The Soules Errand

Goe Soule, the bodies guest,
Upon a thanklesse Errand,
Feare not to touch the best,
The Truth shall be thy warrant:
Goe thou, since I must die,
And give the world the lye.

Goe tell the Court it glowes,
And shines like rotten wood ;
Say to the Church it showes
What’s good, but doth not good.

Tell Potentates they live,
Acting by others Action,
Not lov'd unlesse they give,
Not strong, but by a faction.

Tell men of high condition,
That in Affaires of State
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
Goe tell the young Nobility,
They doe degenerate,
Wasting their large ability,
In things effeminate.
Tell those that brave it most,
They-beg for more by spending,
And, in their greatest cost,
Seeke but a self-commending.

Tell Zeale it wants Devotion,
Tell Love it is but Lust,
Tell Priests they hunt Promotion,
Tell Flesh it is but Dust.

Say Souldicrs are the Sink
Of Sinne to all the Realme ;
Given all to whores and drink,
To quarrell and blaspheme.
Tell Townesmen, that because that
They pranck their Brides so proud,
Too many times it drawes that
Which makes them beetle-brow’d.
Goe tell the Palace-Dames
They paint their parboil'd faces,
Seeking by greater shames
To cover lesse disgraces.
Say to the City-wives,
Through their excessive brav’ry,
Their Husband hardly thrives,
But rather lives in Slav’ry.
Tell London Youths that Dice,
Faire Queanes, fine Clothes, full Bouls,
Consume the cursed price
Of their dead-Fathers Soules.
Say Maidens are too coy
To them that chastely seeke them,
And yet are apt to toy
With baser Jacks that like them.

Tell Poets of our dayes
They doe profane the Muses,
In soothing Sin with praise,
That all the world abuses.

Tell Tradesmen waight and measure
They craftily abuse,
Thereby to heap-up treasure,
Though Heav’n thereby they lose.
Goe tell the vitious rich,
By usury to game
Their fingers alwaies itch,
To soules and bodies paine.
Yea tell the wretched poore
That they the wealthy hate,
And grudge to see at doore
Another in their state.
Tell all the world throughout
That all’s but vanity,
Her pleasures doe but flout
With sly security.
Tell Kings and Beggars base,
Yea tell both young and old,
They all are in one case,
And must all to the mould.
And now kinde Host adieu,
Rest thou in earthly Tombe,
Till Christ shall all renew,
And then I ’ll thee resume.