Friday, February 21, 2020

And Self-Delight the Seed of Woe

Man's Civill Warre
by St. Robert Southwell

My hoveringe thoughtes would fly to heaven,
And quiet nestle in the skye;
Fayne would my shipp in Vertue's shore
Without remove at anker lye;

But mounting thoughtes are haled downe
With heavy poyse of mortall loade;
And blustringe stormes denye my shipp
In Vertue's haven secure aboade.

When inward eye to heavenly sightes
Doth drawe my longing hart's desire,
The world with jesses of delightes
Would to her perch my thoughtes retyre.

Fonde Phancy traynes to Pleasure's lure,
Though Reason stiffly do repine;
Thoughe Wisdome woe me to the sainte,
Yet Sense would wynne me to the shrine.

Wheare Reason loathes, there Phancy loves,
And overrules the captive will;
Foes sences are to Vertue's lore,
They drawe the witt their wish to fill.

Need craves consent of soule to sence,
Yett divers bents breed civill fraye;
Hard happ where halves must disagree,
Or truce of halves the whole betraye!

O cruell fight! where fightinge frende
With love doth kill a favoringe foe;
Where peace with sence is warr with God,
And self-delite the seede of woe!

Dame Pleasure's drugges are steept in synne,
Their sugred tast doth breed annoye;
O fickle Sence! beware her gynn,
Sell not thy soule to brittle joye!

Robert Southwell died on February 21, 1595, having been convicted of treason for being a Jesuit priest in England.