Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, S. BARTHOLOMEW, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT



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S. BARTHOLOMEW, by            
First Line: Surely this gold's but earth, although
Last Line: At heavns strait gate, didst first put off thy skin.
Subject(s): Bartholomew, Saint (1st Century); Saints


SURELY this Gold's but Earth, although
Through throngs of Tempests it can draw
The greedy West
Into ye East
And make ye Ocean crowd into
The Mouth of Inde: And will none goe
To finde a Prize more golden then
That glittering Ore, th' eternall Soules of Men?

Yes, here's a Merchant ready; He,
Were India more Worlds off, can be
Content to passe
Them all: He has
A fairer gale then ever from
The Mouth of any Winde did come;
Full in his Sail God's Spirit blows,
And not to fetch, but carry Gold, he goes.

If Gold be not a Name too poor,
To print upon his Noble store;
The pretious Wares
He thither bears
Are genuine Peace, & boundlesse Blisse,
And Loves, & Joyes, & Paradise:
For these & more inshrined lie
In JESU'S Name, Heavns best Epitomie.

With this He trades, yet not to make
Him selfe, but India rich: Come take
Your choise, He cries,
In this great Prize;
Indeed tis richly worth much more
Then all your idolized Ore;
But you may goe on Trust for this,
Give but your Faith, & yours ye Treasure is.

His market thus in India done,
Unto Armenia He doth run
To traffique there
With ye same ware.
A Braver Merchant ne'r did come
Into those parts; & there were some
That dealt with Him, who quickly thrive
Getting wherwith eternally to live.

But having undertook to make
His Chapmen Kings, ye King doth take
High discontent
To hear Him vent
Doctrines so bold; No more, cries He,
Of your Christs Kingdome; there shall be
In my Armenia but one
And thats mine owne undoubted lawfull Throne.

The Gods by whose assistance I
Ascended to this Royaltie
Are Gods enough:
I can allow
Thy uselesse Christ no room, & yet
Thy selfe maist for some use be fit.
Say Slaves, will He not serve to flea?
Though He be naught, yet good his skin may be.

Mistaken Tyrant, what canst Thou
And this thy tardy Torment doe?
Long since our Saint
Without constraint
Threw off ye Worlds unworthy skins
The foolish furniture of Sins;
Yea & ye Flesh: what matter then
For Him to lay aside his weary Skin?

Take then thy most unconquerd Prey;
And for ye skin Thou pluckst away
Array Him round
With one great Wound:
Trie if thy Spight can boundlesse prove
As are His Patience & his Love:
Send Him more naked hence then He
Came hither at his first Nativitie;

So! now far fairer then before,
He sparkles in his glorious Gore
As ye stript Sun
The Clouds being gone
Though naked yet more beauteous is
By that illustrious Nakednes,
Having no shame to hide, wch may
Beholding be to some more spruce array.

What e'r ye stupid Tyrant think,
The wiser Devills back doe shrink,
And dare not look
On this red book
The Saints owne Rubrick, or once come
Neere so strong Beams of Martyrdome,
But wish a thousand times ye skin
Were on ye Noble Martyrs back agin.

No; let ye King this token keep
That he did slay ye harmelesse Sheep:
Heavn will provide
A Robe to hide
The Saint; faire Immortalitie
Into a garment fram'd shall be,
A garment full & fit, whose hue
Though ever worne, keeps ever fresh & new.

Goe then, Great Saint, unto thy Place
Much richer then thy India was,
A Place too high
For Tyranny
To reach Thee thence: there shalt Thou see
The Crowne & Throne prepard for Thee,
Who to be sure to enter in
At Heavns strait Gate, didst first put off thy skin.





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