“A Fourefould Meditation on the Foure Last Things”

  • Lo! here the look which Angels do admire!
  • Lo! here the spring from whom all goodness flows!
  • Lo! here the sight that men and saints desire!
  • Lo! here the stalks on which our comfort grows!
  • Lo this is she whom Heaven and earth embrace,
  • Whom God did choose and filled full of grace.
  • And next to her, but in a higher throne,
  • Our Saviour in his manhood sitteth here:
  • From whom proceeds all perfect joy alone,
  • And in whose face all glory doth appear:
  • The saints’ delight conceived cannot be,
  • When they a man the Lord of angels see!
  • They ravished are with joy in seeing this,
  • How Christ our Lord the highest place obtains:
  • They now behold the seat of endless bliss,
  • And joy to mark how he in triump[h] reigns
  • What joy to men moreover can befall
  • Than here to see a man the Lord of all?

— from “A Fourefould Meditation on the Foure Last Things”

St. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel (1557–1595) was an English poet and writer — and a nobleman of the famous Howard family, which included courtesans, poets, and other distinguished figures in English history. Baptized Catholic, St. Philip fell away from his faith until witnessing St. Edmund Campion’s and St. Ralph Sherwin’s erudite defense of the Catholic faith in the Tower of London against a team of Protestant scholars. Converting on the spot, he, too, was eventually incarcerated in the Tower of London by Queen Elizabeth I, although she held out hope to the end that Howard, one of her court favorites, would recant. Dying a martyr’s death, St. Philip left behind a small but considerable cache of religious verse.

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