Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)

“What is our Life?”

What is our life? A play of passion;
Our mirth the music of division;
Our mothers’ wombs the tiring houses be
Where we are dressed for this short comedy;
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss;
Our graves that hide us from the searching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we playing to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest.

“Even Such is Time”

Even such is time, which takes in trust
Our youth, and joys, and all we have;
And pays us with but age and dust,
Which, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days:
And from which earth and grave and dust
The Lord will raise me up, I trust.

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