Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Man
XCIII. John Norden
 
WHO 1 doth not see the state of fickle man,
His changing courses and his diuers turnes
Tweene aged yeeres and time he first began?
His time his termes from time to time adiurnes:
Time tries him still, to triumph him he wurnes,        5
  And will not let him glorie long in blisse,
  In this short progresse where no glorie is.
 
Before his birth hee lies as in a caue,
Inclos’d with gore; an vgly shape hee beares;
Then by degrees hee gins some forme to haue,        10
And represent what after hee appeares,
A humane body: then hee comes with teares
  From cell of darknesse, and partakes the light,
  A silly creature and of silly might.
 
Then hee forthwith liues, and forthwith he dies,        15
Though liuing long hee lingers and decayes;
From youth to age hee pining mortifies,
Although he seeme to glorie in his dayes:
His day to die comes stealing, though it stayes;
  And when he seemeth to haue constant state,        20
  A change chops in of more inconstant rate.
 
Man neuer standeth, but like wauing tyde,
That comes and goes, now calme, then full of ire;
Now sings he sweete, all sorrowes layd aside;
Then groweth griefe, welcome to no desire;        25
Heau’d vp, hurl’d downe, dismay’d, or in aspire;
  Grac’d now, then in disclaim; now in the sunne
  Of sweetest fauour; then eclips’d, vndonne.
 
Note 1. XCIII. John Norden.—The works written by this author from which the specimens are derived, are, 1. “Vicissitudo Rerum: an Elegiacall Poeme of the interchangeable courses and varietie of things in this world,” which was published in 1600; and 2. “A Progress of Pietie, or the Harbour of Heauenly Harts, etc.,” first printed in 1596. Both these works are prose, interspersed with poetry. [back]
 
 
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