CHRIST, A YOUTH, AND THE DEVIL.
THOSE days which God to me doth send,
The resolution which you take,
Sweet Youth, it doth me merry make.
If thou my counsel wilt embrace,
And shun the ways of truth and grace
And learn to lie, to curse, and swear.
And be as proud as any are,
And with thy brothers wilt fall out,
And sisters with vile language flout,
Yea, fight and scratch, and also bite,
Then I in thee will take delight.
If thou wilt but be ruled by me,
An artist thou shalt quickly be
In all my ways, which lovely are;
There's few with thee who shall compare.
Thy parents always disobey;
Don't mind at all what they do say;
And also proud and sullen be,
And thou shalt be a child for me.
When others read, be thou at play
Think not on God; don't mind to pray,
Nor be thou such a silly fool
To mind thy book, or go to school,
But play the truant; fear not. I
Will straightway help thee to a lie,p. 56
Which will excuse thee for the same,
From being whipped, and from all blame.
Come, bow to me; uphold my crown;
And I'll thee raise to high renown
These notions I will cleave unto,
And let all other counsel go.
My heart against my parents now
Shall hardened be, and will not bow
I won't submit at all to them,
But all good counsel will contemn;
And what I list that do will I,
And stubborn be continually.
Wilt thou, O Youth, make such a choice
And thus obey the Devil's voice?
Cursed, sinful ways wilt thou embrace,
And hate the ways of truth and grace?
Wilt thou to me a rebel prove,
And from thy parents quite remove
Thy heart also? then shalt thou see
What will ere long become of thee.
Come, think on God, who did thee make,
And at his presence dread and quake
Remember him now in thy youth,
And let thy soul take hold on truth
The devil and his ways defy;
Believe him not; he doth but lie
His ways seem sweet, but, Youth, beware;
He for thy soul hath laid a snare.
His sweet will unto bitter turn;
If in those ways thou still wilt run,
He will thee into pieces tear,
Like lions which most hungry, are.
Grant me thy heart, thy folly leave,
And from this lion I'll thee save; p. 57
And thou shalt have sweet joy from me,
Which will last to eternity.
My heart shall cheer me in my youth
I'll have my frolics in good truth:
Whate'er seems lovely in mine eye,
Myself I cannot it deny.
In mine own ways I still will walk,
And take delight among young folk
Who spend their days in joy and mirth!
Nothing like that while I'm on earth!
Thy ways, O Christ, are not for me
They with my age do not agree:
If I unto thy laws should cleave,
No more good days then should I have.
Wouldst thou live long, and good days see
Refrain from all iniquity;
True good alone from me doth flow;
It can't be had in things below.
Are not my ways, O Youth, for thee
Then thou shalt never happy be;
Nor ever shall thy soul obtain
True good, whilst thou dost here remain
To thee O Christ, I'll not adhere
What thou speakst of does not appear
Lovely to me: I cannot find
'Tis good to set or place my rnind
On ways whence many sorrows spring.
And to the flesh such crosses bring.
Don't trouble me; I must fulfil
My fleshly mind, and have my will
Unto thyself, then, I'll thee leave,
That Satan may thee wholly have;
Thy heart in sin shall hardened be,
And blinded in iniquity!
And then in wrath I'll cut thee down,
Like as the grass and flowers are mown
And, to thy woe, thou shalt espy
Childhood and youth are vanity:
For all such things I'll make thee know
To judgment thou shalt come also
In hell at last thy soul must burn,
When thou thy sinful race hast run.
Consider this; think on thy end,
Lest God do thee in pieces rend.
Amazed, Lord, I now begin;
O help me, and I'll leave my sin
I tremble and do greatly fear
To think upon what I do hear.
Lord, I religious now will be,
And I'll from Satan turn to thee.
Nay, foolish Youth, don't change thy mind;
Unto such thoughts be not inclined.
Come, cheer thy heart, rouse up, be glad;
There is no hell; why art thou sad!
Eat, drink, be merry with thy friend;
For when thou diest, that's thy end.
Such thoughts as these I can't receive,
Because God's word I do believe,
None shall in this destroy my faith;
Nor do I mind what Satan saith.
Although to thee herein I yield,
Yet I ere long shall win the field.
That thcre's a heaven I can't deny,
Yea, and a hell of misery;
That heaven is a lovely place
I can't deny,--'tis a clear case,--
And easy it is to come there;
Therefore take thou no further care
All human laws do thou observe,
And from old customs never swerve;
Do not oppose what great men say,
And thou shalt never go astray;
Thou mayst be drunk, and swear, and curse
And sinners like thee ne'er the worse;
At any time thou mayst repent,
'Twill serve when all thy days are spent.
Take heed, or else thou art undone.
These thoughts are from the wicked one
Narrow's the way that leads to life;
Who walk therein do meet with strife.
Few Shall be saved, as thou shalt know,
But many to destruction go.
If righteous ones scarce saved be,
What will at last become of thee?
Oh! don't neglect my precious call
Lest suddenly in hell thou fall:
Unless that thou converted be,
God's kingdom thou shalt never see.
Lord, I am now at a great stand;
If I should yield to thy command,
My comrades would me much deride
And never more with me abide; p. 60
Moreover, this I also know--
Thou canst at last great mercy show.
When I am old, and pleasure's gone,
Then what thou sayst, I'll think upon.
Nay, hold, vain youth; thy time is short
I'll have thy breath; I'll end thy sport!
Thou shalt not live till thou art old,
Since thou in sin art grown so bold;
I, in thy youth, grim Death will send.
And all thy sports put to an end
I am too young, alas! to die
Let Death some old gray head espy.
O, spare me, and I will amend,
And with thy grace my soul befriend;
Or else I am undone: alas!
For I am in a woful case.
When I did call, thou wouldst not hear
But didst to me turn a deaf ear;
And now, in thy calamity.
I will not mind nor bear thy cry.
Thy day is past; begone from me,
Thou, who didst love iniquity
Above thy soul, or Savior dear,
Who on the cross great pain did bear.
My mercies thou didst much abuse
And all good counsel didst refuse:
Justice will therefore vengeance take,
And thee a sad example make.
O, spare me, Lord; forbear thy hand
Don't cut me off, who trembling stand p. 61
Belging for mercy at thy door;
O, let me live but one year more!
If thou some longer time shouldst live
Thou wouldst again to folly cleave;
Therefore, to thee I will not give
One day on earth longer to live.
Youth, I am come to take thy breath,
And carry thee to shades of death:
No pity to thee I can show,
Thou hast thy God offended so.
Thy soul and body I'll divide;
Thy body in the grave I'll hide,
And thy dear soul in hell must lie,
With devils, to eternity.
Thus end the days of wicked youth,
Who won't obey nor mind the truth,
Nor hearken to what preachers say,
But do their parents disobey.
They in their youth go down to hell,
Under eternal wrath to dwell,
And do not live out half their days,
For cleaving unto sinful ways.