Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
Respice Finem
MAN’S 1 pleasures passe; respect them not;
His glory glisters but a tyme;
His famous fare is soone forgot;
His highest hap breedes cursed crime:
  But this to thee doth chiefly tend;        5
  But what thou dost, respect thy ende.
To graft thy glory in the glose
Of gorgeous geere and braue araie,
Were sure to plant a vaine suppose
On that which weares betymes away:        10
  The surest shroude that may thee shend,
  Is, what thou dost respect thy ende.
Attempt no trade that tickle is,
Or that which standes aboue thy strength;
For sure the path to perfect blisse        15
Hath not the square for such a length:
  But when thou wouldst thyselfe defend,
  In what thou dost respect thy ende.
For when that doubtes and deepe delayes
Can not ascertaine thy pretence,        20
Presume not much, nor set assayes
To that thou canst not well conuince:
  From hence all hap doth still descend;
  In what thou dost respect the ende.
Or if the thing thou maist attaine        25
For present tyme hath pleasant tast,
Returne betimes to this againe,
To see if like it be at last;
  And trust no stayes that eases lend,
  But what thou dost, respect the ende.        30
Note 1. XXVI. G. C.—No mention is made of this author by Ritson. He wrote “A Piteous Platforme of an Oppressed Mynde set downe by the extreme surmyzes of sundrye distressed meditations.” The work is written partly in prose and partly in metre, and it contains versions of five Psalms. [back]

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