Whoso hath seen the sick in his fever

Whoso hath seen the sick in his fever,
After truce taken with the heat or cold
And that the fit is passed of his fervour,
Draw fainting sighs, let him, I say, behold
Sorrowful David after his langour,
That with the tears that from his eyes down rolled
Paused his plaint and laid adown his harp,
Faithful record of all his sorrows sharp.

It seemed now that of his fault the horror
Did make afeard no more his hope of grace,
The threats whereof in horrible terror
Did hold his heart as in despair a space,
Till he had willed to seek for his succour,
Himself accusing, beknowing his case,
Thinking so best his Lord for to appease.
Eased, not yet healed, he feeleth his disease.

Seemeth horrible no more the dark cave
That erst did make his fault for to tremble.
A place devout or refuge for to save
The succourless it rather doth resemble.
For who had seen so kneel within the grave
The chief pastor of th'Hebrews' assemble
Would judge it made, by tears of penitence,
A sacred place worthy of reverence.

With vapoured eyes he looketh here and there.
And when he hath awhile himself bethought,
Gathering his sprites that were dismayed for fear,
His harp again into his hand he rought.
Tuning accord by judgement of his ear,
His heart's bottom for a sigh he sought,
And therewithal upon the hollow tree
With strained voice again thus crieth he.
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