England's Antiphon

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You that have spent the silent night

In sleep and quiet rest,

And joy to see the cheerful light

That riseth in the east;

Now clear your voice, now cheer your heart;

Come help me now to sing;

Each willing wight come bear a part,

To praise the heavenly King.

And you whom care in prison keeps,

Or sickness doth suppress,

Or secret sorrow breaks your sleeps,

Or dolours do distress;

Yet bear a part in doleful wise;

Yea, think it good accord,

And acceptable sacrifice,

Each sprite to praise the Lord.

The dreadful night with darksomeness

Had overspread the light,

And sluggish sleep with drowsiness

Had overpressed our might:

glass wherein you may behold
Each storm that stops our breath,

Our bed the grave, our clothes like mould,

And sleep like dreadful death.

Yet as this deadly night did last

But for a little space,

And heavenly day, now night is past,

Doth shew his pleasant face;

So must we hope to see God's face

At last in heaven on high,

When we have changed this mortal place

For immortality.

This is not so bad, but it is enough. There are six stanzas more of it. I transcribe yet another, that my reader may enjoy a smile in passing. He is "moralizing" the aspects of morning:

The carrion crow, that loathsome beast,

Which cries against the rain,

Both for his hue and for the rest,

The Devil resembleth plain;

And as with guns we kill the crow,

For spoiling our relief,

The Devil so must we overthrow,

With gunshot of belief.

So fares the wit, when it walks abroad to do its business without the heart that should inspire it.

Here is one good stanza from his De Profundis:

But thou art good, and hast of mercy store;

Thou not delight'st to see a sinner fall; Thou hearkenest first, before we come to call;

Thine ears are set wide open evermore; Before we knock thou comest to the door.

Thou art more prest to hear a sinner cry, ready. Than he is quick to climb to thee on high.

Thy mighty name be praised then alway:

Let faith and fear
True witness bear

How fast they stand which on thy mercy stay.

Here follow two of unknown authorship, belonging apparently to the same period.

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