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NASHE, Thomas


A Litany in Time of Plague


Adieu, farewell, earth's bliss;

This world uncertain is;

Fond are life's lustful joys;

Death proves them all but toys;

None from his darts can fly;

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!


Rich men, trust not in wealth,

Gold cannot buy you health;

Physic himself must fade.

All things to end are made,

The plague full swift goes by;

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!


Beauty is but a flower

Which wrinkles will devour;

Brightness falls from the air;

Queens have died young and fair;

Dust hath closed Helen's eye.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!


Strength stoops unto the grave,

Worms feed on Hector brave;

Swords may not fight with fate,

Earth still holds open her gate.

"Come, come!" the bells do cry.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!


Wit with his wantonness

Tasteth death's bitterness;

Hell's executioner

Hath no ears for to hear

What vain art can reply.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!


Haste, therefore, each degree,

To welcome destiny;

Heaven is our heritage,

Earth but a player's stage;

Mount we unto the sky.

I am sick, I must die.

Lord, have mercy on us!