Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
IV. Inevitable
Of Man’s Mortalitie. 1629
By Simon Wastell (c. 1566–1632) (?)
LIKE as the Damaske Rose you see,
Or like the blossome on the tree,
Or like the daintie flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the Sunne, or like the shade,        5
Or like the Gourd which Ionas had:
E’en such is man, whose thread is spun,
Drawne out, and cut, and so is done.
The Rose withers; the blossome blasteth;
The flower fades; the morning hasteth;        10
The Sun sets; the shadow flies;
The Gourd consumes; and man he dies!
Like to the Grasse that ’s newly sprung,
Or like a tale that ’s new begun,
Or like the bird that ’s here to-day,        15
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an houre, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a Swan:
E’en such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life, and death.        20
The Grasse withers; the tale is ended;
The bird is flowne; the dew ’s ascended;
The hour is short; the span not long;
The swan ’s near death; man’s life is done.

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