Litany in Time of Plague

by Thomas Nashe

Adieu, farewell, life’s bliss;

This world uncertain is;

Fond are life’s lustful joys;

Deathe proves them all but toys;

None from his darts can fly;

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth;

Gold cannot buy you health;

Physic himself must fade.

All things to end are made,

The plague full swift must die;

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty is but a flower

Which wrinkles will devour;

Brightness falls from the air;

Queens have died young and fair;

Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Strength stoops unto the grave,

Worms feed on Hector brave!

Swords may not fight with fate,

Earth still holds open her gate.

“Come, come!” the bells do cry.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Wit with his wantonness

Tasteth death’s bitterness;

Hell’s executioner

Hath no ears for to hear

What vain art can reply.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste, therefore, each degree,

To welcome destiny;

Heaven is our heritage,

Earth but a player’s stage;

Mount we unto the sky.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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