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LORD, my first fruits present themselves to thee;
Yet not mine neither; for from thee they came,
And must return. Accept of them and me,
And make us strive, who shall sing best thy Name.
Turn their eyes hither, who shall make a gain :
Theirs, who shall hurt themselves or me, refrain.
Thou, whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure,
Hearken unto a Verser, who may chance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure :
A verse may find him, who a Sermon flies,
And turn delight into a Sacrifice.
Beware of lust ; it doth pollute and foul
Whom God in Baptism wash'd with his own blood :
It blots the lesson written in thy soul ;
The holy lines cannot be understood.
How dare those eyes upon a Bible look,
Much less towards God, whose lust is all their book!
Wholly abstain, or wed. Thy bounteons Lord
Allows thee choice of paths : take no by-ways ;
But gladly welcome what he doth afford;
Not grudging, that thy lust hath bounds and stays.
Continence hath his joy : weigh both ; and so
If rottenness have more, let heaven go.
If God had laid all common, certainly
Man would have been th' encloser ; but since now
God hath impaled us, on the contrary
Man breaks the fence, and every ground will plouglr
. O what were man, might he himself misplace! Sure to be cross he would shift feet and face.
Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame,
When once it is within thee; but before
May’st rule it, as thou list : and pour the shame
Which it would pour on thee, upon the floor.
It is most just to throw that on the ground,
Which would throw me there, if I keep the round.
He that is drunken may his mother kill
Big with his sister : he hath lost the reins,
Is outlaw'd by himself : all kind of ill
Did with his liquor slide into his veins.
The drunkard forfeits Man, and doth divest
All worldly right, save what he hath by beast.
Shall I, to please another's wine-sprung mind,
Lose all mine own? God hath given me a measure
Short of his can, and body ; must I find
A pain in that, wherein he finds a pleasure ?
Stay at the third glass : if thou lose thy hold,
Then thou art modest, and the wine grows bold.
If reason move not Gallants, quit the room
(All in a shipwreck shift their several way);
Let not a common ruin thee entomb:
Be not a beast in courtesy, but stay,
Stay at the third cup, or forego the place.
Wine above all things doth God's stamp deface.
Yet, if thou sin in wine or wantonness,
Boast not thereof; nor make thy shame thy glory.
Frailty gets pardon by submissiveness ;
But he that boasts, shuts that out of his story :
He makes flat war with God, and doth defy,
With his poor clod of earth the spacious sky.
Take not His name, who made thy mouth, in vairs
It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse.
Lust and wine plead a pleasure, avarice gain :
But the cheap swearer through his open sluice
Lets his soul run for naught, as little fearing :
Were I an Epicure, I could bate swearing.
When thou dost tell another's jest, therein
Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need :
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
He pares his apple that will cleanly feed.
Play not away the virtue of that name, ,
Which is thy best stake, when griefs make thee tame.
The cheapest sins most dearly punish'd are ;
Because to shun them also is so cheap :
For we have wit to mark them, and to spare.
O crumble not away thy soul's fair heap.
If thou wilt die, the gates of hell are broad :
Pride and full sins have made the way a road.