Francis Quarles

8 May 1592 – 8 September 1644 / Romford, Essex, England

Funerall Elegy Xx

Vnconstant earth ! why doe not mortals cease
To build their hopes upon so short a lease ?
Vncertaine lease, whose terme but once begun,
Tels never when it ends till it be done :
We dote upon thy smiles, not knowing why.
And whiles we but prepare to live, we die :
We spring like flowers for a daye's delight,
At noone we flourish, and we fade at night.
Wetoylefor kingdomes, conquer crownes, and then
We that were gods but now, now lesse than men.
If wisdome, learning, knowledge, cannot dwell
Secure from change, vaine bubble earth, farewell!
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