Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
A Solempne and Repentant Prayer for Former Life Mispent
XIV. Sir Nicholas Breton
OH heavenly Lord! who plain doost see
  The thoughts of ech man’s heart;
Who sendest some continuall plague,
  And some relief of smart;
Pittie, O Lorde! the wofull state        5
  Wherein I dayly stand;
And onely for thy mercies’ sake
  Now helpe me out of hande.
And as it was thy pleasure fyrst,
  To plague me thus with greefe;        10
So canst thou, Lorde, if thee it please,
  With speede send me releefe.
I must of force confesse, O Lorde!
  I can it not denye,
That I deserve these plagues, and worse,        15
  And that continually.
Yet doo not Thou therefore on me
  Thy judgments just extend;
But pardon me, and graunt me grace
  My life for to amend.        20
And banish, Lord! from me delights
  Of worldly vanitie,
And lend me helpe to pace the pathes
  Of perfect pietie;
And truly so to tread the pathes,        25
  And in such godly wise,
That they may bring me to the place
  Of perfect Paradice.
And not to wander up and downe
  In wayes of weary wo,        30
Where wicked, wily, wanton toyes
  Do leade me too and fro.
The sap of Sapience likes me not,
  That pleaseth not my taste;
But fond delight, that wicked weede,        35
  Was all my chief repaste:
Wherein, as hooke within the baight,
  So doo I plainly finde
Some hidden poyson lurking lyes
  For to infect my minde.        40
But wherefore doo I finde it now?
  Because I now do see
That, wanting smart, I wanted grace
  For to acknowledge thee.
But now, O Lord, that I so sore        45
  Doo feele thy punishment,
I doo lament my folly great,
  And all my sinnes repent.
And to thy heavenly throane, O Lord!
  For mercy I appeale,        50
To send me, Lord, some heavenly salve
  My greevous sores to heale.
Beholde, O Lord! my sorrowes such
  As no man dooth endure;
And eke my greevous sicknesse such        55
  As none but Thou canst cure.
And as thou art a gratious God
  To men in misery,
So pitty me, that thus, O Lord!
  Do pine in penurie.        60
And as Thou art a help to all
  That put their trust in Thee,
So held in this my deepe distresse
  Some comfort lend to me.
And hold, O Lord! thy heavy hand,        65
  And lay thy scourge aside;
For, Lord, the greevous smart thereof
  I can no longer bide.
Forgive my sinnes, forget the same;
  Beholde my humble heart,        70
Who onely, Lord, doo trust in thee
  For to releeve my smart.
And after this my wretched life,
  Lord, graunt me of thy grace,
That I in heauen at latter daye        75
  May have a joyfull place.

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