Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, Γενεθλιακον, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Γενεθλιακον, by                    
First Line: Twelve moneths agoe, what rate would I too dear
Last Line: Dispair is better farr, than fruitless hope.
Subject(s): England; Grief; Holidays; Hope; New Year; English; Sorrow; Sadness; Optimism

TWELVE Moneths agoe, what rate would I too dear
Have thought, to buy me but another Year;
In which I Virtues Quarrell might
Revenge with Poenitence's fist,
And stoutly wreak my holy Spight
Upon my most rebellious Breast:
That so the Sight of my own Life might not
Before I dy'd, death through my heart have shott!


Yet, though great LOVE hath reined Justice in
From my bold Three-and-thirty Years of Sin;
And giv'n me Mercy's generous leave
This other annual Round to tread:
Alas what use of this Repreive
Has my ingratefull Madnes made,
Who have but raisd my Guilts vast Mountain more
By a Years height than it was swelld before!


Though I have seen our wretched Britain made
The Isle of Monsters; though the onely Trade
Our England drives be Frensy, and
Rebellious Desperation; Yet
I finde a more enormous Band
Of Rebells in my Bosome mett:
Rebells, whose furious stomach dares disdain
Not Britains Monarch, but Heavns Soverain.


The lower House, the Commons of my Breast,
My traiterous Passions, speciously drest
In Liberties bewitching cloke;
First trampling down my Will & Reason
As useless Peers, in triumph broke
Into the gulfe of deepest Treason,
And murdered their royal Lord again,
Whose guilt was nothing but his Gentle Reign.


Afresh thus having JESUS crucifi'd,
In Sinns anarchical carreer they ride:
And I, alas, unhappy I,
In woefull Vassalage enchaind,
A Prey to my own Madnes ly;
That Madnes, which for me hath gaind
A decent Vengance on my proud Offence,
A Rout of Tyrants for one gracious Prince.


With what sore Taxes did they pill & poll
The holy Score of my once thriveing Soule!
How has their Fury stormd me from
My own Free Hold, not leaving Me
So much to dwell in, as the Home
Of my own Self! how cruelie
Have they by Sequestration seized even
On that Reversion which I had of Heaven!


A King, a King, again, say I; & none
But Him who is our rightfull King alone!
JESU, oh JESU, lend thine ear,
Thine ever-gracious ear to Me,
Whose broken Soule desires to bear
No Yoke, no King, but thine & Thee!
I have this cheating Liberty, & fain
In thy deer Service would be free again.


For yf I be not; Why, why should I be
At all! Or what is this New Year to Me,
But a New Orb of Woe, upon
Whose wheel I must be rackd again,
And through Lifes longer Torments run
To longest Deaths more heavy Pain?
The thought of further Life slay's Me with Dread,
Yf living still, must make me ever Dead.


O never never let my Vessell steer
Through such another treason-foaming Year!
My Passions no such Armies have,
Nor Navies, to maintain their Pride;
But Thou into Destructions Grave
Canst easily tread their strongest Tide.
Why shouldst not Thou, sweet Lord of Power & Love,
Who art MOST HIGH, be every where above?


O JESU be above, & Reign in Me:
So shall these Rebells melt to Loyaltie:
So shall that other Perturbation
Which all this Year hath toss'd my Breast
And wov'n mysterious Vexation
Into my deerest Joyes, molest
My Soule no more with strange Anxietie,
Nor tear it farr farr from it self, & Thee.


Thine Ey alone is privie to the Smart
Of those long Pangs which revelld in my heart;
When my Desires from That were shutt
From Which they could not severd be;
When I was most where I was not;
When onely Absence dwelt with me;
When every houre hurri'd & flung me to
Those pretious Sweets to which I might not go;


When I could scorn all Danger, Toil, & Pain,
That most inestimable Gemm to gain,
Yet by poor slender Nothings saw
My way quite intercepted; and
In spight of Loves allconquering Law,
Ev'n brave Ascension at a stand;
When the resolved Flame still wider spread,
Yet on its noble Feuel might not feed:


When I, though on the brink of fulltide Joy,
Liv'd in the squalid Desert of Dismay;
When Unity it self might not
Be one; When Times learnd to controll
Beyond their Sphear, & bridle what
Was now eternal in my Soule;
When I might not free Owner be of that
Whereof I had intire possession gott.


Just reason of a guilty Blush could I
In that my vehement Designe descry,
An hecatombe of Thanks & Praise
I at that Fortunes foot would lay
Which barracado'd all the ways
That led to my desired Joy:
But since my aim was pure, oh why must I
So long obstructed be, I know not Why?


I know not Why: unless the Worth of that
Invaluable Gemm, a barr did putt
Against my Worthlessnes: & then
Jesu, I yeild, & must confess
I have no further plea, nor can
Pretend desert of That which is
So sweetly pretious: No, I know I must
Miss my too-loftie Aim, yf Thou beest Just.


Yet since thy Justice-conquering Goodnes now
Incourageth my Hopes afresh to grow;
O never let them fade again,
Nor sown into sad Intermission,
But their mature Success obtain
And flourish into sweet Fruition!
O let them flourish! Or quite root them up.
Dispair is better farr, than fruitless Hope.

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