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.
 
Faith without Practice
XIV. Robert Pricket
 
ALL 1 sorts can prate, and talke of things divine,
In fewe or none a righteous life doth shine;
What Adam lost, all human race did lose,
And what he kept, that for our part we choose:
Will to do good, that force in Adam died,        5
Since when that grace was to his seed denied.
So in ourselves since every action staines,
That to do good in us no power remaines,
We are restored by our Redeemer’s hand;
Not of ourselves, but by His grace we stand.        10
Then let the soules of righteous men expresse,
That in their Christ doth live their righteousness.
Who to good fame by golden steps can mount
Him doth this world for worthiest man accompt;
Let vertue in a poor man cleerly shine,        15
A guilded gull is counted more divine.
A sattin sute, bedawb’d with silvered lace,
Beyond desert doth vildest clownship grace.
Honest, if poore, he this reward must have,
Hang him—base rogue, proud beggar, impious knave!        20
Rich let him be, and who can hurt him then?
Knaves wrapt in wealth are counted honest men.
 
Note 1. XIV. Robert Pricket.—In 1606 a book was “imprinted by George Eld,” and “sold by John Hodgets,” with this singular title: “Time’s Anatomie. Containing the poore man’s plaint, Briton’s trouble and her triumph, the Pope’s pride, Rome’s treasons and her destruction. Affirming that Gog and Magog both shall perish, the Church of Christ shall flourish, Judea’s race shall be restored, and the manner how this mightie work shall be accomplished. Made by Robert Pricket, a souldier; and dedicated to all the lords of his Majestie’s most honourable privie councell.” In this poem theological and secular concernments mingle in the mind of the soldier author with very sensible reflections on both. [back]
 
 
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