Poetical recreations consisting of original poems, songs, odes, &c. with several new translations : in two parts
Barker, Jane.
Page  44

UPON DEATH.

NAked I came from out my Mother's Womb,
And naked must return unto my Tomb;
Disrob'd of all Injoyments here below,
Or what my Fancy had esteemed so;
Laid down in silence, and by all forgot;
Left in an Earthly Sepulchre to rot,
And turn to noisome and corrupted Clay,
My Manly Shape and Figure worn away:
Thus when our little breath, and life's once gone,
We make a Feast for Worms to feed upon.
And though we shou'd the most Endearments have,
Of Wife and Children too, yet we must leave
Them, and their Fortunes, unto Providence,
When pale-fac'd Death shall summon us from hence
Why do we stand amaz'd, and seem to fear,
When e'er the news of a Friend's Death we hear?
And not much rather to applaud the Tongue,
That brought intelligence, he liv'd so long;
Page  45For Life's so mutable, each little blast
May the whole Fabrick unto ruin hast:
Life is a Bubble, which now you see here,
And in a moments time do's disappear;
Full as inconstant as the Wind; alas!
'Tis far more brittle than a Venice-Glass;
'Tis as a Shadow, which is quickly fled;
Or as a Word, which in as small time's said;
'Tis as a Vapour rising from the Earth,
But at the most 'tis but a little Breath.
And is this truly so? and shall my Eyes,
Together with my Souls bright Faculties,
Be cheated with the Worlds gay Vanities?
Certainly no! Adieu ye cheating Pleasures,
Which only bear the empty name of Treasures;
No Sophistry, or stratagem, can hide
Your gilded Vanity, your Lust and Pride:
And as for Honour, that I'll most avoid,
My lonesome Cottage shall not be annoy'd
By th' noisome Breath of a confused Rabble;
Void of calm Reason, full of nonsence, babble.
Besides, my Eyes are both too weak and dimm
To guide my Feet, whilst I so high must climb,
Page  46To reach her Pinacles; which if I do,
'Tis but to make me fall from thence more low.
And as for worldly Wealth, my bounds I set,
According to what Prudence do's direct.
Our honest Industry is not deny'd,
When all disponding Thoughts are laid aside:
So much I can most lawfully desire,
As may with decency my Life attire;
And bear me up, lest I too much shou'd Mourn,
Before I fill my dark and silent Urn.
Such serious Thoughts as these delight me best;
Death, when fore-seen in time, do's quite devest
A Man of dubious Thoughts, and frightful Fears,
And with a Plaudit closeth up his Years.