The First Psalme by Abraham Fraunce

Thrice happy the man, that lends noe care to the counsail
Of soule-sicke sinners; nor frames his feete to the foote steppe
Of backsliding guydes: nor sets him downe with a scorner
In the maligning chayre, that makes but a mock of Olympus.
But to the living Lords edicts himself he referreth,
And there pleasures and treasures only reposeth:
Night and day by the same his footesteps duly directing,
Day and night by the same, hart, mynde, soule, purely preparing.
This man’s like to a tree, to a tree most happily planted
Hard by a brooke, by a brooke whose streames of silver abounding
Make this tree her fruite, her pleasant fruite to be yeelding,
Yeelding fruite in tyme to the planters dayly reioycing.
This tree’s rooted deepe, her bowes are eherefuly springing,
Her fruite never fades, her leaves looke lively for ever:
This man’s setted sure, his thoughts, Woords, dayly proceedings.
Happy beginings have, and have as fortunat endings.
Sinners are not see: they and theyrs all in a moment,
All in a moment passe past hope, grace, mercy, recov’ry,
As weight-wanting chaffe that scattreth in euery corner,
Whyrled away fro the earth, hence, thence, by a blast, by a wynde puffe.
Woe to the scorner then, whose soule wil quake to be judged,
Quake when it heares that doome by the Judg almighty pronounced.
Woe to the sinner then, noe settled sinner aproacheth
Neare to the sinles Saincts, where joy and glory aboundeth.
For, the triumphant God doth stil looke downe to the godly,
Their wayes well knowing, and them with mercy protecting:
But the revenging Lord hath threatned a plague to the godles,
And theyr wayes shal away, and they themselvs be a wayling.

From: Fraunce, Abraham and Grosart, Alexander B. (ed.), Miscellanies of The Fuller Worthies’ Library. The Countesse of Pembroke’s Emanuell together with Certaine Psalmes, 1871, Private Circulation: Blackburn, Lancashire, pp. 73-75.

Date: 1591

By: Abraham Fraunce (c1558-c1593)


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