To Heaven

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
1Good and great God, can I not think of thee
2But it must straight my melancholy be?
3Is it interpreted in me disease
4That, laden with my sins, I seek for ease?
6And hearts of all, if I be sad for show,
7And judge me after; if I dare pretend
8To ought but grace or aim at other end.
9As thou art all, so be thou all to me,
10First, midst, and last, converted one, and three;
11My faith, my hope, my love; and in this state
12My judge, my witness, and my advocate.
13Where have I been this while exil'd from thee?
15Dwell, dwell here still. O, being everywhere,
16How can I doubt to find thee ever here?
17I know my state, both full of shame and scorn,
18Conceiv'd in sin, and unto labour borne,
19Standing with fear, and must with horror fall,
20And destin'd unto judgment, after all.
21I feel my griefs too, and there scarce is ground
22Upon my flesh t' inflict another wound.
24With holy Paul, lest it be thought the breath
25Of discontent; or that these prayers be
26For weariness of life, not love of thee.


5] reins . . hearts. From Psalm 7:9: "for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reines." Back to Line
14] rap'd: carried off by force. Back to Line
23] wish ... holy Paul: see Romans 7:24. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.163.