Gascoignes De profundis
The introduction to the Psalme of De profundis.
The Skies gan scowle, orecast with misty clowdes,
When (as I rode alone by London waye,
Cloakelesse, unclad) thus did I sing and say:
Behold quoth I, bright Titan how he shroudes
His head abacke, and yelds the raine his reach,
Till in his wrath, Dan Jove have soust the soile,
And washt me wretch which in his travaile toile.
But holla (here) doth rudenesse me appeach,
Since Jove is Lord and king of mighty power,
Which can commaund the Sunne to shewe his face,
And (when him lyst) to give the raine his place.
Why doe not I my wery muses frame,
(Although I bee well soused in this showre,)
To write some verse in honour of his name?
Gascoignes De profundis.
From depth of doole wherein my soule doth dwell,
From heavy heart which harbours in my brest,
From troubled sprite which sildome taketh rest.
From hope of heaven, from dreade of darkesome hell.
O gracious God, to thee I crye and yell.
My God, my Lorde, my lovely Lord aloane,
To thee I call, to thee I make my moane.
And thou (good God) vouchsafe in gree to take,
This woefull plaint,
Wherein I faint.
Oh heare me then for thy great mercies sake.
Oh bende thine eares attentively to heare,
Oh turne thine eyes, behold me how I wayle,
O hearken Lord, give eare for mine availe,
O marke in minde the burdens that I beare:
See howe I sinke in sorrowes everye where.
Beholde and see what dollors I endure,
Give eare and marke what plaintes I put in ure.
Bende wylling eare: and pittie therewithall,
My wayling voyce,
Which hath no choyce.
But evermore upon thy name to call.
If thou good Lorde shouldest take thy rod in hande,
If thou regard what sinnes are daylye done,
If thou take holde where wee our workes begone,
If thou decree in Judgement for to stande,
And be extreame to see our scuses skande,
If thou take note of every thing amysse,
And wryte in rowles howe frayle our nature is,
O gloryous God, O King, O Prince of power,
What mortall wight,
Maye then have lyght,
To feele thy frowne, if thou have lyst to lowre?
But thou art good, and hast of mercye store,
Thou not delygh[t]st to see a sinner fall,
Thou hearknest first, before we come to call.
Thine eares are set wyde open evermore,
Before we knocke thou commest to the dore.
Thou art more press to heare a sinner crye,
Then he is quicke to climbe to thee on hye.
Thy mighty name bee praysed then alwaye,
Let fayth and feare,
True witnesse beare.
Howe fast they stand which on thy mercy staye.
I looke for thee (my lovelye Lord) therefore.
For thee I wayte for thee I tarrye styll,
Myne eyes doe long to gaze on thee my fyll.
For thee I watche, for thee I prye and pore.
My Soule for thee attendeth evermore.
My Soule doth thyrst to take of thee a taste,
My Soule desires with thee for to bee plaste.
And to thy worde (which can no man deceyve)
Myne onely trust,
My love and lust
In co[n]fidence contin[u]allye shall cleave.
Before the breake or dawning of the daye,
Before the lyght be seene in loftye Skyes,
Before the Sunne appeare in pleasaunt wyse,
Before the watche (before the watche I saye)
Before the warde that waytes therefore alwaye:
My soule, my sense, my secreete thought, my sprite,
My wyll, my wishe, my joye, and my delight:
Unto the Lord that sittes in heaven on highe,
With hastye wing,
From me doeth fling,
And stryveth styll, unto the Lorde to flye.
O Israell, O housholde of the Lorde,
O Abrahams Brattes, O broode of blessed seede,
O chosen sheepe that love the Lord in deede:
O hungrye heartes, feede styll upon his worde,
And put your trust in him with one accorde.
For he hath evermore at hande,
His fountaines flowe, his springes doe never stande.
And plenteouslye hee loveth to redeeme,
Such sinners all,
As on him call,
And faithfully his mercies most esteeme.
Hee wyll redeeme our deadly drowning state,
He wyll bring home the sheepe that goe astraye,
He wyll helpe them that hope in him alwaye:
He wyll appease our discorde and debate,
He wyll soone save, though we repent us late.
He wyll be ours if we continewe his,
He wyll bring bale to joye and perfect blisse.
He wyll redeeme the flocke of his electe,
From all that is,
Or was amisse.
Since Abrahams heyres dyd first his Lawes reject.