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 Convert Soule
XIII. Anonymous
 
PEACE, 1 catiffe body, earth possest,
Cease to pretend to things too high:
’Tis not thy place of peace and rest,
For thou art mortall, and must die.
 
Body.
Poor soul, one Spirit made us both,
        5
Both from the wombe of nothing came;
And though to yeeld ought thou art loth,
Yet I the elder brother am.
 
I, as at home, can heare and see,
And feele and tast of euery good;        10
But thou a stranger envy’st mee,
My ease and pleasure, health and food.
 
Then dream of shadowes, make thy coate
Of tinsel’d cobwebs; get thy head
Lyn’d with chymeras got by roate;        15
And for thy food eat fairy bread.
 
Soule.
Stay, if thou can’st, thy mad career;
Represse the storme of fruitless words;
He that would by thy compasse steer,
Must hear what reason truth affords.        20
 
’Tis true thou elder brother art;
So wormes and beasts thy elder are;
Rude nature’s first, then polisht art—
The chaos was before a starre.
 
My food and cloth are most divine;        25
The bread of angels, robes of glory:
Whilst all that sensuall stuff of thine
Is of a vaine life the sad story.
 
Sences I have, but so refined,
As wel become their mother soule,        30
Which sute the pleasures of the mind,
And scale the heavens without controule.
 
I little care for such a feast,
Which beasts can taste as well as I;
Nor am content to set my rest        35
On goods in show, in deed a lie.
 
Such cates and joyes do I bequeath
To thee, fond body, which must die;
For I pretend unto a wreath
Wherein is writ eternity.        40
 
Thou to thy earth must strait returne,
Whilst I, whose birth is from above,
Shall upward move, and euer burne
In gentle flames of heavenly loue.
 
Body.
But I one person am with thee,
        45
And at the first was form’d by God;
Then must I needs for ever be
Dead ashes, or a senceless clod?
 
Soule.
Or that, or worse: but quit thy sence
To boast all body; learne to fly        50
Up with me, and for recompence
At length thou blest shalt be as I.
 
Body.
Then farewel, pleasures; I nor care
What you pretend, or what you doe;
Ile henceforth feed on angels’ fare,        55
For I an angell will be too.
 
And for the way I am prepar’d
To answer every ill with this;
“No way is long, or dark, or hard,
That leads to everlasting bliss.”        60
 
Soule.
Then w’are agreed; and for thy fare,
It wil be euery day a feast;
Love playes the cooke, and takes the care
Nobly to entertaine her guest.
 
As for the trouble of the way,        65
Which dark or streight, cannot be long,
Faith wil inlarge, turne night to day,
So wee’l to heaven goe in a song.
 
Note 1. XIII. Anonymous.—The pages derived from this author are from MSS. in the possession of the Editor. The volume, which consists of about eighty pages, appears to have been written about 1620. It consists of songs and spiritual lays, the whole of which have poetical merit, but carnal thoughts and heavenly desires occasionally strangely agglomerate. [back]
 
 
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