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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Alexander Rosse (1590–1654)


THE PILOT’S 1 skill how can we know
        Till tempests blow?
How is that soldier’s valour seen
        Which ne’er hath been
In fight? they scarce true soldiers are        5
That have no wound to show, or scar.
Those soldiers which the general
        Calls out of all
His army to attempt some great
        And brave exploit,        10
Are those sure whom he means to grace
With honour, and some higher place.
Except we fight, there is no crown
        And no renown;
Unless we sweat in the vineyard,        15
        There’s no reward:
Unless we climb Mount Calvary,
Mount Olivet we shall not see.
Note 1. The Rev. Alexander Rosse was one of Charles I.’s chaplains. The few verses here given are from a poem in “Mel Heliconium, or Poetical Honey Gathered out of the Weeds of Parnassus” (1646): quoted by Mr Abbey in “Religious Thought in Old English Verse.” [back]