Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Griefe for Sinne Is a Ioyfull Sorrow
XXII. John Davies
 
BUT yet the good which we by sinne receaue
Doth farre surmount the ill that comes from thence.
If God the world of ill should quite bereaue,
There were no test to try our sapience;
So might want reason and intelligence:        5
But we haue both, to know the good from bad;
So know we God, and our soule’s safe defence:
Then since by ill we are so well bestad,
We cannot greeue for ill, but must be glad.
 
For were there no temptation, then no fight;        10
And if no fight, no victory could be:
No victory, no palmes nor vertues white;
No crosse, no crowne of immortality:
And thus from ill comes good abundantly:
For by the conquest of it we are crown’d        15
With glory in secure felicity.
So from great ills more goods to vs redound,
As oft most sicknesse maketh vs most sound.
 
Ill, like a mole vpon the world’s faire cheeke,
Doth stil set forth that fairenes much the more:        20
She were to seeke much good were ill to seeke,
For good by ill increaseth strength and store,
At least in our conceit, and vertuous lore.
There’s nought so euill that is good for nought:
God giuing vs a salue for ev’ry sore,        25
The good are humbled by their euil’st thought:
So to the good al’s good that ill hath wrought.
 
 
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