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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Change and Fate

Thomas Campion (1567–1620)

WHAT if a day, or a month, or a year,

Crown thy delights with a thousand sweet contentings!

Cannot a chance of a night or an hour

Cross thy desires with as many sad tormentings?

Fortune, Honour, Beauty, Youth, are but blossoms dying,

Wanton Pleasure, doating Love, are but shadows flying,

All our joys are but toys! idle thoughts deceiving:

None have power, of an hour, in their lives bereaving.

Earth’s but a point to the world, and a man

Is but a point to the world’s comparèd centre!

Shall then a point of a point be so vain

As to triumph in a silly point’s adventure?

All is hazard that we have, there is nothing biding;

Days of pleasure are like streams through fair meadows gliding.

Weal and woe, time doth go! time is never turning;

Secret fates guide our states, both in mirth and mourning.