Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
The Law of Christ Contrasted with the Law of the World
LXIX. Henry Anderson
 
    —i’ th’ world a hundred laws there be,
Voide of all sense, but full of tyranny:
Where foppish form our liberty restrains,
And cripples us with false fantastick chains.
You must pretend to love whom you detest,        5
Fawn on the great one when by him opprest;
With sneering praise guild o’er his blackest crimes,
And all those humours which debauch the times:
Mask your displeasure with a smiling face,
And swear you’re highly pleas’d with his disgrace:        10
Triumph in show when you are overthrown,
And all your discontents and griefs disown:
Cutting off quite, with base uneasy art,
The honest commerce of the mouth and heart.
O shameful slavery of poor mankind,        15
Unworthy of a man, or Christian mind;
Instead of Christ, whom we should always owne,
False tyranny and passion we enthrone:
Cringing to those that from all virtue run,
To serve a thousand masters in their turn.        20
The crowded way of vice could never shew
Such pleasure, which true virtue doth bestow.
From innocence a native joy accrues,
But wracking sorrow always guilt pursues.
The ill man’s never quiet, nor content;        25
The good is full of cheer, though penitent:
His inward calm upon his brow appears,
And halcyon like, no blustring storm he fears.
Him all the turns of Fate ’s prepared to finde,
Meets frowns and favours with an equal minde.        30
If sickness warns him of approaching death,
Or fortune robs him of his worldly wealth,
It cannot his unshaken courage move:
Who above earth hath plac’d in heaven his love,
His health, his riches, and his sole delight,        35
Is sure to serve his God with all his might;
And that great Master faithfully to trace
Whose death was triumph, pleasure a disgrace.
 
 
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