Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Recantation
XLIX. George Whetstone
 
BEFORE 1 the world I here recant my life;
I doe renounce both lingering loue and lust;
My wanton will, with wisdome once at strife,
Hath lost the fielde, the type of fansie’s trust.
 
My sugred toung, bepoudred all with teares,        5
To chase mistrust from my sweet maistresse’ mynde,
With simple speach from humble sprite now weares
That fauour I with my sweet Christe may finde.
 
My scattered sighes, which I on earth did strowe,
I gather vp, and sende them to the starres,        10
As messengers of my lamenting woe,
Twixt sine and soule: so mortall is the warres.
 
Sith I repent, no shame it is to wray
My former life; how farre from grace it sweru’d;
Although from truth I, silly sheepe, did stray;        15
As good men God, so I my goddesse seru’d.
*      *      *      *      *      *
Thus I, vile wretche, led on by wanton lust,
A triumphe made within my wicked thought,
How I by hap the harmelesse threw to dust,
Ere I escapt, or had the mischiefe wrought.        20
 
But oh, sweete Christ, thy grace this folly stay’d;
Thou cleardst my sight which mistes of loue did bleare:
Vnto whose praise my conscience hath bewrayd
My former life, deuoyde of godly feare.
 
Thou crau’st, good Lord, no other aduocate,        25
But prayer mine, to purchase heauenly grace;
The which thou sayst doth neuer come too late,
If I repent, when prayer pleades my case.
 
A contrite heart is the sweet sacrifice
That thou dost seeke, ere we thy fauour winne;        30
The which, deare God, with sighes and weeping eyes
I offer vp in recompence of sinne:
 
Attending still when triall of my fayth
Shall treade downe death, and Sathan force to reele;
And boldly say, Till latter gaspe of breath,        35
My soule, through faith, the ioyes of heauen doth feele.
 
Note 1. XLIX. George Whetstone.—He was a noted writer in the age of Elizabeth. His works in prose and verse are numerous: one affords a specimen here. This was published in 1576, and is entitled “The Rocke of Regard: divided into foure parts: the first, the Castle of Delight; the second, the Garden of Vnthriftinesse; the third, the Arbour of Vertue; and the fourth, the Orchard of Repentance.” It is from the fourth part of this volume that the extract is derived; the language of the whole of which is that of repentance for a life of folly. [back]
 
 
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