Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRETENCE, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE PRETENCE, by            
First Line: Vain hart, why wouldst thou try
Last Line: Thou fearest thine own weapon, lawfulness.
Subject(s): Christianity; Law & Lawyers; Attorneys

VAIN Hart, why wouldst Thou try
The Bag of every Bee that buzzeth by?
With any didst Thou ever meet
Amidst whose Honey was not sett
A Sting to warn thy Hand
The Danger of Delight to understand.

Nay, leave thy preaching: I
Believe that Pleasure Lawfull is, which thy
Fond Tooth, desires to taste. But since
The Lawfulness is thy pretence,
Come, I will let Thee loose
To Lawful things, where Thou mayst noblier choose.

First, know, 'tis Lawful to
Abstein from that Thou pantest after so.
'Tis Lawful quite to quench the fire
Of any secular desire:
'Tis Lawful to refuse
What Law itself alloweth Thee to use.

'Tis Lawful to deny
Whate'r doth feuel to thy Flame supply.
'Tis Lawful to maintain a Warr
Against thy Selfe, and not to spare
That Body, which unless
Thou mortifie'st it, will thy Life suppress.

To Weep, to Fast, to Pray;
To walk the hardy and heroik Way
Of Saints and Martyrs, whoe in fear
Of nothing more than Pleasures were;
To bowe thy venturous back
And any Cross on Thy brave Shoulders take;

By his dear Blood to trace
The gallant Footstepps of thy Lord; to Place
Thy Self above thy Self, and live
In Life's own Fount, whilst Thou dost give
All Thy Desires to His
Incomparable Will in Sacrifice.

All these are Lawful; and
Much more then so. -- Why dost Thou trembling stand?
That Tremor shakes from off Thy face
The Mask in which it sheltered was;
And makes thee now confess
Thou fearest thine own weapon, LAWFULNESS.

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