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 Pilgrim’s Song
XVII. Anonymous
 
WHAT though I did possesse the greatest wealth,
Though I were clad with honor and a crowne,
And all my few and euill daies had health,
Though no calamity did pluck me downe:
 
What if in sensuall pleasures I did swym,        5
Which mortall men account their chiefest bliss?
What good shal’t be for me when death with him
Brings a diuorce from life, t’haue had all this?
 
What plague wil’t bee for me when rais’d againe
Out of the bed of death, I must accompt        10
For thousand thousand faultes and errors vaine
That will to a number numberlesse amount,
 
Before a judge whose angrie breath can burne
This whole round globe of earth, fire, water, aire,
And all their glory into ashes turne,        15
That had these things allotted to their share?
 
Words serue me not, nor thoughts though infinite,
To write or to imagine sinners’ paine,
Or the least torment that on them shall light
That this world’s loue prefer before heauen’s gaine.        20
 
Then couet not, mine eies, worldly delight—
Beautie, great riches, honor, and the rest,
Which if you had would but bereaue my spright
Of the immortal ioyes I am in quest.
 
I am a pilgrim-warriour bound to fight        25
Under the red crosse, ’gainst my rebell will,
And with great Godfrey to employ my might
To win Jerusalem and Sion hill.
 
More glorious is it in that war to dye,
Then surfett with the world’s best delectation,        30
Since this, when death shall shutt out mortall eye,
For meede shal haue eternall condempnation;
But that not death, but life a passage is,
Into a kingdome of perpetuall blis.
 
 
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