Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Even Such Is Time
By Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)
 
EVEN 1 such is Time, that takes in trust
  Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
  Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wander’d all our ways,        5
Shuts up the story of our days;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.
 
Note 1. Of this poem, with another beginning Give me my scallop-shell of quiet (see No. 606), it is asserted that Sir Walter wrote them in the Tower on the night before his execution. Mr. Quiller-Couch judges that the assertion is probably based upon inference, though he admits, even if Sir Walter wrote them either then or at any other time, that they should have been attributed to him as appropriate is evidence in favour of a “character that has been judged so variously.” Dr. Hannah mentions it as printed with Raleigh’s Prerogatives of Parliaments, 1628, and probably still earlier; also with To-day a man, To-morrow none, 1643–4, in Raleigh’s Remains, 1661. Reliquiæ Wottonianæ, 1651, gives it with the title, Sir Walter the Night before his Death. [back]
 
 
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