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

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

S. JOSEPH, by                    
First Line: Forgive this wrong, brave soule, that other toungs
Last Line: Unto his throne upon ascension day.
Subject(s): Joseph, Saint (1st Century B.c.-a.d.)

FORGIVE this Wrong, brave Soule, that other Toungs
Have with thine holy Glories swelld their Songs,
Whilst ours was grown too proud to sing
An handicraft & simple Thing.
Loe here a Muse, as poore and plaine as Thou
Thy selfe didst seem, offers her humble vow.

Her vow to teach our English how to frame
Its homage to thy long-forgotten Name,
That now no talking Traveller
May tell for News that He did heare
In Spain & France how JOSEPH us'd to goe
For current Saint; In England Thou art so.

Illustrious Saint, who mak'st thy Royall Line
In Povertie with richer Glories shine
Then when upon its WISEST HEAD
The fairest Crowne of ISRAEL stood,
He by his numerous Wives his honour stain'd,
Thou by thy ONE thy dignitie hast gain'd.

What though seven hundred Beauties of ye East,
All sprung from Royall Stocks, themselves did cast
Into his lustfull Bed? Yet still
More Glory in thy Spouse does dwell;
Seven hundred Princesses lesse beauteous be
Then One the Sole Queen of VIRGINITIE.

Great Pharaoh's Daughter though her face & ey
Convey'd all Egypts lovely Majestie
Into Judea, did not bring
Halfe so delicious a Thing
As thy Sweet Spouse shall carry back, when Shee
Ev'n in her meanest State shall hither flee.

That SONG OF SONGS, in wch th' inspired King
Rapt far above his owne Loves, strove to sing
Of a Diviner Spouse, for whom
All Heavn a Wooer would become,
Paints out that Maries Prayses, wch to Thee
In purest Wedlock now must joyned be.

Angells themselves in marriage thus may give
In Conjugall Virginitie to live:
For thats the wondrous Life wch Thou
Will with this Angell lead below;
And grown all Spirit antidate by this
Celestiall Life, the futures Virgin Bliss.

But Jealousy steps in a while, & tries
Thy righteous tender Soule to exercise:
Thy Spouse, whom Thou presumedst to be
Thy Sister in Virginitie,
Proves big with Child; O what shall Joseph doe
Whose most afflicted Soule's as big with woe.

He cannot Mary hate, nor her expose
A publik scorne to her insulting Foes;
But being just, He needs must part
With Her once dearer then his Heart.
Yet will in privite Her Divorce, that Shee
Her & her fault might shroud in Secresie.

Thus drownd in Tears & Thoughts a gentle sleep
Upon thy heavy brow began to creep:
When kind & carefull Heavn did send
Unto thy Soule thy Winged Friend;
Sweet was his face, Joy smile'd in both his eyes
Which with his Tongue he bad in thine arise.

Feare not, said He, Good Joseph, Davids Son,
Feare not to let thy Nuptialls goe on:
How can thy Maries Wombe not be
Big, which containes Divinitie?
God's breeding there: Heavns Spirit wch doth give
Life ev'n to Life it selfe, made Her conceive.

But I must tell Thee so: for humble Shee
Will not ye Trump to her owne honour be,
But rather chuse that all this while
False Jealousie should Thee beguile,
And staine her Credit, then her Tongue should tell
That God vouchsafes within her Wombe to dwell.

For Him thy Mary shall bring forth; & Thou
His Name must JESUS call, from whom shall flow
A sure & generall Salvation
To every beleeving Nation.
This said, the Angell vanishd; after Him
The Sleep took Wing, & so brake up ye Dream.

Thou wakened thus, & knowing well that thy
Owne Guardian Angell used no forgery,
With faithfull trembling joy unto
Thy pregnant Virgin Spouse dost goe,
And her, thy gentle Judge, for pardon pray
Whom jealous Thou hadst wronged yesterday.

O with what reverend Love & Care dost Thou
Attend on Her, whom Thou beleevest now
To be Gods Spouse as well as thine
And far lesse humane then Divine!
And with what earnest strife doth lowly Shee
Beat back those dutifull Respects to Thee!

But Caesars Edict to ye tax doth call.
Thou must in haste to Bethlem, Spouse & all,
To that proud Towne, wch yeilds no room
When Povertie a guest doth come,
But some discourteous Cave: Thus scorned Thou
Who many a house hath built, doth want one now.

But He built many more, who by & by
Will bless his World with His Nativitie
Ev'n in this Place, which howsoe'r
Contemptible it doth appeare,
Shall outshine Heavn; such power hath Christmas Day;
Nor can proud Heretiks vote it away.

Joy, Noble Saint, th' Eternall Father heere
Hath given Thee leave his dearest Name to wear;
Thou too shalt Father called be
Of his great Son, who now to Thee
Committed is. Was ever Trust so large!
God, and Gods Mother are left to thy charge.

And soone Thou shalt have work, for Herods wrath
Through thousands Infants Breasts decreed hath
To dig its way to JESU'S Heart.
Thou from thy Country must depart,
No longer Bethlem, but design'd to be
(So Hell & Herod vote) A Butcherie.

Thou must depart: thy privy Counsellor,
Thy Angell tells Thee so. Flie with thy dear
Charge into Egypt, flie, says He:
O that these wings of mine might be
Their Chariot! But this noble favour must
Be thine, whom Heavn has honourd wth this Trust.

Great was thy haste, as was thy Love: e'r Night
Was fled before ye face of dawning Light,
From Bethlem Thou hadst borne away
The better & the purer Day:
The Noble Names-sake journying heertofore
Much lesse Salvation into Egypt bore.

With what observance didst Thou forward goe
Both to the Son, & to the Mother too,
What fear, lest thine owne loving breast
In His, or Hers should be distrest,
What tenderness to keep the Mother warme,
What daintie Care that God should take no harme!

In Egypt Thou keptst house awhile with thy
Although but small, yet heavnly familie,
Untill thine Angell thither came
And counsells Thee to travell home.
Herod was dead, & now ye Jews will give
JESUS, their owne lives fountaine, leave to live.

O blessed Saint, what glorious Conversation
Hadst Thou in that great Infants education,
Who, though the King of Majestie
Deignd to be Subject unto Thee.
Unto astonishment I must submit
When I revolve thy Life in Nazaret.

Surely the Heavnly Quire would gladly come
To make in thy poore House their nobler Home,
And finde their Service full as high
In thy sublime Oeconomie:
Finding no cause for Angels now to scorne
The Carpenters Apprentices to turne.

Heer might they see their Makers blessed eyes,
Which when He was at home with them surprize
With Light intolerable: heer
With safe accesse they might draw neer
His simple Cradle, whose illustrious Throne
Above, they found too bright to look upon.

But how at length, Deare Saint, how couldst Thou dy,
When Life it selfe dwelt in thy Family?
Gave JESUS leave to Love & Joy
Thy overcharged Heart to slay?
Lest if Thou still shouldst live His Death to see,
That One might thousand others heap on Thee.

Goe then, Sweet Soule, in peace & stand a while
Behinde the Curtaine, till thy Lord fulfill
His Tragedie: Then shalt Thou be
Restored to His dear Companie,
And wait upon Him in His glorious Way
Unto His Throne upon Ascension Day.

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