Robert Southwell

FROM St. Peter's Complaint, newly augmented, [c. 1605]    

New prince, new pomp            

Behold, a seely tender babe
    In freezing winter night
In homely manger trembling lies,—
    Alas, a piteous sight!
The inns are full, no man will yield
    This little pilgrim bed,
But forced he is with seely beasts
    In crib to shroud his head.
Despise him not for lying there,
    First, what he is enquire,
An orient pearl is often found
    In depth of dirty mire.
Weigh not his crib, his wooden dish,
    Nor beasts that by him feed;
Weigh not his mother's poor attire
    Nor Joseph's simple weed.
This stable is a prince's court,
    This crib his chair of state,
The beasts are parcel of his pomp,
    The wooden dish his plate.
The persons in that poor attire
    His royal liveries wear;
The prince himself is come from heaven—
    This pomp is prizėd there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight,
    Do homage to thy king;
And highly prize his humble pomp
    Which he from heaven doth bring.

Source: Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, Eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co, 1941. 238.

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