Friday, February 15, 2013


Midnight Meditation

Henry King (1592-1669), "My Midnight Meditation," in his Poems, Elegies, Paradoxes, and Sonnets (London: Printed by J.G. for Rich: Marriot and Hen: Herringman, 1657), p. 138:
Ill busi'd man! why should'st thou take such care
To lengthen out thy lifes short Kalendar?
When e'ry spectacle thou lookst upon
Presents and acts thy execution.
    Each drooping season and each flower doth cry,    5
    Fool! as I fade and wither, thou must dy.

The beating of thy pulse (when thou art well)
Is just the tolling of thy Passing Bell:
Night is thy Hearse, whose sable Canopie
Covers alike deceased day and thee.    10
    And all those weeping dewes which nightly fall,
    Are but the tears shed for thy funerall.

3 e'ry: every
8 Passing Bell: bell tolled to announce a death

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