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TIMES GO BY TURNS. The loppèd tree in time may grow again;
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower ; The sorriest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower ; Times go by turns, and chances change by course, 5 From foul to fair, from better hap to worse. The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her tides have equal times to come and go;
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.
Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring;
No endless night, yet not eternal day;
The saddest birds a season find to sing ;
15 The roughest storm a calm may soon allay ; Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all, That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall. A chance
may win that by mischance was lost ; That net that holds no great, takes little fish; In some things all, in all things none are crossed ;
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
Unmeddled joys here to no man befall,
Who least hath some, who most hath never all.
This Life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air,
By sporting children's breath,
Who chase it everywhere,
And strive who can most motion it bequeath;
5 And though it sometimes seem of its own might Like to an eye of gold to be fixed there,
And firm to hover in that empty height,
That only is because it is so light.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
For when 'tis most admired, in a thought,
Because it erst was nought, it turns to nought.
Like as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flower in May,
Or like the morning of the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonas had-
E’en such is man ; whose thread is spun,
Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.
The rose withers; the blossom blasteth ;
The flower fades; the morning hasteth ;
The sun sets, the shadow flies ;
The gourd consumes; and man he dies !
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to day,
Or like the pearlèd dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan-
E’en such is man ; who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life, and death.
The grass withers, the tale is ended ;
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended ;
The hour is short, the span is long ;
The swan's near death ; man's life is done!
OF MY DEAR SON GERVASE BEAUMONT.
Can I, who have for others oft compiled
The songs of death, forget my sweetest child,
Which, like the flower crusht, with a blast is dead,
And ere full time hangs down his smiling head,
Expecting with clear hope to live anew,
Among the angels fed with heavenly dew ?
We have this sign of joy, that many days,
While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The name of Jesus in his mouth contains
His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
Oh! may that sound be rooted in my mind,
Of which in him such strong effect I find.
Dear Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
To me was like a friendship, far above
The course of nature, or his tender age;
15 Whose looks could all my bitter griefs assuage ; Let his pure soul, ordained seven years to be In that frail body, which was part of me, Remain my pledge in heaven, as sent to show, How to this port at every step I go.
Sir John Beaumont.
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages :
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone ;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!
ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
Mortality, behold and fear !
What a change of flesh is here !
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones ;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands,
Where from their pulpits sealed with dust
They preach, “In greatness is no trust.'
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest royallest seed
That the earth did e'er suck in,
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried,
'Though gods they were, as men they died !'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings:
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
Victorious men of earth, no more
Proclaim how wide your empires are;
Though you bind-in every shore
And your triumphs reach as far
As night or day,
Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey,
And mingle with forgotten ashes, when
Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.
Devouring Famine, Plague, and War,
Each able to undo mankind,
Death's servile emissaries are;
Nor to these alone confined,
He hath at will
More quaint and subtle ways to kill;
A smile or kiss, as he will use the art,
15 Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.
The glories of our blood and state,
Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings: