Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Miscellanies: Upon the Weakness and Misery of Man
By Samuel Butler (1612–1680)
 
OUR pains are real things, and all
Our pleasures but fantastical.
Diseases of their own accord,
But cures come difficult and hard.
Our noblest piles and stateliest rooms        5
Are but outhouses to our tombs;
Cities though ne’er so great and brave
But mere warehouses to the grave.
Our bravery ’s but a vain disguise
To hide us from the world’s dull eyes,        10
The remedy of a defect
With which our nakedness is decked,
Yet makes us smile with pride and boast
As if we had gained by being lost.
 
 
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