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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
The Works of Mercy, Both Corporall and Spirituall
LXXVIII. Raphe Crane
 
MAN 1 of polluted lips, dar’st thou aspire
So high a worke? Call for celestiall fire;
Invoke some holy hand to guide thy pen,
Some circumcized heart to teach thee: when
Thou but conceiv’st a verse, sett’st doune a line,        5
Sigh for thy state, weepe for those sinnes of thine,
Those actuall ones, that justice have cal’d downe,
And made th’ Almightie, with an angrie frowne,
Fright blessednesse from thee, making thy life
A vale of miserie, a den of strife,        10
Scarce suff’ring thee, in almost sixtie yeeres,
See ought but dangers, mischiefes, debts, and feares,
Laying on thy soule such heavinesse, such woe,
As, but His mercy helpe thee, thou must goe
(And speedily) unto a grave, forlorne,        15
Wayling, and wishing thou hadst nev’r beene borne.
  Alas! but what am I, that he should daigne,
In his abundant grace, to raise againe,—
Me (groveling earth) that in confusion lies,
Not daring to his throne erect mine eyes!        20
  O my deiected spirit, rouse thy selfe,
Be not with cares (as worldlings are with pelfe)
Wholly be-numm’d: thy God (benigne and good)
Knowes ev’n for thee thy Saviour shed his bloud:
Be thou but penitent, and he will smile,        25
Wash thee with teares, and he with sacred oyle
Will cheere thy lookes, and thou shalt cleerely see
The loving kindnesse he intends to thee.
  The scales are falne already: I behold
Divine infusion, (happy man,) am told        30
That his blest Providence (never forsaking)
Did first excite thee to this undertaking;
He bids thee write; relie on him, and send
Thy prayers up, and he will fairely end
This thy designe, and thou shalt comforts finde,        35
Both to thy travail’d life and troubled minde.
  Lead by this fiery-conduct (this darke night),
  Loe, thus I wander, (hopefull Israelite.)
 
Note 1. LXXVIII. Raphe Crane wrote “The Workes of Mercy, both Corporall and Spirituall,” which was published in 1621. [back]
 
 
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