Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
Lines from “Christ’s Bloody Sweat”
THIS 1 Man of men did in his troubled spirit
Into a streame of soft compassion melt
His icye bloud, that frailty might inherit
The sun of comfort, by the griefes he felt:
  Each drop of bloud he shed, he shed it then        5
  To wash a severall sin from severall men.
Here saw he princes in the awfull throne
Of eminencie, how wantonly they strove
For thirst of glory, to protect alone
Religious name, not for religious love;        10
  Graceing the gracelesse, in whom grace was lost,
  Such parasites as knew to flatter most.
For those he sweated bloud, that they whom Heaven
Created gods on earth, should so prophane,
By courses indirect and lawes un-even,        15
Of will and sensuall lust, the law first drawne
  By that eternall royalty, who stood
  To watch their faults: for kings he sweated bloud.
Here saw he such who under those were plac’t
In seates of greatnesse and commaundes of state,        20
How fond in their madnesse they did wast
Their greatnesse in ambition and debate,
  Ayming not to support, but scorne the good,
  By unjust force: for such he sweated bloud.
Here saw he how in Moses’ chayre there raign’d        25
Scribes cloath’d in wool of lambes, and speaking well,
But wolves in nature, so coruptly stayn’d,
As if they were but messengers of hell;
  Abusing unlearn’d soules and Levit’s power,
  More ready then to cherrish, to devoure.        30
Those whom the breath of God at first inspir’d
To shine as lampes, and speake the heavenly sound
With angels’ tongues, were silent, if not hir’d;
More studying with the scriptures to compound
  Their own traditions; and for those, indeed,        35
  In heavy droppes the sweat of Christ did bleed.
Here saw he lawyers soberly engoun’d,
Wanting the robe of justice; not regarding
The poor man’s right, nor where the case was sound,
But giving judgment as he felt rewarding;        40
  Whose tongue was bought against that side was weake,
  Most times as well to hold his peace as speake:
For them he sweated bloud. And here he saw
Intrusted jurisdiction over-sway’d
By partiall favour, above forme of law,        45
Cold conscience, by which conscience was betray’d;
  For those condemning, were condemn’d to much,
  As they condemn’d: he sweated bloud for such.
Here saw he souldiers, toyling in the heat
Of cruelty, not measuring the right        50
Why they bore armes, but, to content the great
And their own lawlesse hate, prepar’d to fight,
  For prey and spoyle adventuring to rent
  Their lives and soules: for those his bloud hee spent.
Heere saw he others that did keepe the sword        55
Of office and authority, in peace,
Compacted in a knot, not to accord
Or set at unity, strifes but increase;
  Wounding or sparing with a watchfull hand,
  As some superiour person should commaund.        60
Note 1. LXXXIV. J. F.—This author, of whom nothing is known, wrote “Christ’s Bloodie Sweat: or The Sonne of God in his Agonie;” which was printed in 1613 by Ralphe Blower, “and sold at his house upon Lambert Hill.” [back]

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