Adieu, farewell earth's bliss

Original Text: 
Thomas Nash, A pleasant comedie, called Summers last will and testament (S. Stafford for W. Burre, 1600). STC 18376.
2This world uncertain is;
3Fond are life's lustful joys,
4Death proves them all but toys,
5None from his darts can fly:
6I am sick, I must die.
7      Lord, have mercy on us!
8Rich men, trust not in wealth,
9Gold cannot buy you health;
10Physic himself must fade;
11All things to end are made;
12The plague full swift goes by:
13I am sick, I must die.
14      Lord, have mercy on us!
15Beauty is but a flower
16Which wrinkles will devour;
17Brightness falls from the air,
18Queens have died young and fair,
19Dust hath clos'd Helen's eye:
20I am sick, I must die.
21      Lord, have mercy on us!
22Strength stoops unto the grave,
23Worms feed on Hector brave,
24Swords may not fight with fate,
25Earth still holds ope her gate;
26Come, come, the bells do cry.
27I am sick, I must die.
28      Lord, have mercy on us!
29Wit with his wantonness
30Tasteth death's bitterness:
31Hell's executioner
32Hath no ears for to hear
33What vain art can reply:
34I am sick, I must die.
35      Lord, have mercy on us!
36Haste, therefore, each degree
37To welcome destiny:
38Heaven is our heritage,
39Earth but a player's stage:
40Mount we unto the sky.
41I am sick, I must die.
42      Lord, have mercy on us!


1] Possibly written during a period when the plague was raging in London (in 1592-93?). "Summer" was Henry VIII's fool. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.151.