Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
XLVI. Joseph Bryan
EXCEPT the Lord himselfe will daigne
To buyld the house, the work to guide,
The builder’s labour is in vaine;
Like Babell’s builders’ haughtie pride.
Nor watch, nor guard, nor centinell,        5
Can batteld, scourg’d, fenced townes defend,
Vnles the God of Israël
Doo guard and guide, and his help send.
It is not early rising vp,
Nor going very late to bed,        10
Nor drinking of a strengthles cup,
Nor sweatting, eating carefull bread,
That aught availes: ’tis all in vaine;
Carking is naught worth approu’d;
But God giues rest, and without paine        15
All needful things to his belou’d.
Children, the staff and crowne of age,
Is sure for to succeed their sires,—
Are the Almightie’s heritage,
Wherewith he crownes his saints’ desires.        20
As shafts are in an archer’s hand,
Who drawes a stiff-bent synnowy bow;
Euen so are children in thy hand,
Which vp in strength and vertue grow:
Straight, shaft-like sprowts in shape and mind,        25
Strong but to vertue, not to vice,
Straight bent to glorious deeds by kind,
And to no braue acheiuements nice.
O happie sire, whose aged wings
Are ympt with plumes of this airount!        30
He neede not feare the face of kings,
But eagle-like his fame shall mount.

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