Divine Poems

The History of
  • Jonah
  • Ester
  • Job
  • Sampson
Note: { SIONS
Note: {
Written and newly augmented,
Printed by M. F. for I. MARRIOT, and are to be sold at his Shop in St. Dunstans Churchyard in Fleet-streete.

[Page 194]

1. Medit. 5.

SAy, is not Satan justly stiled than,
A Tempter, and an enemy to Man?
What could he more? His wish would not extend
To death, lest his assaults, with death should end:
Then what he did, what could he further doe?
His Hand hath seiz'd both goods and body too.
The hopefull Issue of a holy straine,
In such a dearth of holinesse, is slaine.
What hath the Lazar left him, but his griefe,
And (what might best been spar'd) his foolish wife?
Cold mischief bin more hard (though more in kind)
To nip the flowers, and leave the weeds behind
Woman was made a Helper by Creation,
A Helper, not alone for Propagation,
Or fond Delight, but sweet Society,
Which Man (alone) should want, and to supply
Comforts to him for whom her Sex was made,
That each may joy in eithers needfull ayde:
But fairest Angels, had the foulest fall;
And best things (once abus'd) prove worst of all,
Else had not Satan beene so foule a Fiend,
Else had not Woman prov'd so false a Friend.
[Page 404]


HOw orient is thy beauty! How divine!
How darke's the glory of the earth, to thine!
Thy vailed eyes out-shine heavens greater light,
Unconquer'd by the shadie Cloud of night;
[Page 405]
Thy curious Tresses dangle, all unbound
With unaffected order, to the ground:
How orient is thy beautie! how divine!
How darke's the glory of the earth to thine!


[Page 407]
O Thou, the deare Inflamer of mine eyes,
Life of my soule, and hearts eternall prize,
[Page 408]
How delectable is thy love! How pure!
How apt to ravish, able to allure
A frozen soule, and with thy secret fire,
T' affect dull spirits with extreame desire.
How doe thy joyes (though in their greatest dearth)
Transcend the proudest pleasures of the earth!
[Page 444]

4. ELEG. II.

LIngring with Death and Famine, Judah groanes,
And to the ayre, breathes forth her ayrie moanes,
Her fainting eyes waxe dim, her cheekes grow pale,
Her wandring steps despaire to speed, and faile,
She faints, and through her trembling lips, halfe dead,
She whispers oft the holy name of bread:
Great God, let thy offended wrath surcease,
Behold thy servants, send thy servants peace,
Behold thy vassals, groveling on the dust;
Be mercifull (deare God) as well as just;
'Tis thou, 'tis thou alone, that sent this griefe,
'Tis thou, 'tis thou alone, can send reliefe.
MY tongu's in labour with her painefull birth,
That finds no passage; Lord, how strange a dearth
Of words, concomitates a world of woes!
I neither can conceale, nor yet disclose:
You weary Pilgrimes, you whom change of Climes
Have tought you change of Fortunes, and of Times,
Stay, stay your feeble steps, and cast your eyes
On me, the Abstract of all miseries.
Say (Pilgrimes) say, if e're your eyes beheld
More truer Iliades; more unparalleld,
And matelesse evils, which my offended God
Reulcerates, with his enraged Rod.
[Page 448]

5. ELEG. 19.

TUrne where I list, new cause of woe presents
My poore distracted soule with new laments;
Where shall I turne? shall I implore my friends?
Ah, summer friendship, with the Summer ends;
In vaine to them my groanes, in vaine my teares,
For harvest friends can finde no winter eares;
Or shall I call my sacred Priests for aid?
Alas! my pined Priests are all betraid
To Death, and Famine; in the streets they cryed
For bread, & whilst they sought for bread, they died
Vengeance could never strike so hard a blow,
As when she sends an unlamented woe.

6. ELEG. 20.

VOuchsafe (great God) to turne thy tender eyes
On me poore wretch: Oh, let my midnight cries
(That never cease, if never stopt with teares)
Procure audience from thy gracious eares;
Behold thy creature, made by change of griefe,
The barest wretch, that ever beg'd reliefe;
See, see, my soule is tortur'd on thy rack
My bowels tremble, and my heart-strings crack;
Abroad, the sword with open ruine frights me;
At home, the secret hand of Famine smites me;
Strange fires of griefe! How is my soule opprest,
That findes abroad, no peace, at home, no rest!
[Page 454]

7. ELEG. 10.

KIng, Priest, and People, all alike are clad
In weeds of Sack-cloth,taken from the sad
Wardrobe of sorrow, prostrate on the earth,
They close their lips, their lips estrang'd to mirth:
Silent they sit, for dearth of speech affords
A sharper Accent, for true griefe, than words:
The Father wants a Son, the Son a Mother;
The Bride, her Groom: th the brother wa~ts a brother;
Some, Famine: Exile some: and some the sword
Hath slaine: All want, when Sion wants her Lord:
How art thou all in all! There's nothing scant
(Great God) with thee, without thee, all things want.
[Page 455]

8. ELG. 12.

MY tongue? the tongues of Angels, are too faint
T' expresse the causes of my just complaint;
See, how the palefac'd sucklings roare for food,
And from their milkles mothers brests, draw blood:
Children surcease their serious toyes, and plead
With trickling teares, Ah mothers, give us bread:
Such goodly Barnes, and not one graine of corne?
Why did the sword escape's? Why were we borne
To be devour'd and pin'd with famine? save us:
With quicke reliefe, or take the lives, you gave us:
They cryde for bread, that scarce had breath to cry,
And wanting meanes to live, found meanes to dye.
[Page 459]

9. ELEG. 20.

VOuchsafe, oh thou eternall Lord of pitty,
To looke on Sion, and thy dearest City,
Confus'd Jerusalem, for thy DAVI S sake,
And for that promise, which thy selfe did make
To halting Isr'el; loe, thy hand hath forc'd
Mothers (whom law lesse Famine hath divorc'd
From deare affection) to devoure the bloomes,
And buds, that burgeond fro~ their painful wombs;
Thy sacred Priests and Prophets, that whileere
Did hourely whisper in thy neighbouring eare,
Are falne before the sacrilegious sword,
Even where, even whilst they did unfold thy word.
[Page 473]

10. ELEG. 3.

CAn furious Dragons heare their helplesse broode
Cry out, and fill their hungry lips with food?
Hath Nature taught fierce Tygers to apply
The brest unto their younglings empty cry?
Have savage beasts time, place, and natures helps,
To feed and foster up their idle whelpes?
And shall the tender Babes of Sion cry,
And pine for food, and yet their mothers by?
Dragons, and Tygers, and all savage beasts
Can feed their young, but Sion hath no breasts:
Distressed Sion, more unhappie farre,
Than Dragons, savage Beasts, or Tygers are!
DEath thou pursuest, if from death thou flee,
Or if thou turnst thy flight, Death followes thee:
Thy staffe of life is broke; for want of bread,
Thy City pines, and halfe thy Land is dead;
The son t' his father weepes, makes fruitlesse moane
The father weepes upon his weeping sonne:
The brother cals upon his pined brother,
And both come crying to their hungry mother:
The empty Babe, in stead of milke, drawes downe
His Nurses teares, well mingled with his owne;
Nor cha~ge of place, nor time with help supplys thee
Abroad the Sword, famine at home destroyes thee.
This is a selection from the original text


bread, dearth, death, famine, food, grief, holy

Source text

Title: Divine Poems

Author: Francis Quarles

Publisher: M. F.

Publication date: 1633

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 20534 Physical description: [15], 266, [6], 267502 p. Copy from: Bodleian Library Reel position: STC / 1802:17

Digital edition

Original author(s): Francis Quarles

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp, pp.194 (Medit.5, ll.1- "so false a Friend"), 404-8 ("Bridegroome. Sonet XII", stanzas 1 and 10), 444 (Elegy 11, 12), 448 (Elegy 19, 20), 454 (Elegy 10), 455 (elegy 12), 459 (elegy 20), 473 (elegy 3, 4)


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.