Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Good Nighte
IV. George Gascoigne
WHEN thou hast spent the lingring daye
In pleasure and delight,
Or after toyle and wearie waye
Dost seeke to rest at nighte:
Unto thy paynes or pleasures past        5
Adde thys one labor yet,
Ere sleepe close vp thyne eie too fast,
Doo not thy God forget.
  But searche within thy secret thought,
What deeds did thee befall;        10
And if thou find amisse in ought,
To God for mercie call.
Yea, though thou find nothing amisse,
Which thou canst call to mind,
Yet euermore remember this,        15
There is the more behind.
  And thinke, how well so euer it be
That thou hast spent the daye,
It came of God, and not of thee,
So to direct thy waye.        20
Thus if thou trie thy dayly deedes,
And pleasure in thys payne,
Thy life shall clense thy corne from weeds,
And thine shal be the gaine.
  But if thy sinfull sluggishe eye        25
Will venter for to winke,
Before thy wading will maye trye
How far thy soule maye sinke;
Beware and wake, for else thy bed,
Which soft and smoth is made,        30
May heape more harm vpon thy head,
Than blowes of enmies’ blade.
  Thus if this paine procure thine ease
In bed as thou doost lye,
Perhaps it shall not God displease        35
To sing thus soberly—
I see that sleepe is lent me here
To ease my wearie bones,
As death at laste shall eeke appeere,
To ease my greeuous grones.
*    *    *    *    *    *    *
  The stretching armes, the yauning breath,
Which I to bedward vse,
Are patternes of the pangs of death,
When life will me refuse:
And of my bed eche sundrye part        45
In shaddowes doth resemble
The sundry shapes of deth, whose dart
Shal make my flesh to tremble.
  My bed it selfe is like the graue,
My sheetes the winding sheete,        50
My cloths the mould which I must haue
To couer me most meete:
The waking cock, that early crowes
To weare the night awaye,
Puts in my minde the trumpe that blowes        55
Before the latter daye.
  And as I ryse vp lustily,
When sluggish sleep is past,
So hope I to ryse ioyfully
To judgment at the last.        60
Thus will I wake, thus will I sleepe,
Thus will I hope to ryse;
Thus will I neither waile nor weepe,
But sing in godly wyse.
  My bones shall in this bed remaine,        65
My soule in God shall trust;
By whome I hope to ryse againe
From death and earthlie dust.

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