Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Conclusion to Mary Magdalen’s Lamentations
LXXXVI. Anonymous
 
(“Iesus met them, saying, All haile, etc.”)

OH how profound are all thy iudgments, Lord!
How dost thou take my sorrowe to thy hart!
How doth thy eyes such bleeding drops afford,
To see my wounded loue and grieuous smart,
  That thy refusall late requited is        5
  With such a grauut so free and full of blisse!
 
Oh milde phisition, how well didst thou know
Thy corrasiue so sharp did grieue my wound,
Which did by ignorance, not errour, growe,
Therefore no sooner felt, but helpe was found;        10
  Thy lenitiue applide did ease my paine,
  For though thou didst forbid, ’twas no restraine.
 
And now, to shew that thy deniall late,
Was but a check to my vnsettled faith,
And no reiecting of my fault with hate,        15
Thou let’st me wash thy feete in my teare-bath;
  I kisse them too, the seales of our redemption,
  My loue renew’d with endless consolation.
 
Thus hast thou, Lord, full finished my teares,
Assured my hopes, contented my desires,        20
Repayd my loues, extirped quite my feares,
Perfected ioyes with all that hart requires;
  And made the period of expiring griefes
  The preamble to euer-fresh reliefes.
 
How mercifull a Father art thou, Lord,        25
To poore forsaken orphans in distresse!
How soft a Iudge, that iudegment doth afford
With mildest grace to sinners comfortlesse!
  How sure a friend vnto a sincere louer,
  Whose pure and faithfull loue doth alter neuer!        30
 
Tis true, good Lord, thou leauest none that loue thee,
And such as trust in thee thou lou’st againe;
Yea, they shall find that liberall thou wilt be
Aboue desert, and bountifull remaine
  Beyond all hope: thy gifts bestow’d we see,        35
  Not by our merits, but by thy mercy.
 
Oh Christian soule, take Mary for thy mirrhor;
And if thou wilt the like effects obtaine,
Then follow her in like affection’s feruour,
And so with her like mercy shalt thou gaine:        40
  Learne, sinfull man, of this one sinfull woman,
  That sinners may find Christ which sin abandon;
 
That loue recouereth him whom sin did lose;
That firm beliefe recalleth that againe,
Which fainting faith did quite forsake to chose;        45
That what nor force nor fauour can afford, 1
  Nor pollicie by mortall means bring in,
  Continued teares of constant loue can win.
 
Learne thou of her for Christ no force to feare,
And out of Christ no comfort to desire;        50
With Christ his loue all loue, though ne’re so deere,
To ouer-rule, to quench fond fancie’s fire:
  Rise early, soule, in thy goode motion’s morne;
  Sleepe not in sloth, when dilligence may performe.
 
Runne with repentance to thy sinfull hart,        55
Which should the temple vndefil’d haue been;
But though thy fault deserues no better part,
Then be the tombe for Christ to bury in;
  For wanting life to tast this heauenly bread,
  He seem’d to thee as if he had been dead.        60
 
Remoue the leads that presse thee downe in sin;
The stone of former hardnes roule away:
Looke to thy soule, if Christ be lodg’d therein;
And if thou find that there he doe not stay,
  Then weepe without: in other creatures mind him,        65
  Sith, had in all, in any thou maist find him.
 
Make faith thine eye, hope guide, and loue thy light;
Seeke him, not his; for himselfe, not his meeds;
If faith haue found him in a cloudy night,
Let hope seeke for him when the day-spring breeds:        70
  If hope to see him haue thee luckly led,
  Let loue seeke further in him to be fed.
 
To moue thee in a hot desire to finde,
His goods are pretious; and when he is found,
To seeke him still thy good desire to binde,        75
His treasures infinit doe still abound:
  Seeke him alone, he is thy soule’s pure health;
  Seeke him, he is thy hart’s contented wealth;
 
Seeke him alone, and nothing els beside;
Though at the first not found, persist in teares;        80
Stand on the earth, suppressing sinne and pride;
Preuent each vice which in this world appeares:
  Eschuing it, thou maist auoid that fall,
  Which, following it, thou canst not shun at all.
 
To looke thee better in the tombe, bow downe        85
Thy stubborn necke to beare humility;
And stooping from each proud and lofty frowne,
With lowly looks obtaine sweete clemency:
  An humble soule that sincks in selfe-contempt,
  Soone winneth heauen, and hell doth best preuent.        90
 
If he vouchsafe thee with his glorious sight,
Offering himselfe vnto thy inward eyes,
Presume not of thyselfe to know his light,
But as vnworthy still, thyselfe despise;
  Prostrate thyselfe all lowly at his feete,        95
  That he to know him right will make thee meete.
 
And being thus with dilligence prepared,
Going with speede, standing with hopes lift hie;
Humbling thy hart, thy haughty will impaired,
If thou with Mary none but Christ would see;        100
  Himselfe will to thy teares an answeare giue,
  And his owne words assure thee he doth liue:
  That sweetly hee vnto thee being showne,
  To others thou maist runne, and make him knowne.
 
Note 1. Qu. obtain? [back]
 
 
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