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With a sharp and witty tongue, this melodious work reasons out the case against pious hypocrisy
Till death have brokenSweet life’s love-token,Till all be spokenThat shall be said,What dost thou praying,O soul, and playingWith song and saying,Things flown and fled?For this we know not –That fresh springs flow notAnd fresh griefs grow notWhen men are dead;When strange years coverLover and lover,And joys are overAnd tears are shed.If one day’s sorrowMar the day’s morrow –If man’s life borrowAnd man’s death pay –If souls once taken,If lives once shaken,Arise, awaken,By night, by day –Why with strong cryingAnd years of sighing,Living and dying,Fast ye and pray?For all your weeping,Waking and sleeping,Death comes to reapingAnd takes away.Though time rend afterRoof-tree from rafter,A little laughterIs much more worthThan thus to measureThe hour, the treasure,The pain, the pleasure,The death, the birth;Grief, when days alter,Like joy shall falter;Song-book and psalter,Mourning and mirth.Live like the swallow;Seek not to followWhere earth is hollowUnder the earth.
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