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I MADE a posie, while the day ran by :
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

My life within this band.
But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,

And wither'd in



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My hand was next to them, and then


heart I took, without more thinking, in good part

Time's gentle admonition ;
Who did so sweetly death's sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell

Yet sugaring the suspicion.

fatal day,

Farewell, dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent, Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,

And after death for cures. I follow straight without complaints or grief, Since if my scent be good, I care not if

It be as short as yours.


But that thou art my wisdom, Lord,

And both mine eyes are thine,
My mind would be extremely stirr’d

For missing my design.

Were it not better to bestow

Some place and power on me?

Then should thy praises with me grow,

And share in my degree.

But when I thus dispute and grieve,

I do resume my sight;
And pilfering what I once did give,

Disseize thee of thy right.

How know I, if thou shouldst me raise,

That I should then raise thee?
Perhaps great places and thy praise

Do not so well agree.

Wherefore unto my gift I stand ;

I will no more advise :
Only do thou lend me a hand,

Since thou hast both mine eyes.


I CANNOT skill of these thy ways :

Lord, thou didst make me, yet thou woundest me: Lord, thou dost wound me, yet thou dost relieve me : Lord, thou relievest, yet I die by thee : Lord, thou dost kill me, yet thou dost reprieve me.

But when I mark my life and praise,

Thy justice me most fitly pays :
For, I do praise thee, yet I praise thee not :
My prayers mean thee, yet my prayers stray :
I would do well, yet sin the hand hath got:
My soul doth love thee, yet it loves delay.

I cannot skill of these my ways.


Who read a Chapter when they rise,
Shall ne'er be troubled with ill eyes.

A poor man's rod, when thou dost ride,
Is both a weapon and a guide.

Who shuts his hand, hath lost his gold :
Who opens it, hath it twice told.

Who goes to bed, and doth not pray,
Maketh two nights to every day.

Who by aspersions throw a stone
At the head of others, hit their own.

Who looks on ground with humble eyes,
Finds himself there, and seeks to rise.

When the hair is sweet through pride or lust, The powder doth forget the dust.

Take one from ten, and what remains ?
Ten still, if Sermons go for gains.

In shallow waters heaven doth show :
But who drinks on, to hell may go.


My God, I read this day,
That planted Paradise was not so firm
As was and is thy floating Ark; whose stay

And anchor thou art only, to confirm

And strengthen it in every age,
When waves do rise, and tempests rage.

At first we lived in pleasure ;
Thine own delights thou didst to us impart :
When we grew wanton, thou didst use displeasure
To make us thine : yet that we might not part,

As we at first did board with thee,
Now thou wouldst taste our misery.

There is but joy and grief ;
If either will convert us, we are thine :
Some angels used the first; if our relief
Take up the second, then thy double line

And several baits in either kind
Furnish thy table to thy mind.

Affliction then is ours;
We are the trees, whom shaking fastens more,
While blustering winds destroy the wanton bowers,
And ruffle all their curious knots and store.

My God, so temper joy and woe,
That thy bright beams may tame thy bow.



How soon doth man decay ! When clothes are taken from a chest of sweets To swaddle infants, whose young breath

Scarce knows the way; Those clouts are little winding-sheets, Which do consign and send them unto death.

When boys go first to bed, They step into their voluntary graves ; Sleep binds them fast; only their breath

Makes them not dead. Successive nights, like rolling waves, Convey them quickly, who are bound for death.

When youth is frank and free, And calls for music, while his veins do swell, All day exchanging mirth and breath

In company; That music summons to the knell, Which shall befriend him at the house of death.

When man grows staid and wise,
Getting a house and home, where he may move
Within the circle of his breath,

Schooling his eyes ;
That dumb enclosure maketh love
Unto the coffin, that attends his death.

When age grows low and weak, Marking his grave, and thawing every year,

Till all do melt, and drown his breath

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