Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
God’s Beneficence
XCI. John Hagthorpe
IF from a friend some trifle we receiue,
  Some bracelet, gloues, or some such common thing,
We think ourselues ungratefull if we leaue
  These vnrequited; and can we lesse bring
    To Him, which giues us all that we possess,        5
    Than the poore heart’s true loue and thankfulnesse?
How can his roiall bounties be exprest?
  The things ordained for ornament and vse;
The various fare prepared to feast his guests,
  Where each one for his appetite may choose.        10
    Oh, who can count the various kinds of creatures,
    Their wondrous shapes, their colours, and their features!
Ten thousand flocks that ore our heads still houers
  Which daily seeme to bid us kill and eat;
Ten thousand fruits, which time to vs discouers;        15
  Ten thousand plants, and rootes, and seeds for meat;
    The sculles, oh Lord, of all the lakes and fountaines,
    The heards are thine upon ten thousand mountaines.
Ten thousand creatures for delight assign’d;
  Ten thousand stones that precious vertues hold;        20
Ten thousand flowers to recreate the mind;
  Ten thousand healthfull drugs, more worth than gold;
    Ten thousand more then I can sum or count;
    Thy blessings, Lord, all tongues and wits surmount.
And euery blessing is so double blest,        25
  That they not only food for us containe,
But bounteous Nature locks within the least
  Of these some helpe for our disease and paine:
    One thing sometimes hath such varietie,
    That many pretious vertues hidden lie.        30
For all which God requires but thankfulnes,
  Though thanklesse we too often not agnize
The Author of these benefits of his,
  But either Chance or Nature’s gift them prize;
    For those that with these blessings most abound        35
    Are commonly the most ingratefull found.

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