Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Hymne
XIV. Sir Nicholas Breton
 
WHEN the angels all are singing
All of glorie euer springing
In the ground of high heauen’s graces,
Where all vertues haue their places;
  Oh that my poore soule were neare them,        5
  With an humble heart to heare them!
 
Then should faith, in loue’s submission
Ioying but in mercie’s blessing,
Where that sinnes are in remission,
Sing the ioyful soule’s confessing;        10
  Of her comforts high commending
  All in glorie neuer ending.
 
But, ah wretched sinfull creature!
How should the corrupted nature
Of this wicked heart of mine        15
Thinke vpon that loue diuine,
  That doth tune the angels’ voices,
  While the hoast of heauen reioyces?
 
No! the songe of deadly sorrowe
In the night that hath no morrow,        20
And their paines are neuer ended
That haue heauenly powers offended,
  Is more fitting to the merite
  Of my foule infected spirit.
 
Yet while mercie is remoouing        25
All the sorrowes of the louing,
How can faith be full of blindnesse
To despaire of mercie’s kindnesse;
  While the hand of heauen is giuing
  Comfort from the euer-liuing?        30
 
No, my soule, be no more sorie;
Looke vnto that life of glorie
Which the grace of faith regardeth,
And the teares of loue rewardeth;
  Where the soule the comfort getteth,        35
  That the angels’ musique setteth.
 
There when thou art well conducted,
And by heauenly grace instructed
How the faithfull thoughts to fashion
Of a rauisht louer’s passion,        40
  Sing with sainctes to angels nighest
  Halleluiah in the highest.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
 
 
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