Henry Arthington

(1592-1607 / England)

Arthingtons Thankefulnesse, - Poem by Henry Arthington

O mightie God thou Lord omnipotent,
who onely rulest all thinges at thy wyll,
Whose throne is far abeue the fyrmament:
and whose great power both heauen and earth doth fyll,
Shall dust and earth begge of thy Maiestie,
to shew how good thou hast been vnto me.

How good (my God) graunt pardon I thee pray,
for neyther I nor any mortall wight,
Thy goodnes (Lord) can any way display,
as I do feele it working day and nyght:
Yet giue me leaue to tell the best I can.
what thou hast done for me (poore simple man)

Poore man, I may not stande on euery poynt,
for so I shoulde too much thy patience mooue,
But so far forth thy doinges to acquaynt,
as others may thy goodnes dayly loue:
Now then with comfort let my tongue intreate,
what thou hast done for me (poore wretch of late.

Of late my (Lord) thou knowest I was possest,
with Satans spirite cast into my soule,
Which was as hot as fyre within my brest;
and dyd my scenses for the tyme controll,
Inforcing hart and soule for to begin,
and most of all my cursed tongue to sinne,

To sinne, (deare God) the lyke was neuer scene,
so great a sinner since the worlde began,
To lyue with breath, as I vile wretch haue been,
agaynst Christ Iesus thy beloued sonne:
Oh mercy graunt, that grace may styll abounde,
for my supplyes, as I haue alwayes founde.

As I haue founde (good Lord) thy mercies great,
they farre surmount the greatnes of my fall:
For thou from heauen (euen from thy mercy seate)
didst giue in charge to saue my soule from thrall,
And wouldst not let the temptor worke his will,
as he dyd seeke my lyfe (by death) to spyll.

My lyfe to spyll (deare Lord) thou knowest it well,
that Satan sought to worke me further payne,
My soule and body both to bryng to hell,
that I should there in tormentes styll remayne:
But thou (my God) wouldst not it should be so,
but didst reuenge me of my deadly foe.

My deadly foe (HACKETT the Sorcerer)
thou hast destroyde, and cast into the lake,
For his great pride agaynst my Sauiour,
that durst his name and office vndertake.
But I (poore wretch) thou God of all glory,
how mightely hast thou preserued me.

Preserued me from stangers many fold,
of soule and body due (without excuse)
And that most strange for mans eyes to beholde,
that shoulde be restorde to former yse,
Or vnderstanding wit, and right reason,
without all helpe saue Iesus Christ alone.

Christ Iesus onely, did cast Satan out.
Christ Iesus onely saued me from woe,
Christ Iesus onely compast me about
that Satan could not my state ouerthrow.
O Iesus Christ, what should I giue to thee,
for all thy mercies manifolde to me?

Thy mercies (Lord) in stinting all this strife.
thy mercies (Lord) in shylding me from shame,
Thy mercies (Lord) in sauing of my lyfe.
that I might lyue to prayse thy holy name:
O blessed Lord giue grace and strength I pray,
thy mercies great yet further to display,

Thy mercies great my mynde for to conuert,
when worldly, meanes did fayle me in my neede,
Thy mercies great in comforting my hart.
when as in soule with inwarde woe did bleede,
Thy mercies great which doth the rest excell
in sauing (Lord) thy seruantes soule from hell.

My soule from hell I freely do confesse
and body both (my Lord) thou didst preserue.
Yea furthermore when I was in distresse.
thou didst prouide thy seruaunt should not sterue:
So farre thy kindnesse did extende to me,
but (Lord) how should I thanke thy maiestie.

How should I thanke thy goodnes (O my Lord)
for all these tokens of thy constant loue:
(Especially for sending me thy worde)
to strength my soule that nothing could me moue:
Assuredly, my hart can not conceyue,
what thankes thou (Lord) deseruest for to haue.

Deseruest (Lord) no mortall wyght can tell,
the worthy prayses that belong to thee,
Except he could describe in the paynes of hell,
And ioyes of heauen that last eternally:
(Which yf man could) yet doth thy prayse excell,
as farre as heauen in goodnes passeth hell.

Thy goodnes (Lord) it reacheth ouer all,
It fylleth heauen, and earth, and all therein,
It norisheth all lyuing thinges mortall:
it doth preserue the state of euery thyng,
Then as thy goodnes all thy workes surmount,
so can no man thy prayses iust recount.

Thy prayses (Lord) thy workes expresse the same.
The Sunne, the Moone, the Starres in firmament,
And all the host of heauen in such good frame,
do shew thou art a God omnipotent:
But what a God in thyne eternitie,
these thinges created cannot testifie.

Thy creatures (Lord) do all with one consent,
say blessed be thy holy name therefore.
But forasmuch as they must all relent,
they can not yeelde thy prayses euermore.
O then (deare God) how shoulde I prayse thy Sonne,
for working foorth my deare saluation.

Saluation (Lord) sith that shall haue no ende,
I know not how to prayse thee for the fame,
But styll to pray that thou wouldst condiscende,
that I may lyue to gloryfie thy name.
And when this lyfe is flytt and worne away,
with thine elect to prayse thy name for aye.

For aye (sweete Lord) yea and for euermore,
let me (poore wretch) sound out thy prayses styll,
For all thy mercies kept for me in store:
and for all thine that, do obey thy wyll,
O let the number styll be multiplyde,
that thy great name may be more magnified.

Thy name be magnified (O glorious Lord)
both in this worlde, and in the worlde to come,
Of all thy creatures with one accorde,
that are or shall be altered in forme:
Let heauen, let earth, let euery thyng lyuing,
sounde out the prayse of Christ our heauenly king.

Giue God his due quoth Hen. Arth. prisoner.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 7, 2010

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