“Mr Strachie’s Harke” by William Strachey


Toward the end of his life, while living in London in poverty, William Strachey wrote poetry on the subject of death, the following three verses of which survive. Strachey had previously served as secretary to the Virginia colony in Jamestown. Some spelling has been modernized and contractions expanded.


Harke! Twas the trump of death that blewe

My hower is come false world adewe

That I to death untymely goe.

Thy pleasures have betrayed me soe

For Death’s the punishment of sinn

And of all creatures I have bene

The most ungratefull wicked one

That ere the heavens did shine vpon.


Harke! I have sinnd against Earth & heaven

Early by date late in the even

All manner sinnes all manner wayes

I have committed in my daies

Hell and hell fire is my due

O but deare Christe I humbly sue

Thy blood may wash my red sowle white

Mercy not Judgment is thy delight.


Harke! at which mercy gate I knocke

Let sobbes & sighes the same unlocke

Prostrate I fall & begg for grace

O doe not turne away thy face

my cryinge sinnes beate at thy Throane

Once bowe the heavens looke downe upon

A wretch more overthrowne then greefe

That beggs for mercy not for life.



W: Strachie.

APA Citation:
Strachey, William. “Mr Strachie’s Harke” by William Strachey. (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Strachey, William. "“Mr Strachie’s Harke” by William Strachey" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 17 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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