Henry King

Margaret Crum (ed.), The Poems of Henry King

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The Woes of Esay

  • 1   Woe to the worldly men, whose covetous
  • 2Ambition labours to joyne house to house,
  • 3Lay field to field; till their Enclosures edge
  • 4The Playne, girdling a Country with one hedge:
  • 5That leave no place unbought, no peece of Earth
  • 6Which they will not engrosse, making a dearth
  • 7Of all Inhabitants, untill they stand
  • 8Unneighbour'd, as unblest, within their Land.
  • 9  This Sinne cryes in God's eare, who hath decree'd
  • 10The ground they sowe shall not returne the Seed.
  • Critical Apparatus11They that unpeopled Countryes to create
  • 12Themselves sole Lords; made many desolate
  • 13To build up their owne house, shall find at last
  • 14Ruine and fearefull desolation cast
  • 15Upon themselves. Their Mansion shall become
  • Critical Apparatus16A Desart, and their Palace prove a Tombe.
  • 17Their vines shall barren be, Their Land yeild Tares;
  • 18Their house shall have no dwellers; They no heires.
  • Critical Apparatus19  Woe unto those that with the morning Sunne
  • 20Rise to drink wine, and sitt till he have runne
  • 21His weary course; not ceasing untill night
  • 22Have quench't their understanding with the Light:
  • 23Whose raging thirst, like fire, will not be tam'd,
  • 24The more they poure, the more they are enflam'd.
  • 25Woe unto them that only mighty are
  • 26To wage with wine; in which unhappy warre
  • 27They who the glory of the day have won,
  • 28Must yeild them foil'd and vanquisht by the Tun.
  • 29Men that live thus, as if they liv'd in jest,
  • 30Fooling their time with Musick, and a Feast;
  • pg 13731That did exile all sounds from their soft eare
  • Critical Apparatus32But of the Harp, must this sad discord heare
  • Critical Apparatus33Compos'd in threats: The feet which measures tread
  • 34Shall in Captivity be fettered:
  • 35Famine shall scourge them for their vast excesse,
  • 36And Hell revenge their monstrous Drunkennesse;
  • 37Which hath enlarg'd itself, to swallowe such,
  • 38Whose throats ne're knew enough, though still too much.
  • 39  Woe unto those that countenance a Sinne,
  • 40Siding with Vice, that it may credit winne
  • 41By their unhallow'd Vote. That doe benight
  • 42The Truth with Errour, putting Dark for Light,
  • Editor’s Note43And Light for Dark. That call an Evill, Good,
  • 44And would by Vice have Vertue understood.
  • 45That with their frowne can sowre an honnest cause,
  • 46Or sweeten any bad by their applause.
  • 47That justify the wicked for reward,
  • 48And voyd of morall goodnes or regard,
  • 49Plott with Detraction, to traduce the fame
  • 50Of him, whose meritt hath enroll'd his name
  • 51Among the Just. Therfore God's vengefull ire
  • 52Glowes on his People, and becomes a fire,
  • 53Whose greedy and exalted flame shall burne
  • 54Till they, like straw or chaffe, to nothing turne.
  • 55Because they have rebell'd against the right,
  • 56To God and Law perversly opposite;
  • 57As Plants, which Sun nor Shewres did ever blesse,
  • 58So shall their Root convert to Rottennes:
  • 59And their Succession's Budd, in which they trust,
  • Editor’s Note60Shall (like Gomorrah's fruit) moulder to dust.
  • 61  Woe unto those that drunk with self conceit
  • 62Value their owne designes at such a rate
  • 63Which humane wisdome cannot reach; That sitt
  • 64Enthron'd, as sole Monopolists of Witt:
  • pg 13865That out-look reason, and suppose the Ey
  • 66Of Nature blind to their discovery,
  • 67Whilst they a title make to understand
  • 68What ever Secret's bosom'd in the Land.
  • Editor’s Note69But God shall imp their pride, and let them see
  • 70They are but fooles in a sublime degree:
  • 71He shall bring downe, and humble those proud Eyes
  • 72In which false glasses only they lookt wise:
  • 73That all the world may laugh, and learne by it,
  • 74There is no folly to pretended Witt.
  • 75  Woe unto those that draw Iniquity
  • 76With cordes: and by a vaine security
  • 77Lengthen the sinfull trace; Till their owne Chayne
  • 78Of many linkes, form'd by laborious paine,
  • 79Doe pull them into Hell: That, as with Lines
  • 80And Cartroapes, dragg on their unwilling Crimes:
  • 81Who, rather then they will committ no Sinne,
  • 82Tempt all occasions to let it in.
  • Critical Apparatus83As if there were no God, who must exact
  • 84The strict account for e'ry vitious fact,
  • 85Nor Judgment after Death. If any bee,
  • 86Let Him make speed (say they) that wee may see.
  • 87Why is his Work retarded by delay?
  • 88Why doth himself thus linger on the way?
  • 89If there be any Judge, or future Doome,
  • Editor’s Note90Let It and Him with speed togither come.
  • 91  Unhappy men that challenge and defy
  • 92The comming of that dreadfull Majesty!
  • 93Better by much for You, he did reverse
  • 94His purpos'd Sentence on the Universe;
  • 95Or that the creeping Minutes might adjourne
  • 96Those flames, in which You, with the Earth, must burne:
  • Editor’s Note97That Time's revolting hand could lagg the Yeere,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus98And so put back His Day, which is too neere.
  • pg 139Critical Apparatus99  Behold his Signes advanc't, like Colours fly,
  • 100To tell the World that His approach is nigh;
  • 101And in a furious March Hee's comming on,
  • 102Swift as the raging Inundation,
  • 103To scowre the sinfull World. 'Gainst which is bent
  • 104Artillery that never can be spent:
  • 105Bowes strung with vengeance and Flame-feather'd Darts
  • 106Headed with Death, to wound transgressing Hearts.
  • Editor’s Note107His Charriot Wheeles rapt in the Whirlewinde's gyre,
  • 108His Horses hoov'd with flint, and shod with fire.
  • 109In which amaze where e're they fixe their Eye,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus110Or on the melting Earth, or upp, on high,
  • 111To seek Heav'ns shrunk Lights, nothing shall appeare
  • 112But Night and Horrour in their Hemisphære:
  • 113Nor shall th' affrighted Sense more objects know,
  • 114Then dark'ned Skyes above, and Hell below.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
11 Countryes] cities TM
Critical Apparatus
16 a Tombe] their Tombe MSS.
Critical Apparatus
19 that] who TM
Critical Apparatus
32 sad] harsh TM
Critical Apparatus
33 which] that MSS.
Editor’s Note
43 Good: the scribe of Mstarted to write goodand corrected himself to
Good:Preads good.
Editor’s Note
60 Deuteronomy xxxii. 32, 'their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter'.
Editor’s Note
69 imp: the O.E.D. quotes the use of 'imp' here as a 'misunderstanding of the hawking term'. King wrongly uses it for 'clip'.
Critical Apparatus
83 must] might TM
Editor’s Note
90 Itcorrected from it TMand H.
Editor’s Note
97 revolting: Mr. Sparrow emended to revolving, 'the "hand" is the revolving hand of a clock'; revoltingis possible, as recorded from Golding's Ovid in O.E.D. I. †4, 'Shee … then reuolted too the place in which he had her found', Met.x. 68.
Critical Apparatus
98 too] so TM
Editor’s Note
98 TM'sreading sofor toois probably an error.
Critical Apparatus
99 like] his TM
Editor’s Note
107 rapt: O.E.D. gives, I. I, 'As p.pple. passive. Taken and carried up toor intoheaven …' e.g. 1610 Guillim, Heraldry, III. ii (1660), 99, 'To this place … were Enoch, Elias and Paul rapt up before their deaths'.
Critical Apparatus
110 upp, on] upon TM, H before correction, M, P before correction.
Editor’s Note
110 upp, on: see Introduction, p. 51.
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