303. Praise and Prayer

Sir William Davenant. 1606-1668

PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,
  The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice;
Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:
  But Prayer in various discord upward flies.

For Prayer the ocean is where diversely
  Men steer their course, each to a sev'ral coast;
Where all our interests so discordant be
  That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.

By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,
'Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;
In Praise we nobly give what God may take,
  And are, without a beggar's blush, forgiven.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition