I Youth, when Fancie bare the sway,
Within my peeuish braine:
And Reasons lore by no meanes could
My wanton will restraine:
My gadding minde did pricke me forth,
A courtiers life to proue:
Whose golden shewes, and vaine delights,
My senses then did moue.
Not halfe so fast the bowdged shippe,
The water in doth drinke:
When foes by force of roring gunnes,
Endeuour her to sinke:
As when the floodes of fond desires,
Came rumbling in my head:
Which clean extinguisht Uertues sparks,
That Nature there had bred.
No power I had the sinfull snares
Of filthy vice to shunne:
My good desires did melt away,
As snow against the sunne.
If wit somtimes would goe about,
Mee wisely to perswade,
How that I spent my time amisse,
And vsde a naughtie trade.
Then wilfull will would bee at hand,
And plucke mee by the sleeue:
And tell mee plaine, wit was a foole,
And could no counsell geue.
His lores (quoth will) are very sowre,
His precepts are but colde:
Doe follow mee, then all delights
To vse thou mayst bee bolde.
Hee talkes of scripture euery hower,
Unsauery to disgest:
And I will alwayes serue thy turne,
With that which likes thee best.
Who would not rather rome abroad,
To seeke some pleasaunt sporte:
Then to be pend in study fast,
Like souldier in a forte?
To hawke, to hunt, to carde, to dice,
To sing, to daunce, to play:
And can there bee more pleasaunt meanes,
To driue away the day?
To tosse the buckler and the blade,
Lewd women to entice:
Are not these vertues most esteemde,
And had in greatest price?
To lend ech man a firiendly looke,
And vse the glosers arte:
In outward shew to beare good will,
And hate him with our heart.
Are not such men as flatter best,
In euery coast esteemde?
Is not Tom teltroath euery where,
A busie cockscombe deeme?
It is a world to see the sotte,
To haue a checke, hee knowes:
And yet the noddy neuer linnes,
Mens vices to disclose.
Hee euer telles men of their faultes
Such is his rude behauiour,
When hee by speaking nought at all,
Might purchase greater fauour.
Who countes it not a wisemans parte,
To runne with hare and hound?
To say and vnsay with one breath,
So winning may bee found:
Wherefore reioyce, set cocke on hoope,
Let nothing make thee sad,
Bee mery heere: when thou art dead,
No mirth can then bee had.
Thus wanton will would euery day
Still whisper in mine eare:
And wit, which could not then be heard,
Was fled I know not where.
Who tries the hazard of the seas,
By sturdy tempest tost:
If that a drunkard guide their ship,
Are they not quickly lost?
How like (I pray you) is hee then,
To suffer shipwracke still,
VVhose wit and wisdome gouernde is,
By his vnruly will?
This Pilot vile, in mee long time,
Did maisters roome supply:
Till good Aduice did tell mee plaine,
I ranne my course awry.
Hee spyed a time to breake his minde,
When Will was gone apart:
And thus to mee he did vnfolde,
The secretes of his heart.
O Man, for whome Christ on the crosse,
His precious blood did spill:
What dost thou meane in mundane toyes
To spend thy time so ill?
Dost thou not thinke that God hath eies,
To see thy vile abuse?
What shew of reason canst thou bring,
Thy rashnes to excuse?
Did Christ sustaine most bitter death,
All sinners to redeeme:
And wilt thou wallow still in lust?
And not his lawes esteeme?
If he by death, and no meanes els,
Mens sinfull soules could saue,
Doest thou then thinke by wanton life,
Eternall ioyes to haue?
Too too too much thou art deceaude,
If so thou doe beleeue:
That he to haue men liue in vice,
Himselfe to death would geue.
With vpright eye peruse his lawes:
And thou shalt cleerely see,
Into what sinkes of deadly sinne,
Thy will hath carried thee.
Thine eyes doe see, thine eares doe heare:
Thy senses all doe serue thee,
Yet canst thou neyther heare nor see,
Such thinges as should preserue thee.
In earthly toyes thou canst discerne
That which may best auayle thee,
But in such thing as touch thy soule,
Thy eyesight still doeth fayle thee.
O what a madnesse moues thy minde!
Thou seest and hast thy senses:
Yet wilt thou blindly wallow still,
In filth of vile offences.
It better were for one to be,
Of sight depriued cleere,
Then see to sinne, and not see that
Which chiefly should be seene.
Take heede therefore: at length repent,
Its better late then neuer:
For Christ the Cockle from the corne,
At haruest will disseuer.
At day of doome, the good and bad,
Shall not alike remayne:
The good shall taste vncessant ioyes:
The bad eternall payne.
Doste thinke that such as tospotlike,
Set all at sixe and seuen,
Are in a ready way to bring
Their sinfull soules to heauen?
And those that in great Princes Courtes,
Doe Ruffian like behaue them,
Doste deeme that they thereby procure,
A ready meane to saue them?
To sweare, to stare, to bib & bowse,
To flatter, glose, and lye,
Is this (tell me) the stedfast fayth,
That men are saued by?
If white be blacke, if night be day,
If true pretence, bee treason:
If fire be colde, if senselesse things
Fulfill the rule of reason.
Then may the pleasures of this worlde,
Be cause of our saluation,
For otherwise, thou must confesse,
They further our damnation.
Take heede therefore, and warned thus,
Let not the worlde beguile thee,
Ne let the lustes of lawlesse flesh,
With sinfull deedes defile thee.
Let wilfull will be banisht cleane,
With all his wanton toyes,
Which filles thy head with vayne delightes,
In steede of stedfast ioyes.
Note well my wordes, still serue the Lorde,
Repent and sinne no more,
Christ hath for true repentaunt heartes,
Great mercie still in store.
When good aduice had tolde this tale,
Prostrate I downe did fall,
And humbly holding vp my handes,
Thus on the Lorde did call.
O Mighty God which for vs men,
Didst suffer on the Crosse,
The payneful pangues of bitter death,
To saue our soules from losse,
I yeeld thee heere most hearty thankes,
In that thou doest vouchsaue,
Of me most vile and sinfull wretch,
So great regard to haue.
Alas none euer had more cause,
To magnifie thy name,
Then I, to whom thy mercies shewde,
Doe witnesse well the same.
So many brunts of fretting foes,
Who euer could withstand,
If thou hadst not protected me,
with thy most holy hand?
A thousand times in shamefull sort,
My sinfull life had ended,
If by thy gratious goodnesse Lorde,
I had not byn defended.
In stinking pooles of filthy vice,
So deepely was I drownde,
That none there was but thee alone,
To set my foote on ground.
Whenas the fiend had led my soule
Euen to the gates of hell,
Thou caldst mee backe, and doest me choose,
In heauen with thee to dwell,
Let furies now fret on their fill:
Let Sathan rage and rore,
As long as thou art on my side,
What neede I care for more?
My Prayer sayde: me thought I felt
Such quiet in my mynde,
As shipmen after tempest past,
In wished harbour finde.
My wil woulde then no more presume,
To rule in reasons place,
For good aduice would bee at hand,
His doyngs to disgrace.
Who tolde me playne that wanton will,
Did alwayes serue the Diuell,
And was his busiest instrument,
To stirre vp men to euill.
Although the gallant be so braue,
And sell such pleasures here,
They that best cheape doe buy the same,
Shall find it all too deere.
Yet they that woulde aduenture there,
The Diuell and all may gayne.
With euery inch of pleasant ioyes,
He selles ten Elles of payne.
If that thou wisely wilt foresee,
Such winnings to eschew,
Ere beggery take thee by the backe,
Doe byd the Court adew.
Hencefoorth exile vile wanton will,
Which is thy cheefest foe,
Goe get thee home: liue to thy selfe,
And let all courting goe.
Experience now should make thee know,
What vice in court doth rayne,
And tract of time shoulde teach thee shunne
Her pleasures mixt with payne,
Though some may dayly there be seene,
That follow vertue still,
Which honour God, obey their Prince,
And flie from dooyng ill,
Yet sure, of them the greatest parte
Are carried so away
With vayne delightes, that they ne thinke,
Nor mynde their soules decay.
O that I here tolde not a lye,
O, were it not too true:
That very few, theyr Princesse steppes,
In godlinesse ensue.
Should I passe on her golden giftes
And graces to declare?
The sandes in bottome of the Seas,
More easily numbred are.
If tongue or pen should take in hand,
Her vertues to vnfolde,
Tongue should not speake, pen would be worne
Ere halfe the tale were tolde.
Shee is (next God) the onely spring,
From which our welfare flowes:
She is a tree, on which nought els,
But graftes of goodnesse growes.
Shee is a Sunne that shines on vs,
with beames of blissefull happes,
Shee is a dew that daily drops,
Great plenty in our lappes.
When angry Neptune shipwracke threats,
Through force of wrestling waues
Shee is a port of safe refuge,
Which vs from daunger saues.
When duskie cloudes of errors blacke,
Had dimde our ioyfull day,
Through Christ shee causde the Gospell shine
Which draue them all away.
Shee worthy statutes hath ordaynd,
To keepe men still in awe,
But euery man vnto himselfe,
Will now set downe a lawe,
Such as his will doth fancy best,
They neuer care how bad,
Nor farre from God and godlinesse,
So pleasure may be had.
If lawlesse lust were lawfull loue,
If wauering wordes were deedes,
Then would the Court bring foorth more fruite,
And not so many weedes.
Thou knowest among the courting crew,
How little fayth is forced:
Sound friendship from the most of them.
Is vtterly deuorced.
Who cannot flatter, glose and lie,
And set thereon a face,
Is neuer able for his life,
To get a Courtly grace.
Who sweates not in his sutes of silke,
And is not passing braue,
Amongst them beares no countenance,
They deeme him but a slaue
As long as thou hast store of coyne,
And spendst it with the best,
In outward shew great friendlinesse,
To thee shalbe profest.
But if thy wealth begin to weare,
If pence begin to fayle thee,
Theyr friendship then in time of neede,
But little shall auayle thee.
For they will shrinke their heades aside,
And leaue thee poste alone,
If twenty were thy friendes before,
Now hardly getst thou one.
I pray thee let vs scan this case,
And doe thou sadly tell,
What thing at first, did make thee like,
And loue the Court so well?
Didst thinke that there a godly life,
Might soonest be attaynde,
And motions of the sinfull fleshe,
Most easily be refraynd?
That cannot be, for all men see,
How vice is there imbraste,
And vertue with the greatest parte,
Is vtterly defaste.
Did hope of wealth, first pricke thee foorth,
In Court to spend thy life?
Or didst thou thinke that liberal gifts,
With noble men were ryfe?
If ought thou carrie in thy purse,
Thou quickly there mayst spend it:
But when thy landes, and rentes are gone,
How canst thou then amend it?
To begge would greeue thy loftie mynde,
That earst had store of wealth,
And hanging is the end of such,
as take mens goodes by stealth.
Because thou serust a noble man,
Perhaps thou makst no doubt,
In hope that he at such a pinche,
Will alwayes beare thee out.
Such hope hath hanged many a one,
Whom wilful Will did guyde:
By often proofe in these our dayes,
Too true it hath beene tried.
For when a halters sliding knot,
Hath stopt their vitall breath,
He was (say they) a handsome man,
Its pitie of his death.
Thus all too late their pitie comes,
But seldome comes their ayde,
Wherefore doe not forget these wordes,
That I to thee haue sayde,
Be not sedewste by wanton will,
Let warnings make thee wise.
And after this in all thy deedes,
Be rulde by good aduise.
This tale beeyng tolde, he heald his peace,
And I which found it true,
Did yeeld him thankes and gate me home,
And bad the Court adew.
We till to sowe, we sow to reape,
We reape and grind it by and by:
We grinde to bake, we bake to eate,
We eate to liue, we liue to die.
We die with Christ to rest in ioy,
In heauen made free from all anoy.
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Based on Keywords: esteeme, bolde, vitall, braue, mercie, corne, sathan, cloudes, remayne, wisdome, ranne