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Poem by Joshua Sylvester


The Fruits of a Clear Conscience


To shine in silk, and glister all in gold,  
      To flow in wealth, and feed on dainty fare.  
To have thy houses stately to behold,  
      Thy princes favour, and the peoples care:  
The groaning gout, the colic, or the stone,  
Will mar thy mirth, and turn it all to moan!  
 
But, be it that thy body subject be  
      To no such sickness or the like annoy,  
Yet if thy Conscience be not firm and free,  
      Riches are trash, and Honours but a toy!  
      This Peace of Conscience is the perfect joy  
Wherewith Gods children in the world be blest:  
Wanting the which, as good want all the rest!  
 
The want thereof made Adam hide his head!  
      The want of this made Cain to wail and weep!  
This want, alas, makes many go to bed,  
      When they, God wot, have little list to sleep.  
      Strive, oh, then strive, to entertain and keep  
So rich a jewel, and so rare a guest!  
Which being had, a rush for all the rest!   



Joshua Sylvester


Joshua Sylvester's other poems:
  1. To His Coy Love
  2. A Contented Mind
  3. The Glorious Stars Of Heaven
  4. They Say That Shadows Of Deceased Ghosts
  5. The Father


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