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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: All christian men, give ear a while to me
Last Line: Embrace true faith that never more decays.
Subject(s): Faust

All Christian men, give ear a while to me,
How I am plung'd in pain, but cannot die:
I liv'd a life the like did none before,
Forsaking Christ, and I am damn'd therefore.

At Wittenburge, a town in Germany,
There was I born and bred of good degree;
Of honest stock, which afterwards I sham'd;
Accurst therefore, for Faustus was I nam'd.

In learning, loe, my uncle brought up me,
And made me Doctor in Divinity;
And, when he dy'd, he left me all his wealth,
Whose cursed gold did hinder my soul's health.

Then did I shun the holy Bible-book,
Nor on Gods word would ever after look;
But studied accursed conjuration,
Which was the cause of my utter damnation.

The devil in fryars weeds appear'd to me,
And streight to my request he did agree,
That I might have all things at my desire:
I gave him soul and body for his hire.

Twice did I make my tender flesh to bleed,
Twice with my blood I wrote the devils deed,
Twice wretchedly I soul and body sold,
To live in peace and do what things I would.

For four and twenty years this bond was made,
And at the length my soul was truly paid!
Time ran away, and yet I never thought
How dear my soul our Saviour Christ had bought.

Would I at first been made a beast by kind!
Then had not I so vainly set my mind;
Or would, when reason first began to bloom,
Some darksome den had been my deadly tomb!

Woe to the day of my nativity!
Woe to the time that once did foster me!
And woe unto the hand that seal'd the bill!
Woe to myself, the cause of all my ill!

The time I passed away, with much delight,
'Mongst princes, peers, and many a worthy knight:
I wrought such wonders by my magick skill,
That all the world may talk of Faustus still.

The devil he carried me up into the sky,
Where I did see how all the world did lie;
I went about the world in eight daies space,
And then return'd unto my native place.

What pleasure I did wish to please my mind
He did perform, as bond and seal did bind;
The secrets of the stars and planets told,
Of earth and sea, with wonders manifold.

When four and twenty years was almost run,
I thought of all things that was past and done;
How that the devil would soon claim his right,
And carry me to everlasting night.

Then all too late I curst my wicked deed,
The dread whereof doth make my heart to bleed
All daies and hours I mournèd wondrous sore,
Repenting me of all things done before.

I then did wish both sun and moon to stay,
All times and seasons never to decay;
Then had my time nere come to dated end,
Nor soul and body down to hell descend.

At last, when I had but one hour to come,
I turn'd my glass, for my last hour to run,
And call'd in learned men to comfort me;
But faith was gone, and none could comfort me.

By twelve a clock my glass was almost out:
My grievèd conscience then began to doubt;
I wisht the students stay in chamber by;
But, as they staid, they heard a dreadful cry.

Then presently they came into the hall,
Whereas my brains was cast against the wall;
Both arms and legs in pieces torn they see,
My bowels gone: this was an end of me.

You conjurers and damned witches all,
Example take by my unhappy fall:
Give not your souls and bodies unto hell,
See that the smallest hair you do not sell.

But hope that Christ his kingdom you may gain,
Where you shall never fear such mortal pain;
Forsake the devil and all his crafty ways,
Embrace true faith that never more decays.

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