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RIGHT HONOURABLE FRANCIS LORD VERULAM,
VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
Printed at London, 1625, in Quarto,
TO HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND,
MR. GEORGE HERBERT.
THE pains * that it pleased you to take about some of my writings, I cannot forget; which did put me in mind to dedicate to you this poor poor exercise of my sickness. Besides, it being my manner for dedications, to choose those that I hold most fit for the argument, I thought, that in respect of divinity and poesy met, whereof the one is the matter, the other the stile of this little writing, I could not make better choice: so, with signification of my love and acknowledgment, I ever rest
Your affectionate Friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
Of translating part of the Advancement of Learning into
The TRANSLATION of the 1st PSALM.
WHO never gave to wicked reed
A yielding and attentive ear;
Nor sat him down in scorner's chair;
He shall be like the fruitful tree,
A goodly yield of fruit doth bring:
With wicked men it is not so,
For why? the Lord hath special eye
The TRANSLATION of the XIIth PSALM.
HELP, Lord, for godly men have took their flight,
But fears, or seeks to please, the eyes of men.
Their meaning go'th not with their words, in proof, But fair they flatter, with a cloven heart,
By pleasing words, to work their own behoof.
But God cut off the lips, that are all set
To trap the harmless soul, that peace hath vow'd; And pierce the tongues, that seek to counterfeit The confidence of truth, by lying loud:
Yet so they think to reign, and work their will
By subtile speech, which enters ev'ry where; And say: Our tongues are ours, to help us still; What need we any higher pow'r to fear?
Now for the bitter sighing of the poor,
The Lord hath said, I will no more forbear The wicked's kingdom to invade and scour,
And set at large the men restrain'd in fear. And sure the word of God is pure and fine, And in the trial never loseth weight; Like noble gold, which, since it left the mine, Hath seven times passed through the fiery strait.
And now thou wilt not first thy word forsake,
Nor yet the righteous man that leans thereto; But wilt his safe protection undertake,
In spite of all their force and wiles can do. And time it is, O Lord, thou didst draw nigh; The wicked daily do enlarge their bands; And that which makes them follow ill a vie, Rule is betaken to unworthy hands.
The TRANSLATION of the XCth PSALM.
O LORD, thou art our home, to whom we fly,
Or that the frame was up of earthly stage,
One God thou wert, and art, and still shalt be;
Both death and life obey thy holy lore,
And visit in their turns, as they are sent;
Or as a watch by night, that course doth keep,
Thou carry'st man away as with a tide:
Then down swim all his thoughts that mounted high:
Much like a mocking dream, that will not bide,
Or as the grass, that cannot term obtain,
At morning, fair it musters on the ground;
Thou bury'st not within oblivion's tomb
As a tale told, which sometimes men attend,