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Wars with their noise affright us; when they cease,
30 What then remains, but that we still should cry For being born, or, being born, to die?
Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Like nothing but commending :
Tell Love it is but lust;
Tell Flesh it is but dust. And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie. Tell Age it daily wasteth;
Tell Honour how it alters;
Tell Favour how it falters.
In tickle points of niceness ;
Herself in over-wiseness.
Tell Skill it is pretension ;
Tell Law it is contention.
Tell Nature of decay ;
Tell Justice of delay.
And if they will reply,
But vary by esteeming ;
And stand too much on seeming.
Tell how the country erreth ;
Tell Virtue least preferreth.
Commanded thee, done babbling,
Deserves no less than stabbing,
What is the world? tell, worldling, if thou know it. If it be good, why do all ills o'erflow it ?
If it be bad, why dost thou like it so?
If it be friend, why kills it, as a foe,
Friend faber, cast me a round hollow ball,
Adorn it fair, and flourish every part
5 And grave in gold, about my silver bowl, Thus rolls the world, the idol of mankind, Whose fruit is fiction, whose foundation wind.
Where, where are now the great reports
Of those huge haughty earthborn giants ?
Of those proud kings bade Heaven defiance?
Go, silly worm, drudge, trudge, and travel,
Despising pain, so thou may'st gain
With sudden call takes thee from all,
The World and Death one day them cross-disguised,
To cozen man, when sin had once beguiled him. Both called him forth, and questioning advised
To say whose servant he would fairly yield him. Man, weening then but to the World to have given him, 5
By the false World became the slave of Death ;
But from their fraud he did appeal by faith To Him whose death killed Death, and from the world has driven him.
Which soon perceive the little larks,