Of Tears by Benjamin Rudyerd

Who would have thought there could have been
Such joy in tears wept for our sin?
Mine eye hath seen, my heart hath proved,
The most and best of earthly joys;
The sweets of love, and being loved,
Masks, feasts, and plays, and suchlike toys:
Yet this one tear which now doth fall
In true delight exceeds them all.

Indeed, mine eyes at first let in
Those guests that did these woes begin:
Therefore mine eyes in tears and grief
Are justly drown’d; but that these tears
Should comfort bring, ‘t is past belief.
O God! in this thy grace appears;
Thou that mak’st light from darkness spring,
Mak’st joys to weep, and sadness sing.

O, where am I! what may I think!
Help, help! alas! my heart doth sink:
Thus toss’d in seas of woe,—
Thus laden with my sin,
Waves of despair dash in,
And threat mine overthrow.
What heart, oppress’d with such a weight,
Can choose but sink, and perish straight?

Yet, as at sea in storms, men choose
The ship to save, their goods to lose;
So, in this fearful storm,
This danger to prevent,
Before all hope be spent,
I’ll choose the lesser harm.
My tears to seas I will convert,
And drown mine eyes to save my heart.

From: Manning, James Alexander (ed.), Rudyerd, Benjamin and Rudyerd, Benjamin, Memoirs of Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, Knt., containing his Speeches and Poems; to which are added the Letters of his Great-Great-Grandson Benjamin Rudyerd, Esq., Captain in the Coldstream Guards at the Battle of Fontenoy, 1841, T. & W. Boone: London, pp. xxv-xxvi.

Date: 16??

By: Benjamin Rudyerd (1572-1658)


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