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.
 
O’ Tears
LXXX. Doctor Brooke
 
WHO 1 would have thought there could have bin
Such joy in tears wept for our sin?
Mine eyes have seen, my heart hath proved,
The most and best of earthly joys,
The sweets of love and being loved,        5
Masks, feasts, and playes, and such like toyes;
Yet this one tear which now doth fall
In true delight exceeds them all.
 
Indeed, mine eyes at first let in
Those guests that did these woes begin;        10
Therefore mine eyes in tears and grief
Are justly drown’d: but that those tears
Should comfort bring, is past belief,—
Oh God, in this thy grace appears;
Thou that mak’st light from darkness spring,        15
Mak’st joyes to weep, and sorrowes sing.
 
Oh where am I? what may I think?
Help, help! alass, my heart doth sink:
  Thus lost in seas of wo,
    Thus laden with my sin,        20
    Waves of despair dash in,
  And threat my overthrow.
What heart opprest with such a weight
Can chuse but break, and perish streight?
 
Yet as at sea in storms men choose        25
The ship to save, their goods to loose:
  So in this fearful storm,
    This danger to prevent,
    Before all hope be spent,
  I’le choose the lesser harm;        30
My tears to seas I will convert,
And drown my eyes, to save my heart.
 
Oh God, my God! what shall I give
To thee in thanks? I am and live
In thee, and thou didst safe preserve        35
My health, my fame, my goods, my rent;
Thou makest me eat while others sterve,
And sing while others do lament.
Such unto me thy blessings are,
As if I were thy only care.        40
 
But, oh my God! thou art more kind,
When I look inward on my mind:
Thou fillest my heart with humble joy,
With patience, meekness, fervent love
(Which doth all other loves destroy),        45
With faith (which nothing can remove),
And hope assured of heaven’s bliss;—
This is my state,—thy grace is this.
 
Note 1. LXXX. Dr. Samuel Brooke was the intimate friend of Dr. Donne. He has not generally been recognised as an English poet, though some of his contemporaries have left allusions which would lead to the belief that more copious remains than the short poem introduced into this volume at one time were in existence. The piece is preserved in an old MS. collection belonging to Mr. J. P. Collier. [back]
 
 
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