The History and Future of the Book


16th-century religious poetry


by William Alabaster


The first beginning of creation
Was God, the end thereof, in man was set,
End and beginning were together met;
So God and man became one person.
Thus nature's circle as a ring doth run,
Christ is the pale within whose circulet
The seal of the divinity is knit,
Which seal doth stand the Godhead's ring upon;
So stand two rings upon one diamond,
The knot of both and either, where are met,
Finite and infinite, more and one,
Alpha and Omega in that fair tablet,
Wherein is drawn the angels' alphabet,
Jesus. If he were learnt need more be known?


See also: manuscript transcriptions of sonnets by William Alabaster in a copy of a French Book of Hours (1558) at St John's College, Cambridge