[Page] THE PASSION of a Discontented Minde.


LONDON Printed by V. S. for Iohn Baily, and are to be sold at his shop at the doore of the office of the vi. Clarks in Chancerie lane. 1601

THE PASSION of a Discontented Minde.

FRom silent night, true Register of mones;
From saddest soule, consum'd with deepest sins;
From hart quite rent, with sighs & heuy grones,
My wailing Muse her wofull worke beginnes:
And to the world brings tunes of sad despaire,
Sounding nought else but sorrow, griefe, and care.
Sorrow, to see my sorrowes cause augmented,
And yet lesse sorrowfull, were my sorrowes more;
Griefe, that my griefe, with griefe is not preuented;
For griefe it is must ease my grieued sore.
Thus griefe and sorrow care's but how to grieue;
For griefe and sorrow must my cares releeue.
[Page] The wound fresh bleeding must be stancht with teares,
Teares cannot come, vnlesse some griefe preceed;
Griefes come but slacke, which doth increase my feares,
Feares, lest for want of helpe I still should bleed.
Do what I can to lengthen my liues breath,
Ifteares be wanting, I shall bleed to death.
Thou deepest Searcher of each secret thought,
Infuse in me thy all-affecting grace;
So shall my workes to good effects be brought,
While I peruse my vgly sinnes a space:
Whose staining filth so spotted hath my soule,
As nought will waste, but teares of inward dole.
O that the learned Poets of this time
(Who in a loue-sicke line so well indite)
Would not consume good wit in hatefull Rime,
But would with care some better subiect write:
For if their musicke please in earthly things,
Well would it sound if straind with heaunly strings.
[Page] But woe it is to see fond worldlings vse,
Who most delight in things that vainest be;
And without feare worke Virtues fowle abuse,
Scorning soules rest, & al true piety:
As if they made account neuer to parte
From this fraile life; the pilgrimage of smart.
Such is the nature of our foolish kinde,
When practiz'd sinne, hath deeply taken roote,
The way to penance due is hard to finde,
Repentance held a thing of little boote.
For contrite teares, soules health, and angels ioy,
Most men account a meere phantastike toy.
Ill working Vse, deuourer of al grace,
The fretting moath that wasteth soules chiefe blisse,
The slie close thiefe that lurkes in euery place,
Filching by peece-meale, til the whole be his.
How many are deceiued by thy baite,
T'account their sinnes as trifles of no waight?
[Page] O cursed custome, causing mischiefe still,
Too long thy craft my senses hath misse-led;
Too long haue I bin slaue vnto thy will;
Too long my soule on bitter sweetes hath fed:
Now surfetting with thy hell poysned cates,
In deepe repent, her former folly hates.
And humbly comes with sorrow-rented hart,
With blubbred eies, and hands vprear'd to heauen;
To play a poore lamenting Mawdlines part,
That would weepe streames of blood to be forgiuen:
But (oh) I feare mine eies are drain'd so drie,
That though I would, yet now I cannot crie.
If any eie therefore can spare a teare,
To fill the wel-springs that must wet my cheekes;
O let that eie to this sad feast draw neare:
Refuse me not, my humble soule beseekes;
For all the teares mine eies haue euer wept,
Were now too little had they all bin kept.
[Page] I see my sinnes arraign'd before my face,
I see their number passe the moathes in Sunne,
I see that my continuance in this place
Cannot be long; and all that I haue done
I see the Iudge before my face hath layde,
At whose sterne lookes all creatures are afraide.
If he be iust, my soule condemned is;
And iust he is, what then may be expected,
But banishment from euerlasting blisse?
To liue like cursed Caine, base, vile, abiected:
He in his rage his brothers blood did spill;
I more vnkinde mine owne soules life doe kill.
O could mine eies send trickling teares amaine,
Neuer to cease till my eternall night,
Till this eye-flood his mercy might obtaine,
Whome my defaults haue banisht from his sight:
Then could I blesse my happy time of crying,
But ah too soone my barren springs are drying.
[Page] Thrise happy sinner was that blessed Saint,
Who though he fell with puffe of womans blast,
Went forth and wept with many a bitter plaint,
And by his teares obtained grace at last:
But wretched I, haue falne of mine accord,
Tenne thousand times against the liuing Lord.
Yet cannot straine one true repentant teare,
To gaine the blisse from which my soule is banisht;
My flintie heart some sorrowing doth forbeare,
And from my sence all true remorce is vanisht:
For heart and sence are cloyd with dregs of sinne,
And theres no place for Grace to enter in.
No place (deere Lord) vnlesse thy goodnesse please
To pitty him that worst deserues of any;
And in thy tender mercy grant him ease,
As thou tofore hast mercy shewd to many:
Yet none of those doe equall me in sinne,
Oh how may I hope mercie then to winne.
[Page] The traitor Iudas heire borne to perdition,
Who for a trifle did his Lord betray,
In equall doome deserueth more remission,
Then my defaults can challenge any way:
He solde him once, that once for gaine was done,
I oftentimes, yet lesse then nothing wonne.
The bloody minded Iewes, in furie mad,
Vntill on Christ their cruell rage was fed,
In their fell anger more compassion had
Then I, for whome his harmelesse blood was shed:
Their hellish spite within a day was past,
My sinfull fit doth all my life time last.
For eu'ry stripe that he from them did take,
A thousand deadly sinnes haue I committed;
And eu'ry wound as deepe a wound did make,
As did the cordes wherewith my Christ was whipped:
Oh hateful caitife, parricide most vile,
Thus (with my sinne) his pure blood to defile.
[Page] O sinne, first parent of mans euer woe,
The distance large that seuers hell and heauen;
Senses confounder, soules chiefe ouerthrow,
Grafted by men, not by the grafter geuen:
Consuming canker, wasting soules chiefe treasure,
Onely to gaine a little trifling pleasure.
Happy were man, if sinne had neuer bin,
Thrise happie now, if sinne he would for sake;
But happier farre, if for his wicked sinne
He would repent, and hearty sorrow make:
Leauing this drosse and fleshly delectation,
To gaine in heau'n a lasting habitation.
There is the place wherein all sorrowes die,
Where Ioy exceedes all ioyes that euer were;
Where Angels make continuall harmony,
The minde set free from care, distrust, or feare:
There all receiue all ioyfull contentation,
Happied by that most heau'nly contemplation.
[Page] Now see (alas) the change we make for sinne,
In steede of heau'n, hel is become our lot;
For blessed Saints, damned fiends we euer winne;
For rest and freedome, lasting bondage got:
For Ioy, content, eternall loue and peace,
Griefe, dispaire, hate, iarres that neuer cease.
The worme of conscience stil attendeth on vs,
Telling each houre, each instant we shall die;
And that our sinnes cannot be parted from vs,
But where we are, thither they likewise flie:
Still vrging this, that death wee haue deserued,
Because we fled from him we should haue serued.
What greater sinne can touch a humane hart?
What hellish furie can be worse tormented?
What sinner liues that feeleth not a part
Of this sharpe plague, vnlesse he haue repented?
And yet Repentance surely is but vaine,
Without full purpose, not to sinne againe.
[Page] And is it not then plaine follies error,
To couet that that brings with it contempt,
And makes vs liue in feare, distrust, and terror,
Hating at last the thing wee did attempt?
For neuer sinne did yet so pleasing taste,
But lustfull flesh did loathe it when t'was past.
Witnes my wofull soule, which well can tell,
In hiest top of sinne's most fresh delight;
Although my frailety suffred mee to dwell,
Yet being past, I loath'd it with despight.
But like the swine, I fed mine owne desire,
That being cleane, stil coueteth the mire.
So greedy is mans beastly appetite,
To follow after dunghill pleasures still;
And feede on carrion like the rauening kite,
Not caring what his hungry maw dooth fill:
But worketh euermore his wills effect,
Without restraint, controlement, or respect.
[Page] O, why should man, that beares the stamp of heauen,
So much abase heauens holy will and pleasure?
O, why was sence and reason to him giuen,
That in his sinne cannot containe a measure:
He knowes, he must account for euery sinne,
And yet committeth sinnes that countlesse bin.
This to peruse (deere God) doth kill my soule,
But that thy mercy quickeneth it againe;
O, heare me, Lord, in bitternesse of dole,
That of my sinnes do prostrate heere complaine;
And at thy feet, with Mary, knocke for grace,
Though wanting Maries teares to wet my face.
She, happy sinner, saw her life misse-led,
At sight whereof, her inward hart did bleede,
To witnes with her outward teares were shed.
O blessed Saint, and O most blessed deede:
But wretched I, that see more sinnes than she,
Nor greeue within, nor yet weepe outwardly.
[Page] When she had lost thy presence but one day,
The want was such, hir heart could not sustaine;
But to thy tombe alone she tooke her way,
And there with sighs and teares she did complaine:
Nor from her sense, once moou'd or stirr'd was shee,
Vntil againe she got a sight of thee.
But I haue lost thy presence all my dayes,
And still am slacke to see thee as I should;
My wretched soule in wicked sinne so stayes,
I am vnmeete to see thee, though I would:
Yet, if I could with teares thy comming tend,
I know I should (as she) finde thee my frend.
Teares are the key that ope the way to blisse,
The holy water quenching heau'ns quicke fire;
The attonement true twixt God and our amisse;
The Angels drinke, the blessed Saints desire:
The ioy of Christ, the balme of grieued hart,
The spring of life, the ease of eu'ry sinart.
[Page] The second King of Israel by succession,
When with Vriahs wife he had offended,
In bitter teares be waild his great transgression,
And by his teares found grace, and so repented:
He, night and day in weeping did remaine;
I, night nor day to shed one teare take paine.
And yet my sinnes, in greatnesse, and in number,
Farre his exceede; how comes it then to passe,
That my repentance should so farre be vnder;
And graces force, deere God, is as it was:
Truth is, that I, although I haue more neede,
Do not, as he, so truely weepe indeede.
O wherfore is my steely heart so hard?
Why am I made of mettall vnrelenting?
Why is all ghostly comfort from me bard?
Or, to what end do I deferre repenting?
Can lustfull flesh, or flattring world perswade me,
That I can scape the power of him that made me?
[Page] No, no, the secret Searcher of all hearts,
Both sees, and knowes each deede that I haue done,
And for each deede wil pay me home with smart,
No place can serue, his wil decreed to shunne;
I should deceiue my selfe, to thinke that he
For sinne would punish others, and not me.
Our first borne sire, first breeder of mans thrall,
For one bare sinne was of perfection reft,
And all mankinde were banisht by his fall
From Paradise, and vnto sorrowe left:
If he for one, and all for him feele paine,
Then, for so many, what should I sustaine?
The Angells made to attend on God in glorie,
Were thrust from heau'n, and only for one sinne,
That but in thought (for so recordes the Storie)
For which they still in lasting darkenesse bin:
If those, once glorious, thus tormented be,
I (basest slaue) what will become of me?
[Page] What wil become of me, that not in thought,
In thought alone, but in each worde and deed;
A thousand thousand deadly sinnes haue wrought,
And still doe worke, whereat my hart doth bleed:
For euen now, in this my sad complaining,
With new made sins, my flesh my soule is staining.
O that I were remou'd to some close caue,
Where all alone retired from delight,
I might my sighes and teares vntroubled haue,
And neuer come in wretched worldlings sight;
Whose ill bewitching company still brings
Deepe prouocation, whence great danger springs.
Ill company, the cause of many woes,
The sugred baite, that hideth poysned hooke;
The rocke vnseene, that shipwrackt soules o'rethrowes,
The weeping crocodile, that killes with looke,
The readiest steppe, to ruine and decay,
Graces confounder, and helles nearest way.
[Page] How many soules do perish by thy guile?
How many men without all feare frequent
Thy deadly haunts, where they in pleasure smile,
Taking no care such dangers to preuent?
But liue like Belials, vnbrideled or vntamed,
Not looking they shall for their faults be blamed.
Alas, alas, too wretched doe we liue,
That carelesly thus worke our owne confusion,
And to our willes such libertie doe giue;
Ay me, it is the diuells meere illusion,
To flatter vs with such sense-pleasing traines,
That he thereby may take vs in his chaines.
This well foresaw good men of auntient time,
Which made them shunne th'occasions of foule sinne,
Knowing it was the nurse of euery crime,
And Syren-like would traine fond worldlings in:
Alluring them with shew of musickes sound,
Vntill on sinnes deepe shelfe their soules be drownd.
[Page] But he is held no sotiable man,
In this corrupted age, that shall refuse
To keepe the cursed company now and than;
Nay but a foole, vnlesse he seeme to chuse:
Their fellowship, and giue them highest place.
That vildest liue, and furthest off from grace.
But better tis, belieue me, in my tryall,
To shun such hel-hounds, factors of the Diuell;
And giue them leaue to grudge at your deniall,
Then to partake with such in sinne and euill:
For if that God (in Iustice) then should slay vs,
From hell and horror, who (alas) could stay vs?
Good God; the Iust (as he himselfe hath spoken)
Should scarce be saued, O terror vnremouable,
What then should they that neuer had a token,
Or signe of grace (soules comfort most behoueable)
But gracelesse liu'd, and all good deedes did hate.
What hope of them that liue in such a state?
[Page] O who will giue meteares, that I may waile
Both nights and dayes, the dangers I haue past;
My soule, my soule, tis much for thy auaile,
That thou art gotten from these straits at last:
O ioy, but in thy ioy mixe teares withall,
That thou hast time to say; Lord heare me call.
I might as others (Lord) haue perished,
Amid my sinnes and damnable delights;
But thou (good God) with care my soule hast cherished,
And brought it home, to taste on heau'nly lights:
Ay me, what thankes, what seruice can I render
To thee, that of my safety art so tender?
Now doe I curse the time I euer went
In sinnes blacke path, that leadeth to damnation:
Now do I hate the houres, I haue misse-spent
In ydle vice, neglecting soules saluation,
And to redeeme the time I haue mis-worne;
I wish this houre, I were againe new borne.
[Page] But vaine it is, as saith the wisest man,
To call againe the day that once is past,
O let me see what best is for me than,
To gaine thy fauour whil'st my life doth last;
That in the next I may but worthy be,
Eu'n in the meanest place to waite on thee.
I will, as did the prodigall sonne sometime,
Vpon my knees with harty true contrition,
And Weeping eies, confesse my former crime,
And humbly begge vpon my low submission,
That thou wilt not of former faults detect me,
But like a louing father now respect me.
Or, as the wife that hath her husband wronged,
So wil I come with feare and blushing cheeke:
For giuing others what to thee belonged;
And say, My King, my Lord, and Spouse most meeke,
I haue defil'd the bed that thou didst owe;
Forgiue me this, it shall no more be so.
[Page] Yet, for the world can witnes mine abuse,
Ile hide my face from face that witcht mine eies;
These gracelesse eies, that had my bodies vse,
Till it be withred with my verie cries:
That when my wrinckles shall my sorrowes tell,
The world may say, I ioy'd not, though I fell.
And thus will I, in sorrowing spend my breath,
And spot my face with neuer-dying teares,
Till aged wrinckles messengers of death
Haue purchasde mercy, and remou'd my feares:
And then the world within my lookes shall read,
The piteous wracke vnbrideled sinne hath bred.
And that which was a pleasure to beholde,
Shalbe to me an euer-griping paine;
All my misdeedes shall one and one be tolde,
That I may see what tyrants haue mee slaine:
And when I haue thus mustred them apart,
I will display on each a bleeding hart.
[Page] And lest my teares should faile me at most need,
Before the face of faith Ile fix my Sauiours passion;
And see how his most pretious side did bleed,
And note his death and torments in such fashion;
As neuer man the like did vndertake,
For freely he hath done it for my sake.
If this his kindenesse and his mercy showne,
Cannot prouoke me vnto tender crying;
Then will I backe againe turne to mine owne,
Mine owne sinne, cause of this his cruell dying:
And if for them no teares mine eies can find,
Sighs shal cause tears, tears make my poore eies blind.
No farre fetcht story haue I now brought home,
Nor taught to speake more language than his mothers,
No long done Poem, is from darkenesse come
To light againe, it's ill to fetch from others:
The song I sing, is made of heart-bred sorrow,
Which pensiue Muse from pining soule doth borow.
[Page] I sing not I, of wanton loue-sicke laies,
Of trickling to yes, to feed fantasticke eares,
My Muse respects no flattring tatling praise;
A guiltie conicience this sad passion beares:
My sinne sicke soule, with sorrow woe begone,
Lamenting thus a wretched deede mis-done.

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