King James I

Stanzas From The Lepanto

I sing a wondrous worke of God,
I sing his mercies great,
I sing his justice heere withall,
Povvr'd from his holy seat.

To wit, a cruell martiall warre,
A bloodie battell bolde,
Long doubtsome fight, with slaughter huge,
And wounded manifold:

Which fought was in Lepantoe's gulfe,
Betwixt the baptized race
And circumcised turband Turkes,
Rencountring in that place.

O onely God, I pray thee thrise,
Thrise one in persons three,
Alike eternall, like of might,
Although distinct yee be:

I pray thee, Father, through thy Sonne,
Thy Word immortall still,
The great archangell of records,
And worker of thy will,

To make thy holie Spreit my muse,
And eik my pen inflame
Aboue my skill to write this worke,
To magnifie thy name.

Into the turning-still of times
I erre no time can be,
Whoe was, and is, and times to come,
Confounded are all three :

I meane before great God in heauen;
(For sunne and moone deuides
The times in earth by houres and dayes,
And seesons still that slides ;)

Yet man, whom man must understand,
Must speake into this cace:
As man our flesh will not permit
Wee heauenlie things imbrace.

Then, as I els began to say,
One day it did fall out,
As glorious God in glistering throne,
With angells round about,

Did sit, and Christ at his right hand,
That craftie Satan came,
Deeeauer, lyar, hating man,
And God's most sacred name;

This olde abuser stood into
The presence of the Lord ;
Then in this manner Christ aceusMe
The sower of discord.

I know thou from that city comes,
Constantinople great,
Where thou hast by thy malice made
The faithles Turkes to freat;

Thou hast inflamde their maddest mindes
With raging fire of wraith
Against them all that doe professe
My name with feruent fayth.

How long, O Father, shall they thus
Quite vnder foote be tred
By faithles folkes, who executes
What in this snake is bred ?

Then Satan answerd, Fayth, quoth he,
Their fayth is too, too small;
They striue, methinke, on either part
Who farthest backe can fall.

Hast thou not giuen them in my hands,
Euen boath the sides, I say,
That I, as best doth seeme to me,
May use them euery way?

Then Jehovah, whose nod doth make
The heauens and mountains quake,
Whose smallest wrath the centres makes
Of all the earth to shake ;

Whose worde did make the world of nought,
And whose approoving syne
Did stablish all, even as wee see,
By force of voice deuine ;

This God began from thundering throte
Graue wordes of waight to bring:
All Christians serue my Sonne, though not
Aright in everie thing.

No more shall now these Christians be
With infidels opprest;
So of my holie hallowed name
The force is great and blest.

Desist, O tempter ! Gabriel, come,
O thou archangel true,
Whome I haue oft in message sent
To realmes and townes anew.

Go quicklie hence to Venice towne,
And put into their mindes
To take reuenge of wrongs the Turks
Haue done in sundrie kinds.

No whistling winde with such a speed
From hilles can hirle ore heugh,
As he whose thought doth furnish speed—
His thought was speed aneugh.
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