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Robert Southwell (1561-1595) was an Elizabethan poet, a Jesuit priest and a martyr. A cousin of William Shakespeare, Southwell studied at the university of Douai in France before returning to England to minister though the law prohibited a Catholic priest remaining in England on pain of death. In constant danger, Southwell carried out his ministry secretly for six years and wrote poetry to inspire and encourage those being persecuted. He was finally arrested and executed by hanging.

"Gift better than Himself God doth not know.
Gift better than his God no man can see;
This gift doth here the giver given bestow,
Gift to this gift let each receiver be:
God is my gift, Himself he freely gave me,
God's gift am I, and none but God shall have me."
--from The Nativity of Christ

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  • We started tracking this book on December 24, 2018.
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