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A proper newe sonet

declaring the lamentation of Beckles (a market towne in Suffolke),
which was in the great winde vpon S. Andrewes eue
last past most pittifully burned with fire, to the
losse by estimation of twentie thousande
pound and vpwarde, and to the
number of foure score
dwelling houses,
1586
To Wilsons Tune.
With sobbing sighes, and trickling teares,
My state I doe lament
Perceiuing how Gods heauie wrath
Against my sinnes is bent;
Let all men viewe my woefull fall,
And rue my woefull case,
And learne hereby in speedy sort
Repentaunce to embrace
For late in Suffolcke was I seen
To be a stately towne,
Replenished with riches store,
And had in great renowne;
Yea, planted on a pleasant soyle,
So faire as heart could wish,
And had my markets, once a weeke,
Well storde with flesh and fish.
A faire fresh riuer running by,
To profite me withall,
Who with a cristall cleered streame
About my bankes did fall;
My fayres in somer welthely
For to increase my store;
My medowes greene and commons great, —
What could I wish for more?
But now beholde my great decay,
Which on a sodaine came;
My sumptuous buildings burned be
By force of fires flame:
A careless wretch, most rude in life,
His chymney set on fire,
The instrument, I must confesse,
Of Gods most heauie ire.
The flame whereof increasing stil
The blustering windes did blowe,
And into diuers buildings by
Disperst it to and fro;
So, kindling in most grieuous sort,
It waxed huge and hie;
The riuer then was frozen, so
No water they could come by.
Great was the crye that then was made
Among both great and small;
The wemen wept, and wrong their handes,
Whose goods consumed all;
No helpe was founde to slacke the fyre,
Theyr paines was spent in vaine;
To beare theyr goods into the fieldes
For safegarde they were fayne.
And yet, amid this great distresse,
A number set theyr minde,
To filtch, and steale, and beare away
So much as they could finde;
Theyr neighbors wealth, which wasted lay
About the streetes that time,
They secretly convayde away, —
O most accursed crime!
Thus, from the morning nyne a clocke
Till four aclocke at night,
Fourescore houses in Beckles towne
Was burnd to ashes quite;
And that which most laments my heart,
The house of God, I say,
The church and temple by this fyre
Is cleane consumde away.
The market-place and houses fayre,
That stood about the same,
Hath felt the force and violence
Of this most fearefull flame;
So that there is no Christian man
But in his heart would grieue,
To see the smart I did sustaine
Upon saint Andrewes eue.
Wherefore, good Christian people, now
Take warning by my fall, —
Liue not in strife and enuious hate
To breed each other thrall;
Seeke not your neighbors lasting spoyle
By greedy sute in lawe;
Liue not in discord and debate,
Which doth destruction draw.
And flatter not yourselues in sinne,
Holde not Gods worde in scorne,
Repine not at his ministers,
Nor be not false forsworne;
For, where such vices doth remaine,
Gods grace will neuer be;
And, in your health and happie state,
Haue yet some minde on me, —
Whose songes is changd to sorrowes sore,
My ioyes to wayling woe,
My mirth to mourning sighes and grones,
The which from griefe doth growe;
My wealth to want and scarsetie,
My pleasure into payne,
All for the sinne and wickednesse
Which did in me remaine.
If then you wish prosperitie,
Be louing meeke and kinde, —
Lay rage and rancour cleane aside,
Set malice from your minde;
And liue in loue and charitie,
All hatefull pride detest,
And so you shall with happie dayes
For euermore be blest.
And thus I ende my wofull song.
Beseeching God I may
Remaine a mirrour to all such
That doe in pleasure stay;
And that amongest their greatest mirth
And chiefest ioye of all,
They yet may haue a heart to thinke
Of Beckles sodaine fall.
FINIS. T. D.

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A proper newe sonet - THOMAS DELONEY
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