Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Care for Thy Soule
XVIII. William Byrd
CARE for thy soule as thing of greatest price,
Made to the end to tast of powre deuine,
Deuoide of guilt, abhorring sinne and vice,
Apt by God’s grace to vertue to incline:
Care for it so, as by thy retchless traine        5
It not be brought to tast eternall paine.
Care for thy corps, but chiefly for soule’s sake;
Cut off excesse; susteining food is best;
To vanquish pride, but comely clothing take;
Seeke after skill; deepe ignorance detest:        10
Care so, I say, the flesh to feed and cloth,
That thou harme not thy soule and bodie both.
Care for the world to do thy bodie right;
Racke not thy wit to winne by wicked waies;
Seeke not to oppresse the weake by wrongfull might;        15
To pay thy dew do banish all delayes:
Care to dispend according to thy store,
And in like sort be mindfull of the poore.
Care for thy soule, as for thy chiefest stay;
Care for thy bodie, for the soule’s auaile;        20
Care for the world, for bodie’s help alway;
Care, yet but so as vertue may preuaile:
Care in such sort that thou be sure of this,—
Care keep thee not from heauen and heauenly blisse.

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