Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
The Talent
By Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
GRACIOUS, 1 Divine, and most Omnipotent!
Receive thy servant’s talent in good part,
Which hid it not, but willing did convart
It to best use he could, when it was lent:
The sum—though slender, yet not all misspent—        5
Receive, dear God of grace, from cheerful heart
Of him that knows how merciful thou art,
And with what grace to contrite sinners bent.
I know my fault, I did not as I should;
My sinful flesh against my soul rebelled;        10
But since I did endeavour what I could,
Let not my little nothing be withheld
From thy rich treasuries of endless grace;
But, for thy sake, let it procure a place.
Note 1. “In 1593, the influence of the Sidney poems … was new and the imitators … display a good deal of the quality of the novice. The chief among them are Barnabe Barnes with his Parthenophil and Parthenophe (and others)…. Barnes is a modern discovery, for before Dr. Grosart reprinted him in 1875, from the unique original at Chatworth, for thirty subscribers only … he was practically unknown. Mr. Arber has since, in his English Garner, opened access to a wider circle…. As with most of these minor Elizabethan poets, Barnes is a very obscure person.” (Saintsbury, Elizabethan Literature, 1887.) [back]

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