Conquests wonne,
When to thy Conscience Hell can lay no crime:
For that one head that Judeth bare away,
Thou tak'st from Sinne a hundred heads a day.
Though virtuous Hester fasted three dayes space,
And spent her time in prayers all that while,
That by Gods powre shee might obtaine such grace,
That shee and hers might not become a spoyle
To wicked Hamon, in whose crabbed face
Was seene the map of malice, envie, guile;
Her glorious garments though shee put apart,
So to present a pure and single heart
To God, in sack-cloth, ashes, and with teares;
Yet must faire Hester needs give place to thee,
Who hath continu'd dayes, weekes, months,
In Gods true service, yet thy heart beeing free
From doubt of death, or any other feares:
Fasting from sinne, thou pray'st thine eyes may see
Him that hath full possession of thine heart,
From whose sweet love thy Soule can never part.
His Love, not Feare, makes thee to fast and pray,
No kinsmans counsell needs thee to advise;
The sack-cloth thou do'st weare both night and day,
Is worldly troubles, which thy rest denies;
The ashes are the Vanities that play
Over thy head, and steale before thine eyes;
Which thou shak'st off when mourning time is past,
That royall roabes thou may'st put on at last.
Joachims wife; that faire and constant Dame,
Who rather chose a cruel death to die,
Than yeeld to those two Elders voide of shame,
When both at once her chastitie did trie,
Whose Innocencie bare away the blame,
Untill th'Almighty Lord had heard her crie;
And rais'd the spirit of a Child to speake,
Making the powrefull judged of the weake.
Although her virtue doe deserve to be
Writ by that hand that never purchas'd blame;
In holy Writ, where all the world may see
Her perfit life, and ever honoured name:
Yet was she not to be compar'd to thee,
Whose many virtues doe increase thy fame:
For shee oppos'd against old doting Lust,
Who with lifes danger she did feare to trust.
But your chaste breast, guarded with strength of mind,
Hates the imbracements of unchaste desires;
You loving God, live in your selfe confind
From unpure Love, your purest thoughts retires,
Your perfit sight could never be so blind,
To entertaine the old or yong desires
Of idle Lovers; which the world presents,
Whose base abuses worthy minds prevents.
Even as the constant Lawrell, alwayes greene,
No parching heate of Summer can deface,
Nor pinching Winter ever yet was seene,
Whose nipping frosts could wither, or disgrace:
So you (deere Ladie) still remaine as Queene,
Subduing all affections that are base,
Unalterable by the change of times,
Not following, but lamenting others crimes.
No feare of Death, or dread of open shame,
Hinders your perfect heart to give consent;
Nor loathsome age, whom Time could never tame
From ill designes, whereto their youth was bent;
But love of God, care to preserve your fame,
And spend that pretious time that God hath sent,
In all good exercises of the minde,
Whereto your noble nature is inclin'd.
That Ethyopian Queene did gaine great fame,
Who from the Southerne world, did come to see
Great Salomon; the glory of whose name
Had spread it selfe ore all the earth, to be
So great, that all the Princes thither came,
To be spectators of his royaltie:
And this faire Queene of Sheba came from farre,
To reverence this new appearing starre.
From th'utmost part of all the Earth shee came,
To heare the Wisdom of this worthy King;
To trie if Wonder did agree with Fame,
And many faire rich presents did she bring:
Yea many strange hard questions did shee frame,
All which were answer'd by this famous King:
Nothing was hid that in her heart did rest,
And all to proove this King so highly blest.
Here Majestie with Majestie did meete,
Wisdome to Wisdome yeelded true content,
One Beauty did another Beauty greet,
Bounty to Bountie never could repent;
Here all distaste is troden under feet,
No losse of time, where time was so well spent
In virtuous exercises of the minde,
In which this Queene did much contentment finde.
Spirits affect where they doe sympathize,
Wisdom desires Wisdome to embrace,
Virtue covets her like, and doth devize
How she her friends may entertaine with grace;
Beauty sometime is pleas'd to feed her eyes,
With viewing Beautie in anothers face:
Both good and bad in this point doe agree,
That each desireth with his like to be.
And this Desire did worke a strange effect,
To drawe a Queene forth of her native Land,
Not yeelding to the nicenesse and respect
Of woman-kind; shee past both sea and land,
All feare of dangers shee did quite neglect,
Onely to see, to heare, and understand
That beauty, wisedome, majestie, and glorie,
That in her heart imprest his perfect storie.
Yet this faire map of majestie and might,
Was but a figure of thy deerest Love,
Borne t'expresse that true and heavenly light,
That doth all other joyes imperfect prove;
If this faire Earthly starre did shine so bright,
What doth that glorious Sonne that is above?
Who weares th'imperiall crowne of heaven
And made all Christians blessed in his berth.
If that small sparke could yeeld so great a fire,
As to inflame the hearts of many Kings
To come to see, to heare, and to admire
His wisdome, tending but to worldly things;
Then much more reason have we to desire
That heav'nly wisedome, which salvation brings;
The Sonne of righteousnesse, that gives true joyes,
When all they fought for, were but Earthly toyes.
No travels ought th'affected soule to shunne,
That this faire heavenly Light desires to see:
This King of kings to whom we all should runne,
To view his Glory and his Majestie;
He without whom we all had beene undone,
He that from Sinne and Death hath set us free,
And overcome Satan, the world, and sinne,
That by his merits we those joyes might winne.
Prepar'd by him, whose everlasting throne
Is plac'd in heaven, above the starrie skies,
Where he that sate, was like the Jasper stone,
Who rightly knowes him shall be truely wise,
A Rainebow round about his glorious throne;
Nay more, those winged beasts so full of eies,
That never cease to glorifie his Name,
Who was, and will be, and is now the same.
This is that great almightie Lord that made
Both heaven and earth, and lives for evermore;
By him the worlds foundation first was laid:
He fram'd the things that never were before:
The Sea within his bounds by him is staid,
He judgeth all alike, both rich and poore:
All might, all majestie, all love, all lawe
Remaines in him that keepes all worlds in awe.
From his eternall throne the lightning came,
Thundrings and Voyces did from thence proceede;
And all the creatures glorifi'd his name,
In heaven, in earth, and seas, they all agreed,
When loe that spotlesse Lambe so voyd of blame,
That for us di'd, whose sinnes did make him bleed:
That true Physition that so many heales,
Opened the Booke, and did undoe the Seales.
He onely worthy to undoe the Booke
Of our charg'd soules, full of iniquitie,
Where with the eyes of mercy he doth looke
Upon our weakenesse and infirmitie;
This is that corner stone that was forsooke,
Who leaves it, trusts but to uncertaintie:
This is Gods Sonne, in whom he is well pleased,
His deere beloved, that his wrath appeased.
He that had powre to open all the Seales,
And summon up our sinnes of blood and wrong,
He unto whom the righteous soules appeales,
That have bin martyrd, and doe thinke it long,
To whom in mercie he his will reveales,
That they should rest a little in their wrong,
Untill their fellow servants should be killed,
Even as they were, and that they were fulfilled.
Pure thoughted Lady, blessed be thy choyce
Of this Almightie, everlasting King;
In thee his Saints and Angels doe rejoyce,.
And to their Heav'nly Lord doe daily sing
Thy perfect praises in their lowdest voyce;
And all their harpes and golden vials bring
Full of sweet odours, even thy holy prayers
Unto that spotlesse Lambe, that all repaires.
Of whom that Heathen Queene obtain'd such grace,
By honouring but the shadow of his Love,
That great Judiciall day to have a place,
Condemning those that doe unfaithfull prove;
Among the haplesse, happie is her case,
That her deere Saviour spake for her behove;
And that her memorable Act should be
Writ by the hand of true Eternitie.
Yet this rare Phoenix of that worne-out age,
This great majesticke Queene comes short of thee
Who to an earthly Prince did then ingage
Her hearts desires, her love, her libertie,
Acting her glorious part upon a Stage
Of weaknesse, frailtie, and infirmity:
Giving all honour to a Creature, due
To her Creator, whom shee never knew.
But loe, a greater thou hast sought and found
Than Salomon in all his royaltie;
And unto him thy faith most firmely bound
To serve and honour him continually;
That glorious God, whose terror doth confound
All sinfull workers of iniquitie:
Him hast thou truely served all thy life,
And for his love, liv'd with the world at strife.
To this great Lord, thou onely art affected,
Yet came he not in pompe or royaltie,
But in an humble habit, base, dejected;
A King, a God, clad in mortalitie,
He hath thy love, thou art by him directed,
His perfect path was faire humilitie:
Who being Monarke of heav'n, earth, and seas,
Indur'd all wrongs, yet no man did displease.
Then how much more art thou to be commended,
That seek'st thy love in lowly shepheards weed?
A seeming Trades-mans sonne, of none attended,
Save of a few in povertie and need;
Poore Fishermen that on his love attended,
His love that makes so many thousands bleed:
Thus did he come, to trie our faiths the more,
Possessing worlds, yet seeming extreame poore.
The Pilgrimes travels, and the Shepheards cares,
He tooke upon him to enlarge our soules,
What pride hath lost, humilitie repaires,
For by his glorious death he us inroules
In deepe Characters, writ with blood and teares,
Upon those blessed Everlasting scroules;
His hands, his feete, his body, and his face,
Whence freely flow'd the rivers of his grace.
Sweet holy rivers, pure celestiall springs,
Proceeding from the fountaine of our life;
Swift sugred currents that salvation brings,
Cleare christall streames, purging all sinne and strife,
Faire floods, where souls do bathe their snow-white
Before they flie to true eternall life:
Sweet Nectar and Ambrosia, food of Saints,
Which, whoso tasteth, never after faints.
This hony dropping dew of holy love,
Sweet milke, wherewith we weaklings are restored,
Who drinkes thereof, a world can never move,
All earthly pleasures are of them abhorred;
This love made Martyrs many deaths to prove,
To taste his sweetnesse, whom they so adored:
Sweetnesse that makes our flesh a burthen to us,
Knowing it serves but onely to undoe us.
His sweetnesse sweet'ned all the sowre of death,
To faithfull Stephen his appointed Saint;
Who by the river stones did loose his breath,
When paines nor terrors could not make him faint:
So was this blessed Martyr turn'd to earth,
To glorifie his soule by deaths attaint:
This holy Saint was humbled and cast downe,
To winne in heaven an everlasting crowne.
Whose face repleat with Majestie and Sweetnesse,
Did as an Angel unto them appeare,
That sate in Counsell hearing his discreetnesse,
Seeing no change, or any signe of a feare;
But with a constant browe did there confesse
Christs high deserts, which were to him so deare:
Yea when these Tyrants stormes did most oppresse,
Christ did appeare to make his griefe the lesse.
For beeing filled with the holy Ghost,
Up unto Heav'n he look'd with stedfast eies,
Where God appeared with his heavenly hoste
In glory to this Saint before he dies;
Although he could no Earthly pleasures boast,
At Gods right hand sweet JESUS he espies;
Bids them behold Heavens open, he doth see
The Sonne of Man at Gods right hand to be.
Whose sweetnesse sweet'ned that short sowre of Life,
Making all bitternesse delight his taste,
Yeelding sweet quietnesse in bitter strife,
And most contentment when he di'd disgrac'd;
Heaping up joyes where sorrows were most rife;
Such sweetnesse could not choose but be imbrac'd:
The food of Soules, the Spirits onely treasure,
The Paradise of our celestiall pleasure.
This Lambe of God, who di'd, and was alive,
Presenting us the bread of life Eternall,
His bruised body powrefull to revive
Our sinking soules, out of the pit infernall;
For by this blessed food he did contrive
A worke of grace, by this his gift externall,
With heav'nly Manna, food of his elected,
To feed their soules, of whom he is respected.
This wheate of Heaven the blessed Angells bread,
Wherewith he feedes his deere adopted Heires;
Sweet foode of life that doth revive the dead,
And from the living takes away all cares;
To taste this sweet Saint Laurence did not dread,
The broyling gridyorne cool'd with holy teares:
Yeelding his naked body to the fire,
To taste this sweetnesse, such was his desire.
Nay, what great sweetnesse did th'Apostles taste,
Condemn'd by Counsell, when they did returne;
Rejoycing that for him they di'd disgrac'd,
Whose sweetnes made their hearts and soules so burne
With holy zeale and love most pure and chaste;
For him they sought from whome they might not turne:
Whose love made Andrew goe most joyfully,
Unto the Crosse, on which he meant to die.
The Princes of th'Apostles were so filled
With the delicious sweetnes of his grace,
That willingly they yeelded to be killed,
Receiving deaths that were most vile and base,
For his name sake, that all might be fulfilled.
They with great joy all torments did imbrace:
The ugli'st face that Death could ever yeeld,
Could never feare these Champions from the field.
They still continued in their glorious fight,
Against the enemies of flesh and blood;
And in Gods law did set their whole delight,
Suppressing evill, and erecting good:
Not sparing Kings in what they did not right;
Their noble Actes they seal'd with deerest blood:
One chose the Gallowes, that unseemely death,
The other by the Sword did loose his breath.
His Head did pay the dearest rate of sin,
Yeelding it joyfully unto the Sword,
To be cut off as he had never bin,
For speaking truth according to Gods word,
Telling king Herod of incestuous sin,
That hatefull crime of God and man abhorr'd:
His brothers wife, that prowd licentious Dame,
Cut off his Head to take away his shame.
Loe Madame, heere you take a view of those,
Whose worthy steps you doe desire to tread,
Deckt in those colours which our Saviour chose;
The purest colours both of White and Red, Colours of
Their freshest beauties would I faine disclose, Confessors
By which our Saviour most was honoured:
But my weake Muse desireth now to rest,
Folding up all their Beauties in your breast.
Whose excellence hath rais'd my sprites to write,
Of what my thoughts could hardly apprehend;
Your rarest Virtues did my soule delight,
Great Ladie of my heart: I must commend
You that appeare so faire in all mens sight:
On your Deserts my Muses doe attend:
You are the Articke Starre that guides my hand,
All what I am, I rest at your command.
Comments about Salve Deus Rex Judæorum. by Aemilia Lanyer
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