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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 prince’s favour, and the people’s 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 Honour’s but a toy! This Peace of Conscience is the perfect joy Wherewith God’s 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's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org