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A Litany in Time of Plague
by Thomas Nashe

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 closèd 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 ope her gate.
Come, come, the bells do cry,
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!