Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Thinke to Die
XXXI. D. Sand
 
THE LIFE 1 is long which lothsomely dooth last,
The dolefull dayes draw slowly to their date;
The present pangues, and painefull plagues forepast,
Yeeldes greef aye greene, to stablish this estate:
  So that I feele in this great storme and strife        5
  That death is sweet that shorteneth such a life.
 
And by the stroke of this strange ouerthrowe,
At which conflict in thraldome I was thrust,
The Lord be praised, I am well taught to knowe
From whence man came, and eke wherto he must:        10
  And by the way vpon how feeble force
  His terme doth stand, till death doth end his course.
 
The pleasant yeares that seemes so swiftly runne,
The merrie daies to ende so fast that fleete,
The ioyfull nightes of which dayes drawes so soone,        15
The happie howres which more doo misse than meete,
  Doo all consume as snow against the sunne,
  And death makes ende of all that life begunne.
 
Since death shall dure till all the worlds be waste,
What meaneth man to dread death then so sore?        20
As man might make that life should alwaies last
Without regarde, the Lord hath led before
  The daunce of death, which all must runne on row—
  The howre wherein, onely himselfe doth knowe.
 
If man would minde what burdens life doth bring;        25
What greeuous crimes to God he doth commit;
What plagues, what pangues, what perill thereby spring,
With no sure howre in all his daies to sit;
  He would sure thinke, as with great cause I doo,
  The day of death is happier of the two.        30
 
Death is the doore whereby we draw to ioy;
Life is the lack that drowneth all in paine;
Death is so dole, it seaseth all annoy;
Life is so lewd, that all it yeeldes is vaine:
  And as by life in bondage man is brought,        35
  Euen so by death is freedome likewise wrought.
 
Wherefore with Paule let all men wish and pray
To be dissolued of this foule fleshly masse;
Or at the least be arm’d against the day,
That they be found good soldiers; prest to passe        40
  From life to death, from death to life againe,
  And such a life as euer shall remaine.
 
Note 1. XXXI. D. Sand.—This author was one of the contributors to “The Paradise of Dayntie Deuises.” Some identify him with Dr. Sands, or Dr. Edwyn Sandys, archbishop of York, he being the only known author of this name and period: but the identification is not at all probable. Some of the poems in the above collection have the initials D. S. affixed to them, and they have been supposed to be by the same person who wrote those to which D. Sand is appended. [back]
 
 
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