Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Of the Vanitie of the World
XVII. Humphrey Gifford
 
AS I lay musing in my bed
A heape of fancies came in head,
  Which greatly did molest mee;
Such sundry thoughtes of ioy and paine
Did meete within my pondring braine,        5
  That nothing could I rest mee.
Sometimes I felt exceeding ioy,
Sometimes the torment of annoy:
Euen now I laugh, euen now I weepe,
Euen now a slumber made mee sleepe.        10
Thus did I with thoughtes of straunge deuice
Lye musing alone in pensiue wise:
I knew not what meanes might health procure,
Nor finish the toyle I did indure;
And still I lay, and found no way        15
That best could make my cares decay.
 
Reuoluing these thinges in my minde,
Of wretched world the fancies blinde
  Alone awhile I ponder:
Which when I had perused well,        20
And saw no vertue there to dwell,
  It made me greatly wonder.
Is this that goodly thing, thought I,
That all men loue so earnestly?
Is this the fruit that it doth yeelde,        25
Whereby wee all are so beguilde?
Ah! Jesus, how then my heart did rue
Because I had folowed them as true!
Alas! wee haue lost the heauenly ioyes,
And haue beene deceaued with worldly toyes,        30
Whose fancies vaine will breede vs paine,
If Christ doe not restore againe.
 
O wretched man! leaue off therefore,—
In worldly thinges put trust no more,
  Which yeeldes nothing but sorow:        35
To God thy Lord with speede conuert,
Because thou most vncertain art
  If thou shalt liue to-morow.
Leaue of to quaffe, to daunce and play;
Remember still the iudgment-day:        40
Repent, relent, and call for grace,
For pardon aske whilst thou hast space.
Who doeth from his heart repentaunce craue,
Forgiuenes, saieth Christ, of mee shall haue.
Hee will not the death of a sinner giue,        45
But rather he should repent and liue.
Still laud the Lord; peruse his word,
And let thy deedes with it accord.
 
 
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