TOTUS MUNDUS IN MALIGNO POSITUS.
The whole world lieth in the Evil One.
Complain we may; much is amiss;
Hope is nigh gone to have redress;
These days are ill, nothing sure is;
Kind heart is wrapt in heaviness.
The stern is broke, the sail is rent,
helm or rudder—the
The ship is given to wind and wave; [thing to steer with.
All help is gone, the rock present,
That will be lost, what man can save? that which will be lost.
When power lacks care and forceth not,
When care is feeble and may not, is not able.
When might is slothful and will not,
Weeds may grow where good herbs cannot.
Wily is witty, brainsick is wise;
wiliness is counted
Truth is folly, and might is right; [prudence.
Words are reason, and reason is lies;
The bad is good, darkness is light.
Order is broke in things of weight:
Measure and mean who doth nor flee? who does not avoid
Two things prevail, money and sleight; [moderation?
To seem is better than to be.
Folly and falsehood prate apace;
Truth under bushel is fain to creep;
Flattery is treble, pride sings the bass,
The mean, the best part, scant doth peep.
With floods and storms thus be we tost:
Awake, good Lord, to thee we cry;
Our ship is almost sunk and lost;
Thy mercy help our misery.
Man’s strength is weak; man’s
wit is dull;
Man’s reason is blind these things t’amend:
Thy hand, O Lord, of might is full—
Awake betimes, and help us send.
In thee we trust, and in no wight;
Save us, as chickens under the hen;
Our crookedness thou canst make right—
Glory to thee for aye. Amen.
The apprehensions of the wiser part of the nation have generally been ahead of its hopes. Every age is born with an ideal; but instead of beholding that ideal in the future where it lies, it throws it into the past. Hence the lapse of the nation must appear tremendous, even when she is making her best progress.
SPENSER AND HIS FRIENDS.
We have now arrived at the period of English history in every way fullest of marvel—the period of Elizabeth. As in a northern summer the whole region bursts into blossom at once, so with the thought and feeling of England in this glorious era.
The special development of the national mind with which we are now concerned, however, did not by any means arrive at its largest and clearest result until the following century. Still its progress is sufficiently remarkable. For, while everything that bore upon the mental development of the nation must bear upon its poetry, the fresh vigour given by the doctrines of the Reformation to the sense of personal responsibility, and of immediate relation to God, with the grand influences, both literary and spiritual, of the translated, printed, and studied Bible, operated more immediately upon its devotional utterance.