Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Flesh and the Spirit
LXII. William Warner
 
BUT human purenes none is such,
  But it to erre is knowne:
Thinke not we labour here your faults,
  And ouerleape our owne.
 
For in the best of men the flesh        5
  And spirit combat still:
One thing the spirit, and the flesh
  The contrarie doth will.
 
We vertue praise, but practise vice;
  Possessed weale we flye,        10
And tract of woe; at heauen we ayme,
  But with a worldly eye.
 
Our selues we loue, yeat than ourselues
  We haue no crosser foe;
For peace we warre, a peruerse war        15
  That doth ourselues ore-throe.
 
At once we burne, and are key-cold;
  We seeme to stande, that fall;
To heale, that hurt: we brag of bad;
  We dye ere death doth call.        20
 
We triumph while we are subdude;
  We bliss our proper baine;
We gladly doe subiect ourselues
  Vnto each giddy vaine.
 
Our gadding thoughts conceite the clouds,        25
  Ourselues meanewhile forgot:
Our nay is yea, our yea is nay;
  We will, and then will not.
 
Our soules like this, our flesh lusts that;
  As Proteus changeth, so        30
Doe our affections and our thoughts
  Be shifting to and fro.
 
Euen hydra-like, we flesh our faults;
  Our mindes doe wauer still;
Our selfe-conceits be winged, and        35
  We flie from good to ill.
 
Our peace with discord breedes our woe;
  The contrarie our ease:
We neuer do but plague ourselues,
  Whilst that ourselues we please.        40
 
We would be we, as if not we,
  Vs plentie maketh poore;
We partiall blame, inable, and
  Disable vs eremore.
 
All these, and wilfull sinnes besides,        45
  To vs and with you all
Too common we confesse; but of
  Our doctrine speake we shall.
 
Propitious be to vs, O God,
  That faith haue practice too;        50
Which we omit as publicanes,
  As Pharisees ye doe.
 
 
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