George Wither

11 June 1588 – 2 May 1667 / Bentworth, Hampshire

St. Peter's Day

How watchful neede we to become,
And how devoutly pray,
That thee, O Lord, we fall not from,
Upon our tryall day !
For if thy great apostle said
He would not thee denie,
Whom he that very night denayd,
On what shall we relie ?

For of ourselues we cannot leaue
One pleasure for thy sake
No, nor one vertuous thought conceiue,
Till vs thou able make :
Nay, we not onely thee denie,
When persecutions be,
But or forget, or from thee flie,
When peace attends on thee.

O let those prayers vs auail,
Thou didst for Peter daigne,
That when our foe shall us assaile
His labour may be vaine
Yea, cast on vs those powerful eyes,
That mou'd him to lament
We may bemoane with bitter cries
Our follies, and repent.

And grant that such as him succeed
For pastors of thy fold,
Thy sheepe and lambes may guide and feede,
As thou appoint'st they should ;
By his example speaking what
They out in truth to say,
And in their lives confirming that
They teach them to obey.
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