The Pensive Prisoners Apology.
Directed to his fellow-Prisoners wheresoever, wherein he adviseth them to be stedfast in faith and hope, and patiently to indure their careful Imprison­ment, and to keep their Vows, shewing the way to true Liberty.

To the Tune of, Love with unconfined Wings.
LOve with unconfined wings
hovers about my gates,
And my divine Althema begins
to whisper at my grates,
When I lie tangled in her hair
being settered in her etc,
The birds that wanton in the Air
knows no such liberty.
When like contented Limits I
with silver notes will sing:
The very meekness of the heart,
and glory of the thiug,
When I shall noise abroad and spread
how good their virtues be,
Fishes that ripple in the deep.
knows no such liberty.
My lodging is on the cold boards,
my cloaths are thin and bare:
False hearted friends with flattering words
doth seek me to insnare,
They counsel me to change my mind,
and so my words deny:
And I thereby shall surely find,
a perfect liberty.
Faith, hope and patience is my guide,
my conscience pure and clear:
So that the Lord be on my side,
what for need I to fear.
I neither fear the stroak of death,
nor tyrants villany,
So soon as Christ receives my breath
I gain true liberty.
A faithful now I once did make,
which now I will maintain:
Whilst I have tongue and breath to speak
and life in me remain.
Rather than from Religion turn
in flery flames to try;
And if my corps to ashes burn,
my soul gains liberty,
Patience makes plaisters for my sores
love lives without controle
They lock my body within the doors
but cannot lock my soul.
My muses to and fro doth run.
above and beneath the Sky:
The greatest Potentates under the Sun
oft wants such liberty.
Our keepers cruelty is great,
to one and to us all,
He bids us eat our flesh for meat,
or stones thats in the wall.
Yet though I am in prison cast,
my senses mount on high,
The wind that bloweth where it lift
knows no such liberty.
'Tis neither pardon from the Pope
nor prayers made to Saints,
That can inlarge my further scope,
nor shorten my complaints,
'Tis Christ above, the Lord of love
which for mankind did die:
None but he can pardon me,
nor work my liberty.
Ther's many men hath treasure store
yet are so worldly vent,
Having too much they scrape for more
yet never are content
Whil'st I that am the poor'st of all
from worldly care am free;
Which makes me think they live in thral
and I have liberty.
The man that bears a wavering mind
is subject to much we,
He that to anger is suclin'd,
must sorrow undergo,
But he that hath a patient heart,
though he a prisoner be,
Exceeds both nature, skill, and art,
In point of liberty.
You pensive prisoners every one,
with hearts loyal and true,
These lines of mine to work upon,
I dedicate to you.
Let faith and patience be your guids
and you in time shall see,
The powers of heaven will so provide
you shall have liberty.
Stone walls cannot a prison make,
nor from bars a cage.
A spotless soul being innocent,
calls that its hermitage.
So I am blameless in my choice,
and from these troubles free,
Angels alone that are above,
Injoys such liberty.
FINIS.

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