By Sir Philip Sidney


Ut quid, Domine?

I.          WHY standest Thou so farr,
             O God, our only starr,
             In time most fitt for Thee
             To help who vexèd be?
      For lo, with pride the wicked man
      Still plagues the poore the most he can;
      O, let proud him be throughly caught
      In craft of his own crafty thought.

2.          For he himself doth prayse
             When he his lust doth raise;
             Extolling ravenous gain,
             But doth God self disdain.
      Nay, so proud is his puffèd thought,
      That after God he never sought,
      But rather much he fancys this,—
      The name of God a fable is.

3.          For while his wayes do proue
             On them he sets his loue,
             Thy judgments are to high,
             He cannot them espy.
      Therfore he doth defy all those
      That dare themselues to him oppose,
      And sayeth in his bragging heart,
      This gotten blisse shall ne're depart.

4.          Nor he removed be,
             Nor danger ever see;
             Yet from his mouth doth spring
             Cursing and cosening ;
      Vnder his tongue do harbour'd ly
      Both mischeif and iniquity.
      For proof, oft laine in wait he is,
      In secret by-way villages,

5.          In such a place vnknown
             To slay the hurtless one:
             With winking eyes aye bent
             Against the innocent,
      Like lurking lion in his denn,
      He waites to spoyle the simple men:
      Whom to their losse he still dos get,
      When once he draw'th his wily nett.

6.          O, with how simple look
             He oft layeth out his hook!
             And with how humble showes
             To trapp poore soules he goes!
      Then freely, saith he in his sprite,
      God sleeps, or hath forgotten quite;
      His farr off sight now hood winkt is,
      He leasure wants to mark all this.

7.          Then rise, and come abroad,
             O Lord, our only God;
             Lift up Thy heavnly hand,
             And by the sylly stand.                      simple-hearted (selig)
      Why should the evill so evill despise
      The power of Thy through-seeing eyes?
      And why should he in heart so hard
      Say Thou dost not Thyn own regard?

8.          But naked, before Thine eyes,
             All wrong and mischeife lyes,
             For of them in Thy hands
             The ballance evnly stands.
      But who aright poor-minded be,
      Commit their cause, themselues to Thee,
      The succour of the succourless,
      The Father of the fatherlesse.

9.          Breake Thou that wyked arm,
             Whose fury bends to harme;
             Search him, and wyked he
             Will straight-way nothing be.
      So, Lord, we shall Thy title sing,
      Ever and ever to be King,
      Who hast the heath'ney folk destroy'd
      From out Thy land, by them anoy'd.

10.        Thou openest heavnly doore
             To prayers of the poore;
             Thou first preparèdst their mind,
             Then eare to them enclin'd:
      O, be Thou still the orphan's aide,
      That poore from ruine may be stayd,
      Least we should ever feare the lust
      Of earthly man, a lord of dust.

Text source:
      Sidney, Philip. The Complete Poems of Sir Philip Sidney. vol. III.
      Alexander B. Grosart, Ed. London: Chatto & Windus, 1877. 101-104.

Sidney | Life | Works | Links | Renaissance Essays | Renaissance Lit | Luminarium

Back to Works of Sir Philip Sidney

Site copyright ©1996-2007 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on July 24, 2006. Last updated March 12, 2007.