The signs of shame that stain my blushing face
Rise from the feeling of my raving fits,
Whose joy annoy, whose guerdon is disgrace,
Whose solace flies, whose sorrow never flits;
Bad seed I sow'd, worse seed is now my gain,
Soon-dying mirth begat long-living pain.
Now pleasure ebbs, revenge begins to flow;
One day doth work the wrath that many wrought;
Remorse doth teach my guilty thoughts to know
How cheap I sold that Christ so dearly bought:
Faults long unfelt doth conscience now bewray,
Which cares must cure and tears must wash away.
All ghostly dints that grace at me did dart,
Like stubborn rock I forced to recoil;
To other flights an aim I made my heart
Whose wounds, then welcome, now have wrought my foil.
Woe worth the bow, woe worth the archer's might,
That draw such arrows to the mark so right!
To pull them out, to leave them in is death,
One to this world, one to the world to come;
Wounds may I wear and draw a donbtfnl breath,
But then my wounds will work a dreadful doom;
And for a world whose pleasures pass away,
I lose a world whose joys are past decay.
O sense! O soul! O hap! hoped bliss!
Yon woo, you win, you draw, you drive me back;
Your cross encount'ring like their combat is.
That never end but with some deadly wrack;
When sense doth win, the soul doth lose the field,
And present haps make future hopes to yield.
O heaven! lament, sense robbeth thee of saints,
Lament, souls! sense spoileth you of grace;
Yet sense doth scarce deserve these hard complaints,
Love is the chief, sense but the entering place;
Yet grant I must, sense is not free from sin,
For thief he is that thief admitteth in.
Robert Southwell, SJ
“Before his death, he prayed publicly for the Queen and made a very edifying speech to the assembled crowd. He struggled to make the sign of the Cross while he was hanging, and before he was cut down, Lord Mountjoy and some other onlookers tugged at his legs so that he would die before the rest of the brutality could happen. It was his lifeless body that was disemboweled and quartered. When his severed head was held up to the crowd, nobody dared shout the customary epithet, ‘Traitor!’”
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