Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Praier of Ieremiah
X. Michael Drayton
 
Bewailing the Captiuitie of the People

In the fift Chap. of his Lamentations

CAL vnto mind, Oh mightie Lord,
  The wrongs we daily take;
Consider and behold the same
  For thy great mercies’ sake.
 
Our lands and our inheritance        5
  Meere strangers do possesse;
The alients in our houses dwel,
  And we without redresse.
 
We now, alas! are fatherlesse,
  And stil pursude with hate;        10
Our mourning mothers now remaine
  In wofull widdowes’ state.
 
We buy the water which we drink,
  Such is our grievous want:
Likewise the wood euen for our vse        15
  That we ourselues did plant.
 
Our neckes are subiect to the yoke
  Of persecution’s thrall;
We, wearied out with cruell toile,
  Can find no rest at all.        20
 
Afore time we in Egypt land
  And in Assyria serued,
For food our hunger to sustaine,
  Least that we should haue sterued.
 
Our fathers which are dead and gone        25
  Haue sinned wondrous sore;
And we now scourg’d for their offence—
  Ah! woe are we therefore.
 
Those seruile slaues which bondmen be,
  Of them in fear we stand:        30
Yet no man doth deliuer vs
  From cruel caitiues’ hand.
 
Our liuings we are forced to get
  In perils of our liues;
The drie and barren wildernesse        35
  Therto by danger driues.
 
Our skins be scorcht, as though they had
  Bin in an ouen dride,
With famine and the penury
  Which here we doo abide.        40
 
Our wiues and maides defloured are
  By violence and force,
On Sion and in Iuda land,
  Sans pity or remorce.
 
Our kings by cruel enimies        45
  With cordes are hanged vp;
Our grauest, sage, and ancient men,
  Haue tasted of that cup.
 
Our yoong men they haue put to sword,
  Not one at al they spare:        50
Our litle boyes vpon the tree
  Sans pitie hanged are.
 
Our elders sitting in the gates
  Can now no more be found;
Our youth leaue off to take delight        55
  In musick’s sacred sound.
 
The ioy and comfort of our heart
  Away is fled and gone;
Our solace is with sorrow mixt,
  Our mirth is turn’d to mone.        60
 
Our glory now is laid full low,
  And buried in the ground;
Our sins full sore do burthen vs,
  Whose greatnes doth abound.
 
Oh, holy blessed Sion hill,        65
  My heart is woe for thee:
Mine eies poure foorth a flood of teares
  This dismal day to see:
 
Which art destroied, and now lieth wast
  From sacred vse and trade;        70
Thy holie place is now a den
  Of filthy foxes made.
 
But thou, the euerliuing Lord,
  Which doost remaine for aye,
Whose seat aboue the firmament        75
  Full sure and still doth stay,—
 
Wherefore dost thou forsake thine own?
  Shall we forgotten be?
Turn vs, good Lord, and so we shall
  Be turned vnto thee.        80
 
Lord, call vs home from our exile
  To place of our abode;
Thou long inough hast punisht vs—
  Oh Lord, now spare thy rod.
 
 
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