William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907. If I Could Shut the Gate against My Thoughts
By John Danyel (1564c. 1626)
I F 1 I could shut the gate against my thoughts
And keep out sorrow from this room within,
Or memory could cancel all the notes
Of my misdeeds, and I unthink my sin:
How free, how clear, how clean my soul should lie, 5
Discharged of such a loathsome company!
Or were there other rooms without my heart
That did not to my conscience join so near,
Where I might lodge the thoughts of sin apart
That I might not their clamrous crying hear; 10
What peace, what joy, what ease should I possess,
Freed from their horrors that my soul oppress!
But, O my Saviour, who my refuge art,
Let Thy dear mercies stand twixt them and me,
And be the wall to separate my heart 15
So that I may at length repose me free;
That peace, and joy, and rest may be within, And I remain divided from my sin.
From John Daniels Note 1. Songs for the Lute, Viol, and Voice, 1606. It is supposed that the author of this poem was a brother of Samuel Daniel. Little is known of him except that he was one of the court musicians of Charles I., and the publisher of his brothers works in 1623. [ back]