By Sir Philip Sidney


Quare fremuerunt gentes?

    WHAT ayles this heathenish rage? What do theis people meane,
                     To mutter murmurs vaine?
    Why do these earthly kings and lords such meeting make,
                     And counsel jointly take,
    Against the Lord of lords, the Lord of ev'ry thing,
                     And His anoynted king?
    Come, let us break their bonds, say they,—and fondly say,—
                     And cast their yoakes away.
    But He shall them deride who by the Heav'n's is borne,
                     He shall laugh them to scorn,
    And after speake to them with breath of wrathful fire,
                     And vex them in His ire;
    And say, O Kings, yet have I set My King vpon
                     My holy hill Syon;
    And I will (sayeth his king) the Lord's decree display,
                     And say,—that He did say,—
    Thou art My Son indeed, this day begott by Me:
                     Ask, I will giue to Thee
    The heathen for Thy child's-right, and will Thy realme extend
                     Farr as world's farthest end.
    With iron scepter bruse Thou shalt and peecemeale breake
                     These men like potshards weake.
    Therefore, O kings, be wise; O rulers, rule your mind,
                     That knowledg you may find.
    Serue God, serue Him with feare, rejoyce in Him but so
                     That joy with trembling go;
    With loving homage kisse that only Son He hath,
                     Least you enflame His wrath,
    Whereof if but a sparke once kindled be, you all
                     From yor way perish shall;
    And then they that in Him their only trust do rest,
                     O, they be rightly blest!

Text source:
      Sidney, Philip. The Complete Poems of Sir Philip Sidney. vol. III.
      Alexander B. Grosart, Ed. London: Chatto & Windus, 1877. 82-4.

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