448. VERSES LAID IN QUEEN MARY'S CLOSET UPON HER DESK, AGAINST HER COMING UNTO HER PRAYERS.
"O lovesome rose, most redolent,
Of fading flowers most fresh,
In England pleasant is thy scent,
For now thou art peerless.
This rose which beareth such a smell
Doth represent our queen;
O listen, that I may you tell
Her colours fresh and green.
The love of God within her heart
Shall beautify her Grace:
The fear of God on the other part,
Shall stablish her in place.
This love and fear her colours are,
Whereby if she be known,
She may compare both nigh and far,
Unable to be overthrown.
The love of God, it will her cause
(Unfeigned if it be)
To have respect unto his laws,
And hate idolatry.
If that she have the fear of God,
And be thereto right bent,
She will do that that he her bode,
And not her own intent.
O noble queen, take heed, take heed,
Beware of your own intent:
Look ere you leap; then shall you speed:
Haste maketh many shent.
Remember Saul, that noble king,
What shame did him befall,
Because that unto the Lord's bidding
He had no lust at all.
The Lord hath bid you shall love him,
And other gods defy:
Alas, take heed! do not begin
To place idolatry.
What greater disobedience
Against God may be wrought,
Than this, to move men's conscience
To worship things of nought?
What greater folly can you invent
Than such men to obey?
How can you serve your own intent,
Not foreseeing your own decay?
And whereas first ye should maintain
Your realm in perfect unity:
To rent the people's hearts in twain
Through false idolatry.
Is this the way to get you fame,
Is this to get you love?
Is this to purchase you a name,
To fight with God above?
Is this your care to set up mass,
Your subjects' souls to 'stroy?
Is this your study no more to pass,
God's people to annoy?
Is this to reign, to serve your will,
Good men in bonds to keep;
And to exalt such as be evil,
And for your Grace unmeet?
Such as made that fond divorce,
Your mother to deface;
Are nighest you in power and force,
And bounden most unto your Grace.
Well, yet take heed of 'had-I-wist,'
Let God's word bear the bell:
If you will reign, learn to know Christ,
As David doth you tell.
What great presumption doth appear,
Thus in a week or twain,
To work more shame than in seven year
Can be redrest again!
All is done without a law,
For will doth work in place:
And thus all men may see and know
The weakness of your case.
That miserable masking mass,
Which all good men do hate;
Is now by you brought up again,
The root of all debate.
Your ministers that love God's word,
They feel this bitter rod;
Who are robbed from house and goods,
As though there were no God.
And yet you would seem merciful
In the midst of tyranny,
And holy, whereas you maintain
Most vile idolatry.
For fear that thou shouldst hear the truth,
True preachers may not speak;
But on good prophets you make ruth,
And unkindly them entreat.
Him have you made lord chancellor,
Who did your blood most stain:
That he may suck the righteous blood,
As he was wont, again.
Those whom our late king did love,
You do them most disdain;
These things do manifestly prove
Your colours to be but vain.
God's word you cannot abide,
But as your prophets tell:
In this you may be well compared
To wicked Jezebel,
Who had four hundred prophets false,
And fifty on a rout:
Through whose false preaching poor Eli
Was chased in and out.
God's prophets you do evil entreat,
Baal's priests defend your Grace:
Thus did the Jews put Christ to death,
And let go Barrabas.
Hath God thus high exalted you,
And set you on a throne,
That you should prison and deface
His flock that maketh moan?
The Lord which doth his flock defend,
As the apple of an eye;
Of this full quickly will make an end,
And banish cruelty.
Therefore my counsel pray you take,
And think thereof no scorn:
You shall find it the best counsel,
Ye had since you were born.
Put away blind affection;
Let God's word be umpire,
To try our true religion,
From this evil-favoured gear."