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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Complaynt of a Sinner, Who Craueth of Christ to Be Kept vnder His Mercy
CXIV. Anonymous
 
WHERE 1 righteousnes doth say,
Lord, for my sinfull part,
In wrath thou shouldst me pay
Vengeance for my desert,
I can it not deny;        5
But needs I must confesse,
How that continually
Thy lawes I doe transgresse.
 
But if it be thy will
With sinners to contend,        10
Then all thy flocke shall spill,
And be lost without end.
For who liueth here so right,
That rightly he can say,
He sinneth not in thy sight        15
Full oft and euery day?
 
The Scripture playne telleth me
The righteous man offendeth
Seuen times a day to thee,
Whereon thy wrath dependeth:        20
So that the righteous man
Doth walke in no such path,
But he falth now and then
In danger of thy wrath.
 
Then sith the case so standes,        25
That euen the man right-wise
Falth oft in sinfull bandes,
Whereby thy wrath may rise;
Lord, I that am vniust,
And righteousnes none haue,        30
Whereto then shall I trust
My sinfull soule to saue?
 
But truely to that prest,
Whereto I cleaue and shall,
Which is thy mercy most,        35
Lord, let thy mercy fal,
And mitigate thy moode,
Or else we perish all:
The price of this thy bloud,
Wherein mercy I call.        40
 
The Scripture doth declare,
No drop of bloud in thee
But that thou didst not spare
To shed ech drop for me.
Now let these drops most sweete        45
So moyst my heart so dry,
That I, with sinne replete,
May liue, and sinne may dye:
 
That being mortified
This sinne of mine in mee,        50
I may be sanctified
By grace of thine in thee:
So that I neuer fall
Into such mortall sinne;
That no foes infernall        55
Reioyce my death therein.
 
But vouchsafe me to keepe
From those infernall foes,
And from that lake so deepe,
Where as no mercy growes.        60
And I shall sing the songs,
Confirmed with the iust,
That vnto thee belongs,
Which art mine onely trust.
 
Note 1. CXIV. Anonymous.—One of the contributors to the Old Version of Psalms. [back]
 
 
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