A Dittie from W. BLUNDELL, 1600.

THE time hath been we had one faith,
And strode aright one ancient path ;
The time is now that each man may
See new Religions coin’d each day.

___Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild.
___Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child,
___Angels and Saints of each degree,
___Redress our country’s misery.

The time hath been priests did accord
In exposition of God’s word ;
The time is now, like shipman’s hose,
It’s turn’d by each fond preacher’s glose.

The time hath been that sheep obeyed
Their pastors, doing as they said ;
The time is now that sheep will preach,
And th’ ancient pastors seem to teach.

The time hath been the prelate’s door
Was seldom shut against the poor ;
The time is now, so wives go fine,
They take not thought the beggar kine.

The time hath been men did believe
God’s sacraments his grace did give ;
The time is now men say they are
Uncertain signs and tokens bare.

THE time hath been men would live chaste,
And so could maid that vows had past ;
The time is now that gift has gone,
New gospellers such gifts have none.

___Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild,
___Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child ;
___Angels and Saints of each degree
___Redress our country’s misery.

The time hath been that Saints could see,
Could hear and help our misery ;
The time is now that fiends alone
Have leave to range saints must be gone.

The time hath been fear made us quake
To sin, lest God should us forsake ;
The time is now the vilest knave
Is sure (he’ll say) God will him save.

The time hath been to fast and pray,
And do alms deeds was thought the way ;
The time is now, men say indeed,
Such stuff with God hath little meed.

The time hath been, within this land,
One’s word as good as was his bond ;
The time is now, all men may see,
New faiths have killed old honesty.

Taken from Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors : For Every Day In The Year by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory, Burns and Oates, London, 1910.


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Filed under Bardic Poetry & Christian Verse, Recusant History

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