Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMY, FOR MOST PART ACCORDING TO TREMELIUS: 4, by JOHN DONNE



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THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMY, FOR MOST PART ACCORDING TO TREMELIUS: 4, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How is the gold become so dimme? How is
Last Line: And for them, pay thee with captivitie.


1 How is the gold become so dimme? How is
Purest and finest gold thus chang'd to this?
The stones which were stones of the Sanctuary,
Scattered in corners of each street do lye.

2 The pretious sonnes of Sion, which should bee
Valued at purest gold, how do wee see
Low rated now, as earthen Pitchers, stand,
Which are the worke of a poore Potters hand.

3 Even the Sea-calfes draw their brests, and give
Sucke to their young; my peoples daughters live,
By reason of the foes great cruelnesse,
As do the Owles in the vast Wildernesse.

4 And when the sucking child doth strive to draw,
His tongue for thirst cleaves to his upper jaw.
And when for bread the little children crye,
There is no man that doth them satisfie.

5 They which before were delicately fed,
Now in the streets forlorne have perished,
And they which ever were in scarlet cloath'd,
Sit and embrace the dunghills which they loath'd.

6 The daughters of my people have sinned more,
Then did the towne of Sodome sinne before;
Which being at once destroy'd, there did remaine
No hands amongst them, to vexe them againe.

7 But heretofore purer her Nazarite
Was then the snow, and milke was not so white;
As carbuncles did their pure bodies shine,
And all their polish'dnesse was Saphirine.

8 They are darker now then blacknes, none can know
Them by the face, as through the streets they goe,
For now their skin doth cleave unto the bone,
And withered, is like to dry wood growne.

9 Better by sword then famine 'tis to dye;
And better through pierc'd, then through penury.
10 Women by nature pitifull, have eate
Their children drest with their owne hands for meat.

11 Jehova here fully accomplish'd hath
His indignation, and powr'd forth his wrath,
Kindled a fire in Sion, which hath power
To eate, and her foundations to devour.

12 Nor would the Kings of the earth, nor all which live
In the inhabitable world beleeve,
That any adversary, any foe
Into Jerusalem should enter so.

13 For the Priests sins, and Prophets, which have shed
Blood in the streets, and the just murthered:
14 Which when those men, whom they made blinde, did stray
Thorough the streets, defiled by the way

With blood, the which impossible it was
Their garments should scape touching, as they passe,
15 Would cry aloud, depart defiled men,
Depart, depart, and touch us not; and then

They fled, and strayd, and with the Gentiles were,
Yet told their friends, they should not long dwell there;
16 For this they are scattered by Jehovahs face
Who never will regard them more; No grace

Unto their old men shall the foe afford,
Nor, that they are Priests, redeeme them from the sword.
17 And wee as yet, for all these miseries
Desiring our vaine helpe, consume our eyes:

And such a nation as cannot save,
We in desire and speculation have.
18 They hunt our steps, that in the streets wee feare
To goe: our end is now approached neere,

Our dayes accomplish'd are, this the last day.
19 Eagles of heaven are not so swift as they
Which follow us, o'r mountaine tops they flye
At us, and for us in the desart lye.

20 The annointed Lord, breath of our nostrils, hee
Of whom we said, under his shadow, wee
Shall with more ease under the Heathen dwell,
Into the pit which these men digged, fell.

21 Rejoyce O Edoms daughter, joyfull bee
Thou which inhabitst Huz, for unto thee
This cup shall passe, and thou with drunkennesse
Shalt fill thy selfe, and shew thy nakednesse.

22 And then thy sinnes O Sion, shall be spent,
The Lord will not leave thee in banishment.
Thy sinnes O Edoms daughter, hee will see,
And for them, pay thee with captivitie.





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