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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Sir William Davenant (1606–1668)

Life and Death

FRAIL Life! in which, through mists of human breath
We grope for truth, and make our progress slow,
Because by passion blinded; till, by death
Our passions ending, we begin to know.
O reverend Death! whose looks can soon advise        5
E’en scornful youth, whilst priests their doctrine waste;
Yet mocks us too; for he does make us wise,
When by his coming our affairs are past.
O harmless Death! whom still the valiant brave,
The wise expect, the sorrowful invite,        10
And all the good embrace, who know the grave
A short dark passage to eternal light.