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A Child My Choice

Robert Southwell 1561 (Horsham St Faith) – 1595



Let folly praise that fancy loves, I praise and love that Child
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word, whose hand no deed defiled.

I praise Him most, I love Him best, all praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live, and cannot live amiss.

Love's sweetest mark, laud's highest theme, man's most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death, to live in Him delight.

He mine by gift, I His by debt, thus each to other due;
First friend He was, best friend He is, all times will try Him true.

Though young, yet wise; though small, yet strong; though man, yet God He is:
As wise, He knows; as strong, He can; as God, He loves to bless.

His knowledge rules, His strength defends, His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light, His death our end of thrall.

Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants, yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs, doth bud a joyful spring.

Almighty Babe, whose tender arms can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life, direct me when I die!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:01 min read
170

Quick analysis:

Scheme AA BX CC DD BX EE FF GG
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,031
Words 203
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2

Robert Southwell

Robert Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell, was an English Roman Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order. He was also a poet and clandestine missionary in post-Reformation England. After being arrested and tortured by Sir Richard Topcliffe, Southwell was tried and convicted of high treason for his links to the Holy See. On 21 February 1595, Southwell was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. In 1970, he was canonised by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. more…

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    "A Child My Choice" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/31922/a-child-my-choice>.

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