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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;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Rich men, trust not 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 wrinkels 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 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.


A Litany in Time of Plague - THOMAS NASHE