Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
CXXIV. Gregory Scott
From “A briefe Treatise agaynst certayne Errors of the Romish Church, etc. Very plainly, notably, and pleasantly confuting the same by Scriptures and auncient writers. Compiled by Gregory Scot, 1570. Perused and lisenced according to the Quene’s Maiestie’s Iniunction. 1574.”

HOW 1 is the faythful city chaungde
  From that it was before!
Where righteousnes sometime did syt,
  Now bloudshed raygneth more.
Rome once it had renowmed prayse,        5
  For Truth therein did dwell:
A faythfull citie once it was,
  And others did excell.
But now ungodlynes doth raygne,
  Where fayth dyd then abound:        10
Their wicked and most lothsome liues
  Throughout the world doth sound.
Rome is a cage of birdes uncleane,
  A sincke of filthy synne:
Few errours haue the Church infect,        15
  That dyd not there begynne.
From thence they spred over the earth:
  What place could once be found,
That free was from infection?
  In Europe none was found.        20
Wher canker once hath taken roote,
  It creepeth ouer all:
Herein that wicked mother-churche
  We may to witnes call;
Which, once declining from the truth        25
  And from the perfect waye,
Hath ever synce more errours bred,
  And further gone astraye.
Of these errours my purpose is
  Here brieflie to intreate;        30
But not of all, for that were much,
  The number is so greate:
I meane, of such as you your selues,
  By whom mayntayned they bee,
Might some perceiue (so plain they are),        35
  If eyes you had to see.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *
The glorie of the immortall God,
  Whose shape was neuer sene,
To images of mortall men
  Thus have you chaunged cleane.        40
But whereof be they images?
  Of God they can be none;
For he doth lyue euen of hymselfe,
  And geueth lyfe alone.
The image hath no lyfe nor breath,        45
  Nor cannot moue at all;
It cannot once get up agayne,
  If that it chaunce to fall.
Moreouer, God is infinite,
  And measured cannot bee;        50
His breadth, his length, how can you shew
  In mettall, stone, or tree?
No carnall substance is in God,
  Such thought haue not in mynde;
God is a spirit, and who can        55
  An image thereof finde?
No liknes then there is of God,
  In image wrought by arte,
In substance, nor in outward fourme,
  Nor any other part.        60
Therefore accursed is the worke,
  Reprochefull unto God,
Whereby the Godhead you compare
  Unto a piece of wood.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *
The tree doth lift itselfe aloft,        65
  That hath least fruit theron;
But where great plenty groweth most,
  It boweth down anon.
So are we proude, and yet but poore,
  No goodnes we haue here:        70
Though we lyue well, yet euermore
  Let us fall downe in feare.
And so not in our rightuousnes,
  But for his mercie’s sake,
To God in tyme of troubles great        75
  Our prayers we will make.
As unto godly workes in Christ
  We all be created;
So let us warely walke therein,
  As God hath ordayned;        80
Forsaking all our former synnes,
  Renude in hart and mynde,
Least unto Christ our Sauiour
  We shew our selues unkynde;
Who by his death dyd us redeeme,        85
  Not to our selues to lyue,
But unto him, his lyfe for us
  That did so freely gyue.
O God, be mercyfull to us,
  And blesse us plenteously;        90
The brightnes of thy countenance
  Shew us continually.
That we on earth thy waies mai learn,
  And euer thinke thereon,
And that all nations here may know        95
  Thy sauing health alone.
Note 1. CXXIV. Gregory Scott.—Wrote “A briefe Treatise agaynst certayne errors of the Romish Church: very plainly, notably, and pleasantly confuting the same by Scriptures and auncient writers. 1570. Perused and liscenced according to the Queene’s Maiestie’s Iniunction. 1574.” The poem is preceded by an address from “The Printer to the Christian Reader,” in six eight-line stanzas, in which he says that it was published
  “Chiefly for the symple sorte,
            in forme most playne,
In pleasant wyse, and order shorte,
That they may viewe with lesser payne,
And in their mynde the same contayne.”

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