Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
A Prayer
XLV. Nicholas Breton
OH, with thy grace my heart inspire,
To bring forth fruites of thy desire.
Give me thy Peter’s penitence,
Paul’s faith, and Job his patience,
And Marie’s grace, and John his loue,        5
That in my heart I may approue.
When all these graces meete in mee,
What ioy my soule shall have in thee:
But oh, my God! my heart doth ake,
My soule with trembling fear doth quake,        10
That sinne hath brought me in such plight
As makes me ouglie in thy sight;
And I (O wretch!) am one of those
Whom thou hast reckoned for thy foes,
And that thy mercie will not heare me,        15
Nor comfort euer shall come near mee;
My prayer turned into sinne,
No gate of grace shall enter in;
But all my thoughts are farre amisse,
Shall banisht be from hope of blisse;        20
And my poore soule, by sinne’s desart,
Condemn’d vnto eternall smart.
And yet again, meethinks, I see
How thy great mercie lookes on mee,
And tels me faith may be victorious,        25
While grace will be in mercie glorious,
And what true hartes do truelie proue,
That turne to thee in teares of loue;
In which vnfaigned faithfull teares,
Wherein the wofull spirit weares,        30
I humbly fall at mercie’s feete,
Where grace, and loue, and glorie meete;
And in teares of true contrition
Thus makes my wofull soule’s petition:
In mercie looke on me, deare God;        35
Forgive my sinnes, forbeare thy rod;
Behold my griefe and ease my paine,
And take me to thy grace againe,
That I may see that bright Sunne shine,
Whose glorie neuer can decline;        40
Where I with Simeon’s ioy may sing
When I embrace my holy King,
And sinne and sorrowes cease,
As my soule may rest in peace.

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