Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Complaint of a Synner
XLIII. Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex
 
O HEAUENLY 1 God! O Father dere!
  Cast doune thy tender eye
Upon a wretche, that prostrate here
  Before thy trone doeth lye.
 
O powre thy precious oyle of grace        5
  Into my wounded harte:
O let the dropps of mercie swage
  The rigour of my smarte.
 
My fainting soule, suppressed sore
  With carefull clogge of sinne,        10
In humble sort submitts itself
  Thy mercie for to winne.
 
Graunt mercie then, O Saviour swete,
  To me moste wofull thrall,
Whose mornfull crie to thee, O Lorde,        15
  Doeth still for mercie call.
 
Thy blessed will I haue despised
  Vpon a stubborne minde,
And to the swaie of worldly thyngs
  Myself I haue enclinde.        20
 
Forgettyng heauen and heauenly powers,
  Where God and saincts do dwel,
My life had likt to tread the path
  That leads the waie to hell.
 
But nowe, my Lorde, my lodestarre bright,        25
  I will no more doe so:
To thinke vpon my former life
  My harte doeth melt for woe.
 
Alas! I sigh, alas! I sobbe,
  Alas! I doe repent,        30
That euer my licencious will
  So wickedly was bent.
 
Sith thus therefore with yernfull plain
  I doe thy mercie craue,
O Lorde, for thy great mercies’ sake        35
  Let me thy mercie haue.
 
Restore to life the wretched soule
  That els is like to dye;
So shall my voyce vnto thy name
  Syng praise eternally.        40
 
Now blessed be the Father first,
  And blessed be the Sonne;
And blessed be the Holie Ghoste,
  By whom all thyngs are doen.
 
Blesse me, O blessed Trinitie,        45
  With thy eternall grace,
That after death my soule maie haue
  In heauen a dwellyng-place.
 
Note 1. XLIII. Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex.—This author, distinguished by his suppression of a rebellion in Ireland, and as the father of Robert Earl of Essex, has been pointed out as the author of “A godly and virtuous Song,” extant in the Sloane MSS. No. 1898. This is printed in the “Paradise of Dayntie Deuises,” having for its title “The Complaint of a Sinner,” and with the initials F. K. affixed to it. These initials refer to Francis Kinwelmersh, and it is doubtful by which of these individuals it was written; but the Earl of Essex is supposed to have the fairest claim to the production. [back]
 
 
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