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He will redeem our deadly drooping state, 45 He will bring home the sheep that go astray, He will help them that hope in him alway: He will appease our discord and debate, He will soon save though we repent us late. He will be ours if we continue his,

50 He will bring bale to joy and perfect bliss, He will redeem the flock of his elect, From all that is, Or was amiss, Since Abraham's heirs did first his laws reject. 55

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Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst

and Earl of Dorset

1536-1608

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DE PROFUNDIS

(From the same) From depth of dole wherein my soul doth dwell, From heavy heart which harbours in my breast, From troubled spirit which seldom taketh rest, From hope of heaven, from dread of darksome

hell, O gracious God, to thee I cry and yell. My God, my Lord, my lovely Lord alone, To thee I call, to thee I make my moan. And thou (good God) vouchsafe in greel to

take, This woeful plaint Wherein I faint. Oh hear me then for thy great mercies' sake. If thou, good Lord, should'st take thy rod in

hand, If thou regard what sins are daily done, If thou take hold where we our works begun, If thou decree in judgement for to stand, And be extreme to see our excuses scanned, If thou take note of everything amiss, And write in rolls how frail our nature is, O glorious God, O King, O Prince of power, What mortal wight May then have light To feel thy frown, if thou have list to lower?

But thou art good and hast of mercy store, Thou not delight'st to see a sinner fall, Thou hearknest first, before we come to call. 25 Thine ears are set wide open evermore, Before we knock thou comest to the door. Thou art more pressed to hear a sinner cry, Than he is quick to climb to thee on high. Thy mighty name be praised then alway, Let faith and fear True witness bear, How fast they stand which on thy mercy

stay. . . Before the break or dawning of the day, Before the light be seen in lofty skies, Before the Sun appear in pleasant wise, Before the watch (before the watch I say) Before the ward that waits therefore alway: My soul, my sense, my secret thought, my

sprite, My will, my wish, my joy, and my delight; Unto the Lord that sits in Heaven on high, With hasty wing From me doth Aling, And striveth still unto the Lord to fly. ...

The soil that erst so seemly was to seen,
Was all despoilėd of her beauty's hue;
And sweet fresh flowers (where with the sum-
mer's

queen Had clad the earth) now Boreas' blasts down

blew, And small fowles flocking, in their song did rue The winter's wrath, where with each thing

desaste3 In woeful wise bewailed the summer past.

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Hawthorne had lost his motley livery,
The naked twigs were shivering all for cold,
And dropping down the tears abundantly;
Each thing (me thought) with weeping eye me

told
The cruel season, bidding me withhold
Myselfe within, for I was gotten out
Into the fields, whereast I walked about.
When, lo, the night with misty mantles spread,
Gan dark the day, and dim the azure skies,
And Venus in her message Hermes sped
To bloody Mars, to will him not to rise,
While she herself approached in spe wise;
And Virgo hiding her disdainful breast,
With Thetis now had lain her down to rest.

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Whiles Scorpio dreading Sagittarius' dart, Whose bow prests bent in fight, the string had slipt,

1 Good will.

30 1 Trees.

2 Tapestry, foliage. 3 Defaced. 4 Where.

5 Ready.

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Down slid into the ocean flood apart,
The Bear, that in the Irish seas had dipt
His grisly feet, with speed from thence he

whipt;
For Thetis, hasting from the Virgin's bed
Pursued the Bear, that ere she came was fled. 35
And Phaeton now reaching to his race
With glistering beams, gold streaming where

they bent, Was prest to enter in his resting place. Erythius that in the cart first went, Had even now attained his journey's stent:8 And fast declining hid away his head, While Titan couched him in his purple bed. And pale Cynthéa with her borrowed light, Beginning to supply her brother's place, Was past the noonstead six degrees in sight, 45 When sparkling stars amid the heaven's face, With twinkling light shone on the earth apace, That while they brought about the nightės

chare, The dark had dimmed the day ere I was ware.

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Her colour pale, and (as it seemed her best)
In woe and plaint reposėd was her rest.
And as the stone that drops of water wears;
So dented were her cheeks with fall of tears.
Her eyės swollen with flowing streams afloat, 85
Wherewith her looks throwen up full piteously,
Her forceless hands together oft she smote,
With doleful shrieks, that echoed in the sky;
Whose plaint such sighs did straight accompany,
That in my doom13 was never man did sce
A wight but half so woebegone as she.
I stood aghast, beholding all her plight,
Tween dread and dolour so distraind in heart,
That while my hairs upstarted with the sight,
The tears out-streamed for sorrow of her
smart:

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But when I saw no end that could apart
The deadly dole, which she so sore did make,
With doleful voice then thus to her I spake.
"Unwrap thy woes whatever wight thou be,
And stint14 in time to spill thyself with plaint;
Tell what thou art, and whence, for well I
Thou canst not dure with sorrow thus attaint."
And with that word of sorrow all forfaint,
She looked up, and, prostrate as she lay,
With piteous sound, lo, thus she gan to say,
"Alas, I wretch whom thus thou seest dis-

trained With wasting woes, that never shall aslake, Sorrow I am, in endless torments pained Among the Furies in the infernal lake; Where Pluto, god of hell, so grisly black Doth hold his throne and Letheus deadly taste Doth reave remembrance of each thing forepast. “Whence come I am, the dreary destiny And luckless lot for to bemoan of those, Whom Fortune in this maze of misery, 115 Of wretched chance, most woeful mirrours chose That when thou seest how lightly they did lose Their pope, their power, and that they thought

most sure, Thou mayest 'soon deem no earthly joy may

dure."

see

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And sorrowing I to see the summer flowers, 50
The lively green, the lusty leas forlorne,
The sturdy trees so shattered with the showers,
The fields so fade that flourished so beforne;
It taught me well all earthly things be borne
To die the death, for nought long time may last;
The summer's beauty yields to winter's blast.56

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Then looking upward to the heaven's leames, With nightės stars thick powdered everywhere, Which erst so glistened with the golden streams That cheerfull Phoebus spread down from his

sphere, Beholding dark oppressing day so near; The sudden sight reducėdo to my mind, The sundry changes that in earth we find. That musing on this worldly wealth in thought, Which comes and goes more faster than we see, The flickering flame that with the fire is

wrought, My busy mind presented unto me Such fall of peers as in this realm had be; That oft I wisht some would their woes de

scryve, To warn the rest whom fortune left alive. And straight forth stalking with redoubled pace For that I saw the night drew on so fast, In black all clad there fell before my face A piteous wight, whom woe had all forwaste, Forth from her eyen the crystal tears outbrast, !! And sighing sore, her hands she wrong and

fold, Tare all her hair, that ruth was to behold. Her body small forewithered and forespent, As is the stalk that summer's drought opprest, Her wealkėd12 face with woeful tears besprent, 6 Limit, end.

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I stretched myself, and straight my heart re

vives, That dread and dolour erst did so appale; Like him that with the fervent fever strives,

7 Car.

8 Gleams, lights. • Brought back. 10 Describe. 11 Out-burst.

12 Withered.

18 Judgment.
16 Again, oft.

18 Appall.

14 Stop.

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When sickness seeks his castle's health to scale:

130 With gathered spirits so forced I fear to avail; And, rearing her with anguish all fordone, My spirits return’d, and then I thus begonne. “O Sorrow, alas, sith sorrow is thy name, And that to thee this drere18 doth well pertain, In vain it were to seek to cease the same: But as a man himself with sorrow slain, So I, alas, do comfort thee in pain, That here in sorrow art forsunk so deep, That at thy sight I can but sigh and weep.” 140 I had no sooner spoken of a stike, 19 But that the storm so rumbled in her breast, As Æolus could never roar the like, And showers down rainėd from her eyen so

fast, That all bedreynt20 the place, till at the last 145 Well easėd they the dolour of her mind, As rage of rain doth swage the stormy wind. For forth she pacėd in her fearful tale: Come! come!” quoth she, “and see what I

shall shewe, Come hear the plaining and the bitter bale Of worthy men, by fortune overthrowe. Come thou and see them ruing all in rowe, They were but shades that erst in mind thou

rolde.21 Come, come, with me, thine eyes shall them

behold.”

"I shall thee guide first to the grisly lake, And thence unto the blissful place of rest, Where thou shalt see and hear the plaint they

make, That whilom here bare swinge25 among the

best. This shalt thou see, but great is the unrest That thou must bide, before thou canst attain Unto the dreadful place where these remain.” And with these words as I upraised stood, And gan to follow her that straight forth paced, Ere I was ware, into a desert wood

185 We now were come: where hand in hand em

braced, She led the way and through the thicke28 so

traced, As but I had been guided by her might, It was no way for any mortal wight. But lo, while thus amid the desert dark, We passed on with steps and pace unmeet: A rumbling roar, confused with howl and bark Of dogs, shook all the ground under our feet, And struck the din within our ears so deep As, half distraught, unto the ground I fell,

195 Besought return, and not to visit hell.

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Whereby I knew that she a goddess was,
And, therewithall, resorted to my mind
My thought that late presented me the glass
Of brittle state, of cares that here we find, 165
Of thousand woes to silly men assigned:
And how she now bid me come and behold,
To see with eye that erst in thought I rolde.
Flat down I fell, and with all reverence
Adorėd her, perceiving now that she,

170 A goddess sent by godly providence In earthly shape thus showed herself to me, To wail and rue this world's uncertainty: And while I honoured thus her godhead's might With plaining voice these words to me she shright:24

But she, forthwith, uplifting me apace, Removed my dread, and with a steadfast mind Bade me come on, for here was now the place, The place where we our travail's end should

find. Wherewith I arose, and to the place assigned Astoynde?? I stalk, when straight we ap

proached near The dreadful place, that you will dread to hear. An hideous hole all vast, withouten shape, Of endless depth, o'erwhelmed with ragged

stone, With ugly mouth, and grisly jaws doth gape, And to our sight confounds itself in one. Here entered we, and yeding28 forth, anone An horrible loathly lake we might discern As black as pitch, that clepėd29 is Averne. A deadly gulf where nought but rubbish grows, With foul black swelth in thickened lumpės 30

lies, Which up in the air such stinking vapours

throws, That over there may fly no fowl but dies, Choked with the pestilent savours that arise. 215 Hither we came, whence forth we still did pace, In dreadful fear amid the dreadful place. And first within the porch and jaws of hell, Sat deep Remorse of Conscience, all besprent With tears: and to her self oft would she tell 220 Her wretchedness, and cursing, never stentsi To sob and sigh: but ever thus lament, With thoughtful care, as she that, all in vain, Would wear and waste continually in pain.

175 17 Raising.

18 Gloom. 19 Some connect stike with stick (Gr. stikos) a verse, and suppose the speaker to mean that he has barely completed his speech (which fills a stike, or stanza) when "the storm etc. Others connecting stike with the Scotch sleigh, take it to mean a sigh, and think that the reference is to the word sigh in the preceding line.

- Bedrenched. 21 Considered. 22 Shortly before. 23 Dwelling.

24 Shrieked, cried.

% Thicket. 27 Astonished. 28 Going. 2 Called.

25 Sway,

30 Swollen masses.

31 Cease.

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Her eyes unsteadfast, rolling here and there, 225 Whiried on each place, as place that vengeance

brought, So was her mind continually in fear, Tossed and tormented with the tedious thought Of those detested crimes which she had

wrought: With dreadful cheer, and looks thrown to the

sky, Wishing for death, and yet she could not die. Next saw we Dread, all trembling how he shook, With foot uncertain proffered here and there: Benumbed of speech, and with a ghastly look Searched every place, all pale and dead for fear, His cap borne up with starting of his heare, 32 'Stoin'd33 and amazed at his own shade for dread,

237 And fearing greater dangers than was need.

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The morrow gray no sooner had begun
To spread his light, even peeping in our eyes, 275
When he is up and to his work yrun:
But let the night's black misty mantles rise,
And with the foul dark never so much disguise
The fair bright day, yet ceaseth he no while,
But hath his candles to prolong his toil. 280
By him lay heavy Sleep, the cousin of Death,
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone,
A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath.
Small keep took he whom Fortune frowned on,
Or whom she lifted up into the throne
Of high renown, but as a living death,
So dead alive, of life he drew the breath.
The body's rest, the quiet of the heart,
The travail's ease, the still night's fere38 was he,
And of our life in earth the better part;
Reaver of sight, and yet in whom we see
Things oft that tide, 39 and oft that never be.
Without respect, esteeming equally
King Cræsus' pomp, and Irus' poverty.
And, next in order, sad Old Age we found, 295
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind,
With drooping cheer still poring on the ground,
As on the place where nature him assigned
To rest, when that the Sisters had untwined
His vital thread, and ended with their knife 300
The fleeting course of fast declining life.
There heard we him with broken and hollow

plaint
Rue with himself his end approaching fast,
And all for naught his wretched mind torment
With sweet remembrance of his pleasures past,
And fresh delights of lusty youth forwaste; 306
Recounting which, how would he sob and shriek
And to be young again of Jove beseek.
But, and the cruel fates so fixėd be,
That time forpast can not return again, 310
This one request of Jove yet prayed he:
That in such withered plight and wretched pain
As eld (accompanied with his loathsome train)
Had brought on him, all were it woe and grief,
He might a while yet linger forth his lief, 40 315
And not so soon descend into the pit,
Where death, when he the mortal corpse hath

slain, With reckless hand in grave doth cover it; Thereafter never to enjoy again The gladsome light, but in the ground ylain, 320 In depth of darkness waste and wear to nought, As he had never into the world been brought. But who had seen him sobbing, how he stood Unto himself, and how he would bemoan His youth forpast, as though it wrought him good

325 To talk of youth, all were his youth foregone, He would have mused and marvelled much

whereon This wretched Age should life desire so fain, And knows full well life does but length his pain, as Companion.

When fell Revenge, with bloody foul pretence
Had shewed herself, as next in order set,
With trembling limbs we softly parted thence,
Till in our eyes another sight we met:
When fro my heart a sigh forthwith I fet,
Rueing, alas, upon the woful plight
Of Misery, that next appeared in sight.
His face was lean, and somedeal36 pined away,
And eke his hands consumėd to the bone,
But what his body was I cannot say,
For on his carcass raiment had he none,
Save cloutes and patches piecėd one by one.
With staff in hand, and scrip on shoulders cast,
His chief defence against the winter's blast.

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His food, for most, was wild fruits of the tree,
Unless sometimes some crumbs fell to his share,
Which in his wallet long, God wot, kept he, 262
As on the which full daint’ly would he fare.
His drink the running stream: his cup the bare
Of his palm closed: his bed the hard cold

ground:
To this poor life was Misery ybound.
Whose wretched state when we had well beheld,
With tender ruth on him and on his fears,
In thoughtful cares forth then our pace we

held; And by and by another shape appears,

270 Of greedy Care, still brushing up the breres,37 His knuckles knob’d, his flesh deep dented in, With tawėd hands, and hard ytannėd skin. 32 Hair.

3* Happen.

40 Life.

33 Astonished. 34 Exceedingly. 35 Fetched. 37 Cutting or trimming the briars. Care is always busy trimming the roughest, mosi thankless growths; his tawed (hardened) hands are the horny, battered hands of the laborer.

36 Somewhat.

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Crook backt he was, toothshaken, and blear His dart anon out of the corpse he took, eyed,

And in his hand (a dreadful sight to see) Went on three feet, and sometimes crept on With great triúmph eftsoons the same he fower, 1

shook, With old lame bones that rattled by his side, That most of all my fears affrayéd me: His scalp all pilde, 42 and he with eld forlore: His body dight with nought but bones, pardé, His withered fist still knocking at Death's door, The naked shape of man there saw I plain, Fumbling, and drivelling as he draws his All save the flesh, the sinew, and the vein.

breath, For brief, the shape and messenger of Death. Lastly stood War in glittering arms yclad,

With visage grim, stern looks, and blackly And fast by him pale Malady was placed,

hued; Sore sick in bed, her colour all forgone,

In his right hand a naked sword he had, Berest of stomach, savour, and of taste,

That to the hilts was all with blood embrued; Ne could she brook no meat, but broth alone: And in his left (that kings and kingdoms rued) Her breath corrupt, her keepers every one Famine and fire he held, and therewithal Abhorring her, her sickness past recure, 43

He razėd towns, and threw down towers and Detesting physick, and all physick's cure.

all. But oh! the doleful sight that then we see; Cities he sacked, and realms (that whilom We turned our look and on the other side

flowered A grisly shape of Famine might we see,

In honour, glory, and rule above the best) With greedy looks, and gaping mouth, that He overwhelmed, and all their fame devoured, cried

Consumed, destroyed, wasted, and never ceased, And roar'd for meat, as she should there have Till he their wealth, their name, and all opdied;

pressed: Her body thin and bare as any bone,

His face forehewed 47 with wounds, and by his Whereto was left nought but the case alone. 350 side

There hung his targe with gashes deep and And, that, alas, was gnawen on every where, wide. All full of holes, that I ne might refrain From tears, to see how she her arms could tear, In midst of which, depainted there, we found And with her teeth gnash on the bones in Deadly Debate, all full of snaky hair, vain:

That with a bloody fillet was ybound, When all for nought she fain would all sustain Out breathing nought but discord everywhere: Her starven corpse, that rather seemed a And round about were portrayed here and there shade,

The hugie hosts, Darius and his power, 405 Than any substance of a creature made.

His kings, princes, his peers, and all his flower; Great was her force, whom stone wall could not Whom great Macedo vanquished there in fight, stay,

With deep slaughter, dispoiling all his pride, Her tearing nails scratching at all she saw; Pierc'd through his realms, and daunted all his With gaping jaws that by no means ymay

might. Be satisfied from hunger of her maw,

Duke Hannibal beheld I there beside, But eats herself as she that hath no law:

In Canna's field, victor how he did ride, Gnawing, alas, her carcass all in vain,

And woeful Romans that in vain withstood, Where you may count each sinew, bone, and And Consul Paulus covered all with blood. vein.

Yet saw I more, the fight at Trasimene, On her while we thus firmly fixed our eyes, And Treby field, and eke when Hannibal That bled for ruth of such a dreary sight,

And worthy Scipio last in arms were seen Lo, suddenly, she shrieked in so huge wise Before Carthago gate, to try for all As made hell gates to shiver with the might. The world's empire, to whom it should befall. Wherewith, a dart we saw, how it did light There saw I Pompey and Caesar clad in arms, Right on her breast, and therewithal pale Death Their hosts allied, and all their civil harms:48. Enthrilling“ it, to reave45 her of her breath. 371

With conquerors' hands forbathed in their own And, by and by, a dumb dead corpse we saw,

blood, Heavy and cold, the shape of Death aright, And Caesar weeping over Pompey's head. That daunts all earthly creatures to his law; Yet saw I Scilla and Marius where they stood, Against whose force in vain it is to fight:

Their great cruelty, and the deep bloodshed Ne peers, ne princes, nor no mortal wight, Of friends: Cyrus I saw and his host dead, Ne towns, ne realms, cities, ne strongest tower, And how the queen with great despight hath But all perforce must yield unto his power.

Aung a Four.

His head in blood of them she overcome. # Transfixing.

62 Bald.
4 Recovery.

45 Deprive.

46 Straightway. 67 Cut in front. 48 Broils, evils.

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