Sir Henry Wotton (1568 - 1639 / England)
Doctor B. Of Tears
Who would have thought, there could have bin
Such joy in tears, wept for our sin?
Mine eyes have seen, my heart hath prov'd
The most and best of earthly joyes:
The sweets of love, and being lov'd,
Masks, Feasts, and Playes, and such like toyes.
Yet, this one tear, which now doth fall,
In true delight exceeds them all.
2. Indeed, mine eyes at first let in
Those guests that did these woes begin,
Therefore mine eyes in tears, and grief,
Are justly drown'd: but, that those tears
Should comfort bring, is past belief:
Oh God! in this thy grace appears,
Thou that mak'st light from darkness spring,
Mak'st joyes to weep, and sorrows sing.
3. Oh where am I? what may I think?
Help, help, alas my heart doth sink;
Thus lost in seas of woe,
Thus laden with my sin,
Waves of despair dash in,
And threat my overthrow.
What heart opprest with such a weight
Can chuse but break, and perish quite?
4. Yet, as at Sea in storms, men use
The Ship to save, the goods to lose;
So, in this fearfull storm,
This danger to prevent,
Before all hope be spent,
I'le chuse the lesser harm:
My tears to seas will convert,
And drown my eyes to save my heart.
5. Oh God my God, what shall I give
To thee in thanks? I am and live
In thee, and thou didst safe preserve
My health, my fame, my goods, my rent,
Thou mak'st me eat while others sterve;
Such unto me thy Blessings are,
As if I were thy only care.
6. But, oh my God! thou art more kind,
When I look inward on my mind:
Thou fill'st my heart with humble joy,
With patience, meekness, fervant love,
(Which doth all other loves destroy)
With faith (which nothing can remove)
And hope assur'd of heavens bliss;
This is my state: thy grace is this.
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