marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

A Litany in Time of Plague

Adieu, farewell earth's bliss,
This world uncertain is :
Fond are life's lustful joys,
Death proves them all but toys.
None from his darts can fly :
I am sick, I must die.
          Lord have mercy on us !

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health ;
Physic himself must fade,
All things to end are made ;
The plague full swift goes by :
I am sick, I must die.
          Lord have mercy on us !

Beauty is but a flower,
Which wrinkles will devour ;
Brightness falls from the air,
Queens have died young and fair,
Dust hath closed Helen's eye :
I am sick, I must die.
          Lord have mercy on us !

Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave,
Swords may not fight with fate,
Earth still holds ope her gate.
Come, come, the bells do cry,
I am sick, I must die.
          Lord have mercy on us !

Haste therefore each degree
To welcome destiny ;
Heaven is our heritage
Earth but a player's stage,
Mount we unto the sky :
I am sick, I must die.
          Lord have mercy on us !

Thomas Nashe
Tags: poesy
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