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(From the “ Ruins of Time."]
O vain world's glory, and unstedfast state
Of all that lives on face of sinful earth! Which from their first, until their utmost date,
Taste no one hour of happiness or mirth ;
But, like as at the in-gate of their birth, They crying creep out of their mother's womb, So wailing, back go to their woeful tomb.
Why then doth flesh, a bubble-glass of breath,
Hunt after honour and advancement vain, And rear a trophy for devouring death,
With so great labour, and long-lasting pain,
As if his days for ever should remain ? Sith all that in this world is great, or gay, Doth, as a vapour, vanish and decay.
Look back who list unto the former ages, - And call to count what is of them become : Where be those learned wits, and antique sages,
Which of all wisdom knew the perfect sum ?
The world with conquest of their might and main, And made one meer of the earth and of their
High tow'rs, fair temples, goodly theatres,
Strong walls, rich porches, princely palaces, Large streets, brave houses, sacred sepulchres,
Sure gates, sweet gardens, stately galleries,
Wrought with fair pillars and rich imageries : All those, O pity! now are turn’d to dust, And overgrown with black oblivion's rust.
Where my high steeples whilom used to stand, · On which the lordly falcon wont to tower, There now is but a heap of lime and sand,
For the screech owl to build her baleful bower:
And, where the nightingale wont forth to pour Her restless plaints, to comfort wakeful lovers, There,now haunt yelling mews and whining plovers.
O trustless state of miserable men!
That build your bliss on hope of earthly thing, And vainly think yourselves half happy, then
When painted faces, with smooth flattering,
Do fawn on you, and your wide praises sing! And when the courting masker louteth low, Him true in heart and trusty to you trow !
All is but feigned, and with ochre dyed,
That every show'r will wash and wipe away; All things do change that under heaven abide, And, after death, all friendship doth decay:
Therefore, whatever man bear'st worldly sway, . Living, on God and on thyself rely ; For, when thou diest, all shall with thee die.
Was born about 1553, and is supposed to have died about 1000.
That he possessed considerable talents for poetry the following specimens will testify; but he is said to have gained the admiration of Queen Elizabeth's court, by the invention of a new English, a model of which he exhibited in two prose works called “ Euphues and his England," &c. London, 1580, and“ Euphues : the Anatomy of Wit, &c.”
1581. It is to be supposed that this strange and barbarous jargon,
the obscurity of which no human intellect is able to pierce, was adopted by the fashionable beauties of that Virgincourt for the purpose of shielding their virtue from the
addresses of importunate ignorance. Lylie wrote some plays, six of which were republished by
Blount, in 1632, under the title of “ Six Court Comedies.” From this publication the following extracts are taken.
What bird so sings, yet so does wail!
Brave prick song! who is't now we hear?
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat,
[In the same.] O FOR a bowl of fat Canary,
Rich Palermo, sparkling sherry, Some nectar else from Juno's dairy;
O these draughts would make us merry!
O for a wench (I deal in faces
And in other daintier things), Tickled am I with her embraces;
Fine dancing in such fairy rings.
O for a plump fat leg of mutton,
Veal, lamb, capon, pig, and coney ;