Abraham Cowley

1618 – 28 July 1667 / London

Life

Life's a name
That nothing here can truly claim;
This wretched inn, where we scarce stay to bait,
We call our dwelling-place!
And mighty voyages we take,
And mighty journeys seem to make,
O'er sea and land, the little point that has no space.
Because we fight and battles gain,
Some captives call, and say, 'the rest are slain';
Because we heap up yellow earth, and so
Rich, valiant, wise, and virtuous seem to grow;
Because we draw a long nobility
From hieroglyphic proofs of heraldry-
We grow at last by Custom to believe,
That really we Live;
Whilst all these Shadows, that for Things we take,
Are but the empty Dreams which in Death's sleep we make.
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