Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Peter’s Teares at the Cocke’s Crowing
LIII. Samuel Rowlands
 
COME, 1 sharpest greefes, imploy repentant eies;
Taske them as bitter drops as ere were shed:
Send teares to earth and sighs vp to the skies;
This instant houre a soule and sorrowe’s wed.
Sweet tears and sighs, at dolour’s deere requests,        5
Come you and yours, my hart’s right welcome guests.
 
Let eies become the fountaines of my teares,
And let my teares be flouds to moist my heart;
And let my heart, ful of repentant feares,
By teares and sorrowes turne a true conuert:        10
At base obiections of as base a maid
With oths and curses I haue Christ denai’d.
 
The watchfull bird that centinels the morne,
Shrill herald to Aurorae’s earlie rising,
That oft proclaimes the day ere day be borne,        15
Distinguisher from pitchd-fac’d night’s disguising,
Surceas’d to heed why nature taught him crow,
And did exclaime on me for sinning so.
 
O haughtie vaunts, resembling skie-bred thunder,
How farre remote your actions stand aloofe!        20
A coward heart kept words and deeds asunder,
Stout champion brags are quailed in the proofe.
Weake woman’s breath hath ouerthrowne a rocke,
And humane pride is daunted by a cocke.
 
Harken this bird’s rebuke; and harkning, feare:        25
False periur’d tongue, now are thy boastings tride;
Christ hardest fortune’s part thou vowd’st to beare,
But loe! a cocke doth crow it, thou hast lide:
Thy deedlesse words, words vnconfirmd by truth,
Haue turn’d mine eies to teares, my heart to ruth.        30
 
The daie’s approch, that whilome nature taskes,
He chaunted not, nor ment blacke night’s descending;
But foule-fac’d sinne from scarffing words vnmaskes:
Plie, bitter teares, your suite, for wrath’s suspending;
Eies, that when Christ sweat blood, secure did slumber,        35
Now shed more tears then truthles tong can number.
 
Lament, my soule, thy state; a state distrest;
Thou art reuolt from true felicitie:
Sigh sorrowes forth: let greefes weepe out the rest;
Weepe, wretched man, repleat with miserie:        40
Let neuer eies giue cheekes a space to drie,
Till teares regaine lost grace in mercie’s eie.
 
Weepe saltest brinish teares, the more the sweeter:
Weepe satisfaction, sinne’s repentant soule;
Weepe, fraile disciple, woman-daunted Peter;        45
Weepe, weakling, subiect to a cocke’s controule;
Weepe Christ’s deniall, worst of all thy crimes,
And ouerweepe each teare tenne thousand times.
 
O God, from whom all graces doe abound,
For thy assisting aid I humblie call;        50
Lend mercie’s hand to raise from sinking ground,
And beeing on foot, protect against like fall.
Thy fauours, Lord, I truly doe implore,
Rising to stand, standing to fall no more.
 
Note 1. LIII. Samuel Rowlands.—He was the author of a great many poetical works. Among them was, “The Betraying of Christ: Iudas in despair: with poems on the Passion,” which was published in 1598. [back]
 
 
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