Verse > Anthologies > Henry Charles Beeching, ed. > Lyra Sacra
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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919).  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse.  1903.
 
Faith and Works
By Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554–1628)
 
ETERNAL 1 Truth, almighty, infinite,
  Only exilèd from man’s fleshly heart,
Where ignorance and disobedience fight
  In hell and sin which shall have greatest part,
When Thy sweet mercy opens forth the light        5
  Of grace, which giveth eyes unto the blind,
And with the law even plowest up our sprite
  To faith, wherein flesh may salvation find,
Thou bid’st us pray, and we do pray to Thee,
  But as to Power, and God, without us placed,        10
Thinking a wish may wear out vanity,
  Or habits be by miracles defaced.
One thought to God we give, the rest to sin;
  Quickly unbent is all desire of good;
True words pass out, but have no being within;        15
  We pray to Christ, yet help to shed His blood;
For while we say believe, and feel it not,
  Promise amends, and yet despair in it,
Hear Sodom judged, and go not out with Lot;
  Make law and gospel riddles of the wit,        20
We with the Jews even Christ still crucify,
  As not yet come to our impiety.
 
Note 1. From “Cœlica,” Sonnet xcvii. Lord Brooke was the intimate friend and companion of Sir Philip Sidney, and shared his literary tastes. His own writing is usually very crabbed, but it is full of thought, and often startlingly modern. Here is a verse on “Inconsistency,” from “A Treatise of Warres,” of which Coleridge was fond:
    “God and the world they worship still together:
Draw not their laws to Him, but His to theirs;
Untrue to both, so prosperous in neither;
Amid their own desires still raising fears;
Unwise, as all distracted powers be;
Strangers to God, fools to humanity.
Too good for great things and too great for good,” etc.
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