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Of Man’s Mortality

[Quod tu in cinerem revertis]

Memento, homo, quod cinis es:
Think, man, thow art bot erd and as;
Lang heir to dwell nathing thow pres,
For as thow come sa sall thow pas.
Lyk as ane schaddow in ane glas
Hyne glydis all thy tyme that heir is;
Think, thocht thy bodye ware of bras,
Quod tu in cinerem reverteris.

Worthye Hector and Hercules,
Forcye Achill and strong Sampsone,
Alexander of grit nobilnes,
Meik David and fair Absolone
Hes playit thair pairtis, and all are gone
At will of God that all thing steiris:
Think, man, exceptioun thair is none,
Sed tu in cinerem reverteris.

Thocht now thow be maist glaid of cheir,
Fairest and plesandest of port,
Yit may thow be within ane yeir
Ane ugsum, uglye tramort.
And sen thow knawis thy tyme is schort
And in all houre thy lyfe in weir is,
Think, man, amang all uthir sport,
Quod tu in cinerem reverteris.

Thy lustye bewtй and thy youth
Sall feid as dois the somer flouris;
Syne sall thee swallow with his mouth
The dragone death that all devouris.
No castell sall thee keip, nor touris,
Bot he sall seik thee with thy feiris.
Thairfore remembir at all houris
Quod tu in cinerem reverteris.

Thocht all this warld thow did posseid,
Nocht eftir death thow sall posses,
Nor with thee tak bot thy guid deid
Quhen thow dois fro this warld thee dres.
So speid thee, man, and thee confes
With humill hart and sobir teiris,
And sadlye in thy hart inpres
Quod tu in cinerem reverteris.

Thocht thow be taklit nevir so sure,
Thow sall in deathis port arryve,
Quhair nocht for tempest may indure
Bot ferslye all to speiris dryve.
Thy Ransonner with woundis fyve
Mak thy plycht anker and thy steiris
To hald thy saule with Him on lyve,
Cum tu in cinerem reverteris.

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Of Man’s Mortality - WILLIAM DUNBAR