O holy God of dreadful majesty
Whom angels serve, whose work all creatures be,
Which heaven and earth directest all alone
We Thee beseech good Lord with woeful moan,
Spare us wretches & wash away our guilt
That we be not by thy just anger spilt.
In stray balance of rigorous judgement
Who able were to hear thy punishment.
The whole engine of all this world I say,
The engine that enduren shall for aye,
With such examination might not stand
Space of a moment in thine angry hand.
Who is not born in sin original.
But thou good Lord art he that sparest all
With piteous mercy tempering justice:
For as Thou doest rewards us devise
Above our merit, so doest thou dispense
Thy punishment far under our offence.
More is thy mercy far than all our sin:
More godly is, and more mercy therein.
Howbeit worthy enough are they pardie:
Be they never so unworthy: whom that he
List to accept: wheresoever he taketh
Whom he unworthy findeth worthy maketh.
Wherefore good Lord that aye merciful art,
We silly wretches cry with humble heart:
Our sins forget and our malignity:
With piteous eyes of thy benignity
Friendly look on us once thine own,
Servants or sinners whether it liketh Thee.
Our crime the work of our uncourteous mind:
But if thy gifts Thou behold again,
Thy gifts noble wonderful and kind:
Thou shalt us then the same persons find
Which are to Thee, and have been long space
Servants by nature, children by thy grace.
But this thy goodness wringeth us alas:
Are made thy guilty folk by our trespass:
Sin hath us guilty made this many a year.
But let thy grace, thy grace that hath no peer,
Of our offence surmounten all the peace,
That in our sin thine honour may increase.
For though thy wisdom, though thy sovereign power
As things which thy creatures every hour
All with one voice declare and testify:
Thy goodness yet, thy singular mercy,
Thy piteous heart, thy gracious indulgence
Nothing so clearly showeth as our offence.
What but our sin hath showed that mighty love:
To draw down into earth fro heaven above
And crucify God: that we poor wretches we
Should from our filthy sin i-cleansed be
With blood and water of thine own side,
That streamed from thy blessed wounds wide.
Thy love and pity thus O heavenly King
O love, O pity, our wealth ay providing,
O goodness serving thy servants in distress.
O love, O pity, well nigh now thankless.
O goodness, mighty, gracious and wise,
And yet almost now vanquished with our vice.
Grant I Thee pray such heat into mine heart
Grant me fro Sathanas service to astert,
With whom me rueth so long to be thrall.
Grant me good Lord and Creator of all
And in thy love set all mine heart afire.
That when the journey of this deadly life
Departen must without his fleshly wise,
Alone into his Lord's high presence:
He may Thee find: O Well of Indulgence:
In thy lordship not as a lord: but rather
As a very tender loving father.
instances he had inaccurately or inadequately rendered it. In such
cases, or where for any other reason it seemed desirable, the words
of the original are given in the notes, the letters G.F.P. or P.
subjoined in brackets indicating that the reference is to the Latin
life by Giovanni Francesco Pico or to Pico's works. A few
misprints have been silently corrected.
1. This lady may be either Jocosa or Joyce, daughter of Richard Culpeper of
daughter, Jocosa or Joyce Leigh, sister of Sir John Leigh who succeeded to the manor
of Stockwell, Surrey, on the death of his uncle, Sir John Leigh, 27 Aug., 1523.
Tanswell, "History and Antiquities of Lambeth," pp. 41-2. Manning and Bray,
"History of Surrey," iii. 497-8.
2. Pico was the third son and youngest child of Giovanni Francesco Pico,
and Antonio Maria, and three sisters, Catterina, Lucrezia and Giulia. Galeotto had to
wife Bianca, daughter of Niccolò d'Este, lord of Ferrara; Antonio Maria married
twice, viz., (1) Costanza, daughter of Sante Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna, (2) a
Neapolitan lady. Pico's eldest sister, Catterina, married (1) Leonello Pio, lord of
Carpi, by whom she had Alberto, mentioned in connection with Pico's death; (2)
Rodolfo, lord of Gonzaga. Carpi and Gonzaga are little towns in the Modenese.
Lucrezia also married twice, viz. (1) Pino Ordelaffo, lord of Forli; (2) Gherardo
Appiani di Piombino, Count of Montagnana. The third sister, Giulia, took the veil.
Pico's pedigree has been carried back as far as Manfredo of Reggio, a
"Memorie Storiche della Mirandola," Litta, "Celebr. Fam. Ital." Pico, Opera
3. The Boiardi. Giulia was the daughter of Feltrino Boiardo, first Count of
Innamorato." Litta, "Celebr. Fam. Ital." Venturi, "Storia di Scandiano," p. 83.
4. Paulinus was secretary to S. Ambrose, and wrote his life; from which the
5. "Flavo et inaffectato capillitio"(G.F.P.). Apparently Pico was somewhat