Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Psalme IV
VI. Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke
Cum invocarem.

HEARE 1 me, O heare me, when I call,
  O God, God of my equity!
  Thou sett’st me free when I was thrall:
  Have mercy therefore still on me,
  And hearken how I pray to thee.        5
O men, whose fathers were but men,
  Till when will ye my honor high
  Stain with your blasphemies? till when
  Such pleasure take in vanity,
  And only haunt where lies do lye?        10
Yet know this to, that God did take,
  When he chose me, a godly one:
  Such one, I say, that when I make
  My crying plaintes to him alone,
  He will give good eare to my moane.        15
O, tremble then with awfull will;
  Sinne from all rule in you depose.
  Talk with your harts, and yet be still;
  And, when your chamber you do close,
  Your selves yet to your selves disclose.        20
The sacrifices sacrifie
  Of just desires on justice staid:
  Trust in that Lord that cannot ly.
  Indeed, full many folkes have said,
  From whence shall come to us such aid?        25
But, Lord, lift thou upon our sight
  The shining cleerenes of thy face;
  Where I have found more hart’s delight,
  Then they whose store in harvest’s space
  Of grain and wine fills stoaring place.        30
So I in peace and peacefull blisse
  Will lay mee downe and take my rest:
  For it is thou, Lord, thou it is,
  By pow’r of whose own onely brest
  I dwell, laid up in safest neast.        35
Note 1. VI. Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke.—They were the offspring of Sir Henry Sidney, of Penshurst, in Kent. Sir Philip was one of the most celebrated characters of his times. His popularity was great both at home and abroad. In his youth he attended both the universities; and when his education was completed, he visited different foreign countries. He spent a year in Italy, and on his return he was taken into favour by Queen Elizabeth. In 1586, Sir Philip accompanied a military force sent from England to assist the people of the Netherlands in throwing off the yoke of Spain. During this expedition he lost his life in a skirmish near Zutphen.
  In this selection Sir Philip Sidney is introduced, together with his sister the Countess of Pembroke, as the joint authors of “The Psalmes of David, translated into divers and sundry kindes of verse, more rare and excellent, for the method and varietie, than ever yet hath been done in English.” Manuscript copies of this version of the Psalms of David are to be found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the libraries of two or three private individuals. It is not certain which portions were written by Sir Philip and which by the countess; but the title-page of one of the MSS. in the Bodleian Library states that the version was “begun by the noble and learned gent, Sir Philip Sidney, Knt. and finished by the Right Honorable the Countess of Pembroke, his sister.” [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.