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Though fortune hare set thee on high,
To die, dame nature did man frame:
Death is a thing most perfect sure : We ought not nature's works to blame;
She made no thing still to endure. That law she made when we were born,
That hence we should return again : To render right we must not scorn :
Death is due debt: it is no pain.
Death hath in all the earth a right;
His power is great, it stretcheth far: No lord, no prince, can scape his might;
No creature can his duty bar.
The chaste, the meek, the free of heart, The rich, the poor--who can deny?
Have yielded all unto his dart.
Seeing no man then can death escape,
Nor hire him bence for any gain, We ought not fear his carrion shape;
He only brings ill men to pain.
If thou have led thy life aright,
Death is the end of misery : If thou in God hast thy delight,
Thou diest to live eternally.
Each wight, therefore, while he lives here,
Let him think on his dying day: In midst of wealth, in midst of cheer,
Let him account he must away. This thought makes man to God a friend;
This thought doth banish pride and sin; This thought doth bring a man in th' end
Where he of death the field shall win.
VERSES FOUND IN SIR WALTER
E'en such is time; which takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, and all we have ! And pays us nought but age and dust,
Which, in the dark and silent grave, When we have wander'd all our ways, Shuts up the story of our days. And from which grave, and earth, and dust, The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
Go, soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand!
Go, since I needs must die,
Go tell the court it glows,
And shines like rotten wood,
If church and court reply,
Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others actions,
If potentates reply,
Tell men of high condition
That rule affairs of state, Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Tell thein that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
And if they make reply,
Tell zeal it lacks devotion,
Tell lore it is but lust,
And wish them not reply,
Tell age it daily wasteth,
Tell honour how it alters,
And as they shall reply
Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness :
And when they do reply,
Tell physic of her boldness,
Tell skill it is pretension,
And as they do reply,
Tell fortune of her blindness,
Tell nature of decay,
And if they will reply,
Tell hearts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming,
If arts and schools reply,
Tell faith it's fled the city,
Tell how the country erreth,
And if they do reply,
So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing: