Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Verses Fitte for Euery One to Knowe and Confesse
LXXVIII. Thomas Churchyard
 
TO bed I goe from you—
God knowes when I shall rise;
Night’s darknes bids the day adue,
Till morning glads the skies.
 
The bed presents the graue:        5
In shrowding sheetes we lie;
The flattring boulster that we haue
Is stuft to please the eye.
 
The blankets are greene grasse,
That growes when we are gone;        10
The pillowes with sun-beames do passe
For pilgrimes to looke on.
 
The couerlet is care,
That clothes vs whilst we liue;
The bed-staues gentill scourges are,        15
That doth vs warnings giue.
 
The bedstocke and the tycke,
And all belongs to bed,
Is but vaine pleasures that we like
To please a wanton head.        20
 
Sleepe is of death the shape,
To shewe man’s substance small:
As earth doth for the body gape,
So death will haue vs all.
 
Then liue as thou shouldst die,        25
When God shall please to stricke:
The graue whereon our bodies lie,
And bed, are both alike.
 
But sure, when sences sleepe
From labour, toyle, and paine,        30
The soule for feare doe wayle and weepe,
’Till man awake againe.
 
Death waites so hard at hand,
When soundest sleepe we haue,
That all our state doth doubtfull stand        35
Till body be in graue.
 
Man shortens his own dayes,
And so doth weare and wast
By wilful stepes and wicked wayes,
That cuts of life in hast.        40
 
Sleepe is a step to death,
And time that weares full fast;
Life waites no longer on the breath
Then bloud and health doth last.
 
When candell waxeth dimme,        45
Or neere the socket drawes,
Man’s goodly glistring glory trimme
Declines by kindly cause.
 
Then aged syres, like me,
Small tarrying haue you heere;        50
When faulters shall examined be,
They buy their folly deere.
 
In bed that brings no rest
Those strange euents we find,
When roling vp and downe the brest,        55
Sad thoughts bodes heauy mind.
 
The bed breedes dreames and toys,
That idell fancie brings;
More vaine than rash are earthly ioyes,
That hinders heauenly things.        60
 
The soundest sleepe of all
In Abrahame’s bosome is:
Heere ioy is mixt with bitter gall,
And there gall turnes to blisse.
 
To bed goe in these bounds,        65
As babes in cloutes are layd,
To rise with Christ when trumpet sounds,
Who hath our ransome paid.
 
 
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