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.
 
Of Sinne
XXII. Sir John Beaumont
 
WHAT pensill shall I take or where begin
To paint the vgly face of odious sinne?
Man sinning oft, though pardon’d oft, exceeds
The falling angels in malicious deeds:
When we in words would tell the sinner’s shame,        5
To call him diuell is too faire a name.
Should we for euer in the chaos dwell,
Or in the lothsome depth of gaping hell,
We there no foule and darksome formes shall find
Sufficient to describe a guilty mind.        10
Search through the world, we shall not know a thing
Which may to reason’s eye more horrour bring
Then disobedience to the Highest Cause,
And obstinate auersion from his lawes.
The sinner will destroy God if he can—        15
O what hath God deseru’d of thee, poore man,
That thou shouldst boldly striue to pull him downe
From his high throne, and take away his crowne?
What blindnesse moues thee to vnequall fight?
See how thy fellow-creatures scorne thy might;        20
Yet thou prouok’st thy Lord, as much too great,
As thou too weake for his imperiall seate.
Behold a silly wretch distracted quite,
Extending towards God his feeble spite,
And by his poys’nous breath his hopes are faire        25
To blast the skies, as it corrupts the aire.
Vpon the other side thou may’st perceiue
A mild commander, to whose army cleaue
The sparkling starres, and each of them desires
To fall and drowne this rebell in their fires.        30
The cloudes are ready this proud foe to tame,
Full fraught with thunderbolts and lightning’s flame.
The Earth, his mother, greedy of his doome,
Expects to open her vnhappy wombe,
That this degen’rate sonne may liue no more;        35
So chang’d from that pure man whom first she bore.
The sauage beasts, whose names his Father gaue,
To quell this pride their Maker’s licence craue.
The fiends his masters in this warlike way,
Make sute to seaze him as their lawfull prey.        40
No friends are left: then whither shall he flie?
To that offended King who sits on high.
Who hath deferr’d the battell, and restrain’d
His souldiers, like the winds in fetters chain’d:
For let the sinner leaue his hideous maske,        45
God will as soone forgiue, as he shall aske.
 
 
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