Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
God Eternal
XXII. John Davies
COULD he beginne, Beginnings that began?
If so he could, what is beginninglesse?
Or Time, or Nothing. That’s vntrue; for than,
If there were Time, it was not motionlesse;
For Time is made by Motion, all confesse:        5
But where there Nothing is, no Motion is:
For Nothing hath no motion, and much lesse
Can Nothing make of nothing Something. This
Something sometime of nothing made all is.
God euer was, and neuer was not God:        10
Not made by Nothing: nothing could him make.
Could Nothing make and not make? This is odde;
And so is he that could creation take
Of nothing: for all was, when as he spake;
Nothing was made that was not made by it:        15
Then nothing was that could it vndertake;
To make its Maker what had powre or wit?
Not him that can doe all that he thinkes fit.
Time’s but a moment’s flux, and measured
By distance of two instants: this we proue,        20
Which then commenced, itselfe considered,
When first the orbs of heauen began to moue;
That but sixe thousand yeeres, not much aboue.
But what’s so many yeeres as may be cast
In thrice as many ages, to remoue        25
Eternitie from being fixed fast,
And God therein from being first and last.
He is eternall; what is so, is He:
So is no creature, for it once was made:
Then ere it could be made it could not be.        30
But the Creator euer beeing had,
To pull out from Not being: who can wade
(Beeing a deapth so infinite profound)
But he that was, and is, and cannot fade,
This Beeing infinite, this deapth most sound,        35
To lift vp all to Beeing, there beeing dround?
Eternity and Time are opposite;
For time no more can bound eternity,
Then Finite can invirone Infinite;
Both of both which haue such repugnancy,        40
As nere can stand with God’s true unity:
Eternity is then produced from hence—
By ioyning of his sole Infinite
With his essentiall intelligence;
And all the attributes proceed from thence.        45
If then eternity doth bound this One,
Or rather he bounds all Eternity,
How could he bee? or beeing all alone,
How could he worke, that works vncessantly,
(For hee’s all act that acts continually,)        50
Hauing no subiect whereupon to worke?
And beeing without his creatures vtterly,
It seemes he must in desolation lurke,
Which must of force an actiue nature irke.
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