Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
The Complaynt of a Sinner
XVII. Humphrey Gifford
LIKE as the theefe in prison cast
  With wofull wayling mones,
When hope of pardon cleane is past,
  And sighes with dolefull grones:
So I a slaue to sinne,        5
  With sobs and many a feare,
As one, without thine ayde, forlorne,
  Before thy throne appeare.
O Lorde, in rage of wanton youth
  My follies did abounde,        10
And eke since that I knewe thy trueth
  My life hath beene vnsound:
Alas! I do confesse,
  I see the perfect way,
Yet frayltie of my feeble fleshe        15
  Doth make me run astray.
Aye me, when that some good desire,
  Woulde moue me to doe wel,
Affections fond make mee retire,
  And cause me to rebell.        20
I wake, yet am asleepe;
  I see, yet still am blinde;
In ill I runne with hedlong race;
  In good I come behinde.
Loe, thus in life I daily die,        25
  And dying shall not liue;
Unlesse thy mercy speedily
  Some succour to me geue.
I die, O Lorde, I die!
  If thou doe mee forsake,        30
I shall be likened vnto those
  That fall into the lake.
When that one prop or onely stay
  Holdes vp some house or wall,
If that the prop be tane away,        35
  Needes must the building fall:
O Lorde, thou art the prop
  To which I cleaue and leane:
If thou forsake or cast mee of,
  I still shall liue in paine.        40
Although my hard and stony hart
  Be apt to runne astray,
Yet let thy goodnesse mee conuert,
  So shall I not decay:
Sweete God, doe rue my plaints,        45
  And sheelde me from annoy:
Then my poore soule, this life once past,
  Shall rest with thee in ioy.

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