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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Of John Winthrop. Esq.

By Captain Edward Johnson (1599?–1672)

[From Wonder-working Providence of Sion’s Saviour in New England. 1654.]

  • THIS year, 1631, John Winthrop, Esq., was chosen Governor, pickt out for the work by the provident hand of the Most High, and enabled with gifts accordingly; then all the folk of Christ, who have seen his face and been partaker of the same, remember him in this following Meeter.

  • WHY leavest thou, John, thy station, in Suffolk, thy own soil?

    Christ will have thee a pillar be, for ’s people thou must toil.

    He chang’d thy heart, then take his part ’gainst prelates proud invading

    His Kingly throne, set up alone, in wilderness there shading

    His little flocks from Prelates’ knocks. Twice ten years rul’d thou hast,

    With civil sword at Christ’s word, and eleven times been trast,

    By name and note, with people’s vote, their Governor to be;

    Thy means hast spent, ’twas therefore lent, to raise this work by thee.

    Well arm’d and strong with sword among Christ’s armies marcheth he,

    Doth valiant praise, and weak one raise, with kind benignity.

    To lead the van, ’gainst Babylon, doth worthy Winthrop call;

    Thy Progeny shall battle try, when Prelacy shall fall.

    With fluent tongue thy pen doth run, in learned Latin phrase,

    To Swedes, French, Dutch, thy Neighbors, which thy lady rhetoric praise.

    Thy bounty feeds Christ’s servants’ needs, in wilderness of wants;

    To Indians thou Christ’s Gospel now ’mongst heathen people plants.

    Yet thou poor dust, now dead and must to rottenness be brought,

    Till Christ restore thee glorious, more than can of dust be thought.