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If thou take note of euery thing amysse,
And write in rowles howe fraile our nature is,
O gloryous God, O King, O Prince of power,
What mortal wight,
Maye then haue light,
To feele thy frowne, if thou haue lyst to lowre ?
But thou art good, and hast of mercye store,
Thou not delyghst to see a sinner fall,
Thou hearknest first, before we come to call,
Thine eares are set wyde open euermore,
Before we knocke thou commest to the doore.
Thou art more prest to hear a sinner crye,
Then he is quicke to climbe to thee on hye.
Thy mighty name be praysed then alwaye,
Let fayth and feare
True witnesse beare,
Howe fast they stand which on thy mercye staye.
I looke for thee (my louely Lorde) therefore,
For thee I wayte, for thee I tarrye styll,
Myne eyes doe long to gaze on thee my fyll.
For thee I watche, for thee I
My Soule for thee attendeth euermore.
My Soule doth thyrst to take of thee a taste,
My Soule desires with thee for to bee plaste.
And to thy worde (which can no man deceyue)
Myne onely trust,
My loue and lust,
In confidence continuallye shall cleaue.
Before the breake or dawning of the daye, Before the lyght be seene in loftye Skyes, Before the Sunne appeare in pleasaunt wyse, Before the watche (before the watche, I saye) Before the warde that waytes therefore alwaye;
My soule, my sense, my secreete thought, my sprite,
My wyll, my wishe, my joye, and my delight:
Unto the Lord that sittes in heauen on highe,
With hastye wing,
From me doeth fling,
And stryueth styll, unto the Lorde to flye.
O Israell, O housholde of the Lorde,
O Abrahams Sons, O broode of blessed seede,
O chosen sheep that loue the Lorde in deede:
O hungrye heartes, feed styll vpon his worde,
And put your truste in him with one accord.
For he hath mercy enermore at hand,
His fountaines flowe, his springs do neuer stande.
And plenteouslye he loueth to redeeme
Such sinners all,
As on him call,
And faithfully his mercies most esteeme.
Hee wyll redeeme our deadly drowping state,
He wyll bring home the sheepe that goe astraye,
He wyll helpe them that hope in him alwaye;
He wyll appease our discorde and debate,
He wyll soon saue, though we repent vs late.
He wyll be ours if we continewe his,
He wyll bring bale to ioye and perfect blisse.
He wyll redeeme the flocke of his elect
From all that is,
Or was amisse,
Since Abrahams heyres dyd first his Lawes reiect.
Nought is there under Heavens wide hollownesse,
That moves more dear compassion of the mind,
Than beautie brought Runworthie wretchednesse,
Through envies shares, or fortunes freakes unkind.
I, whether lately through her brightness blynd,
Or through alleageance, and fast feälty,
Which I do owe unto all womankynd,
Feele my hart perst with so great agony,
When such I see, that all for pitty I could dy.
And now it is empassioned so deepe,
For fairest Unaes sake, of whom I sing,
That my frayle eies these lines with teares do steepe,
To thinke how she through guyleful handeling,
Though true as touch, though daughter of a king,
Though faire as ever living wight was faire,
Though nor in word nor deede
ill meriting, Is from her knight divorced in despayre, And her dew loves deryved to to that vile witches shayra
Yet she, most faithful ladye, all this while
Forsaken, wofull, solitarie mayd,
Far from all people's preace, as in exile,
In wildernesse and wastfull deserts strayd,
To seeke her knight; who, subtily betrayd,
Through that late vision which the enchanter wrought,
Had her abandond : she, of nought affrayd,
Through woods and wastnes wide him daily sought;
Yet wished tydinges none of him unto her brought.
One day, nigh wearie of the yrkesome way,
From her unhastie beast she did alight;
And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay
In secrete shadow, far from all mens sight;
From her faire head her fillet she undight,
And layd her stole aside : her angels face,
As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright,
And made a sunshine in the shady place;
Did never mortall eye behold such heavenly grace.
It fortuned, out of the thickest wood
A ramping lyon rushed suddeinly,
Hunting full greedy after salvage blood :
Soone as the royall virgin he did spy,
With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
To have attonce devourd her tender corse :
But to the prey when as he drew more ny
His bloody rage aswaged with remorse,
And, with the sight amazd, forgat his furious forse.
Instead thereof he kist her wearie feet,
And lickt her lily hands with fawning tong;
As he her wronged innocence did weet.
O how can beautie maister the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong!
ERE long they come, where that same wicked wight
His dwelling has, low in an hollow cave,
Far underneath a craggy cliff ypight,
Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy grave,
That still for carrion carcases doth crave :
On top whereof ay dwelt the ghastly owle,
Shrieking his balefull note, which ever drave
Far from that haunt all other chearefull fowle ;
And all about it wandring ghostes did wayle and howl :
And all about old stocks and stubs of trees,
Whereon nor fruit nor leafe was ever seen,
Did hang upon the ragged rocky knees :
On which had many wretches hanged beene,
Whose carcases were scattered on the greene,
And throwne about the cliffs. Arrived there,
That bare-head knight, for dread and dolefull teene,
Would faine have fled, ne durst approchen neare;
But the other forst him staye, and comforted in feare.
That darksome cave they enter, where they find
That cursed man, low sitting on the ground,
Musing full sadly in his sullein mind:
His grieslie lockes, long growen and unbound,
Disordred hong about his shoulders round,
And hid his face; through which his hollow eyne
Lookt deadly dull, and stared as astound;
His raw-bone cheeks, through penurie and pine,
Were shronke into his iawes, as he did never dine.
His garment, nought but many ragged clouts,
With thorns together pind and patched was,
The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts :
And him beside there lay, upon the gras,
A dreary corse, whose life away did pas,
All wallowd in his own yet luke-warme blood,
That from his wound yet welled fresh, alas!
In which a rusty knife fast fixed stood,
And made an open passage for the gushing flood.