Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
A Dittie, Which Sheweth by Example of Diuers Worthy Personages Past in Ancient Time
XIX. Anthony Munday
        That neither strength, wit, beautie, riches, or any transitory things, wherein worldlings put any confidence, can saue them from the stroke of death.

ADIEW, my former pleasure,
  For I of force must leaue thee:
I see my state is most unsure,
  And thou hast long deceiude me.
Time bids me minde my latter end,        5
  And that I am but clay;
And euerie hour I doo offend
  In manie a wicked waie.
            Then farewell sinne,
            I will beginne        10
To sorrow for my wicked life at the last,
  And feare to sinne any more;
For when I remember all that is past,
  My hart doth bleede therefore.
I see that ualiant Sampson,        15
  Who uaunted of his stature,
His strength hath failde and he is gone;
  Time forst him yeeld to nature:
And all the courage he possesst
  Amidst his flowring dayes,        20
When death did call him home to rest,
  Did uade from him straitwaies.
            Then why should I
            On strength rely,
Perceiuing that the stoutest hart dooth obey,        25
  When death dooth shew his power?
And so must I needes (as all flesh) passe away;
  For strength is but a flower.
I see that wise king Salomon,
  Whose wisedome was most excellent,        30
Among the rest is dead and gone,
  For all his prudent gouernment.
And what is he that liueth now
  In wisedome most profound?
But death compelleth him to bow,        35
  And brings him to the ground.
            If strength then faile,
            And wit doth quaile,
Vnwise were I once for to think that I might
  Escape the stroke of death;        40
And know that there is on the earth no one right,
  But must resign his breath.
I see that faire young Absalon,
  Beautie did nought auaile him:
The welthy glutton eke is gone,        45
  His riches could not vaile him.
And he that had his barnes so thwakt,
  And bade his soul take rest,
In one night from his wealth was rapt,
  And so was dispossest.        50
            Thus see you plain,
            It is in vaine
To make anie certaine account of this life,
  Or in yourselues to trust:
Therefore make you ready to part from this strife,        55
  For to the earth you must.

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