To My Worthy Frend, Master John Sauage Of The Inner Temple

A poem by Michael Drayton

Vppon this sinfull earth
If man can happy be,
And higher then his birth,
(Frend) take him thus from me.

Whome promise not deceiues
That he the breach should rue,
Nor constant reason leaues
Opinion to pursue.

To rayse his mean estate
That sooths no wanton's sinne,
Doth that preferment hate
That virtue doth not winne.

Nor brauery doth admire,
Nor doth more loue professe
To that he doth desire,
Then that he doth possesse.

Loose humor nor to please,
That neither spares nor spends,
But by discretion weyes
What is to needfull ends.

To him deseruing not
Not yeelding, nor doth hould
What is not his, doing what
He ought not what he could.

Whome the base tyrants will
Soe much could neuer awe
As him for good or ill
From honesty to drawe.

Whose constancy doth rise
'Boue vndeserued spight
Whose valewr's to despise
That most doth him delight.

That earely leaue doth take
Of th' world though to his payne
For virtues onely sake
And not till need constrayne.

Noe man can be so free
Though in imperiall seate
Nor Eminent as he
That deemeth nothing greate.

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