Ben Jonson
T  H  E     F  O  R  E  S  T . 


Good and great GOD ! can I not think of thee,
But it must straight my melancholy be ?
Is it interpreted in me disease,
That, laden with my sins, I seek for ease ?
O be thou witness, that the reins dost know
And hearts of all, if I be sad for show ;
And judge me after : if I dare pretend
To aught but grace, or aim at other end.
As thou art all, so be thou all to me,
First, midst, and last, converted One, and Three !   10
My faith, my hope, my love ; and in this state,
My judge, my witness, and my advocate.
Where have I been this while exiled from thee,
And whither rapt, now thou but stoop'st to me ?
Dwell, dwell here still !  O, being every where,
How can I doubt to find thee ever here ?
I know my state, both full of shame and scorn,
Conceived in sin, and unto labor born,
Standing with fear, and must with horror fall,
And destined unto judgment, after all.                     20
I feel my griefs too, and there scarce is ground,
Upon my flesh t' inflict another wound :
Yet dare I not complain, or wish for death,
With holy PAUL, lest it be thought the breath
Of discontent ;  or that these prayers be
For weariness of life, not love of thee.


Jonson, Ben.  The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 807-808.

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