Archive for October 15th, 2019

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Excerpt from “Deaths Progress: or Death with His Commission” by Elizabeth Major

In that catalogue of times descry,
A time for birth, also a time to die;
But finde no time to live, which may us teach,
Uncertainty no certain time can reach:
Death’s suddain presence, and his sabled brow,
Doth summon all even to be ready now;
For do but listen, some passing bell doth toll,
And sadly too, for some departed soul.
Perhaps some wife’s a widow, children orphans be,
And this sad sound proclaims the same to thee:
Perchance another’s posting in that way,
And hasty death denys it here to stay
His dearest friends to see: his doom he’l give,
Behold, I am come, thou must no longer live:
Perhaps he takes one midst abused wealth,
Whole covetous heart he hath depriv’d of health,
And them will part: But stay grim death, let’s see
If a large bribe won’t gain some time of thee;
See, here is store, come lade thee with thick clay,
Take what thou wilt, so longer I may stay:
We sooner part from all then life, I know
No other Heaven then what I have below:
This golden element my heart hath won,
If hence thou tak’t me, alas I am undone.

Death Was death ere brib’d, did ever mortal see
Death sent to fell, and yet did spare the tree?
When once commision from the most High is come,
How do I post till his command is done?
No glistering bribe upon me ever wrought,
Nor is my black bark with such light wares fraught:
O no, to wound and kill, believ’t, I am come,
And I’le not leave thee till within thy tomb;
Therefore prepare, I shoot, my black darts flie,
They’l surely wound, the wounded surely die.

From: Major, Elizabeth, Honey on the Rod: Or A Comfortable Contemplation for One in Affliction; with Sundry Poems on Several Subjects, 1656, Thomas Maxey: London, pp. 202-203.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=GDpkAAAAcAAJ)

Dated: 1656

By: Elizabeth Major (fl. 1656)