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A PARAPHRASE OF SOME OF THE PSALMS
Where reckless youth in an unquiet breast,
Set on by wrath, revenge, and cruelty, After long war patience had oppress'd ;
And justice, wrought by princely equity;
Began to work despair of liberty;
That of my fault thus pardon should be sought.
O LORD! upon whose will dependeth my welfare,
spare, Grant that the just request of this repentant mind So pierce thine ears, that in thy sight some favour it
My soul is fraughted full with grief of follies past;
fast: Like them whose fatal thread thy hand bath cut in
twain, Of whom there is no further bruit, which in their graves
remain. O Lord ! thou hast me cast headlong, to please my foe, Into a pit all bottomless, whereas I plain my woe.
1. Denny:' in the old edition the word is not Denny,' but conscience.' Sir Walter Denny, a friend of the Howard family, and one of the executors of Henry VIII., may be the person meant.
The burden of thy wrath it doth me sore oppress,
distress. The faithful friends are fled and banish'd from my sight, And such as I have held full dear, have set my friend
ship light. My durance doth persuade of freedom such despair, That by the tears that bain my breast, mine eyesight
doth appair. Yet do I never cease thine aid for to desire, With humble heart and stretched hands, for to appease
thine ire. Wherefore dost thou forbear in the defence of thine, To show such tokens of thy power in sight of Adam's
line, Whereby each feeble heart with faith might so be fed, That in the mouth of thy elect thy mercies might be
spread ? The flesh that feedeth worms cannot thy love declare ! Nor such set forth thy praise as dwell in the land of
despair. In blind indured hearts light of thy lively name Cannot appear, nor cannot judge the brightness of the
Nor blazed may thy name be by the mouths of those Whom death hath shut in silence, so as they may not
disclose : The lively voice of them that in thy word delight, Must be the trump that must resound the glory of thy
might; Wherefore I shall not cease, in chief of my distress To call on Thee, till that the sleep my wearied limbs oppress;
1. Appair :' impair, fail.
And in the morning eke when that the sleep is fled, 83 With floods of salt repentant tears to wash my restless
bed. Within this careful mind, burden'd with care and grief, Why dost thou not appear, O Lord! that shouldst be his
relief? My wretched state behold, whom death shall straight
assail ; Of one, from youth afflicted still, that never did but wail. The dread, lo! of thine ire hath trod me under feet : The scourges of thine angry hand hath made death seem
full sweet. Like as the roaring waves the sunken ship surround, Great heaps of care did swallow me, and I no succour
found : For they whom no mischance could from my love divide, Are forced, for my greater grief, from me their face to
Had well near piercèd Faith, my guiding sail ;
To succour truth, and falsehood to assail, Constrainèd am to bear my sails full low;
And never could attain some pleasant gale :
As run from port to port to seek avail.
That I'gan faint, and all my courage fail.
1. Blage :' George Blage, a friend of Surrey's, who accompanied him to Landrecy.
Though, Lord, to Israel thy graces plenteous be;
guide ; Like them that walk in slipper paths, my feet began to
slide; Whiles I did grudge at those that glory in their gold, Whose loathsome pride enjoyeth wealth, in quiet as
they wold. To see by course of years what nature doth appair, The palaces of princely form succeed from heir to heir ; From all such travails free, as ʼlong to Adam's seed, Neither withdrawn from wicked works by danger, nor by
dread. Whereof their scornful pride, and gloried with their eyes ; As garments clothe the naked man, thus are they clad
in vice. Thus, as they wish, succeeds the mischief that they mean ; Whose glutted cheeks sloth feeds so fat, as scant their
eyes be seen ; 1 Unto whose cruel power most men for dread are fain To bend or bow; with lofty looks, whiles they vaunt in
their reign ; And in their bloody hands, whose cruelty that frame The wailful works that scourge the poor, without regard
of blame. To tempt the living God they think it no offence; And pierce the simple with their tongues that can make
no defence. Such proofs before the just, to cause the hearts to waver, Be set, like cups mingled with gall, of bitter taste and
* Annotators see in this an allusion to Henry VIII.
Then say thy foes in scorn, that taste no other food, 23
blood; ‘Should we believe the Lord doth know, and snffer this ? Fooled be he with fables vain that so abused is.' In terror of the just, thus reigns iniquity, Armed with power, laden with gold, and dread for cruelty. Then vain the war might seem, that I by faith maintain Against the flesh, whose false affects my pure heart would
distain. For I am scourgèd still, that no offence have done, By wrathès children ; and from my birth my chàstising
begun. When I beheld their pride, and slackness of thy hand, I 'gan bewail the woful state wherein thy chosen stand. And when I sought whereof thy suff’rance, Lord, should
grow, I found no wit could pierce so far, thy holy dooms to
know : And that no mysteries nor doubt could be distrust, Till I come to the holy place, the mansion of the just; Where I shall see what end thy justice shall prepare, For such as build on worldly wealth, and dye their colours
fair. Oh! how their ground is false! and all their building vain! And they shall fall; their power shall fail that did their
pride maintain. As charged hearts with care, that dream some pleasant turn After their sleep find their abuse, and to their plaint
return, So shall their glory fade ; thy sword of vengeance shall Unto their drunken eyes in blood disclose their errors
1. Distrust .' untrussed, untied,