Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Prayse of Humilitie
XIV. Sir Nicholas Breton
 
OH, the sweete sence of loue’s humilitie,
Which feares displeasure in a deerest friend;
The only note of true nobilitie,
Whose worthy grace is graced without end;
While faythfull loue, in humble truth approued,        5
Doth euer liue, of God and man beloued.
 
Her grace is gratious in the sight of God;
Makes men as saincts, and women angells seeme;
Makes sinne forgotten; mercy vse no rodd;
And constant fayth to growe in great esteeme;        10
And is, in summe, a blessing of the highest,
And to the nature of himselfe the nighest.
 
It maketh beawty like the sunne to shine,
As if on earth there were a heau’nly light:
It maketh witt in wisedome so diuine,        15
As if the eie had a celestiall sight:
It is a guide vnto that heauen of rest,
Where blessed soules doe liue for euer blest.
 
In Christ it is a grace of worthy glory;
In man, from God a guift of speciall grace;        20
While in the state of vertues, honor’s story,
Wisedome doth find itt in perfection’s place;
And plac’t so high in the Allmightie’s loue,
As nothing more can mercie’s comfort proue.
 
It makes the eie looke down into the harte;        25
The harte obedient vnto witt and sence;
And euery limme to play a seruant’s parte,
Vnto the will of witt’s præheminence:
It brings the minde vnto the body soe,
That one the other cannott ouergoe.        30
 
It is the death of pride, and patience loue;
Passion’s phisition; reason’s councellour;
Religion’s darling; labour’s turtle-doue;
Learning’s instructer; grace’s register;
Time’s best attendant, and truthe’s best explainer;        35
Vertue’s best louer, and loue’s truest gainer.
 
It is the prince’s grace; the subiect’s duety;
The scholar’s lesson, and the soldier’s line;
The courtier’s creditt, and the ladies’ beawty;
The lawier’s vertue; and the loue diuine,        40
That makes all sences gratious in his sight,
Where all true graces haue theyr glorious light.
 
Itt makes the harte fitt for all good impression;
Itt doth prepare the spirit for perfection;
Itt brings the sowle vnto her sinnes’ confession;        45
Itt helpes to cleere the body from infection:
Itt is the meane to bring the minde to rest,
Where harte, sowle, body, minde, and all, are blest.
 
Itt made the mother of the Soonne of God
Gratious in him, who made her full of grace;        50
And on her Sonne itt blessedly abode,
In bearing all the filthy world’s deface;
And in his seruants, for theyr Master’s loue,
Did fayth’s affections in theyr passions proue.
 
It saued Abraham’s sonne from sacrifice,        55
When Isaack’s death was quitted by the rame;
Itt saued Noah and his progenies,
When on the earth destruction’s deluge came;
Itt saued Lott from hurt of Sodom’s fire,
And Israell from cruel Pharaoh’s ire.        60
 
Itt wrought in Dauid gratious penitence;
In Ninivie a sweete submission;
In Job a famous blessed patience;
In Pawle assurance of his sinnes’ remission;
In John the habitt of a holy loue;        65
In Christ the grace that did all glory proue.
 
Itt euer holds the hand of faythfulnes;
And ever keeps the minde of godlynes;
And euer brings the harte to quietnes;
And euer leads the soule to happines;        70
And is a vertue of that blessednes,
That merits praise in highest worthines.
 
Oh, how it gaynes the child the parent’s loue,
The wife her husband’s, and the seruants master’s;
Where humble fayth in happie hope’s behoue        75
Finds patience, care discomfort’s healing plasters,
And truest course of care’s tranquilitie
Only to rest butt in humility.
 
And since that in the life of humble loue
I see the waye vnto the well of blisse,        80
Where patience doth in all perfection proue,
Where the high blessing of all blessing is;
Let my sowle pray that I may humbly sing
The heauenly prayses of my holy Kinge.
 
 
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