Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Worth of the Soul
VII. Sir John Davies
O IGNORANT poore man! what doost thou beare
  Lockt vp within the casket of thy breast?
What iewels, and what riches hast thou there?
  What heauenly treasure in so weake a chest?
Looke in thy soule, and thou shalt beauties find        5
  Like those which drownd Narcissus in the floud:
Honor and pleasure both are in thy mind,
  And all that in the world is counted good.
Thinke of her worth, and thinke that God did meane
  This worthy mind should worthy things embrace:        10
Blot not her beauties with thy thoughts vncleane,
  Nor her dishonor with thy passions base.
Kill not her quick’ning power with surfettings;
  Mar not her sense with sensualities;
Cast not her serious wit on idle things;        15
  Make not her free will slaue to vanities.
And when thou thinkst of her eternitie,
  Thinke not that death against her nature is:
Thinke it a birth; and when thou goest to die,
  Sing like a swan, as if thou wentst to blisse.        20
And thou, my Soule, which turnst thy curious eye
  To view the beames of thine owne form diuine,
Know that thou canst know nothing perfectly,
  While thou art clouded with this flesh of mine.
Take heed of ouer-weening, and compare        25
  Thy peacock’s feet with thy gay peacock’s traine:
Studie the best and highest things that are,
  But of thyselfe an humble thought retaine.
Cast downe thyselfe, and onely striue to raise
  The glorie of thy Maker’s sacred Name:        30
Vse all thy powers that blessed power to praise,
  Which giues thee power to be, and vse the same.

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