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The soul a substance and a spirit is,

Which God Himself doth in the body make,
Which makes the man; for every man from this

The nature of a man and name doth take.

And though this spirit be to the body knit

As an apt means her powers to exercise,
Which are life, motion, sense, and will and wit;

Yet she survives although the body dies.



At first her mother earth she holdeth dear,

And doth embrace the world, and worldly things; She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,

And mounts not up with her celestial wings :

Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught

That with her heavenly nature doth agree;
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,

She cannot in this world contented be.

For who did ever yet, in honor, wealth,

Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find ?
Who ever ceased to wish when he had wealth ?

Or having wisdom was not vexed in mind ?

Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,

Which seem sweet flowers with lustre fresh and gay, She lights on that and this, and tasteth all;

But pleased with none, doth rise and soar away:

So when the soul finds here no true content,

And like Noah's dove can no sure footing take,
She doth return from whence she first was sent,

And flies to Him that first her wings did make.



Ou! ignorant, poor man! what dost thou bear

up within the casket of thy breast ? What jewels, and what riches, hast thou there?

What heavenly treasure in so weak a chest ?

Look in thy soul, and thou shalt beauties find,

Like those which drowned Narcissus in the flood; Honor and pleasure both are in thy mind,

And all that in the world is counted good.

Think of her worth, and think that God did mean

This worthy mind should worthy things embrace ; Blot not her beauties with thy thoughts unclean,

Nor her dishonor with thy passion base.

Kill not her quickening power with surfeitings;

Mar not her sense with sensuality ; Cast not her serious wit on idle things;

Make not her free-will slave to vanity.

And when thou thinkest of her eternity,

Think not that death against our nature is ; Think it a birth, and when thou goest to die,

Sing a like song as if thou wentest to bliss.

And thou, my soul, which turnest with curious eye,

To view the beams of thine own form divine ; Know that thou canst know nothing perfectly,

While thou art clouded with this flesh of mine.

Take heed of overweening, and compare

Thy peacock's feet with thy gay peacock's train; Study the best and highest things that are,

But of thyself an humble thought retain.

Cast down thyself, and only strive to raise

The glory of thy Maker's sacred name,
Use all thy powers that blessed Power to praise,

Which gives the power to be, and use the same.


Was the son of William Davison, the unfortunate secretary of Queen Elizabeth. After travelling on the continent, he turned his attention to poetry, and in 1602 he published the first edition of the “Political Rhapsody.” He was one of the authors of a version of “ Selected Poems,” and Mr. Wilmot gives the following specimens by him.


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God, who the universe doth hold

In his fold,
Is my shepherd kind and heedful,
Is my shepherd, and doth keep

Me his sheep,
Still supplied with all things needful.

He feeds me in fields which bin'

Fresh and green,
Mottled with Spring's flowery painting,
Through which creep, with murmuring crooks,

Crystal brooks,
To refresh my spirits fainting.



soul from heaven's way

Went astray,
With earth's vanities seduced,
For his namesake, kindly He,

Wandering me
To his holy fold reduced.

1 Be

· Reduced, led back.

Yea, though I stray through Death's vale,

Where his pale
Shades did on each side enfold me,
Dreadless, having Thee for guide,

Should I bide,
For thy rod and staff uphold me.

Thou my board with messes large

Dost surcharge ;
My bowls full of wine thou pourest,
And before mine enemies'

Envious eyes,


upon mine head thou showerest.

Neither dures thy bounteous grace

For a space,

But it knows nor bound, nor measure;
So my days, to my life's end,

Shall I spend
In thy courts with heavenly pleasure.


Save my soul which Thou didst cherish
Until now, now like to perish,
Save Thy servant that hath none
Help, nor hope, but Thee alone!

After Thy sweet-wonted fashion,
Shower down mercy and compassion,
On me, sinful wretch, that cry
Unto Thee incessantly.

Send, O send, relieving gladness,
To my soul oppressed with sadness,
Which, from clog of earth set free,
Winged with zeal springs up to Thee.

Let thine ears which long have tarried Barred


be now unbarred, That


cries may entrance gain, And being entered, grace obtain.

For Thou, darter of dread thunders,
Thou art great, and workest wonders.
Other gods are wood and stone,
Thou the living God alone.

Heavenly Tutor, of thy kindness,
Teach my dulness, guide my blindness,
That my steps Thy paths may tread
Which to endless bliss do lead.

In knots to be loosed never,

heart to Thee forever, That I to Thy name may bear, Fearful love and loving fear.

Lord, my God, thou shalt be praised,
With my heart to heaven raised,
And whilst I have breath to live,
Thanks to Thee my breath shall give.

Mighty men with malice endless,
Band' against me helpless, friendless,
Using, without fear of Thee,
Force and fraud to ruin me.

But Thy might their malice passes,
And Thy grace Thy might surpasses,
Swift to mercy, slow to wrath,
Bound nor end Thy goodness hath.

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