Edward Farr, ed. Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. 1845. A Dittie, Declaring the Uncertaintie of Our Earthly Honor
XIX. Anthony Munday
The certaine account that we must all make of death; and therefore that we should make ourselues ready at all times, because we are ignorant of our latter howre.
W HAT 1 state so sure but time subvarts?
What pleasure that is voide of paine?
What cheereful change of former smarts
But turnes straitwaie to greefe againe?
What credite may a man repose 5
Vppon so fraile a clod of clay,
Which as to-day in sollace goes,
To-morrow is brought to earthly bay?
Thinke, O man!
How thy glasse is daily sette to runne, 10
And how thy life shall passe when it is doone:
Thy graue hath then thy glory wun,
And all thy pompe in cinders laide full lowe.
By the fragrant flower in the feeld, 15
Which as to-day in brauery is beheld,
The parching sun hath ouer-queld.
O wretched man! euen thou thyselfe art so.
How canst thou bragge, or canst thou boast, 20
How that thou maiest
Or that thou shalt
Enjoy thy life untill to-morrow day?
That death subdues the strength of kings, 25
Of high and lowe,
Of rich and poore;
And all as one he dooth call awaie.
* * * * * *
Put on your black aray; for needes you must away 30
Unto your house of clay:
Prepare your conscience gay against the dreadfull day,
That you may be
Christs chosen flocke and sheepe,
Whom he will safely keepe, 35
Whether you doo wake or sleepe:
Then shall the hellish foe
Away in terror goe,
This joy to see.
Remember this, amidst your blisse, 40
That Christ hath redeemed vs by his blood.
Then let vs kill our affections so ill,
To be elected in his seruants good.
Then shall we be sure for aye to endure
On Gods right hand among the pure; 45
When as the ill against their will
The endlesse paine shall passe untill.
God graunt us feruent constancie
To auoide so great extremitie,
That by his grace continuallie 50 We may purchase heauens felicitie!
XIX. Anthony Munday.Servant to the Queens most excellent Majestie, he published in 1588, A Banquet of Daintie Conceits. Furnished with verie delicate and choyse inuentions, to delight their mindes, who take pleasure in musique, and therewithall to sing sweete ditties, either to the lute, bandora, virginalles, or anie other instrument. He was also the author of The Mirrour of Mutibilitie, published in 1579, which describes the fall of princes and others, as recorded in Scripture. From these two very rare works these specimens are transcribed. [ Note 1. back]