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SAINT JOHN BAPTIST

319

Though I fail, I weep;
Though I halt in pace,

Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed ;

For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.
Love is swift of foot;
Love's a man of war,

And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can ’scape his bow ?
That which wrought on Thee,

Brought Thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away Thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,

Thou art God :
Throw away Thy wrath.

Geo. Herbert.

CCCLIV

SAINT JOHN BAPTIST

The last and greatest Herald of Heaven's King, Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild, Among that savage brood the woods forth bring, Which he than man more harmless found and mild.

His food was locusts, and what young doth spring
With honey that from virgin hives distill’d;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing,
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.
Then burst he forth : ‘All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn !'
-Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their flinty caves · Repent! Repent!'

Drummond of Hawthornden.

CCCLV

LITANY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

In the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drown'd in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

1 v.l. ‘marble.'

LITANY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

321

When the passing bell doth toll,
And the furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the priest his last hath pray'd,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decay'd,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When, God knows, I'm toss'd about
Either with despair or doubt;
Yet before the glass be out,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half-damns me with untruth,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the flames and hellish cries Fright mine ears and fright mine eyes, And all terrors me surprise,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the judgment is reveald, And that open'd which was seald, When to Thee I have appeald, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

Herrick.

CCCLVI

A LITANY

DROP, drop, slow tears,

And bathe those beauteous feet Which brought from Heaven

The news and Prince of Peace : Cease not, wet eyes,

His mercy to entreat: To cry for vengeance

Sin doth never cease. In your deep floods Drown all

my

faults and fears; Nor let His eye See sin, but through my tears.

Phineas Fletcher.

CCCLVII

EASTER SONG

I got me flowers to strew Thy way,

I got me boughs off many a tree; But Thou wast up by break of day,

And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sun arising in the East,

Though he give light and th' East perfume, If they should offer to contest

With Thy arising, they presume.

A HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER

323

Can there be any day but this,

Though many suns to shine endeavour? We count three hundred, but we miss : There is but one, and that one ever.

Geo. Herbert.

CCCLVIII

A HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER

Wilt Thou forgive that sin, where I begun,

Which was my sin, though it were done before ? Wilt Thou forgive that sin through which I run,

And do run still, though still I do deplore ? When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done;

For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won

Others to sin, and made my sins their door? Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun

A year or two, but wallow'd in a score ? When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done ;

For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; But swear by Thyself that at my death Thy Son

Shall shine as He shines now and heretofore : And having done that, Thou hast done; I fear no more.

J. Donne.

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