Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from Mustapha: Chorus of Priests
By Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554–1628)
OH wearisome condition of Humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound,
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound:
What meaneth Nature by these diverse laws?        5
Passion and reason self-division cause.
Is it the mask or majesty of Power
To make offences that it may forgive?
Nature herself doth her own self deflower
To hate those errors she herself doth give.        10
For how should man think that he may not do
If Nature did not fail and punish too?
Tyrant to others, to herself unjust,
Only commands things difficult and hard;
Forbids us all things which it knows we lust;        15
Makes easy pains, impossible reward.
If Nature did not take delight in blood,
She would have made more easy ways to good.
We that are bound by vows and by promotion,
With pomp of holy sacrifice and rites,        20
To preach belief in God and stir devotion,
To preach of Heaven’s wonders and delights,
Yet when each of us in his own heart looks
He finds the God there far unlike his books.

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