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VERSES WRITTEN IN THE TOWER THE NIGHT BEFORE HE WAS BEHEADED

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares;

My feast of joy is but a dish of pain;
My crop of corn is but a field of tares;

And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is fled, and yet I saw no sun;
And now I live, and now my life is done!

The spring is past, and yet it hath not sprung;

The fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green; My youth is gone, and yet I am but young;

I saw the world, and yet I was not seen; My thread is cut, and yet it is not spun; And now I live, and now my life is done!

I sought my death, and found it in my womb;

I looked for life, and saw it was a shade;
I trod the earth, and knew it was my tomb;

And now I die, and now I am but made;
The glass is full, and now my glass is run;
And now I live, and now my life is done!

CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE

THE PERFECT LIFE

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;

TIME GOES BY TURNS

85

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night -

It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.

BEN JONSON

TIME GOES BY TURNS

The lopped tree in time may grow again,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorrièst wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower:
Time goes by turns, and chances change by course,
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,
Not endless night, not yet eternal day:
The saddest birds a season find to sing;
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;
The net that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are cross'd,
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.

ROBERT SOUTHWELL

DEATH

How weak a star doth rule mankind,

Which owes its ruin to the same
Causes which Nature had designed

To cherish and preserve the frame!

As commonwealths may be

secure, And no remote invasion dread, Yet may a sadder fall endure

From traitors in their bosom bred,

So while we feel no violence,

And in our active health do trust,
A secret hand doth snatch us hence,

And tumble us into the dust.

Yet carelessly we run our race

As if we could death's summons waive; And think not on the narrow space

Between a cradle and a grave.

But since we cannot death reprieve,

Our souls and fame we ought to mind,

THE ISLES OF GREECE

87

For they our bodies will survive:

That goes beyond, this stays behind.

If I be sure my soul is safe,

And that my actions will provide My tomb a nobler epitaph,

Than that I only lived and died,

So that in various accidents

I conscience may and honour keep:
I with that ease and innocence
Shall die, as infants go to sleep.

KATHERINE PHILLIPS

THE ISLES OF GREECE

is set.

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung.
Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except

their

sun,
The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo farther west
Than your sires' “Islands of the Blest."

The mountains look on Marathon

And Marathon looks on the sea;

And musing there an hour alone,

I dream'd that Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,

And men in nations; all were his!
He counted them at break of day-
And when the sun set where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,

My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now

The heroic bosom beats no more! And must the lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?

”T is something, in the dearth of fame,

Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush - for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?

Must we but blush? - Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead!

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