Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Dignity of Man
VII. Sir John Davies
 
O! WHAT is man, great Maker of mankind!
  That thou to him so great respect dost beare;
That thou adornst him with so bright a mind,
  Mak’st him a king, and euen an angels’ peere?
 
O! what a liuelie life, what heauenly power,        5
  What spreading vertue, what a sparkling fire,
How great, how plentifull, how rich a dowre,
  Dost thou within this dying flesh inspire!
 
Thou leau’st thy print in other workes of thine,
  But thy whole image thou in man hast writ:        10
There cannot be a creature more diuine,
  Except, like thee, it should be infinit.
 
But it exceeds man’s thought to thinke how high
  God hath raisd man, since God a man became:
The angels doe admire this mysterie,        15
  And are astonisht when they view the same.
 
Nor hath he giuen these blessings for a day,
  Nor made them on the bodie’s life depend:
The soule, though made in time, suruiues for aye;
  And though it hath beginning, sees no end.        20
 
 
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