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.
 
Psalm CV
XX. John Vicars
 
O LAUD 1 the Lord with invocation
Amidst his holy congregation;
Shew forth his works, set forth his fame,
Sing praise, sing praise unto his name;
And let the heart, and tongue, and voice        5
Of them that love the Lord, rejoice.
 
O seeke the Lord our God eternall,
O seeke and search his power supernall;
O seeke and sue to come in sight
Of his most lovely beauty bright;        10
Of his most amiable face,
Full of refulgent heavenly grace.
 
Keepe still in due commemoration,
Recount with true gratification
The wondrous works which God had done,        15
By famous facts his honour wonne;
Let not his judgments just depart
From your most mindful, thankful heart.
 
Ye sacred sonnes regenerated,
Ye saint-like seed, first propagated        20
From Abraham, God’s servant deare,
Which him in faith doth loue and feare—
Ye sons of Jacob, his delight,
Extol the Lord’s majesticke might.
 
For Hee which safely us preserveth,        25
He only of us best deserveth
To be our Lord and Soveraigne blest,
Having apparently exprest
His judgments just, his equity;
Which all the world can testifie.        30
 
What he hath promised and protested
To all that in his promise rested,
Even to his saints a thousand fold,
Which on him with faith’s hand lay hold,
Unto his everlasting praise,        35
His word he hath made good always:
 
E’en that blest promise once compacted,
That cov’nant good, once precontracted
To Abraham and Isaac’s seed,
And so to Jacob’s sons decreed,        40
And unto Israel stablisht sure,
To time’s last period to endure;
 
When in these words the Lord affirmed,
And (thus) to those his truth confirmed;—
Behold, I Canaan freely give        45
To you and yours, therein to live;
This lot of your inheritance
My name and fame (there) to advance.
 
And tho’ the number of that nation
Was yet of slender valuation,        50
Did yet but very small appeare,
When (thus) his love esteemed them deare;
And that beside their number small,
They in the land were strangers all;
 
Walking from nation unto nation,        55
Without all settled habitation,
Now here, now there, conducted still
By their all prudent Pilot’s will;
Who suffered no man wrong to take
But plag’d princes for their sake.        60
 
And where they came, thus charg’d, appointed,
Let none offend my deare anointed,
Nor use my prophets spightfullie!
For these are precious in mine eye.
Fierce famine (then) the Lorde orelaide,        65
Whereby their staffe of bread decaide:
 
But God good Joseph then ordained,
By whom (foresent) they were sustained,
Tho’ thither he a slave was sould,
Tho’ foes in fetters him did hold,        70
Untill, in heaven’s appointed time,
God heard his cause, cleared him of crime.
 
Pharao him found a faithful liver,
And him from prison did deliver,
The Ægyptian king was to him kinde,        75
And in him did such wisdom finde,
That of his kingdom and whole state
He made him lord, prince, potentate.
 
That all his peeres might be instructed,
And to his lore and lure conducted,        80
His senators by Joseph taught:
Then Jacob was to Egypt brought—
I’ th’ land of Ham (then) Israell
Did as a harbour’d stranger dwell.
 
His flocke, his flock (there) fructified,        85
And to great numbers multiplied,
And then their foes did farre transcend:
Which only did their foes offend,
Which turned their love to hatred great,
Their smiles to guiles and slie deceipt.        90
 
Mild Moses then the Lord elected,
And holy Aaron much respected,
Both whom to Ægypt soone he sent,
There to declare his great intent,
And in the land of Ham to showe        95
His signs and wonders, to their woe.
 
Darknesse, strange darknesse, his commission,
Did them obey with expedition,
And overspread all Egypt’s land:
And by Heaven’s all ore-ruling hand        100
Their waters all gore blood became,
And slew all fishes in the same.
 
With croaking froggs he them infested,
The land and lodgings where they rested,
Not sparing Pharao’s chamber neate:        105
He sent huge swarms, noisome and greate,
Of crawling lice and stinging flies
’Mongst their heard-hearted enemies.
 
Instead of raine haile-stones he rained,
And with feirce flames of fire them bained,        110
And thereby totallie orethrew
Vines, fig-trees, yea, all trees that grew;
Their caterpillars did abound,
Great grasshoppers their fruits confound.
 
Their first-born babes he deadly wounded,        115
And strongest of their land confounded,
Yea, ev’n the prime of all their strength,
And led his servants forth at length,
All fraught with gold or silver store:
Not one was feeble, faint, or poore.        120
 
The Ægyptians’ hearts were then revived,
Being of their presence thus deprived,
Such feare of them had broke their hearte;
And as they thus did thence depart
A cloud by day hid them from heate,        125
Their guide by night a fire most great.
 
At their request he quailes down rained,
With manna sweet their state sustained,
Whiles through the wildernesse they went;
And then the rigid rocke he rent,        130
From whence did floods of water flow,
To quench their thirst, as they did goe.
 
For as he ever was delighted
With mindfulnesse of promise plighted,
So (then) the Lord did mind the same,        135
And, to his everlasting fame,
He brought them forth with mirth and joy
Whence they had lived in dire annoy.
 
Yea, such to them was his good pleasure,
That all the labours, lands, and treasure        140
Of heathen folke his flock did take,
That they might not his lawes forsake,
But faithfully observe his lore,—
Oh let us praise the Lord therefore!
 
Note 1. XX. John Vicars.—He was an enthusiastic Calvinistic writer, who was born in London in 1582, and died in 1652. His writings for the most part are satirical, and written in prose; but, besides other things, he wrote and published “England’s Hallelujah for God’s gratious Benediction; with some Psalms of David in verse.” His Psalms are after the fashion of the age, chiefly applied to contemporaneous events. Thus Psalm cxxiii. is “Paraphrased by way of thanksgiving for the great deliverances from the Papist Powder Plot:—
King David against the Philistines;
King James against the Antichristians.”
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