John Beaumont

1583-1627 / England

An Act Of Contrition

When first my reason, dawning like the day,
Disperst the clouds of childish sense away ;
I God's image fram'd in that superior tow'r,
Diuinely made mine vnderstanding pow'r
To thinke upon his greatnesse, and to feare
His darts of thunder, which the mountaines teare.
And when with feeble light my soule began
T' acknowledge him a higher thing then man,
My next discourse, erected by his grace,
Conceiues him free from bounds of time or place,
And sees the furthest that of him is knowne,
All spring from him, and He depends of none.
The steps which in his various workes are seal'd,
The doctrines in his sacred church reueal'd,
Were all receiu'd as truths into my mind,
Yet durst I break e his lawes— strangely blind !
My festring wounds are past the launcing cure,
Which terrour giues to thoughts at first impure.
No helpe remaines these vlcers to remoue,
Unlesse I scorch them with the flames of loue.
Lord, from thy wrath my soule appeales, and flyes
To gracious beames of those indulgent eyes,
Which brought me first from nothing, and sustaine
My life, lest it to nothing turne againe,
Which in thy Sonne's blood washt my parents' sinne,
And taught me waies eternall blisse to winne.
The starres which guide my bark with heauenly calls;
My boords in shipwrack after many falls ;
In these I trust, and, vving'd with pleasing hope,
Attempt new flight to come to thee, my scope,
Whom I esteeme a thousand times more deare
Than worldly things which faire and sweet appeare.
Rebellious flesh, which thee so oft offends
Presents her teares : alas, a poore amends !
But thou acceptst them. Hence they precious grow
As lining waters which from Eden flow.
With these I wish my vitall blood may runne,
Ere new eclipses dimme this glorious sunne ;
And yeeld my selfe afflicting paines to take
For thee my spouse, and onely for thy sake.
Hell could not fright me with immortall fire,
Were it not arm'd with thy forsaking ire ;
Nor should I looke for comfort and delight
In heau'n, if heau'n were shadow'd from thy sight
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