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

Praise and Prayer

Sir William Davenant (1606–1668)

PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,

The diff’ring world’s agreeing sacrifice;

Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:

But Prayer in various discord upward flies.

For Prayer the ocean is where diversely

Men steer their course, each to a several coast;

Where all our interests so discordant be

That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.

By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,

’Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;

In Praise we nobly give what God may take,

And are, without a beggar’s blush, forgiven.