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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Soul’s Haven

Nicholas Breton (1545–1626)

THE WORLDLY prince doth in his sceptre hold

A kind of heaven in his authorities;

The wealthy miser in his mass of gold

Makes to his soul a kind of Paradise;

The epicure that eats and drinks all day,

Accounts no heaven but in his hellish routs;

And she whose beauty seems a sunny day,

Makes up her heaven but in her baby’s clouts.

But, my sweet God, I seek no prince’s power,

No miser’s wealth, nor beauty’s fading gloss,

Which pamper sin, whose sweets are inward sour,

And sorry gain that breed the spirit’s loss:

No, my dear Lord, let my heaven only be

In my love’s service, but to live to thee.