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.
 
Sonnet
XVII. Anonymous
 
UP, 1 sluggish soule, awake, slumber no more;
This is no time to sleepe in sin secure;
If once the bridegroom passe and shutte the dore,
No entrance will be gained, thou maist be sure.
Now thou art up fill up thy lampe with oile,        5
Hast thee and light it at the fire of loue;
Watch and attend: what is a little toile
To gaine the entrance to the ioies aboue?
Go meete the bridegroom with low reuerence,
Humbly with patience waite vpon his grace;        10
Follow his steppes with loue and diligence,
Leaue all for Him, and only Him embrace:
So shalt thou enter with him into rest,
And at his heauenlie table sit and feast.
 
Note 1. XVII. Anonymous.—In the “Catalogue of the Collection of MSS. formed by the late Benjamin Heywood Bright, Esq.,” sold in June 1844 by Messrs. S. Leigh Sotheby, and Co., the article No. 186 is thus described: “Poems of the time of Queen Elizabeth, written in a beautiful clear hand on vellum; they are of a religious character, and appear not to have been printed.” This MS. subsequently came into the possession of Mr. Rodd of Newport Street, from whom it was purchased by George Stokes, Esq., of Tyndale House, Cheltenham. Since it came into the possession of Mr. Stokes, the volume has been printed and published by the Religious Tract Society; the contents being of such a devotional character as forcibly to illustrate the principles of the immediate successors of the English Reformers. In the whole there are one hundred and six poems in the volume, chiefly sonnets of fourteen lines each; and specimens of them are given in connection with this article. The Editor of it—Mr. Stokes—justly remarks concerning them: “The general tone of doctrine, with the sentiments pervading the whole, will, it is trusted, amply satisfy the reader, if any part should not fully meet his wishes, either as to the matter or the manner in which they are set forth. The rhythm is often rugged, as is usual in other poetry of that day; but it is free from the false glitter, affected antithesis, and laborious pedantry, which characterize most of the contemporaneous versification, while the force, beauty, and simplicity of many expressions, give this little work a high place among ancient English poetry.” [back]
 
 
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