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Robert Southwell (1561 – 1595)


English poet, a Jesuit priest, and a martyr for the Catholic faith.
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Robert Southwell
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay;
Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all,
That men may hope to rise yet fear to fall.
Southwell quotes
In Aman's pomp poor Mardocheus wept,
Yet God did turn his fate upon his foe;
The Lazar pined while Dives' feast was kept,
Yet he to heaven, to hell did Dives go.
We trample grass and prize the flowers of May,
Yet grass is green when flowers do fade away.
Southwell
Times go by turns and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.




Southwell Robert quotes
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.
Southwell Robert
This stable is a prince's court,
The crib his chair of state;
The beasts are parcel of his pomp,
The wooden dish his plate.
Robert Southwell quotes
To rise by others' fall
I deem a losing gain;
All states with others' ruins built
To ruin run amain.
Robert Southwell
Behold a silly tender babe,
In freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies;
Alas! a piteous sight.
Southwell Robert quotes
Shun delays, they breed remorse;
Take thy time while time is lent thee;
Creeping snails have weakest force,
Fly their fault lest thou repent thee.
Good is best when soonest wrought,
Linger’d labours come to nought.
Southwell
As in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear.
Southwell Robert
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns;
Love is the fire and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals;
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls.
Robert Southwell
Plough not the seas, sow not the sands,
Leave off your idle pain;
Seek other mistress for your minds,
Love's service is in vain.




Robert Southwell quotes
I feel no care of coin,
Well-doing is my wealth;
My mind to me an empire is,
While grace affordeth health.
Robert Southwell
My conscience is my crown,
Contented thoughts my rest;
My heart is happy in itself,
My bliss is in my breast.

Enough I reckon wealth;
A mean the surest lot,
That lies too high for base contempt,
Too low for envy's shot.
Southwell quotes
When Fortune smiles, I smile to think
How quickly she will frown.
Southwell Robert
Before my face the picture hangs,
That daily should put me in mind
Of those cold names and bitter pangs,
That shortly I am like to find:
But yet, alas! full little I
Do think hereon that I must die.
Southwell Robert quotes
Not Solomon, for all his wit,
Nor Samson, though he were so strong,
No king nor person ever yet
Could 'scape, but Death laid him along.
Robert Southwell
Time wears all his locks before,
Take thy hold upon his forehead;
When he flies he turns no more,
And behind his scalp is naked.
Works adjourn'd have many stays,
Long demurs breed new delays.
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