Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
The Blessedness of Serving God
LXIX. Henry Anderson
 
OF monarchs he to Him is great alone
Who to himself becomes a little one.
The only greatness which poore man can have
Is to be here his Great Redeemer’s slave.
That king that doth not heav’n’s just King obey,        5
A traitor is himself to majesty.
The simple shepherd who with chaste desires
And cheerful innocence to heav’n aspires;
The honest, painful labourer, who sweats
From morn to night, to get the bread he eats;        10
If he serves heaven, is indeed more great
Than kings, with all their pride and purple state.
Thrice brave those monarchs who had dar’d to fly
From all the alluring charms of majesty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *
Thrice blest are those who fled from being great,        15
From courts, to suffer cottage’s retreat:
Heaven kindly doth their humble thoughts defeat,
For greatness while they strive to shun, they meet.
They are made great, and far more glorious kings
By being just, than by all earthly things.        20
Ah! how we win in losing for our God,
While heav’n is gained for a poore sorry clod
Of earth: when for a short grief here endur’d
We are of everlasting joyes assur’d.
Since for our pleasure we refuse our sense,        25
We shall have millions for our recompence.
Poore abus’d men, unlucky flocke that stray
Without the shepherd, void of the right way;
Unthinking souls that perish with delight,
Which all the threats of heav’n cannot affright.        30
For sure those pains which doth on sin attend,
Pain which begins, but never must have end;
The immaterial fire that burneth still,
But to their great misfortune cannot kill;
The devil’s dungeons, and all sorts of paine,        35
Which human fortitude cannot sustaine,
Might, one would think, men’s brutish courage shake,
And in our soules a noble fear awake.
 
 
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