Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Of Perfect Wisedome
XXIX. Richard Edwardes
 
WHOSO 1 will be accounted wise,
  And truly claime the same,
By ioyning vertue to his deedes
  He must atchiue the same.
But few there be that seeke thereby        5
  True wisdome to attaine:
O God, so rule our hearts therefore,
  Such fondnesse to refraine.
 
The wisedome which we most esteeme
  In this thing dooth consist;        10
With glorious talke to showe in wordes
  Our wisedome when we list.
Yet not in talke, but seemely deedes,
  Our wisedome we should place:
To speake so faire, and doo but ill,        15
  Dooth wisedome quite disgrace.
 
To bargaine well, and shunne the losse,
  A wisedome counted is,
And thereby through the greedy coyne
  No hope of grace to misse.        20
To seeke by honour to aduance
  His name to brittle praise,
Is wisedome which we dayly see
  Increaseth in our daies.
 
But heauenly wisedome sower seemes,        25
  Too hard for them to win;
And weary of the sute they seeme
  When they do once begin.
It teacheth vs to frame our life,
  While vitall breath we haue;        30
When it dissolueth earthly masse
  The soule from death to saue.
 
By feare of God to rule our steppes
  From sliding into vice,
A wisedome is which we neglect,        35
  Although of greater price.
A point of wisedome also this
  We commonly esteeme—
That euery man should be indeede
  That he desires to seeme.        40
 
To bridle that desire of gaine
  Which forceth vs to ill,
Our haughtie stomackes, Lord, represse,
  To tame presuming will.
This is the wisedome that we should        45
  Aboue each thing desire:
O heauenly God, from sacred throne
  That grace in vs inspire.
 
And print in our repugnant harts
  The rules of wisedome true,        50
That all our deeds in worldly life
  May like thereof insue.
Thou onely art the liuing spring
  From whom this wisedome flowes:
O wash therwith our sinfull harts        55
  From vice that therein growes.
 
Note 1. XXIX. Richard Edwardes.—He was a native of Somersetshire, and born about 1523. In 1547 he was a student of Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1561 he was constituted a gentleman of the royal chapel by Queen Elizabeth, and master of the singing-boys in that chapel. In 1566 he attended the queen in her visit to Oxford: he died in the same year. Edwardes was one of the principal contributors to “The Paradise of Dayntie Deuises;” but only one of his poems is suitable to this work. [back]
 
 
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