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From“A small Handfull of Frugrant Flowers, gathered out of
the Lovely Garden of Sacred Scriptures, fit for any honorable or worshippfull Gentlewomen to smell to.” DEARE dames, your sences to revive,
Accept these flowers in order heare:
Renowne your golden dayes shall beare.
A worthie budde of passing fame;
Delightes to chuse of, for the name.
This pleasaunt braunche in Sarae's brest
Was dayly used for a showe; So that her fayth among the rest
Thereby did bountifullie growe: And she extolled was therefore, As noble matrone evermore.
The second budde is Modestie,
Which Triata did much delight,
And furnished the companie
Of many a Roman matrone bright; So that no blemish there did growe, As long as they the same could showe. The third is vertuous Exercise ;
The fourth is called Humilitie; The fifth, to set before your eyes
The feare of God most reverently ; The sixth, obedience to the crowne, And princes' lawes, with great renowne. The seventh is Pacience, for to beare
The crosse of Christe continually ; The eyght is liberall talke to heare,
And use the same indifferently ; The ninth is called Chastitie; The tenth to put up injurie. The eleventh is, to sustayne the poore ;
The twelfth to aide the comfortlesse, And to endeavour more and more
To trayne your steppes to godlynes : The thirtenth, that is cheefest skill, Which we doo call-do good for ill. The fourtenth is, to love the trouth,
And flatterie wholy for to shunne ; The feftenth, barre the chaire of slouth,
Whereby full many are undoune:
Unto the sacred veritie,
To leade you to sinceritie :
The eyghtenth is, for to restore
That by oppression hath ben gotte; The niententh, for to cure that sore
Which careless conscience makes to rotte : The twenteth is sweet Charitie, The fruites whereof begin to dye. There are, besides these, godly love;
Whose leaves though they be not so greene, Yet who to plucke thereof wyl prove,
Shall with Lucrecia soone be seene To shine in wordes and deedes as bright As when the moone doth yeelde her lyght. Loe, gentles! this small bunch of Flowres
It is that may encrease your fame; For they be watered with the showres
That Sacred Scriptures have to name: You may discerne them by the seedes, Full much vnlike to worldly weedes.
A PRAYER FOR GENTLEWOMEN
AND OTHER TO USE, Whereby, through the helpe of the devine grace, they may
attayne the right sente of this Posie of Godly Flowres. VOUCHSAFE, O Lord! to be our guide ; The Spirit of grace
into us powre! Defende our cause on every side,
That we may pass into the bowre, Where as those heavenly flowres do growe By Christ that garden first dyd sowe. Illuminate our inwarde minde
To seeke to Thee continually; From worldly errours that be blind
Preserve us for thy majestie.
Teach us, as we in wordes professe,
Spiritually to enter fight
That we may shunne the duskie night,
And sworde of heavenlie puritie;
Of thy surpassing veritie.
A SOLEMPNE AND REPENTANT PRAYER
FOR FORMER LIFE MISPENT.
The thoughts of ech man's heart;
And some relief of smart;
Wherein I dayly stand;
Now helpe me out of hande.
To plague me thus with greefe ;
With speede send me releefe.
I can it not denye,
And that continually.
Yet doo not Thou therefore on me
Thy judgments just extend; But pardon me, and graunt me grace
My life for to amend. And banish, Lord! from me delights
Of worldly vanitie,
Of perfect pietie;
And in such godly wise,
Of perfect Paradice.
In wayes of weary wo,
Do leade me too and fro.
That pleaseth not my taste ;
Was all my chief repaste :
So doo I plainly finde
For to infect my minde.
Because I now do see
O Lord, that I so sore
And all my sinnes repent.