Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
An Ode
C. Henry Raymonde
WITH 1 prouidence reflect thy looke
Into thy liue’s accounting booke;
And thou shalt see how time destroyes
Thy youth, thy friends, thy foolish ioyes:
Which pleasures, mocking all desires,        5
Shew them but seruants vnto liers.
And looke on this with eies of minde,
With which men see when they are blinde.
None euer had such ioy a day,
That from them did not slide away;        10
For that soone turneth into was 2
Which sprung of late as tender grasse.
With ioy let none himselfe deceiue,
For euery lust will take his leaue.
Rich miserie is great men’s share,        15
Pompous distresse and glittering care,
With which they toile as troubles lent,
Till death exact of them their rent.
Still in thy pleasure beare in minde
That sorrow is not far behinde.        20
Rivers present our image plaine,
Which passing neuer turne againe.
Such is this world when it is best,
That each degree finds little rest:
He that is highest in his pride,        25
His fortune changeth as the tide.
All signifies a fading flower,
Rust, time, and wormes, will all devoure.
Life, ioy, and euery pleasant weede,
Scarce hangeth by a slender threede.        30
To all, this period fate doth doome,
That all must vnto nothing come.
As child in nurse’s arms, by Death
Included, here we draw our breath,
Where all our solace is vnstable,        35
Our death vnknown, ineuitable:
Which none by strength alleuiate may,
Riches, or birth, or other way;
And earth is promiser of rest,
Which is not as it seem’d possesst.        40
None have contentment at their call,
And smalest sweet abounds in gall.
When we think surest for to stand,
Then greatest slidings are at hand:
One danger seldome comes alone,        45
But moe proceed ere that be gone.
The castels which repulse a foe
Cannot demand a man from woe;
Wherefore old Solon did commend
To call none happy till their end;        50
And Dyon gaue this sentence rare,
“The shorter life, the lesser care.”
From birth to prison we ascend
On earth, as stage to take our end.
And here a life enui’d we haue,        55
And no true rest vntill our graue.
Wherefore, fooles’ heauen, but wise men’s hell,
Vaine earth, I bid thy ioyes farewell.

Note 1. C. Henry Raymonde.—In 1607 a work was published, entitled “The Maiden Queene: the Britaine Shephearde’s Teares for the Death of Astrabonica: Augmented the Worlde’s Vanitie. Both in sententiall verse, necessary and profitable to bee read of all men.” This work was written by Henry Raymonde, who dedicated it “To the right worshipfull and vertuous Ladie Katherine, wife vnto the worthy Sir George Morton, Knight.” [back]
Note 2. Waste. [back]

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