A Hymn to God the Father

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: R. Bishop, sold by A. Crooke, 1640). STC 14754. stc Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). Also British Library copy as microfilmed in English Books 1475-1640. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms. P & R 14754 * 20250.
2A broken heart
3Is my best part.
4Use still thy rod,
5That I may prove
6Therein thy Love.
7If thou hadst not
8Been stern to me,
9But left me free,
10I had forgot
11Myself and thee.
12For sin's so sweet,
13As minds ill-bent
14Rarely repent,
15Until they meet
16Their punishment.
17Who more can crave
18Than thou hast done?
19That gav'st a Son,
20To free a slave,
21First made of nought;
22With all since bought.
23Sin, Death, and Hell
24His glorious name
25Quite overcame,
26Yet I rebel
27And slight the same.
28But I'll come in
29Before my loss
30Me farther toss,
31As sure to win
32Under His cross.


1] Works, 1640. After 1635 the poem became an anthem in one of the royal chapels, with musical setting by William Cross. It was imitated by Herrick in An Ado or Psalm to God, beginning: "Dear God, If thy smart rod/Here did not make me sorry/.... " Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.164.