A SINFUL SOUL TO CHRIST – Blessed John Ingram’s Sonnet from the Tower (1594)

“In the early edition of Father Southwell’s poems, printed in Edinburgh, a sonnet signed I.I. is inserted in the middle of the volume, at the end of St. Peters Complaint…the initials (might) belong to Father John Ingram, a Scotch secular priest and martyr, who in 1594 was brought from the north and confined in the Tower. He is well known to have written verses during his imprisonment, and it does not seem extravagant to conjecture that a copy of Father Southwell’s poems having been passed to him, he may have composed this sonnet on a blank half page, whence it has passed into the Edinburgh edition. The poem seems to have been composed under stress of extreme mental if not physical suffering.” – The Month : A Catholic Magazine. 1896.

___A Sinful Soul to Christ
I lurk, I lour in dungeon deep of mind,
In mourning mood, I run a restless race.
With wounding pangs my soul is pined,
My grief it grows, and death draws on apace.
What life can last except there come release?
Fear threats despair, my sin’s infernal wage ;
I faint, I fall, most woeful is my case ;
Who can help me, who may this storm assuage?
O Lord of life, our peace, our only pledge,
O blessful light, who life of death hast wrought,
Of heavenly love the brightsome beam and badge,
Who by thy death, from death and hell us brought
___Revive my soul, my sins, my sores redress
___That live I may with thee in lasting bless.

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Filed under Bardic Poetry & Christian Verse, Recusant History

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